Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Midweek ramble mostly about technology and mobile blogging.



I have decided that this wretched cold weather can’t last and that very soon I will be able to get outside and do some sketches, take a lot more photos and do some mobile blogging, so here are some thoughts on what works and what has changed.

The key to doing this is the smartphone and the portable painting and drawing kit. The bit that changes is mostly virtual now rather than hardware, so starting with the phone.

I am still using a Samsung GALAXY Note GT-N7000 which I bought last year, these cost about £300 new and about £200 secondhand, the minimum smartphone you can get away with costs about £100 new and about £50 secondhand, if you use a smartphone with an Android operating system “android gingerbread 2.3” is about the oldest operating system you can reasonably get away with. For anyone left behind in the smartphone world this is about like using Windows 98, instead of XP or Windows 7. The older smartphone operating systems don’t support the online image and document handling facilities properly.

I have children which means that they all have to have smartphones too, so the cost of operating them is a major factor, as far as I can see the cheapest contracts that give you internet access are more than £10 per month or £120 per year. So I am still using the T-mobile pay as you with the £20 for six months internet. I guess we all use up about £20 in calls per year which with the year’s mobile internet access comes out about £60 per phone.

We don’t pay anything for text messages as we all use the Whatsapp, which allows you to send free text messages to other people anywhere in the world who also have it.

Blogging via the smartphone I am still using bloggers own app https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.apps.blogger&hl=en the disadvantage with this app is that it doesn’t allow you to position images, which all appear together at the end of the post. If anyone knows of a better alternative please let me know.  

Image handling with a smartphone is much easier than it used to be, as by using the Google+ app, the pictures from your mobile phone’s camera go onto the internet automatically.

Text handling has it’s problems too, I fall into the large fingers and reading glasses bracket hence the largest phone I could buy at the time, the virtual keyboard and spelling with predictive text works most of the time.

Large amounts of text require more drastic measures, in my case a folding blue tooth keyboard connected to the phone in conjunction with ABC spellchecker app https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.androidsx.checkspelling&hl=en  

I guess an alternative would be to carry a tablet or laptop around with me, but all the kit has to go in my pockets.   

I still use the Winsor and Newton watercolour field box http://www.winsornewton.com/products/water-colours/artists-water-colour/sets/artists%E2%80%99-water-colour-field-box---half/ which contains the paint, water and water pot.

For the most part I use retractable brushes, propelling pencils, a propelling rubber, india ink felt tips  

the largest item is the sketchpad I overcome this by wearing a fly fishing waistcoat with a poachers pocket.

On to local matters.

The KLM flights have started with no noticeable disruption to me from the early morning flight which I didn't  hear, obviously it's early days and whether it will be a successful venture is an unknown, I guess a problem may be that a large part of it relies on avoiding UK airport tax.

The council litigation expenses over the temporary closure of Port Ramsgate to live animal exports also seems to be ongoing, with what the council will eventually have to pay still seeming a bit of an unknown.  

On the more mundane side of blogging the inappropriate anonymous comment seems to be reducing, my approach at the moment being if looks as though it may have some ulterior motive, this is usually way off subject with content that may be libelous, although some of it seems to be vaguely local content containing obscenities, then it gets spammed.

Anyone wanting to stand for the KCC elections has to register before midday on friday of this week and then fairly soon after that we will know who is standing here in Thanet.

I may ramble on here as I am cooking pizzas for supper, something that involves mostly waiting for dough to rise.  

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