Geek

Finally Sorting the Email Deluge

For a number of years now I’ve been using gmail to access my email. I started because it was one of the few mail services at the time that offered and effectively unlimited quota, and since I grabbed a great username being one of the first in, I’ve just continued. It’s easy to access anywhere and is quite quick to load, plus the search function makes finding that email that I know I got about 3 years ago much easier than it otherwise would be. Plus there’s the added advantage that the @gmail.com ending is recognised and less likely to be screwed up when admin people re-enter it from an in-store form into their spamlist mailing list.

I’ve always had this general thought in the back of my head that I would also be able to separate commercial stuff from personal stuff by only using my personal email address for certain things, but well it just hasn’t worked out like that. Commercial becomes personal at some point and vice versa. As I was forgetting to look at the personal email I ended up just popping it via gmail anyway, so all of my mail goes into the one place and with a clever use of filters the theory is that I can organise it and respond quickly when needed.

But, it never works out like that. I get around 300 emails a day into this account and I never end up doing the right thing, so it quickly becomes thousands of unread or must get to emails.

In Ireland I used O2 to alert me to the really important emails – if something came in from say Mum, it would be forwarded to the O2 account which was set up to send me a txt message whenever anything arrived. That worked reasonably well until I left Ireland and the UK O2 system doesn’t work that way.

Another annoying aspect to my current mail system has been using it on my iPhone. It’s constantly pinging whenever any email is received, which is downright annoying – especially when it’s one of my pet hate emotional suffering idiot emails. And the emails I want to have there seem to disappear into the abyss so quickly that really email on iPhone is useless to me.

So today I finally set up a new email account (no, I’m not telling you what it is) and I’ve set up some filters on the gmail so that if an email comes in from a select group of people (or alternatively if I forward an email to it) then, and only then, will it be picked up by the iPhone. (I still have the gmail app as well should I need to see the rest of the stuff)

I’ve been meaning to do this forever, let’s see how effective it is at reducing the interruptions and getting me the email that I really want to see.

Geek, Memory Monday

Memory Monday – My First Mobile Phone

I was going to buy myself a shiny new iPhone 4S last year. When they came out I had only just moved to the UK (wasn’t even aware that I was pregnant at that stage) and on a pay-as-you-go type of thing with O2. Apparently this means that with O2’s infinite wisdom, I am not a good enough customer (despite 6 years of being on O2 in Ireland) to be able to get a new phone. I have to wait until they’ve exhausted the market that is their contract base and allowed the riff-raff in. This was estimated to take 4-6 weeks. I’m still waiting. In fact, I’ve given up entirely and decided that I’m going to skip this round of iPhones all together.

But this has me thinking about mobile phones in general, so in a fit of nostalgia I had a search around to see if I could find any details of my very first mobile. It was about 1994 and they had only just come out. I bought mine at Myer, through their catalogue and paid outright for it. It was the NEC P100 shown here and it was the most amazingly tiny thing you could imagine. A friend of my father’s just a couple of years before had walked in with his portable car-phone, complete with separate battery pack, compared to that, this was incredible.

The specs were state of the art –

– LCD Screen including a 2 line back-lit Information Display
– Phone directory memory storing up to 24 numbers
– Signal strength indicator
– Battery level indicator
– Any key answer
– Last Number Re-dial
– DTMF dialling tones
– Adjustable ringing volume
– Noise-cancelling microphone
– Included NiCad battery gives 22 hours standby or 120 minutes talk time
– Complete with battery Desktop Charger

Can you imagine that, 22 hours of standby – we didn’t know ourselves! There was no such thing as SMS on this, well if there was I didn’t know any other person with a mobile so it would have been useless.

Do you remember your first phone?

Craft, News & Updates, Shopping

iPhone Turns Bad Experience Good

I was in a hurry 2 weeks ago when I purchased the DPNs from the crafty shop next to the pretty bridge. When I paid I remember thinking that it cost more than I expected, but I needed to get back to the office for a meeting so I paid up and ran. It wasn’t until I got home that I discovered why it felt wrong – I had been overcharged.

I knew that I wouldn’t have a chance to get back to the store for at least a week, and I also knew that phoning probably wouldn’t help (they were closed by now anyway), so I did the only thing I could think of doing – I took this picture of the receipt together with the purchased items using my iPhone:

Last week I had a chance to go back to the store, but alas it was on the day that I dropped my iPhone, so I wasn’t feeling up to it. Today was different – I figured that after 2 weeks it was a long shot, but you don’t get what you don’t ask for so in I went. As I walked along the quays I felt a little ill – not a fan of confrontations and not expecting much. Also not feeling good feelings towards the store at all.

I explained my situation to the lady on the til and admitted that no I didn’t have the goods any more. She called over the manager – they looked at the photo and we zoomed in to see the receipt number – luckily my picture was nice and clear because the POS system in the store found the receipt and we printed out a new one. My original purchase was returned and I was charged for what I should have been charged for and given my change.

I had been stealing myself for confrontation and argument, instead I got complete helpfulness and praise for thinking of taking the photo in the first place, I’ve left a very very happy customer indeed.

News & Updates, Stuff

Down the Loo

As I heard the tell tale splud noise my breath and my heart stopped. I looked down and sure enough there it was – panic ensued and my dripping iPhone was out of the loo, rather soggy. Thankfully it had falled out of my pocket as I’d turned to close the door and the loo itself was clean (that could have been bad – but let’s not dwell there).

With my fingers trembling and remembering the fate of my beloved iPod touch I tore the protective cover off and run it under the tap for a few seconds (toilets – ewww). I then patted it dry and watched water pour from it’s insides, soaking the paper towel.

When it seemed dry I turned it on – screen was very very dark but I could see that she was running. Phew. Over the next few hours I used the hand dryer in the bathroom to heat it a little – holding it a good 12 inches from the nozzle so that it wouldn’t get too hot. I would also pull out the sim card, which was invariably wet and dry that off.

When I finally got home I plunged it into a box of dried rice. By the time I went to bed the screen was bright and visible, with some strange moist halo over the top section and the lens for the camera showed droplets of water. I slept with it under my pillow.

Morning came and the screen was totally clear \o/ But the lens was still foggy so I put it into a plastic zip lock bag filled with rice and took her to work. At work I left her plugged in while still in the bag. By plugging her in she’ll heat just slightly as she charges. At 5pm I took her out of the bag for a peek – camera lens totally clear!

So, that’s my tale of a dropped iphone with a happy outcome. Just thought I’d share it with you in case you should ever suffer the same fate.

Geek

A New App A New Post

I know, I’m totally useless with this blog. I have all these great ideas but I am terrible – I write so many drafts and then don’t publish them. Generally this is because I cannot think of a witty title, or I figure that the post is too short to bother with, or I plan to add photos and then by the time I get around to sorting it, I’ve lost the moment. There’s also the fact that a post on facebook gets comments but my blog posts never do which makes me feel like I’m talking to an empty room!

So I’ve now downloaded the wordpress app. I’ve decided that my titles don’t need to be do witty, photos can wait and as for length, sometimes brevity is best! And the facebook thing- I really don’t want them owning my memories!

How about you? Do you find it hard to keep up with your blogging? Is facebook a more useful blogging tool? Are you stretched too thin with facebook, blogs, Twitter and other sites?

Stuff

AIB – Welcome to the Future!

Dear AIB

Welcome to 2010. It’s a wonderful year full of exciting possibilities – the sun has started to show itself after a bitter winter and the iPad has just been released which should revolutionise the newspaper/magazine and possibly book markets. Huge leaps are being made in the area of health and we’re managing to come out of a recession. Gosh, we even managed to put a man or two on the moon itself!

Now I know that you’re a little bit behind the times so let me tell you about something that you might have missed. It happened a couple of years back. A smallish company in America invented a thing they called an iPod. It was really just a music player, which of itself wasn’t a huge leap forward – although you may wish to look at replacing that casette deck that you have on your desk cos these ones are a little shinier.

Anyway, the big thing about the new iPod is that it uses a computer to let you buy songs individually – no more having to buy a full record, it’s more like the good old days of singles, except this time every sing is a single – how groovy is that?

Now how you buy the single is also pretty amazing – you plug in this iPod and use the computer to connect to a big store on the internet – I know, futuristic but believe me, it’s all true and here! You can then choose your song and you tell the computer that you want to buy it and hey – presto! The song is now on your iPod for you to listen to. The computer knows who you are, in fact you have to jump through hoops to prove yourself to it before you can buy anything. It then automagically connects to teh credit card company and charges just the amount needed for the song. Yes, even if it’s just €0.74!

So, dear AIB, I know it sounds amazing but it’s true and no – you don’t need to throw up a flag and panic every time I purchase one song online and you certainly do not need to block my card, leave a garbled and slurred incomprehensible message which I need to get a multitude of people to listen to in order to decipher on my phone and when I do finally manage to get through insist that I approve every transaction for the last month before you’ll let me buy another song. I wonder how much time/money/resources you are wasting by doing this to every person who owns an iPod/iPhone/iPad?

Time to join the present and stop living in the past!

Stuff

iPad

I feel that today I really must jump on the bandwagon and make comment on yesterday’s announcement regarding Apple’s latest toy. And since I think it’s pretty fair to assume that you’ve been given all the specs and know what I’m on about I shall not bore you with the details, instead I’ll just bore you with my thoughts in a fairly random fashion…

– stupid name
– no usb so no uploading photos direct from your camera – you still need a computer
– daft name
– no webcam
– no flash
– stupid name
– only 64Gb?
– it’s not earth-shattering
– it’s not even exciting really
– it’s still a stupid name

In the end you just keep coming back to that daft name… here’s some of the better comments I’ve seen about it…

– Will women send their husbands to the Apple store to buy iPads?
– If I order this, will my boyfriend and I have to worry if it comes late?
– Yes, the iPad is small, lightweight and slim. But can you swim with it?
– If you and your friends all buy one, will they sync up?
– Can I get a scented iPad for when my data feels not-so-fresh?
– Is Apple making a smaller iPad for light-flow days? Just wondering…
– iPad has changed “the conversation” from how we use tech in context to how we use tech as Kotex.
– Somebody give the iPad a Red Bull, because it ain’t no good without wings.
– Meh. I’ll wait until they come out with the iDivaCup
– someone needs to make a ‘mysterious blue liquid stain on white’ wallpaper for this.
– The iPad: protecting your data from embarrassing incidents.
– So will iffy Wifi coverage be called iSpotting?
– Later in the year they will be releasing the companion tablet pen, the Ipon.
– 64 gig iPad will forever be known as the heavy flow model.
– Did the prototype come with a belt?
– Does the Period Tracker app come free?
– If it is meant to be so cool why not call it the iCycle… sorry the wheels fell off that joke
– Wondering when Apple will release the iRonic.

OK, that’s enough – at the end of the day it’s not really the device that will be the big deal but what the device enables people to do and I think the big deal will be things like magazines and newspapers which will be fabulous and something that I am really looking forward to.

I don’t have an iPhone yet, that’s next on my list. This one I think will go on teh shelf until it matures a bit more so maybe in a couple of years.