turn the leaf …

It won’t be long now, before we turn the leaf and enter 2018. Sounds like a good number. At my age, New Year’s Eve doesn’t mean anything else but watching the ball fall on CNN. At least we won’t have to see Kathy Griffin this time — I was never a huge fan, I found her annoying and that’s just my personal opinion.

I’ve bought a new calendar/planner for next year. I don’t have anything to plan except a few visits to the dentist in one year, but I like to write anyway. The planner is called Hobonichi and comes from Japan. Apart from the actual calendar, there is a number of pages in the end … you can make up lists and all sorts of things … it’s all in Japanese! The reason for buying a calendar in Japanese is the paper quality but I won’t go into that here and now as it is of no interest to anybody … it has to do with fountain pens and ink.

X4+qFgcHRRS+PB10BOjESwIn any event; I was curious about what those pages said, and posted a question in one of my fountain pen groups on Facebook. There are people from all over the world, naturally, and many from Japan or of Japanese descent. Shot some pictures of those pages and quickly got them translated. Fine, but what was more interesting and surprising [to me, I had no idea] was this:

With the Google Translate app you can get translations by scanning a photo on your phone! Just by dragging your finger over the text you wanted it to translate, it all appears before you!

Apparently I can still get excited about those little wonders of new technology.

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a step back

In my case, I think it was good to take a bit of a break from the Web. Not a real break — I have to go in and check my messages, like everybody else — but I haven’t just hung around like I used to. It got to a point where I almost found it … ‘boring’. This is coming from a true ‘web person’ who used to be excited about everything that was new on the Internet. On top of that; I’m never bored — I dislike that word, and I can watch paint dry.

The thing is perhaps that there’s less, new stuff on the Web nowadays. Maybe it has «stabilized»?! I remember the days of FriendFeed, where new and shiny things popped up almost every day, for us to try. Now we have Facebook. 99,9% of the people I know have a Facebook account and Gmail.

I remember when we were waiting for Gmail to be released … or Google’s new browser Chrome. Those were exciting times (for me … I’m in full understanding that not all people are like me, thankfully).

Facebook is convenient, I guess. Those times when there were three, four different messaging systems (ICQ, MSN, Yahoo … ) were annoying. Everyone I knew seemed to use a different one, so I ended up using all of them because I was trying to please them all, as usual.

For now, I have a more balanced approach. Some people might have accused me of being addicted to the Internet before, but these days … aren’t we all?! It’s become such an essential part of our daily lives so it’s getting increasingly difficult to be without it. It’s like ‘being addicted to food’. You can’t be without it. Everything in moderation.

The header image has nothing to do with this post. I’ve applied a new theme to Tassitus (which turned two years old yesterday!). Wanted to see whether the ‘featured image’ would appear as a header image and it did. I like that 🙂

the things we “need” and a question

Autumn really arrived on the day it’s supposed to here. We were even under a frost advisory overnight, and it was 2ºC (35,6ºF) when I got up this morning. All of a sudden, the air is fresh and clean … easier to breathe. It’s a wonderful time.

As I was writing in my little notebook this morning, I felt inclined to make a smiley face after something I wrote. This, again, led me to question how I used to write before the Web came along. There weren’t any smilies back then, and I used to be an avid letter writer. The spell-check has made me lax when it comes to looking up words. I pride myself of being pretty good at spelling, but I have problems when it comes to knowing whether it’s one word or two. For example, meatballs or meat balls … weeknight or week night?! Now, these two, I do know but there are so many others. In my native tongue, they’re always put together, and this causes me to hesitate in English.

That’s just one effect of the Web. After the upgrade to iOS 10 on my iPhone, I felt as if it had become a little … slow, or tired. This could all be in my head, but still I wanted to clean it up … see if there weren’t any apps I could get rid of. I looked through the list, carefully … one by one, asking myself if I could delete it. “No way!”, was the answer … “I can’t be without that one!” Suddenly it struck me, three plus years ago, I didn’t have an iPhone at all and lived a perfectly good life. It’s the same thing as life before the camera. Before all that started, back in 2009, I didn’t have to worry about photos and storage.

If anyone here has a Mac computer: Don’t we get notified when it’s time to upgrade to the new macOS? I notice that the new Sierra is out, but I don’t have any notification about software update. I never upgrade before they tell me to, and now I’m feeling a little … uncertain!? I’m pretty sure I’ve seen the little red 1 on the system icon before. Or, at least when I hit the button “Software update” it would show.

 

one year old [200/365]

My little MacBook turns one year old today. I wouldn’t have known, but I keep seeing what I posted on this date a year ago — both in Facebook and in DayOne. I named it Poppy. After one year, we’re getting along just fine … not the slightest little friction. I’ve gotten over the USB-C thing … you know; “learn to accept what you cannot change” 🙂. I’d only had it for a couple of weeks, when I brought it with me, on a trip to Quebec City. It fit right in my handbag! So thin and lightweight!

If I were to make up a pros and cons table, the only thing that would fall into the cons column would be the keyboard. It’s a personal thing, what you like when it comes to keyboards. I had to buy a separate one, because of my neck/shoulder issues, and I find it to be heavenly to type on in comparison with the native keyboard. I don’t know how to describe it, but there’s too little “click” — it’s as if I can’t really feel what I’m typing. This Magic Keyboard is great, but it’s separate and I would have preferred if the original had been as nice.

Now that I have it, Poppy and I are perfectly happy together, and hopefully it will stay that way for several years to come.

Oh, one more thing for the cons column: The Apple logo doesn’t light up on the cover when the computer is turned on 😐

discovering new stuff [199/365]

A while back, I signed up for something called Product Hunt. Found out about it in a blogging buddy’s post. You have to use either your Facebook ID or Twitter to sign up. I’m not totally a fan of that, but I used my Twitter ID @tassitus_

It’s fun — it feels a little like in those good old days of FriendFeed, which kept you on top of all that was new and shiny on the web.

IMG_3105Had some fun last night, with a new set of photo filters for the iPhone, called Prisma, for example. I think they are for Android too.

Then there are all the new, note taking apps:

I’ve been using several and never felt good about that. For a while, I was all about EverNote, but that’s a long time ago now. It’s become so complicated and cumbersome to organise. I’ve used SimpleNotes [owned by Automattic/WordPress] and it’s nice. I’ve even used DayOne — my journaling app — for notes, plus, of course, the Notes app that comes with the iPhone. All of this makes me feel insecure. It’s not good to be spread out like that.

I need to make up my mind about these ones, and right now I’m looking at two, new ones I’ve found. There’s Bear, which I haven’t really tried fully, yet but it looks good.  Then there’s BetterNotes, which makes use of hashtags and I love that. I want to settle for one, and keep it. Right now, I’m leaning towards BetterNotes … it’s still in its infancy, and there are probably lots of improvements in the making there. One needs to bear in mind that notes are for yourself … you don’t write them for other people. As soon he’s got the syncing sorted out and released a Mac/web version, I may move over to this one entirely. Then, of course, there’s always the big question: “What about all your old notes?”

DayOne is another thing I want to make up my mind about. After the upgrade to DayOne 2 (!), I don’t like it as much as I used to. They took away the choices of where to sync. You used to have three options: DropBox, iCloud and themselves. Now it’s only the latter. You’d have to really trust them, to have something as personal as that  stored only at their servers. Besides, I don’t like the looks of it anymore. Still, it feels almost a little scary to change — like a divorce. So … still hesitant.

Anyway, I guess what I wanted to say with this post, is that ProductHunt is a lot of fun, but can be extremely time consuming 🙂.

 

What I hated the most [181/365]

What I hated the most yesterday got to be Yahoo Mail. Hate is a strong word I rarely use, but Yahoo Mail infuriates me.

I’m all for security and privacy online — who isn’t — but these guys have gone too far! Probably they got so scared a few years back, when some celebrity’s account got hacked. It was after that they went overboard with the security stuff. Nobody could sign up there now, for an account, unless they own a smartphone, by the way. That’s fine — nobody should!

I’ve had a few accounts there, from before GMail came around. I wanted to terminate all of them. To try and sign in to a Yahoo account you haven’t been in to for a while, is a whole science of its own. They want you to give them your phone number, and that’s not going to happen ever. You have to verify your account somehow, and if you haven’t set up any backup email, then you’re out of luck. With one of them, I had the correct password but still ended up in some Catch22 so I could never get to the termination page. I was signed in, but could only go to a page with a link that said I had to contact Customer Care (!). That link only took me to those stupid forums, where users try to answer other users’ questions! That’s crowd sourcing at its finest, I guess. Pfft!

They have you make up a security question when you sign up for accounts — so why don’t they just use it?! At no point was I asked to answer my security question.

It irks me to no end, that I have to keep one account there, namely the one associated with my Flickr account. I’m stuck with that forever. If it wasn’t for Flickr, I’d wish they’d just vanish from the surface of the Earth.

picasa [166/365]

Picasa used to be my photo editor of choice for a long time. In March this year, Google shut down the support of it, and I didn’t even notice.

It was an alright editor for me, it could handle the .RAW format I shoot in, and the basics. It synced between the desktop app and what was called Picasa Web Albums. The desktop app will still work, but won’t be updated anymore, so in the long run it will cease to work.

Now, there’s Google Photos instead. I have an automatic back-up app, here on the computer. It does the job well, but I find it difficult to search for a particular picture in Google Photos, even though they’re tagged. I understand they want to focus on one thing. Picasa had many, handy features and had I not had PhotoShop now, I would have been really saddened by its demise.

Flickr, which is my main photo storage place, is much better in the way of search. The only thing that scares me about Flickr, is that it’s owned by Yahoo.

I think it was when I got Aperture I stopped using Picasa. Aperture, which I loved to hate, altered my whole file system on the computer … everything changed, but I’ve actually kept that folder system even though the programme itself didn’t last long with me.