Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Oh no....another to do app

Bugger. Barely 4 days after I've revamped and rationalised my notes/todo apps on my iPhone, I've gone back on my plans not to fiddle.

I saw a tweet from somewhere that said Appigo's ToDo app had been updated, and like a fool I went and re-downloaded it.

Last time I had this app on my device I didn't get on with it at all. It looks like it's gone through a few iterations since then, and now looks like a very grown up, capable to do app.

Visually it's great without being "twee". Very "Ronseal" - does what it says on the tin. Importantly, it now has local task alerts, and I'm pretty sure since I last looked at it (though it may have had it a while if not always) better alert notification generally.

I'm very impressed and have shunted "2Do" to my rarely used apps folder as I get to grips with it. It's got a fair few settings for those who want to customise it a bit, though it's set up to work very well out of the box so to speak.

It syncs with Toodledoo if that's what you want, or it's own ToDo Online which looks visually stunning but comes at a cost.

I'll stick with the free Toddledo for the moment, although the app looks to do everything I want it to.

very impressed.

IE not a "modern" browser - it's official

I was trying to have a look at ToDo Online today but as I was at work (horrors!) I was stuck with using the horrible Internet Explorer. Personally I'm a Firefox man by choice - and I don't get choice at work.

Imagine my surprise when the page illustrated pooped up. I have to be honest, I had to stifle a loud chuckle.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Too much choice = disorganisation

Choice can be a terrible thing. Especially when it costs nothing to only a couple of quid.
There are so many different to do, and note apps available for the iPhone in the App Store it's hard to know where to start, and perhaps more importantly, where to stop.

I've gone through a fair few over the time I've had an iPhone, seeking the perfect app. In truth, I don't think there is a perfect app. As with so many, there are bits of some that are great, but then things that they don't do that another app will.

The result has been a proliferation of similar type apps on my device. The problem is that now I've got notes stored everywhere. Some stay on the app, some sync to the cloud and some sync to different services.

So I've made a decision that I'll pare down on the apps, and keep only one or two that complement each other. How long this will last is anyone's guess, but my guess is probably not long.

So, I've kept Evernote, bizarrely an app I have never really got on with, as my notes app, and 2Do as my to do app. For the moment, out go AwsomeNote, Notebook and Toodledo

I've also upgraded Evernote to the premium service - it's "only" about £26 a year, and brings a couple of significant benefits. One is that notes sill stay on the device, where with the free version you have to have a connection to get hold of the full editable note, and secondly, any photo note you take with text in it, becomes searchable once Evernote's servers have done their text recognition thing. The fact that an Evernote note can be text, photo or voice is a nice bonus, and the search and tagging functions make finding a note a breeze.

2Do is a graphically nice app that gives you lots of options when creating a to do, and I like the configurability.

So that's what I've done, I'll see how it pans out in practice. I'm a bit sad to see Appigo's Notes app on the "out" list, as I've had it a long time, but you can't add photos as a note. Maybe if that comes in a later release I'll switch back. It synced to Tooddledo, so there didn't seem to be any point having that app as well.

AwsomeNote was graphically nice (perhaps over emphasis on the graphics). It also syncs to Evernote, but again if I'm using Evernote anyway, AwsomeNote just seems like duplication, and the way notes were synced wasn't entirely to my liking - and they only sync one way as far as I can tell - Create a new notebook in Evernote and it didn't sync back to AwsomeNote.

With so many apps around that do notes and to do's there's bound to be something else out there that some people swear by, or that will eventually sway me to move, but fore the moment I am going to try and stick with just these two - Evernote and 2Do.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Squeaky 3pts: City 2-1 Millwall

City edged nervously past 10 man Millwall at CCS today thanks to Andy Keogh's late first goal for the Bluebirds.

The game started brightly enough but one of City's all too frequent defensive lapses let Millwall in for an opener in the 11th minute.

Thereafter the game became quite scrappy as City pressed for an equaliser. In the end it came 14 minutes later as a great Lee Naylor long throw (where did he get that from?) caused havoc in the Millwall box and Bothroyd jabbed home from close range.

There was more drama to come in the first period. On 40 minutes Trotter upended Darcy Blake in what looked like a horror tackle and Lee Mason pulled out a straight red. Thankfully Blake walked off and was able to continue, but you just can't go into tackles like that an expect not to be punished.

Them on the verge of half time, Whittingham made a mazy run into the box and was brought down. There were few protests at the penalty. Whittingham, City's top scorer last term stepped up only to see ex City 'keeper David Forde (who was crap when he was with us) make a stunning save low to his right.

Naylor at left back was being run ragged, but to be fair he wasn't getting much help from left sided centre half Gabor Gyepes who also had a poor game in my opinion. We've got to tighten up at the back, and Naylor has looked suspect in a few games now, but it would be unfair to single him out in a side where no-one was on song.

In the second period City were clearly hoping to make the extra man count. Millwall by comparison couldn't find the space they had in the first period, but despite that City made hard work of everything.

Their passing was shoddy, they weren't making runs and finding space, and despite several opportunities, wasted the final ball.

Substitutions didn't help. Koumas for McPhail (who looked decidedly unhappy to be subbed) and Rae for Blake didn't change the standard or quality of play. But then, just as it looked like we were heading for 1-1, Bothroyd on the right hit a beautiful cross that was expertly glanced home by Andy Keogh for his first goal for City, and more importantly 3 precious points that keep us 2nd in the table.

Kudos to Millwall who brought a great following an sang throughout, and they'd be unhappy not to have come away with something. But we don't care do we? No.

Up the Bluebirds!!!!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

DVD Catalyst - great customer service

How's this for cracking customer service.

In the past I'd bought DVD Catalyst for ripping DVD's, but since an upgrade of my PC had managed to wipe the program. Downloaded the latest version which installed as a trial with no obvious method to upgrade the full paid version.

Fired off an email to support, and within minutes had a response from Mitch along with a link to download the full retail version.

I sent him another email thanking him for such a fast response, and he came back - again almost immediately with:

"My response was 1 minute faster than 2 years ago.

You asked me the same question on dec 14, 2008.

You just upgraded from a Palm to the iPhone at the time.

Thank you for using the same email for contacting me, it made it a lot easier to verify your order confirmation.


Now I'm impressed with that.

And it's a good program too!

Back to back losses: Ipswich 2-0 City

City have had a bad week on the road. A first league defeat of the season on Tuesday against Leicester was quickly followed by todays 2-0 reverse against the Tractor Boys at Portman Road.

City it seems have gone from heroes to hapless, as an own goal and all round poor performance sees Ipswich leap frog City into second spot.

As I have pointed out in an earlier post, it's early days in the season yet, and City are still misisng some key and influential players. Still no Bellamy, but Bothroyd was back in the starting line up today, but it's Olifanjana and Drinkwater we're missing the most as in the last two games we've failed to grab hold of the midfield, something we did so exceptionally well in the first few games of the season before Oli & Drinks were injured. The second string are clearly not stepping up to the mark, and that's worrying. Leaking goals, not scoring them is not promotion winning form, even at this early stage.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

iPhone iOS 4.1 - battery problems

I have seen and heard a few reports of iOS4.1 hitting battery life on the iPhone 4 hard. PDA247, one of the regular sites I visit has this thread on the subject.

Personally, I haven't noticed any hit, although it's hard to argue with the experiences that some are having. This must be down to certain apps they have running in the background, or some hardware issue with certain batches of devices.

The new Game Center has been suggested as a culprit, although I think it's unlikely to be that per se, but the increased time some may be spending on playing games because it's there may (and it's just a "may")be having an adverse affect on battery life.

Push notifications and push email, plus location aware apps constantly running are also likely culprits.

It'll be interesting to see where this goes. Meantime, I'm now (10pm in the evening) at 42% after being fully charged at 7am this morning, having periodic use through the day and almost constant use in the last 3-4 hours. I reckon that's OK by any standard, so I don't think it's an issue for me.

Palm-Mac: Back in the swing

I'm delighted to see my chum Murray over at the Palm-Mac blog posting again. He has been "silent" for a good while, but is back with a vengeance by the look of it.

I always find his incisive comment, dry wit and "say it how I see it" view of the world and gadgets refreshing.

Keep it up Murray!

Out-foxed: Leicester 2-1 City

City fell to their first loss of the season tonight on the road at Leicester. I was keeping up with the action on my iPhone via the Football League app (which is pretty good I think), and to be honest, apart from City's fluked goal by Lee Naylor, it sounds like we were easily second best all night long. On Twitter, @cardiffcitymad summed it up. "Like boys against men 2nd half. Got what we deserved to be honest".

In a sense, it's a wake up call. It's still early in the season, and despite a satisfying if unspectacular win against Hull on Saturday which some people though showed what strength and depth we had as a squad, the fact is, that without Olifanjana and Drinkwater in midfield, and Bothroyd plus one or both of Bellamy and Chopra up front, we're not yet quite as good as we'd like to think we are.

Hopefully most of those bar Chopra may be back for Saturday's visit to Ipswich - another tough game. Promotion contenders have to be strong and bounce back from defeats like tonight. Let's hope we can. After a great start to the season, back to back defeats is definitlely not what we need.

Up the Bluebirds!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

No roar from the Tiger: City 2-0 Hull

Oops - a bit tardy posting this, but it's been a very busy weekend.

I have to say I didn't fancy this on paper. Despite Hull's less than impressive start to life back in the Championship, they have some decent players and a decent manager in Nigel Pearson. And with several of our major players injured (Bellamy, Bothroyd, Chopra, Drinkwater) I just felt it might be one of those days, especially with our loan player to them - Anthony Gerrard starting for them.

Not so. Hull were to be blunt, awful. Having said that, City managed to stop any sense of playmaking from Hull. Seyi Olifanjana, ironically on loan from Hull is a monster in midfield and City look in a totally different class when he's there. He breaks up play and passes simple. Opposition players just bounce off him. And it was I suppose therefore inevitable that it was Olifanjana who made the breakthough after a period of City pressure when we almost scored through McPhail and then McNaughton. A fizzing Peter Whittingham cross from a free kick was met by the head of Oli, and bang - 1-0. To be fair he didn't celebrate too much (but we all did)!

Shortly after that he picked up an injury and had to leave the pitch. On came Gavin Rae - not exactly a like for like, but Rae kept things tight.

Up front, Andy Keogh on his own on his home debut was working his socks off with no joy.

Late in the second period, Rae made it 2-0 to wrap up the points. In the end it was easy. Hull offered very little, and despite a couple of mis-communications between Gyepes and Marshall, it was all too easy for City.

But we'll take easy - hard games will surely come, so we'll have points when they're on offer. A professional if not sparkling performance from the Bluebirds, another clean sheet, and Bothroyd, Bellamy, Chopra to return. Happy days.

Up the Bluebirds!!!