Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Hooray for the sidebar

iTunes 11

For some time I have been frustrated by the changes to iTunes 11 and have really missed the functionality of the sidebar. Sometimes it just takes another person's post to point out the obvious and today I came across this great post on the iPad academy site. What I see in Windows is slightly different to the screenshots provided hence my pictures below.

First turn on the Menu Bar by selecting the drop down arrow in the top left hand corner of the screen.




Now that you have the Menu Bar showing it is simple to switch views so that the sidebar shows



Now when an iDevice is plugged it is once again easy to browse its contents through the sidebar functionality,

and the top Menu for the iDevice is also visible.



Monday, 7 January 2013

Smart phone, Smart uses



Phone of the times

While planning for a recent trip overseas I looked for the best and cheapest solutions for staying connected while away as well as having access to all my travel documents. An in depth look at functions on my phone had me thinking about all the possibilities some of which I had not used. This post does not address the multiple uses of calendars, email and messaging but concentrates on using the camera.

If you use your phone to store personal information make sure you have set PINs for your phone and for your SIM card, should your phone be misplaced this provides a modicum of protection.
Use an online service like Dropbox, Box, Sugarsync or any other reliable online storage to back up all your information. In some places you may not have access to data services so think about the usefulness of having some of the information listed below at your fingertips, stored on your phone.

Travel
Before a trip, update apps and use the camera to record passports, visas, card details and contents of suitcase. Annotate where needed and arrange the pictures in a folder in order to avoid scrolling through all pictures in your gallery.
Store all travel documents as PDFs in case you lose any paper copies, e.g. boarding passes, visas, car hire and accommodation bookings.

General use
Medicare/health cards, loyalty cards and emergency health information.
Loans - each time you loan a friend a book or tool, take a snapshot of them holding the item, helps you remember easily who has that item and solves any cases of forgotten items. If your friend is camera shy, take a shot of the item and annotate in an app such as PicSay or Skitch  then forward the picture to your friend when you need the item returned.

Before a family outing, take photos of children in clothes of the day

Pre shopping lists and notes
Recipe ingredients

List of intended purchases, models, size
Children's' / partner's shoe and clothing sizes

Photos of needed DIY items e.g. door handles, architraves, nuts and bolts

Shopping
Parking location
Price tag comparisons, dimensions of items on shopping tags


Post shopping
Receipts for tax
Return labels
Care labels on fabrics and clothing

Gardening
Snap a photo of a plant for identification at the nursery or for dragging into Google image search for identification

Moving
Cable configurations at back of computers, TVs, home theatre systems and other equipment, photograph equipment before taking apart for quick reassembling.
Before rental photos - take photos of any damage that exists: carpets, walls, doors, fly-screens, appliances and other fittings. If a place has not been adequately cleaned before you move in get a visual record of that too.
Before move photos - valuable household items along with any identification labels.
Any scratches and dents on white goods and furniture can be quickly identified post move if you have photographed goods in their previous condition.

What are your favourite uses for the camera in your phone?