Glasses cloths also known as lens cloths, we all have them especially those of us who wear glasses. These microfiber wonders clean smudges and fingerprints easier than any tissue, toilet paper, or your shirt. If you have a high-end pair of sunglasses they probably came with one of these. Heck, some sunglasses brands even give you a pouch for your glasses made of this material. But I keep a cloth on me pretty much always for a very different reason, my mobile device’s camera and screen.
I hate how my phone’s screen gets smudged up after a day or two of use. Read more…
Reddit is a wide and wonderful world full of many different sub-categorized areas referred to as “subreddits.” Many of these subreddits are heavily photo/image oriented and browsing them on reddit itself can sometimes be somewhat tedious especially if you’re not looking to have a discussion about the pictures and just want a quick dose of laughs or cool stuff or whatever is striking your fancy. But there is a better, simpler way for this kind of thing that, while not perfect, is highly effective.
I decided to write this because this past weekend I was out for dinner with a bunch of friends and when I was speaking with my friend Justin (aka @The_Jmoney on Twitter) he was amazed that he had never heard of it before. It was then I realized that even fellow tech & internet geeks don’t know about this trick so I figured it’d be best if I shared it with the world.
The solution is super simple (and works in mobile browsers too!): Read more…
When we get a job these days our employers often offers us certain perks and privileges that come with our job. They might offer/give you a transit pass, a cell phone with service, a company car, a corporate credit card, and a laptop among other things. Of course, you’ll likely get a company email address within the first few minutes you start your job. All of those things sound great, right? They most certainly are however, two of them are things that you should never link to your personal life and let your employer control.
1. Your Email
The first of the two things is the email account. No, I’m not advocating telling your employer you’d rather not use the work email address they’ve assigned to you, that would be silly. What I am saying is that you have to watch what you use that work email address for. I recommend business communication that has to do with your employer and your job from your work email account only and I have a very good reason for it: Read more…
A problem that people have been having with over the air transmissions since they first started using them is that they refuse to respect international boundaries. Be they radio waves, satellite signals, TV broadcasts, or cell phone signals/networks they just don’t seem to like the idea of abiding by the imaginary lines that humanity has drawn up on maps to indicate where one territory ends and another begins. This worked out quite well for many Canadians in the 1990s when they would be able to pick up American satellite TV signals using gray market boxes beyond American legal jurisdiction and the Canadian government would do next to nothing to stop it from happening because as far as they were concerned they Americans shouldn’t have been broadcasting their signal into Canada. Of course, the Americans had no control over how far that signal bled into Canada because if they could control it they definitely would have!
Today though, I’m referring to a different kind of situation, one that works out way less advantageously for Canadians and Americans alike as well as anyone else in any other country who is visiting a border city/area. The situation is cellular network signals bleeding from one country into another and causing one to roam even when you’re in your home country. I have seen it happen numerous times when in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada which I often end up visiting during the summer months. You’re walking along on vacation without a care in your mind and suddenly your phone notifies you of an incoming text message that look something like these:
“Roaming? I’m roaming?!?!” is probably your reaction when you unsuspectingly see this message appear on your phone’s screen. As your brain tries to process this new, strange, and unexpected information your mind races at what kind of Twilight Zone you just unwittingly dropped into. You’re sure you haven’t been drinking and heck, you don’t even have your passport on you! How can you possibly have crossed an international border without noticing? Not to worry, you haven’t done anything of the sort! You have just become victim of those darn radio waves not respecting human lines on a map. The first time it happened to me was when I was walking in the pedestrian skywalk between Niagara Fallsview Casino and the Hilton Hotel and Suites Niagara Falls/Fallsview. Read more…
I have used both a BlackBerry and an Android for blogging on the go especially during my Post-A-Day Challenge. I found it especially useful to do when I was pressed for time. However, there a couple of limitations I have noticed with the apps which should be noted before you go to try and do it for yourself – assuming you want to make your blog post looks as awesome as it can.
Before I go on, I have to mention that although I have not used the WordPress for iPhone app I have heard that many of the same issues exist and so I assume these tips are just as relevant for you iOS users but can’t confidently tell you one way or the other.
The key thing I have found was to do some planning before you try to blog from your phone. Why? Because it will make your life way easier if you set up certain aspects of the post on a computer beforehand.
There are a couple of reasons for this which will be laid out below.
- Pictures (Inserting): It is way, way easier to insert an image on your computer. Mainly because the WordPress app only likes to put images on the top or on the bottom of your post then you have to move them around manually. As well, you can make sure the picture resizes correctly, and it will, of course, upload quicker. Pop the pictures in your blog, name them, and put fragments of thoughts…or even “blah blah blah” between them to show yourself where to stick your content.
- Pictures Resizing: Chances are the pictures you take on your phone are going to be too big for your blog’s theme. Because of this it will end up looking horrible til you get to a computer and fix it OR feel like figuring out the math and manually resizing it by constraining it with HTML code. The image settings within the WordPress app don’t necessarily reflect your theme’s so your best off taking one of your phone’s camera pictures already on your computer and seeing what the length of it gets resized to when you resize it to the width of your blog’s theme. Now go into your phone’s WordPress app’s settings and set the “custom” image length and width to reflect your findings.
- Links: They’re a pain to add in correctly on your phone I’ve found relative to doing it on your computer. Best thing is to, again, plan it beforehand. As well, the WordPress system on the full web gives you a helpful pop-up box which lets you easily reference previous blog posts by just clicking.
- Tags: While links are a pain to add in, technically, tags aren’t. However, if you want your posts to be able to link back to each other and you plan on using tags you’ve already used for a topic make sure you add them in beforehand. Again, the full WordPress gives you a drop down of all the tags you’ve previously used so everything stays nice and neat whereas the mobile app doesn’t do this. It sounds like nothing but wait til you’ve been blogging for a while and have hundreds of posts and have to remember what the exact tags you previously used were: not fun.
- URL: The URL of your post is an important part of SEO (Search Engine Optimization). WordPress online allows you to edit the last bit of your post’s URL whereas the mobile app just takes the title of your post.
- Bullet & Numbered Points (aka ordered and unordered lists): These are just annoying to set up and so I again, recommend setting it up beforehand and then loading the very fragmented, nonsensical (to everyone but you) post on your phone and edit from there filling in all the gaps.
In case you are wondering, yes, I used my own tips to write this post. The words “blah blah” were actually used quite frequently in this post before it was fleshed out on the subway and streetcar where I am now. I guess you can sort of accuse me of breaking one main tip (plan ahead) into a bunch of little ones but from all the bloggers I’ve spoken to, not many have considered this method for blogging on the go and ask me how I’ve managed to do it on numerous occasions and still make the post look as good as if I’d blogged from a computer. Now my secret is out.
Anyone else out there try any similar methods? Anyone know any better methods? Let us all know in the comment section below!
A friend called me today to ask me for help with his BlackBerry. He said his Text Messages icon had disappeared from his phone and the text messages themselves were nowhere to be found anywhere on his phone. At first I thought he must have hid the icon so I told him to “Show All” and he said it didn’t help so the next thing I told him was to restart (aka reboot) his phone. Minutes later my friend sent me a BBM message:
Him: Restart fixed it thanks
Me: Hah no prob
Always first step when any computer acts wonky
Me: I’m serious
He didn’t respond to my last message aside from laughing about something I was being completely serious when relating even when I said that I was being serious. No “OK,” no “I totally will next time.” And there’s the thing – I know that he will call me again when he has a tech support issue and one of the first questions I will ask will be “Did you reboot?” and he will, of course, say no and I will, naturally, get frustrated with him wasting my time (which I am giving him for free). Then, he will wonder why I am getting so annoyed with him…we’re friends after all aren’t we? Shouldn’t I want to help him? Except he won’t remember this conversation when I did help him and did give him this magic bullet solution to a lot of his technology/gadget issues.
Seriously folks, even if you work in an office that has an IT Department paid to cater to your every whim before you call them about your computer/device/phone issue, restart it.
This is not something that anyone who even has a passing understanding on how to use their electronic device should have any trouble doing. There is no secret code to do it and no hidden menus to accomplish this feat. It is simple, it is easy, and it fixes an astounding number of issues for computing devices. Even if you aren’t having any computer issues I always recommend giving your computer a restart every day if you can. Doing this clears the RAM and is just overall a good thing to do for your computer and it is amazing how many people don’t bother to do this. This also goes for iPhones, BlackBerrys. Android devices, iPads, PlayBooks, Android tablets, Macs, PCs and even the PalmPilot your dad still insists on using even though Palm stopped supporting it in 2001 because it still does everything he needs it to do and he has no reason to upgrade.
In 2009 LifeHacker.com published this awesome flowchart in the article Tech Support Cheat Sheet Reveals The Secrets Of Troubleshooting which they pulled from popular webcomic XKCD and which can be found in its original here. To quote LifeHacker when they posted the article:
‘The only thing missing is the “If you haven’t already, restart your computer and try again” entry.’
See! Even they commented on it!
I promise you if you restart your computer/device before calling IT or your friend who consider “a computer person” or “a technology person” you will immediately earn tons of respect from them when they ask “Did you reboot?” and you say “Yes, I did, but it didn’t help.” They will also be 1,000,000,000 times less likely to respond to your queries in a passive aggressive manner, get annoyed with you, or be slow to respond when you call for help the next time you need it.
Images Row of Computers & Computer Help Key via Microsoft Office.
Tech Support Cheat Sheet via XKCD .
In the past little while I have realized I have a number of items which I simply have no use for or I have used them and now think that they can benefit someone else more than I can benefit from them so the time has come to sell them. When the time came to do this I turned to my local online classified advertisement sites which I am sure many of you know such as Kijiji and Craigslist but one other one which I believe is less well known called Backpage.
When I first put the ads up I assumed that it would be much like when I would buy and sell things on HowardForums (a huge, global forum and mobile/cellular community based out of Toronto) which has its own Buy/Sell/Trade sub-forum and which I used to buy and sell all of my cell phones from 2003 until 2009 as well as a large number of cellular accessories. On HowardForums (or HoFo as we geeks call it) someone would post an item, talk about it and the condition it is in, add some pictures, a price, and a preferred method of contact. If you wanted to buy the item you would follow their contact instructions and MAYBE try and see if you could get them to lower the price by a small amount.
I have found, in my recent experience with these sites, that there are a few things we should all be aware of when and if we decide to use them to sell items: Read more…