hjertnes.blog

iCloud

30.09.2013 02:00

I’ve had quite a few iCloud issues during the last month, something that made me think about the real problems with iCloud. And they are not what you might think, but more a result of it.

Contacting support.

The key most important thing, is to make sure that you can re-produce your issue in an Apple application. This is very important. Because, you will be caught between Apple and the third-party developer, if you can’t do it. The third party, can’t help you; and Apple won’t.

My problems.

So, my problem was that nothing, that use iCloud could upload or download data. This was everything from DayOne and ByWord to Numbers and Pages.

But, backups, calendar and contacts worked as expected.

This is bad!

Why Dropbox is better.

Here is the basic principle. I expect that my account here stuck in some way. And that Apple have very bad tools to debug these kinds of issues.

So, let’s say I was caught in the same kind of situation with Dropbox, and I had everything stored there synced to my Macbook Air(which I have). And I decided that I was tired of arguing with support. Then I could just move my data over to another folder. Delete my account. Create a new account. And move the files back over. Re-configure all of my devices that use Dropbox.

Closed containers.

Apple is the only ones that can do anything about this problem. Their approach is cleaner, but harder. Dropbox is more of a hack, a hack that works, but shouldn’t. It works and everyone from developers to medium computer savvy users understand the basic principles.

iCloud works great for a few uses. But, I will move everything off, iCloud if this happens once more. And I will also make sure that everything is ready to be moved off iCloud by the end of this week.

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Publishing, social networks, rss and websites.

20.09.2013 02:00

I am in the process of trying to move a lot of my content from simple blogposts into more of a collection of larger web-sites on my site. And this introduces a lot of issues.

I really wish there was a good way to tell your rss subscribers that you just updated some of your content, other than blog posts.

They way squarespace, wordpress and most related publishing platforms are handling this is by not doing it. Which means you can do two things: You can do Nothing, or making a blog-post that are informing your users about it.

Both of them sucks. The former means that no-one knows about it, and the later means that you are creating double the traffic; which is bad for your advertisers etc.

We need some way to push updated content into RSS and twitter / app.net publishing tools!

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iOS7; amazing new versions of apps I love.

19.09.2013 02:00

Last night was the night; everyone else in the world got access to the new and shiny version of Apples iOS. I have been using it since the first developer preview.

I don’t want to waste your time on the OS itself; but I want to mention a few apps that I love, that have been reworked for iOS7.

  • Instacast

  • Instapaper

  • Byword

  • Left to spend

This is four very different apps, all of them was installed yesterday, and all of them are apps that I use almost every time I unlock my phone.

Instacast is my go to podcatcher – or podcast client. It have been for a long time, and I have written about it many times. The new look and feel is right; it’s iOS 7. It also brings some of the new background update features. I really look forward to spending some time and to get up to speed on all of the new features.

Instapaper is probably the app I have spent the most time in since I got my first iOS device. I really love it. The new release is just a UI update for the old app. So, my understanding is that it don’t include any new features. But, the new look is new, fresh but still familiar.

Both Instapaper and Instacast is apps that I have been using every day for so many years that it is close to impossible or at least very hard for me to change.

Byword is my go to writing app. I am in fact writing this blog post in Byword for mac. And I often do some editing, reviewing and even writing of blog posts on my iPhone. They did do a version 2.0 a few months back, and this release is more or less just a interface update to make it look good on iOS7.

I didn’t think the previous version looked any bad. Not at all. But, this release looks amazing.

Left to spend is not something I expect most people to know a lot about. But, it is a app I picked up on Patrick Rhone’s podcast Enough. It’s the only budget app that have ever worked for me.

You set a daily allowance, and then you just add any expense to the app. No labels or categories; just figure out how much money you can use every day, and just add every expense. Simple, elegant and brilliant.

I did not expect this app to be updated. I think the previous version of this app was from released when we went from iOS 3 to 4 or something like this. But, I really love that the developer updated it. Because, some of the functionality was broken and this is the kind of app I would have to develop myself if the developer did not step up and release an update to.

Like all the other’s, this app also released a full re-design. And like all the others, it looks amazing on iOS7.

Omni Focus 2 for iPhone is the easter egg. I don’t even know where to start.

First of all, the design looks amazing, but it is bold. I don’t think everyone will like it at first glance.

Second. The new app is cleaner better – and the inclusion of background sync is major – at least for me.

I have not used OF on iPhone at lot for the last six months. It have been major pain to have to wait for the database to sync each time I used the app. This was one of the reasons for moving stuff like my shopping list away from my phone and over to paper.

This update might solve this issue.

Mach 2. This, feels like the second coming of the App store. And I do think that many of my current iPhone apps, that is not updated to the new look at feel during the next few weeks, might find themselves replaced, very soon.

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NSA.

17.09.2013 02:00

Like most other geeks, and regular people that are conserned with security and privacy – I am looking into what I am going to do with the data I am storing in the cloud.

There is more or less two different places where I store a lot of data; Dropbox and iCloud. And a few places I store some data, OmniPrecense and Evernote.

First of all. I do not believe that neither the NSA or any of my cloud services provider would have any interest in my data. And secondly I do trust Dropbox, Apple and Google as much as you should trust a major company.

This is not about me doing anything secret. This is not about me not trusting big american companies. This is about principles.

So I started the process of figuring out what to do here, a few days ago. Or I started thinking about it in abstract ways many weeks ago. But, the doing part started yesterday.

The first question that popped into my head was: what the hell am I storing in the cloud? Dropbox: – 1Password keychain – More or less any file I have, or had for the last three years.

iCloud: – iOS backups – DayOne-data – And some other minor apps.

The next thing I started thinking about was: what should I do about this? And I’m not too sure yet. But, what I am going to do is to move everything that I do not have to store there away from Dropbox.

There is just three things I need to store on Dropbox: – 1Password – nvAlt textfiles – Files I share from my site, and files too large for e-mail.

iCloud is another story. The stuff I store there is already the bare minimum. So, there is not much I can or will do about it.

Problem. The problem with dropbox is that there is no “end-to-end” encryption. Example: I use backblaze to backup all of my files; but the only person in the world with access to my files there is me, from my account.

Dropbox is not doing this, because of their fancy web-frontend and all of that.

Solutions. There is not a lot of cheap and viable solutions for me right now. But, I will consider getting into (Transporter)[http://www.filetransporter.com] later.

I really hate having to remove 99% of my stuff from Dropbox, and I think I need to invest in some extra external drive and to upgrade my “On-site” backup plan beacuse of it.

Let’s see what the future brings us.

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Why is important.

16.09.2013 02:00

I was chatting with someone on facebook this morning, and suddenly I realised something. To say something, without any context or information around why you believe or think something have to be one of the least interesting things in the world (right after religious belief).

When someone is saying something, I usually prefer to figure out they why and how before I start arguing with them. I’m not perfect with this myself, but I try to do this when I do write something. It does not matter what you think about something or someone as long as you can give a solid reason for stating it.

For example, if I write a piece about some new fancy writing app. Then I would start by writing what is good about it. And how it’s different from all of the other 100 000 iOS or OS X writing apps out there. And I would also write if I would be using it, and why I would / would not do so.

This is what good writing is all about.

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The iPhone 5s camera.

12.09.2013 02:00

I follow most of the Apple news, but I don’t really write or care that much about most of it. The main reason is that most of the cutting edge technology today is not very important for me and they kind of work I am doing.

But, the new camera and flash exited me quite a bit. I will not buy a 5s. I don’t upgrade my devices before they break.

The key things about the new iPhone 5s’s camera is: – Larger image sensor – Larger aperture – Revolutionary flash

I will not go into the details here. But I want to write about what I hope this camera gives us.

The problem with almost all of the current phone cameras out there is that they only deliver decent pictures outside in sunlight. The outcome in most other situation is something noisy and close to useless.

I’m not talking about useless for Facebook, Twitter or in IM. Most people might not think about this. But I assume that most people would like to print some of their picture or do something on a larger screen at some point.

I do a lot of albums both as presents and for people I know. And I have also made quite a few presentations for bigger birthday celebrations through the years. And my experience is that most pictures taken with a phone (includes the iPhone 5) is usually useless when you print it. You will see that it is noticeable worse that what you would get out of a midrange point and shoot camera.

I often feel bad for the people I see shooting all of their vacation pictures with a phone camera. All of the pictures my stepfather shot with a decent point and shoot and a SLR from the 80s and the pictures my grandfather shot with a decent point and shoot during my childhood will be miles ahead of what any phone have been able to shoot up to this day.

So what I hope for in the 5s, is a camera that finally can preform close to a real camera. Not because I want to get rid of my DSLR; but I would like to be able to get a useable pictures from my phone every not and then.

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iPhone 5c is not the “budget” iPhone.

12.09.2013 02:00

I don’t really do that much news related commentary anymore. There is a lot of reasons for that, and it is something I plan on writing an article about at some point.

Let’s get back to the iPhone. I have not read a lot of stories about the iPhone event, or stories about the new phones in general. I skipped all the podcasts that was just talking about the iPhone event.

But. I have been listening to a few podcasts that was talking about the new phones. And I felt it was about time to write about this.

Many people was expecting a “budget” or “cheap” iPhone model. We did not get that. But we got a less expensive iPhone. That alone is boring, at least for me.

The thing I find very interesting is that Apple is treating the less expensive iPhone as the go to product, and the advanced and more powerful as something for the geeks and all the other people that want or need the power of the 5s.

There is nothing surprising or new about this. Apple is doing the same thing with their desktop computers. The iMac or Mac mini is the go to for most people, and a pretty low portion of it is buying the Mac Pro.

Let’s just hope that they don’t wait three years until the next “non c” iPhone model arrives.

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Some Macbook Air advice.

10.09.2013 02:00

It’s been a while since I have written anything. First of all: it’s not because I am leaving this site or anything like that. There have not been any time to write much at all, during the last few weeks.

I’m still trying to figure out the perfect “groove” for being an effective and quality oriented student.

The other reason for not doing much is that I am working with a larger piece about DayOne and what I think it is great for. And even more specific: why you should consider using it.

But, let’s get back to the Macbook Air.

I have owned three Macbook Airs, since 2011, and I have loved each of them.

Expectations. The key thing you need to understand if you are moving from a Macbook Pro or a Mac mini to a Macbook Air is that it will not have the same kind of processing power. Not close to it.

To be completely honest. The only place I notice any lag is in Lightroom, when zoom in on a RAW image and have to wait a few seconds while it loads it.

Don’t upgrade! Seriously, don’t upgrade every year. Two of my three Macbook Airs have been the 2011 model(because of a soda spill incident). And when I upgraded the to this 2013 model almost a month ago, I noticed very little speed improvement. Some, but not a lot.

You might consider upgrading from the 2012 to 2013, if battery life is very important. But I don’t think upgrading every single year is something worth it for most people.

Understand. This is very important. You should understand the difference between the different Apple laptop models, before you buy something.

You have the Macbook Pro, which is very fast and a bit more expensive. And you have the Macbook Air; which is cheaper, better battery life and fast enough for most people.

The fact that I can walk from my flat, with my laptop a few text books and no power brick and spend between 10-12 hours away before I need to charge it is amazing.

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Be good at one thing.

27.08.2013 02:00

There is this cool and unique, hot dog shop, here in Bergen. It’s very old school and there is almost always a line. I can’t eat there since I am a vegetarian, but I really enjoy the concept.

And everyone I know that have eaten there, love it.

First things first, this is not the kind of store that have every single thinkable fast food thing you can think about shop. I’ll guess you have them all over the world; 20 types of pizza; and kebab, burgers and everything else.

This little shop have a few different kinds of hotdogs, and jus the classy kinds. I don’t think they have anything with bacon. I think there is either ten or under ten different types of sausage there.

When you jump on to the “toppings” or whatever you want to call them, I have seen a development during the last ten years, where people for some strange reason put on from ketchup to potato salad or even shrimp salad on their hot dogs.

This shop don’t do any of that. You can onion, either raw or the crunchy kind, ketchup and mustard; that’s it.

And when it comes to drinks; you can get a glass of juice for free, if you want a coke or something; well then you have to go and get that somewhere else.

The thing I like about this shop is not the food, but more the concept. The guy that runs it have been able to distil what he is trying to deliver down to the purest and most core and true to itself experience possible. And people like it.

There is nothing I love more than the kind of businesses that you get the impression that they have found the one thing they are and want to be good at.

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Working on something difficult.

26.08.2013 02:00

Sometime when I am working on some really difficult writing, I end up with nothing; or it seems that at the first glance.

I have been working on a argument analysis for my studies for large portions of the day. The stuff I have written is unusable; but it is not for nothing. You don’t need to write something good every time, you sit down. You just need to move in the right direction.

I know what and how I am going to write tomorrow; and that is the important thing.

But, if you used the whole day on writing and ended up with nothing. No usable writing and no idea where to move your focus to something greater, then it would be bad. Really bad.

The whole thing is about moving in a better direction. It might not be the perfect direction; but as long as you keep moving against the goal – then you got something.

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