Chris Croft's Personal Blog

April 28, 2014

PS Collection part 7

Filed under: Gadgets, Happiness, Lists, Music, News and Politics — chriscroft @ 12:36 pm

 

PS – Christmas music:  Rod Stewart’s Christmas album failed to move me. Solstice Bells (Jethro Tull) remains the best Christmas song closely followed by Fairytale of New York. But the Tull track I keep coming back to is Fire At Midnight http://grooveshark.com/#!/search/song?q=Jethro+Tull+Fire+at+Midnight   Even more romantic and perfect is this: http://grooveshark.com/#!/search?q=paul+mccartney+valentine (choose the LSO version not the cover).  If you want something more crunchy, try the amazingly powerful and also clever ‘For Your Life’ by Led Zep, who still stand above the world as the best heavy band ever, and always will do: http://grooveshark.com/#!/search?q=led+for+your+life   Others come and go, but Led Zep will always be there.

PPPPS – Last week I did a course in The City and my chair cost £3,000 (it was leather and it swivelled – it was quite comfortable) (there’s a photo at https://chriscroft.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=1114&action=edit&message=6&postpost=v2 ) and they had 15 of them in the board room. How scary is that?? Still, maybe the company that made them pay their workers really well and the workers spend the money in their local economies and so it’s all OK in the end……

PPPPPS – Several people have recently been amazed by this tip when I show it to them, so I’m thinking there may be more of you out there who I can make happy: if there is no wifi for your laptop then use your iphone (probably similar on android, I don’t know) as an instant wi-fi hub. Go to settings and select Personal hotspot and slide it to On, and then on your laptop you’ll see “Fred’s iPhone” as a wifi source, so just log in with the password that is shown on your phone. Magic! (Though you are now using up your phone’s data allowance. But for just emails that will be minimal).

PPPPPPS – sorry to all the people who asked me to sponsor them this year – I get several a week and can’t do them all, or in fact any of them really. I did my own thing last week though, I ran 2 miles dressed as Santa (I was quite relieved I could do it without collapsing, in fact it wasn’t too bad) so if you want to laugh at photos or even give some cash to the British Heart Foundation then it’s here http://www.justgiving.com/Croft-Centre   As you can see, we’re not quite in the league of Pudsey, but still, everything helps.    This is an interesting site too – http://www.easyfundraising.org.uk/ – check out their unusual model of buying things on line from places like amazon via this site so that a portion of it goes to charity.

PPPPPPPS – Free talk on the radio, which you can Listen Again at any time – me answering the question “Does money make you happy” http://www.letstalkbusinessonline.com/ltb/lets-talk-business-5th-november-2012/   (seven and a half minutes in) (hey, shout out to JB!)

 

PPPPPPPPS –  thanks for all the replies about Retired4hire – I’m going to do it. I’ll let you know when it’s ready.

P -lost count-S  – British Airways let me down hugely on my (work) visit to Budapest last week – 2 hour delay sitting on the runway waiting for de-icing, not even a cup of tea or a sandwich, and on the way back, flight cancelled completely, when other people were still flying to Heathrow, stranded in Hungary, no explanations, had to pay more to get home (to Luton instead of Heathrow where my car was), no idea if they’ll pay the price difference, no email or text, either before to say “cancelled don’t come to airport” or after to say sorry. They just don’t appear to care at all. Certainly not worth paying extra compared to the other airlines. Budapest great though.

PPPS – Favourite phone apps at the moment: Sleep Cycle, which allows you to view your sleep patterns during the night (the phone is under your pillow monitoring your movements) and it wakes you up at the best point in your sleep cycle. The other day I was deeply asleep at 7 and then almost awake at 7.30 so that’s when it woke me up. You set a range of time for it to use. It seems to really work.  I also like Cadence which picks music from your collection at any desired BPM, so I just walked up a hill at 113, listening to Garbage followed by Deacon Blue and then Scritti Politti … mmmm, nice!

PPPPPS – Pet hate of the month: Ramekins. Are you supposed to each it out of the little bowl, or tip it out onto your plate? (bowl is too hot to pick up). And you always get smaller portions when they come in little bowls.

PS – Lewes Nov 5th celebrations verdict: good fun, a nice family evening out, (though for children and fragile people you might want ear plugs for the loud fire-crackers), great costumes, a few amusing effigies of politicians etc, amazingly long / large parade of people. Not as scary and full-on as the Ottery St Mary burning tar barrels which is still the most amazing thing I’ve seen.

 

PPS – ‘The Nasty Alphabet’ – thanks to Cathi Driver for finding this clever collection of words that you can use when spelling out your postcode in order to make it very hard for the other person to understand (though that’s a fairly niche market!) http://www.ooblick.com/text/NastyAlphabet.html   “A as in Aubergine” – hilarious!

 

PPPS – Inspiration Corner – a brilliant little audio clip about forgiveness and friendship:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/features/the-listening-project/conversation/p010nswp

 

PPPPS – I’m being plagued by texts from PPI insurance people – very irritating and not sure what to do about it. Joined TPS but I think that doesn’t cover texts. Any suggestions welcome!

 

PPPPPS – Sorry that some people got their emails filtered last time, I think it was the mention of the special IAT mug in my Christmas present ideas list. Anyway, the mug and all the other things, plus a few new additions, are all viewable at https://chriscroft.wordpress.com/tag/xmas-christmas-presents-suggestions-ideas-list/

 

PPPPPPS – Enjoying the new Killers album, Battle Born. They are slowly changing into Bruce Springsteen, but I think that’s OK, as long as they still preserve that fragile Killers essence too. For example, Deadlines and Commitments – very nice.

PS –  Time Management: you can hear the first of a series of 20 ‘Management Moments’ by me on the radio here: http://www.letstalkbusinessonline.com/ltb/lets-talk-business-29th-october-2012/   I’m on first but the whole show is pretty interesting so why not listen to it all?

PPS – James Bond and The Rolling Stones – why are they both suddenly cool again? And did you know that I am the same height as Daniel Craig with the same eye and hair colour. Just saying….

PPPPPS – Negotiating: written by my daughter so I’m a bit biased, but this is a great list of tips for bartering when shopping abroad (or even possibly in the UK?) http://pauper-to-princessreviews.blogspot.no/2012/10/how-to-barter-abroad.html Somehow you can tell that she really has done them all!

PPPPPPPS – Inspiration corner – great speech on Leadership and Success performed by Al Pacino http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yyiohbbM51g&feature=fvwrel with sporting video clips behind it.

PS – Why can Italian men look cool with a man bag when I can’t?? Very annoying!

 

PPS – Wow – music: reviews of any album by every reviewer!   Very useful but might be expensive – for example I think I might have to get the new Bob album…. http://www.anydecentmusic.com/review/4849/Bob-Dylan-Tempest.aspx

 

PPPS – things to do in Siena: See if you can find and photograph all 17 of the fountains – each part of the city has one. Clues here if you want to cheat a little bit, but it’s still quite a challenge in a day

https://sites.google.com/site/betsydonnelly/siena%27scontradafountains

What would be a London equivalent? Email me!

 

PPPPPPPPS – if you’ve not heard this then blow your mind here, Sunscreen Song, and do everything he says without arguing – and then make your kids listen to it!

 

PS – if you don’t have an electric blanket, on a timer, then you’re missing out on an autumnal treat. They might even stock them at Robert Dyas, I’m not sure.

 

PPPS – an interesting checklist: http://wrightcreativity.com/2011/04/are-you-easy-to-work-with/

PPPPPPS – Inspiration Corner: the Olympics already seem an age away, and you may feel that getting fit is too hard, but look at this: http://www.godvine.com/Man-Barely-Able-to-Stand-on-his-Own-Does-the-Unthinkable-Amazing-1476.html

 

PPPPPS – ‘Worst ever album cover for an album that is actually very good’: The Poet 2 by Bobby Womack http://www.zemaitisclub.com/bobby-womack-the-poet.htm   Can anyone beat that?? Every track has a little bit of cheese but is still a classic, for example http://grooveshark.com/#!/s/If+You+Think+You+re+Lonely+Now/4sNzAM?src=5   Love his voice too! He’s still releasing albums and produced a pretty good one recently. Check him out if you like music with soul.

 

PPPS – And in DIY Corner this week: I successfully fixed two torches (with the help of my dad – What is it about dads and torches?) and in both cases the fault was the same – old batteries had leaked, and the bottom end cap (other end from the bulb) was where the circuit was broken. Capillary action seems to pull the battery acid inbetween the spring and the casing, where it then solidifies and blocks the current. So you need to pull out the spring, scrape the white powder out the end cap with a screwdriver, and reassemble. Done!

PPPPPS – Wondering what sport would suit you best? Why not compare yourself with the top people and find your Olympic doublehttp://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-19050139   It reckons I ought to be a fat bloke on a horse. Oh well!

PPPPPPS – Music: Did I mention The Fall? Criminally I only discovered them recently, (thanks Adam!)  thinking they would be too inaccessible and tuneless, but on the contrary, they have a great groove and the vocal is hilarious and brilliant – for example, a cover of the old Sister Sledge classic http://grooveshark.com/#!/s/Prague+91+Mr+Pharmacist/3k1LfO?src=5 which feels like it’s being jumped on by a tramp but still strangely wonderful.

 

PS – As a couch potato for the last two weeks I have discovered that the best cook-your-own-from frozen pizza is Pizza Express’s Sloppy Giuseppe, available from Sainsburys and others – excellent!!  http://www.ocado.com/webshop/product/Pizza-Express-Sloppy-Giuseppe-Pizza-12/23100011    Don’t forget to drizzle on some olive oil before you cook it! Does anyone else have a recommendation? Most frozen pizzas are rubbish!

PPS – Problems with neighbouring cats  digging and dunging in your flowerbeds? Someone on a course told me they buried a fully-inflated balloon just under the surface, and when the visiting digging cat burst it with its claws it decided not to visit that particular garden ever again…..! Sorry if you think this is cruel – I think it’s not as bad as many other methods people use….

PPPS – A time management related jazz title: Make A List, by Art Pepper. Also a completely brilliant performance:  http://grooveshark.com/#!/s/Make+A+List/46mGM7?src=5

PPPPS – Dog years aren’t as simple as just x7. It seems that I am a ten year old dog (that’s quite alarming!) and my dog is a 37 year old (lucky thing!). http://www.onlineconversion.com/dogyears.htm

 

 

August 7, 2013

Keeping notes on your phone

Filed under: Computer tips, Gadgets — Tags: , , — chriscroft @ 4:23 pm

Where do you put notes of things like films you want to see, which curry is the best, the size and pressure of your tyres, who was who at a meeting, etc?

Ideally you would have notes visible on your phone, PC, iPad, whatever you are using, and any changes would sync via the cloud. And you could access your stuff on your phone even when you don’t have a signal.  Like an old PalmPilot, does anyone remember them?  (They had all of the above except the cloud – and they weren’t a phone, but they did have games and apps)

I have been happily using Catch for a few years, but OH NO, they are discontinuing it.  Aaargh!

I have about 1500 records on Catch, which can (in theory!) be exported from Catch and then imported into something else.  But what?

Evernote: with the free version you can’t view your notes off line, and my phone doesn’t always have a signal.  The paid for version is quite expensive, about £30/year, but it is very nice.  You can also have tables, whatever fonts you like, and add pictures and sound files to any of your notes.  You can use your phone when off line to view notes (if you pay), and also your laptop to view notes when offline (free) because Evernote has it’s own bit of software that stores and shows the notes.  I think the laptop software works offline even on the free version.

Google Keep – has no import function and you can’t add new notes offline.  You can view them though.  Feels unfinished.

Simplenote – you can use it offline but you can’t attach pictures or sound (voice memos).  The interface is pretty clunky too, you can search but not sort, and you can’t have subfolders.

It’s looking like I’ll have to fork out for Evernote, which is great but expensive and probably too complicated for what I need.

Does anyone know of anything else?

Oh yes, thanks guys for reminding me about Apple notes (comes on every phone and ipad, and can be viewed on a PC.  On the plus side it stores the notes in the cloud so you can see them on any device, but only if you have a connection (PC) – that’s quite a big minus.  They still work on your phone/iPad without internet, which is good.  Only one font, and no pictures/sound (surprising how useful it is to attach photo from your phone of things), and no import/export if you want to migrate in or out of it some day, and of course, apple only.  But the iCloud sync does work really well, and it’s beautiful to look at, as you’d expect.  So good old apple is pretty good and comes second only to Evernote.

I’ll miss Catch!

CC

January 9, 2013

My apps – so far

Filed under: Gadgets — Tags: , , , , , — chriscroft @ 10:05 pm

The management cards

– see them all, for free!

iPhone and Android

Search for “management cards” (use inverted commas to find it)

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/mgmt-cards/id465966634?mt=8

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.monkeyapps.managementcardsnotab#?t=W251bGwsMSwxLDIxMiwiY29tLm1vbmtleWFwcHMubWFuYWdlbWVudGNhcmRzbm90YWIiXQ..

see a video of it working, if you really want to:

http://www.youtube.com/edit?video_id=GFzkQoh2T1s&ns=1

Just About To

Bails you out of trouble at the last minute – help with all sorts of things like giving a talk, being interviewed etc

Free on both android and iPhone

Android market / Google play

Search for “just about to” (use inverted commas to find it)

iTunes appstore

Search for: just about to

View it on your PC here:

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.chriscrofttraining.justaboutto

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/just-about-to/id625981934?mt=8

Jobs To Do

The ultimate jobs to do list on your phone / iPad

Apple only I’m afraid

Free – at the moment!

Video of how to use it: http://youtu.be/pcbQNs-nOvQ

View it on your PC: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/jobs-to-do/id680147858?mt=8

Test Me

Learn by answering fun quiz questions on Project Management (free) , Negotiating (free),

Selling / Influencing, Time Management, Leadership, Presentations (all: £1.50)

View it here on iTunes https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/testme/id661621010?mt=8

View it on Android (Google Play) here https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.chriscrofttraining.testme

 

Croft Tips

Random short tips on six subjects, android and apple:

free version: just 300 tips, 4 subjects

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/croft-300-management-tips/id453298183?mt=8

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.monkeyapps.croftandroidfree

paid version (only 69p!) – much more content (2000 tips!) and all six subjects

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/croft-tips/id463762783?mt=8

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.monkeyapps.croftandpaid

Coming soon:

  • Daily happiness and success action plans,
  • 8 subjects in 10 daily lessons each

onwards and appwards!

CC

January 2, 2013

Board Games I love

Filed under: Gadgets, Lists — Tags: , — chriscroft @ 3:45 pm

Some are out of print now but you might find them on ebay

.

Hare & Tortoise – funny race game with no dice

Cul De Sac – two player maze creation game

Diplomacy – the ultimate game of deals and deceit – takes 2 days!!

Adel Verpflichtet – hilarious auction thieving bluff game

Scotland Yard – one person tries to escape and all the others try to find him

Laska – great improved version of draughts / checkers

Havannah – two player hexagonal linking game

G0 – the greatest game of all, and simply beautiful

DaVinci Code game – guess which numbers the other people have – nice deduction game

Six Day Race (aka 6-tage rennen) – Cycling race game that is clever and simple, with slipstreaming and no dice

Pit – hilarious and loud card game

Press Ups (1974) – first to press down their coloured pegs wins – abstract game

Foxy (1977)  – slide a tube over the board trying to get rid of your pieces as the fall into the empty holes http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/10742/foxy

Labyrinth – tile sliding game

Labyrinth card game – different to the above and also brilliant

Carcassonne

.

and sociable puzzles I love are…………………………

Rush  Hour / Safari rush hour

Hot spot

Lunar Lockout

Chocolate Fix

November 2, 2012

Christmas Present Suggestions

Filed under: Gadgets, Lists — Tags: — chriscroft @ 10:29 am

Good time management means getting all your presents in before December – you can do it!  And here is some help, at least in the form of Things That I Like!

I like the huge draught excluder slug at the bottom – £20  http://lovefromhettyanddave.bigcartel.com/

Dalek dress £55  http://www.kaotichandbag.com/ourshop/prod_2303287-Dr-Who-Dalek-Dress.html

Make your hands huge for scooping up dead leaves http://www.abbeygardensales.co.uk/hand-tools/garden-rakes-and-lawn-edgers/showitem-TS-765214.aspx    only £2!

This looks like a really good air guitar – I’ve not tried it but it does minor chords and 7ths so it could be a great toy  £20  http://www.boysstuff.co.uk/gadgets/v-beat-air-guitar/

This roll-out piano looks amazing, though for £60 I’d want to try it first http://www.culturevulturedirect.co.uk/roll-up-piano-prod52501/   could be great for those of us who travel a lot

For people with cold feet or cold houses these microwaveable slipper / boots look great £15 http://www.gettingpersonal.co.uk/gifts-for-her/microwavable-cream-cozy-boots.htm

Self stirring mug  http://www.iwantoneofthose.com/gift-home-office/self-stir-mug/10452285.html £10

Scratch map http://www.iwantoneofthose.com/gift-home-office/my-scratch-map/30000539.html   £15

if we have another cold winter then these could be good to have in the car or by the front door  http://www.icegrips.co.uk/icegrips2.html

Eye clock http://www.suck.uk.com/products/eyeclock/?search=clock  £20

Make your door way into a pull up bar – this has a really nice design that makes it safe, unlike the bars that just screw outwards £20  http://www.boysstuff.co.uk/gadgets/body-system-door-gym/

Bat pegs £2 each  http://www.suck.uk.com/products/spooky-bat-pegs/?category=outdoor

Heatable polar bear http://www.iwantoneofthose.com/gift-kids/cozy-heatable-plush-polar-bear/10624417.html   £10

Not squirrel proof but a beautiful bird feeder £20 http://www.culturevulturedirect.co.uk/alpine-bird-feeder-prod55389/

Nice Spitfire cufflinks £12 http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0027ACU1S/?tag=hydra0b-21&hvadid=9550951149&ref=asc_df_B0027ACU1S

Macro and wide angle lens for mobile phone  http://www.iwantoneofthose.com/gift-gadgets/youvue-duo-camera-lens-for-mobile-phones/10617711.html  £20

The best LED keyring torch http://www.amazon.co.uk/Lenser-8402TP-Ring-Torch-Test/dp/B0024LLV4C/ref=sr_1_11?s=diy&ie=UTF8&qid=1351435264&sr=1-11  £14

Sit your phone on this and the music it is playing will be much louder – with no batteries needed.  £10   http://www.boysstuff.co.uk/iphone-ipod-ipad-accessories/horn-stand-iphone-4/

These Vermont house LED candle holders (nicer than they sound) do it for me http://www.culturevulturedirect.co.uk/3-vermont-house-decorations-prod55565/ £25 for the three

Haikubes £18 for the poets out there  http://www.amazon.co.uk/Haikubes-Forrest-Pruzan-Creative/dp/0811869385 (if you’re not sure what a Haiku is, check these out https://chriscroft.wordpress.com/?s=haiku)

Set of six really nice bird mugs for £10 each http://www.culturevulturedirect.co.uk/set-of-six-bird-mugs-prod52887/

This pen records sound and video while in your top pocket – just like a real spy!  £30  http://www.boysstuff.co.uk/spy-and-survival/high-resolution-sas-spy-pen/

Not cheap at £40 but there’s something about this prayer wheel pendant… http://www.culturevulturedirect.co.uk/prayer-wheel-pendant-prod54160/

Totally silly but maybe students will like this cone that tells people to give the toilet a few minutes to de-fume  http://www.boysstuff.co.uk/bachelor-pad/caution-cone-toxic-gas/

I think geeks will love this USB hub skull / bowl  http://www.boysstuff.co.uk/gadgets/usb-skull-hub/

This joke mug is stupid, hilarious, obvious really but I’ve never seen it before  – bargain for £7 http://www.gettingpersonal.co.uk/novelty-gifts/im-a-twat-surprise-mug.htm

Terrorist tea pot http://www.suck.uk.com/products/terroristteapot/?category=kitchen   £25

Digital luggage scales £13 – in these days of Ryanair fining you huge amounts for being slightly over, these seem like a good investment.  Take them with you on holiday so you can check you’re OK for the return flight with all your souvenirs…  http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0052WBYQ0/ref=asc_df_B0052WBYQ010397401?smid=AFF2HTH276LWH&tag=hydra0b-21&linkCode=asn&creative=22218&creativeASIN=B0052WBYQ0&hvpos=1o2&hvexid=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=19175591732082561197&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=

Be traditional and get a board game – my favourite at the moment is Carcassonne £20  http://www.amazon.co.uk/Rio-Grande-Games-RGG170-Carcassonne/dp/B00005UNAX/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1351850326&sr=8-1 which is easy to learn and very beautiful.

Chocolate fix looks interesting £13 http://www.amazon.co.uk/Ravensburger-1530-Chocolate-Fix/dp/B000Y8EQ8K/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_nC?ie=UTF8&colid=1W1ARY3RCTL92&coliid=I2E3RFN6VYJPSJ

and a great game for all ages is Labyrinth £15 http://www.amazon.co.uk/Ravensburger-26448-Labyrinth-Game/dp/B00000J0JF/ref=sr_1_2?s=kids&ie=UTF8&qid=1351850421&sr=1-2

and the card version is a completely different game, only £7, portable and also great  http://www.amazon.co.uk/Ravensburger-Labyrinth-The-Card-Game/dp/B00005JS7W/ref=sr_1_2?s=kids&ie=UTF8&qid=1351850488&sr=1-2

I also love Quoridor £23 beautiful wooden maze game http://www.amazon.co.uk/Gigamic-5203-Quoridor-Game/dp/B00001NTXN/ref=pd_sim_k_h_b_cs_4

and if you haven’t seen Rush hour (£13) then you must get that! http://www.amazon.co.uk/Rush-Hour-Traffic-Puzzle-Game/dp/B00000DMER/ref=pd_sim_k_h_b_cs_2

One silver love heart  http://www.suck.uk.com/products/lovehearts/?category=gifts  £20

I liked this gold bullion door stop last year and I still like it now £10  http://www.boysstuff.co.uk/bachelor-pad/gold-bullion-door-stop/

Not very exciting but extremely useful would be a decent size USB stick.  Although 32GB ones are around, it’s the 16s that a real bargain – look at this 16GB stick for £7  http://www.amazon.co.uk/Integral-NEON-16GB-Yellow-Drive/dp/B004C0T1FE/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pdT1_S_nC?ie=UTF8&colid=1W1ARY3RCTL92&coliid=I1QZXY638PI0ZA   or you could get this very beautiful rugged keyring one for £27 http://www.amazon.co.uk/Pretec-Waterproof-Enhanced-ReadyBoost-Function/dp/B001FTKFM8/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_nC?ie=UTF8&colid=1W1ARY3RCTL92&coliid=I1658BQVGMLHSQ

This is really heavy (metal) and well made, and useful too – a handbag shaped post-it note dispenser for your desk, £9:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B003VNE25M/ref=asc_df_B003VNE25M10514734?smid=A3P5ROKL5A1OLE&tag=hydra0b-21&linkCode=asn&creative=22206&creativeASIN=B003VNE25M&hvpos=1o2&hvexid=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=160067066616515063&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=

Memo Mountain – wacky memo cork board with trees as pins £10 http://www.culturevulturedirect.co.uk/memo-mountain-prod56092/

Silver spinning meditation ring – great to fiddle with, can very cool – £40  http://www.culturevulturedirect.co.uk/silver-spinning-meditation-ring-prod52747/

And a really cool time management spinning ring only £11  http://www.amazon.co.uk/Kala-isbijoux-Stainless-Steel-Spinning-width/dp/B002WE3RHA/ref=sr_1_9?s=jewelry&ie=UTF8&qid=1352662303&sr=1-9

If you wanted to push the boat out you could get a Nite watch  http://www.nitewatches.co.uk/shop/mx10/   I’m loving mine – it’s so bright in the dark that I can almost use it as a torch, and I can see the time even when really groggy in the morning.

You can find last year’s list here https://chriscroft.wordpress.com/2010/06/14/christmas-present-suggestions/

nearly all are still relevant and available I think.

June 3, 2012

iPad music – listening to an artist on shuffle

Filed under: Gadgets, Music — Tags: , , , , — chriscroft @ 12:02 pm

Very irritating the way the latest upgrade of the player doesn’t have a button for “play all by the artist”.

Quite a lot of googling and an answer is found.

Once you get to the artist page (listing of tracks next to album covers), if the progess bar at the top is not blank, tap the back arrow (two triangles pointing left) repeatedly until it is.  Turn Shuffle on.  Press play.  It will now play all tracks regardless of album.

The key is to have a blank progress bar at the top.  If you select a track, it will only play that album. And if you press play without skipping back first then it will just play whatever you were listening to previously.

May 23, 2012

iPhone tethering

Filed under: Computer tips, Gadgets — chriscroft @ 8:25 pm

I thought this would be a real hassle but it’s turned out to be easy.

If there is no wifi and you want to use your laptop to get email or whatever, you just go to settings on your iPhone and slide the Personal Hotspot switch to on.  It is now broadcasting its own little wifi hotspot.

The first time you set it up you have to put the code (the iPhone shows it) into your laptop, but every time after that you just look at the list of wifi available on the laptop and select Chris’s iPhone, and there you are, connected to the web.

I’ve used it quite a few times this month and am still well within my gig of data, so for the things I use it for it seems to be great.

No need for the cost and hassle of a dongle ever again!

Give it a go if you have been nervous about trying it.

May 6, 2012

Walking or running to iPhone music

Filed under: Computer tips, Gadgets, Sport — chriscroft @ 12:34 pm

I finally got something I’ve wanted for years – music at the right speed on my iPhone.

1 – Download Mixmeister (free) onto your PC and use it to scan all your music and put a BPM number onto every track on iTunes. Very simple little bit of software, obvious how it works.
Until now I’ve been using this to make playlists on my ipod, so for example I have a walking playlist of music that is from 115 to 125 BPM.
For running it’s about 90bpm, so you’d want a playlist of maybe 85-95bpm songs since you won’t have enough songs that are at exactly 90, or whatever your exact ideal cadence is.
If you were keen you could sort them into order with maybe a gradually increasing cadence, or a rush at the end.
But a much better solution is……
2 – Buy Cadence Run DJ for £1.50 and tell it to use all your music. Worked immediately.

So now I can slide a slider in the Cadence app to any speed I want and it will select music from my collection that is at that speed. If I want to speed up or slow down slightly I just slide the slider. Brilliant!

December 22, 2011

Third collection of PSs from tips of the month

Filed under: Computer tips, Customer Care, Gadgets, Music, Random stuff - uncategorisable — chriscroft @ 5:39 pm
    1. PS – Saw a hummingbird hawk moth in the garden yesterday.  My favourite insect – worth looking out for!  View pictures of them on google…

    PPS – An exciting new DIY product that I have only recently discovered:  self -amalgamating tape.  Weird, and brilliant.  How on earth does it work?  Bodges almost anything.

    PPPS – I’m continuing to discover things about google.  On the google toolbar there’s a thing called Auto-Fill which is marvellous – it fills in your name and address etc automatically when you buy things on-line….

    If there’s anyone out there who uses autofill, self amalgamating tape, and has seen an HHM in the last week, then I ought to award you the “Similar to Chris” prize.  But you don’t want that!

    PS – it’s getting cold and autumnal all of a sudden (apologies to my African and Australian readers!) and the positive thinkers just have to find something good in it.  Personally I am quite looking forward to foraging for mushrooms in the forest, maybe finding a hedgehog mushroom or parasol mushroom.  But don’t try this unless you REALLY know what you’re doing!

    PPS – MBA news: we now have our first ever person enrolled in an MBA following doing a DMS course (Diploma in Management) with me.  She is just starting at London Met, where she has to do one final year of their MBA, having got exemption from the first 2 years of their course.  Sunderland have also agreed a (distance learning) MBA final year.  Kingston have not agreed to it – we thought they might.  Details on the forum, or email me.

    PPPS – “British Airways:  Britain’s favourite airline”.  Well maybe, but not mine!  When stranded at Newcastle and needing to change a flight at the last minute, from Newcastle-Gatwick to Newcastle-Heathrow, they quoted me £190 even though both flights had spaces on them and the original ticket was only £50.  “Because it’s a last minute booking”.  Thanks guys – good to know you really care!

    PPPPS – greatly enjoying a book called “Watching the English” by Kate Fox – fascinating.  What an odd bunch we are!

    PPS – just saw Garage World from the M6 near Crewe.

    PPPS – Tour de France on ITV – marvellous!

    PS – listening to Blue Six “We had a thing” as I write this.  Mmm, nice.

    PPS – Thanks to Pete B for this hilarious and brilliant nightmare vision of the future!  It’s great to have all your customer’s details at your fingertips when they call, but you can go too far:  http://www.aclu.org/pizza/images/screen.swf

    PPPS  Being the renaissance trainer that I am, I have a sensitive side behind my rugged exterior.

    I have therefore been investigating poetry, and, as a person with the Hurry Up driver, it HAS to he Haikus.  Only three lines – brilliant!

    The official rules of Haiku are very strict (Seventeen syllables written in three lines divided into 5-7-5., must mention the weather etc) and I would like to propose ‘The Modern Haiku’ where you can write about anything you like, and the three lines have to be short but not exactly 29 syllables, as long as they ‘scan’ in some way.  It just has to “feel” right.  I also think we should try to keep the rule that there has to be a twist or clever observation or “aha” moment to the Haiku.

    I’ve put some of my efforts on the forum – but what I really would like is for readers to send theirs in, ideally to the forum but replying to this email would be OK too, and I’ll upload them to the forum – anonymously if you like.   https://chriscroft.wordpress.com/?s=haiku

    PPPPS – now listening to Audioslave – Sound of a gun.  Chunky!

    PS  thanks to Ben for this website:  Ever wanted to send a large file (e.g. a video, a Photoshop file) to a colleague but your server won’t allow it because the file is too big? Fear not. The website www.yousendit.com allows you to upload files of up to 100 MB (in the free version) to its server, which it will store until your recipient downloads it. The website even sends an email to your recipient telling them that they have a file waiting for them. (There is a professional upgrade which allows files of up to 2 GB to be uploaded but this costs $29.99 per month). It’s very handy if you work with large visual and/or audio documents.
    PPPS –  Open House London is this coming weekend.  A chance to have a look at all sorts of interesting buildings, which are opened to the public, for free, one weekend a year.  The gherkin is fully booked already, but lots of others, modern and historic, are worth seeing.  There are guided walks too, which are great if you want to know how and why things got built.  I went last year and I’m going again this year.   Sad or interesting? –  you decide!

    http://www.londonopenhouse.org/london/home.html
    and
    http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/whats_on/article2387236.ece

  1. PPS – this weeks stupidest website has to be http://www.pimpthatsnack.com/project.php?projectID=348 – if you want to see a 6 foot twix or a malteser that’s bigger than a football…

September 2, 2011

Collection of PS’s from past tips of the month – Part 1

Filed under: Books and Culture, Gadgets, Lists, Music, Random stuff - uncategorisable — chriscroft @ 7:47 pm

Hi everyone

for those who don’t get my tips in their email in box every week or two (hey! sign up here: http://www.free-management-tips.co.uk – it’s free) or who missed some of these, here is a collection of the PSs that weren’t too time dependent. I hope it makes an amusing browse…

PS – Saw a hummingbird hawk moth in the garden yesterday. My favourite insect – worth looking out for! View pictures of them on google…

PPS – An exciting new DIY product that I have only recently discovered: self -amalgamating tape. Weird, and brilliant. How on earth does it work? Bodges almost anything.

PPPS – I’m continuing to discover things about google. On the google toolbar there’s a thing called Auto-Fill which is marvellous – it fills in your name and address etc automatically when you buy things on-line….

If there’s anyone out there who uses autofill, self amalgamating tape, and has seen an HHM in the last week, then I ought to award you the “Similar to Chris” prize. But you don’t want that!

PS – it’s getting cold and autumnal all of a sudden (apologies to my African and Australian readers!) and the positive thinkers just have to find something good in it. Personally I am quite looking forward to foraging for mushrooms in the forest, maybe finding a hedgehog mushroom or parasol mushroom. But don’t try this unless you REALLY know what you’re doing!

PPS – MBA news: we now have our first ever person enrolled in an MBA following doing a DMS course (Diploma in Management) with me. She is just starting at London Met, where she has to do one final year of their MBA, having got exemption from the first 2 years of their course. Sunderland have also agreed a (distance learning) MBA final year. Kingston have not agreed to it – we thought they might. Details on the forum, or email me.

PPPS – “British Airways: Britain’s favourite airline”. Well maybe, but not mine! When stranded at Newcastle and needing to change a flight at the last minute, from Newcastle-Gatwick to Newcastle-Heathrow, they quoted me £190 even though both flights had spaces on them and the original ticket was only £50. “Because it’s a last minute booking”. Thanks guys – good to know you really care!

PPPPS – greatly enjoying a book called “Watching the English” by Kate Fox – fascinating. What an odd bunch we are!

PPS – just saw Garage World from the M6 near Crewe.

PPPS – Tour de France on ITV – marvellous!

PS – listening to Blue Six “We had a thing” as I write this. Mmm, nice.

PPS – Thanks to Pete B for this hilarious and brilliant nightmare vision of the future! It’s great to have all your customer’s details at your fingertips when they call, but you can go too far: http://www.aclu.org/pizza/images/screen.swf

PPPS Being the renaissance trainer that I am, I have a sensitive side behind my rugged exterior.

I have therefore been investigating poetry, and, as a person with the Hurry Up driver, it HAS to he Haikus. Only three lines – brilliant!

The official rules of Haiku are very strict (Seventeen syllables written in three lines divided into 5-7-5., must mention the weather etc) and I would like to propose ‘The Modern Haiku’ where you can write about anything you like, and the three lines have to be short but not exactly 29 syllables, as long as they ‘scan’ in some way. It just has to “feel” right. I also think we should try to keep the rule that there has to be a twist or clever observation or “aha” moment to the Haiku.

I’ve put some of my efforts on the forum – but what I really would like is for readers to send theirs in, ideally to the forum but replying to this email would be OK too, and I’ll upload them to the forum – anonymously if you like. https://chriscroft.wordpress.com/?s=haiku

PPPPS – now listening to Audioslave – Sound of a gun. Chunky!

PS thanks to Ben for this website: Ever wanted to send a large file (e.g. a video, a Photoshop file) to a colleague but your server won’t allow it because the file is too big? Fear not. The website http://www.yousendit.com allows you to upload files of up to 100 MB (in the free version) to its server, which it will store until your recipient downloads it. The website even sends an email to your recipient telling them that they have a file waiting for them. (There is a professional upgrade which allows files of up to 2 GB to be uploaded but this costs $29.99 per month). It’s very handy if you work with large visual and/or audio documents.

PPS I want to do more reading, (currently enjoying Mark Haddon’s “A Spot of Bother”) and also I’ve been feeling a bit stressed that there are books all over my house that I want to read some time. So I have moved them all onto one shelf, and there are quite a few! But for your amusement, here are some of the ones on the pile:
(and does anyone think I shouldn’t bother with any of them??)

• The Code Book by Simon Singh
• Alan Clark’s diaries
• Sharon Osbourne: Extreme
• The Mission Song – John Le Carre
• John McEnroe: Serious
• First Among Equals – How to Manage a Group of Professionals
• The Seven Sins of Memory – How the mind forgets and remembers
• The difficulty of being a dog – Roger Grenier
• Just Six Numbers – Martin Rees
• The Dice Man – Luke Reinhart (read it ages ago, know I loved it, can’t remembr the details, must re-read)
• Michael Lewis – Liars’ Poker
• Nancy Mitford – The Pursuit of Love
• Back from the Brink (Coping with stress) – Nick Leeson
• Roger Penrose – The Emperor’s New Mind
• Predictions – 30 great minds on the future
• Potter on Gamesmanship
• Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance (another re-read)
• Impro – Keith Johnstone (my brother’s favourite book of all time, so I think I’d better read it)
• Why do buses come in threes? – the hidden maths of everyday life
• The inside story of Viz – Chris Donald

PPPS – Open House London is this coming weekend. A chance to have a look at all sorts of interesting buildings, which are opened to the public, for free, one weekend a year. The gherkin is fully booked already, but lots of others, modern and historic, are worth seeing. There are guided walks too, which are great if you want to know how and why things got built. I went last year and I’m going again this year. Sad or interesting? – you decide!

http://www.londonopenhouse.org/london/home.html
and
http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/whats_on/article2387236.ece

PPS – this weeks stupidest website has to be http://www.pimpthatsnack.com/project.php?projectID=348 – if you want to see a 6 foot twix or a malteser that’s bigger than a football…

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