YAMOBTICI

Yet Another Means Of Blogging That I Can Ignore

So I got tired of waiting for BlogPress Lite to be available in the app store – thank you all those developers who pushed against the rules and doubtless slowed down the approval process for everyone else – and, noticing that the full version was on sale, coughed up my 59p and bought the full app.

It would be nice to think that having a straightforward means of blogging from the iPhone might encourage me to do it more often – a small, blank screen being less intimidating than a 24″ one filled with other distractions – but realistically it’s a bit unlikely.

— Posted from my iPhone

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Erroneous app update badge begone!

For several months now there has been a little badge in iTunes telling me that there is an update available for one of my iPhone applications. Doing a “Check for Updates” never found anything and yet the badge remained… taunting me with its inaccuracy and its implications of disorganisation.

A swift search showed that this is not an uncommon problem, but also that there is no single sure-fire solution.

With hindsight the “delete everything in your mobile apps directory and sync, making sure to let iTunes copy all the apps back off your iPhone” suggestion would probably have worked, but that felt a little too drastic and provided too great an opportunity for things to go horribly wrong. And I wouldn’t have learned anything by doing it.

So, taking the opportunity to have a bit of a tidy up of apps, here is what I did instead.

  • A quick check of apps on the iPhone, delete any that didn’t make the grade.
  • Sync
  • Compare apps on iPhone to apps showing in iTunes, delete any extras in iTunes. (There were several, I have no idea why, there shouldn’t be.)
  • Sync
  • Compare apps in iTunes to apps listed in /Users/sarah/Music/iTunes/Mobile Applications, delete any old apps in the folder.
  • Sync

At this point a miracle occurred and the badge disappeared.

Things I have learned:

  • If you delete apps on the iPhone rather than within iTunes the files will never be deleted on the Mac — I knew this but hadn’t considered the implications.
  • iTunes apparently still checks for updates for apps in the Mobile Applications folder even if they aren’t listed in iTunes.

That should be that, but the OCD-afflicted part of my brain is still not happy. It is now annoyed by the untidiness caused by the presence of old versions of current apps in the Mobile Applications folder.

I guess the next step to appease it is to make a backup of the folder, check which apps have multiple versions, Get Info on the app in iTunes to double-check which is the current version (it’s not always obvious from the file names), and delete the old ones.

Then, hopefully, all should be nice and tidy and, as long as I remember to delete apps from iTunes rather than the iPhone, I can forget about it. At least until the next updates arrive and my brain is reminded of the multiple versions that may be accumulating…

WriteRoom

This is me testing out WriteRoom.

Maybe without any distractions on screen – no Twitter updates, no Gmail Notifier incrementing visibly in the menu bar, no IM distractions (apart from the DING as Codepope chats to me and that is one distraction I am happy to have) – just maybe I might actually be able to focus on putting words together to form what might even be described as coherent sentences.

One thing’s for sure, I really must raise the height on my chair as this is an incredibly poor position to try and type in.

[shuffle] [adjust] [tweak] [shuffle] [move keyboard]

There that’s better, my wrists are no longer resting on the edge of the desk.

[shuffle]

Ah the fine line between having the chair high enough and pinning my thighs under the desk.

So, now I’m sitting vaguely comfortably, back to WriteRoom. It is such a simple idea, couldn’t be more straightforward really – take a basic text editor (plain text or rich text, this is not a Word replacement), cover absolutely everything else on screen with it, hide the menu bar and there you are, just you and your gently glowing green text on the quiet black background.

WriteRoom removes all visual distractions from the screen; short of muting the system volume there’s really nothing more it could do to help you focus on your writing. If you still cannot concentrate then I suggest you look to your environment; turn off the TV, kill the music, put the answerphone on.

Now write.

Strike one from the to do list

Prompted by Codepope starting to pull out films he wanted to get rid of, I took a break from cataloguing the CDs and did the DVDs instead. All of them. Finished.

Until recently I had an up to date record of our DVDs. For quite some time now I have been using fennel DVDManager as my DVD cataloguing software of choice and a sterling job it has done too; in fact I would still be using it were it not for one thing.

At the end of last year Booxter got a new version.

I’ve used Booxter for cataloguing our books since shortly after I switched to Mac. Not long after that I found DVDManager to take care of the DVD collection. And I never found a solution for the CDs that I actually liked.

Then Booxter went to version 2. And added support for both DVD and CD libraries.

Add to that the recent acquisition of a CueCat scanner and a few months procrastinating and we’re well on the way to a complete media inventory.

I like Booxter. It’s not perfect but it’s damn good. The fact that it uses Amazon as a prime data source rather than IMDB or CDDB means that I have an pretty darn accurate record of exactly which version of a CD or DVD we have; rather than just knowing that we have a copy of Fight Club I know that we have the 2 disc region 1 version.

Smart lists, the ability to define your own keywords and locations, and a wide range of export options (including to iPhone) make organising the library really simple. A quick and easy list of all the DVDs that are surplus to requirements. A full list of everything we own ready to upload to Google Docs so we have a backup inventory list. A smart list of the region 2 DVDs we can play in the PS3 (we really must get around to hooking up the region free DVD player again).

There are some small annoyances, but they are incredibly minor in comparison to the benefits. Did I mention we now have a complete record of all our DVDs (and it isn’t a small collection)…

Strike one from the to do list.

So now I have returned to the task of scanning in the CDs. It’s a little more annoying than doing the DVDs, but that’s down to a) Amazon having a product page for some of Codepope’s more obscure CDs with no cover image and/or track listing and, more frustratingly b) Amazon managing to lose a goodly proportion of, but not all, “A”s and “The”s off the front of track names in whatever weird and wonderful process they use to get track listings onto the product pages in the first place.

Oh and c) me having decided that accuracy in Artist, Title, Cover and Track Listing is the vital part of my CD inventory.

Obsessive? Me? Just had “if a job’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well” drilled into me as a child…