Using Free Apps for Visual Drama

We see things very differently. She sees real features an identifies their actual species. After over twenty years learning about photography, I now see features an ask, “I wonder if I could develop that into something that has visual impact.” I see what is, but also more of what might become.

It was a bland and blustery afternoon.

“Let’s go for a walk by the river,” she said.

“Ok,” I said, silently thinking, “Why?” and, “No!”

“You need the exercise,” she said, reading my expression.

“How true, and how kind …” I might have thought on a less bland and less blustery afternoon.

We walked by the river doing what we often do.  She plays adult Where’s Wally looking for birds, bees, butterflies, and wild flowers, and I look for potential photographs.

We see things very differently.  She sees real features and identifies their actual species.  After over twenty years learning about photography, I now see features and ask, “I wonder if I could develop that into something that has visual impact.”  I see what is, but also more of what might become.

Continue reading “Using Free Apps for Visual Drama”

SmartPhone Cold Turkey at Easter

I was well past 50 before the SmartPhone arrived. I had lived most of my life without one. I shouldn’t be missing mine so much. I had coped before. Why is coping now so difficult?

510750075_eeee488cd6_zI thought I could easily survive without it.  I was wrong.  I could survive, but it wasn’t easy.  In fact, I was surprised about how hard I found it.  It should have been a doddle.  It is not as if an iPhone has been part of my life for most of it.

I could be described as being in young old-age.  I can remember when we didn’t have a television, and how when we got one, our neighbours came round on a Saturday evening to watch the small, black and white screen.  I can remember the envy when some relatives got their first colour TV set.  I can remember my girl-friend at university spending hours using a calculator the size of a small house in order to process by hand the statistics needed for her research.

I can remember too the joy of the first personal computers – the ZX81, the ZX Spectrum (“What on earth do you want one of those for?  What good will it do?”) – and learning to use code to make machines do relatively useless things.  And then the big breakthrough, the Amstrad PCW – technology that actually did things that made life much easier for someone who regularly typed thousands of words. Continue reading “SmartPhone Cold Turkey at Easter”

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”