Things You Need To Know About Siri, Appointments, and Calendars

I am happy to report that several years on from those early failures, I now frequently and routinely use Siri to manage my diary, and it has saved thousands of manual text letters, and must have saved hours of time.

426799067_55027d4244_zSiri is Apple’s virtual personal assistant for the iPhone and Apple computers with the latest operating system.  It can take dictation for messages, put appointments in your calendar, tell you the latest hockey score, or give you directions to the nearest Indian restaurant.

Despite Siri being around for a number of years, my early experience of using it wasn’t always positive.  However, I am glad to say that things are different now.  Siri’s capability and flexibility have increased, as has my knowledge of how to exploit it to meet my particular requirements.

Because I run a business that involves me in meeting lots of clients during the course of a week, I use the calendar on my iPhone (synced with my desktop machine and iPad) to help me keep track of my many appointments.  It would not be uncommon for me to make around half a dozen appointments a day, entering them manually into my electronic calendar.  I knew that Siri could theoretically make this easier for me.  I could theoretically simply speak to my phone and tell it to make a diary entry for me with John Smith for X time on Y date.

Unfortunately, after several attempts of trying to make appointments with Siri, I initially gave up because of the problems I encountered.  In essence, there were three main things going wrong:  Continue reading “Things You Need To Know About Siri, Appointments, and Calendars”

The Misty Woman (3 of 3)

30458174575_4d1c3a1450_zIn my first two postings on Thomas Hardy’s poem ‘The Voice’ about his dead wife Emma’s calling to him (The Misty Woman (1 of 3), The Misty Woman 2 of 3)) I attempted to described how a very close examination of the language structures reflected not only his intense longing, but the theme of the whole poem – a woman moving in and out of his consciousness.

What I want to do in this final posting is take another closer look at another aspect of the structure of the language throughout the remainder of the whole poem and examine how that contributes (albeit subconsciously) to the meaning. Continue reading “The Misty Woman (3 of 3)”

The Spinoza Problem

On one level, it was a book about two very different influential figures separated by three hundred years. It was interesting to learn about seventeenth century Jewish life in Amsterdam, and about Hitler’s rise to power in Germany. However, two factors gave the writing much more significance and impact.

51ks87xytml-_sx320_bo1204203200_This book has much to commend it, despite the ending which I found disappointing.

As I read the book I was thinking of giving it a five star rating, and the phrase that kept coming into my head was “a very satisfying read”. I had initially purchased the book on the strength of having previously read Yalom’s psychotherapy books, and another of his novels (which has what must be the most unattractive title for many readers – When Nietszche Wept). That novel, and his professional books, convinced me that the author could write very accessible prose on potentially challenging subjects, and that he was able to create characters with real psychological depth.

This book was satisfying on so many levels. It was written after the author was inspired by a visit to the Spinoza museum in Rijnsburg where he learned that Alfred Rosenberg (the intellectual force behind much of the Nazi anti-semitism) had deliberately and personally stolen the library of the Jewish philosopher.  Continue reading “The Spinoza Problem”