iPhone X arrives

My new silver 256GB iPhone X arrived today after a 5 week wait.

Collecting it from the post office this morning I headed off to Dôme for breakfast where their wifi network proved a blessing in disguise, my old iPhone needed this to receive text messages as I set up my new phone and Apple and other services checked was me. Initially I setup as a new iPhone rather than restore, a smart move as the iPhone was needing a software update at around 2.6GB.

Using 4G i downloaded 1Password which hooked into Face ID straight away. Same for Facebook. I have to credit Apple with Face ID just how easy it was to set up and use, it is really quite quick to recognise me and unlock or authenticate me within an app.

The OLED screen is just gorgeous, what is interesting however is if you angle it the colours take on a blue tinge. Thus far I have only found myself reaching for a home button once, I love that the phone is buttonless.

I got myself an Anker wireless charger, however it didn’t seem to charge the phone connecting via my car’s USB port. I’m hoping I did something wrong, or maybe it’s the case interfering. Really wanting this in the car for ease of drop and charge rather than having to plug something in as it plays around with music and directions playback. Fingers crossed.

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Querkles

Have you seen Querkles? It ‘is a different play on paint by numbers. An art piece is segmented by overlapping circles of varying sizes and then 5 shades of colour determined, 1 darkest and 5 lightest.

A friend of mine had bought herself and adult colouring book based upon this a year or so ago, posting the results to Facebook. When looking for a colouring book app for my iPad Pro I stumbled upon Querkles and decided I’d give it a go, it was so addictive.

Hooked, I paid for the 40 pack at $5.99, I’m sure it will keep me busy for some time. Each drawing takes about 1.5 hours minimum to complete when using the Fill tool, were I to use the pen mode instead that might extend to a day or so as there’s much to colour in. The end result is so effective and amazing when you think at the method of construction.

Email marketing platforms

At work we run a weekly newsletter for staff and research students. Since before I joined the office the newsletter had been run via a basic Listserv, it was a very manual process.

When our marketing coordinator headed to Europe I took the initiative to move us into an email marketing platform. It had been decided we’d go with MailChimp, not my preferred platform, but was already being used by another area for the same purpose.

Our newsletter’s design was a very simple single-column design with an image atop the text, thus we could use a pre-defined template. Setting up user sign-up was nice and easy and on Monday we were off and running.

The first few newsletters were sent without any problems, at least no one reported any whilst I was sending. Then, after our marketing coordinator returned and took over things we started getting reports from Outlook users that the email were arriving blank, yet strangely not for all Outlook users; the issue never affected other email platforms.

Eventually we gave up and resorted to using Outlook to send the newsletter; we had just deleted the Listserv the week before preventing a return to old tried and true. Our desire to move to a mail marketing platform was not shelved however, just awaiting funds to either pay for support with Mail Chimp, or swap to my preferred Campaign Monitor platform.

Initially, maybe 2- 3 days, we paid for MailChimp to see if they could resolve our issue, sadly they said they were aware of issues related to Outlook 2016 but had no resolution just yet. We now needed to convince management to stump up the extra for Campaign Monitor. The sell came in the form of merging separate newsletters into one account and leveraging the benefits, one fee instead of multiple with the other newsletter somewhat critical in relationship building. Another assist with the sell was a major issue seeming to affect the MailChimp platform in late November, suddenly image assets were not loading or were disappearing as well the site had availability issues.

I spent part of the day redesigning their other newsletter as it was poorly designed, tight text on black, a readability issue. They were open to change and improving things for their readers which is great.

Looking forward to our launching via Campaign Monitor, I used it several years ago and never had issues with it. The testing tools ensure you pick up any likely errors before you send your campaign avoiding those issues we experienced with MailChimp.

Hey Siri, send a text … please wait resetting (again, and again)

I awoke this morning to my iPhone buzzing every so often, surely I wasn’t getting that many emails come in.. what might be the reason?

My first hope was a text from Vodafone of course to notify the iphone X was finally shipping, too much to ask I know. As I started using the phone the “I’m doing shit” spinner appeared briefly before the phone asked for my pass code / touch ID, weird. I pressed Finger and all okay, then 30 or so seconds later it happened again, and again.

I hit the Whirlpool forums to see if it was just me or were others getting this as well, several others were reporting the same issue. Some had tried factory reseting their devices and restoring without any luck.

It is interesting that this has occurred on that will be 1 December in the USA. A similar bug occurred in the past when the mouth changed, I forget when, and Apple was forced to quickly push something out. Meanwhile we are stuck with iPhones in constant reset loop due to poor coders, just as we saw the other day with the macOS root no password stuff up and then the and introduced a sharing problem. Oh to resurrect Jobs.

Vodasnooze: Sick of waiting for X

Hi, I’m Corin, and I’m massively impatient! you see three weeks ago today I walked into Vodafone and ordered a silver 256GB iPhone X. I was told at the time there was a waiting time of 6- 8 weeks, I lied when I said I was accepting that, I was truly expecting that times would improve.

I knew demand for Apple Phones at release was always huge, but my expectation was that times would improve several weeks from the initial delivery window. The placeholder date I’d been given was 28/12 for being sent, since this was sent in week 1 nothing has changed.

what is of interest is that since I ordered Apple’s shipping times have massively improved from 6-8 weeks, then 4- 6 weeks, then 2-3 weeks, and now I – 2 weeks. During this time however Vodafone Australia has only seen minor improvement in delivery times from the original 6-8 weeks to 4-6 weeks.

Why? Telstra and Optus appear to be shipping quicker and looking at Vodafone UK they ship in 1-2 weeks like Apple. Are Vodafone Australia the poor cousins?

It would be nice to have an actual delivery date especially given I could go to Apple and purchase one relatively quickly. Ugh!

iPad Pro and Apple Pencil are just great

Since the release of ios 11 my iPad mini 3 was starting to show its age, getting jittery and less responsive. When Apple rehearsed the iPad Pro and Apple Pencil, especially the latter, my interest was Sparked in possibly upgrading, but also in once more taking up art as I had once done back in high school.

Yesterday taking advantage of the sales I bought the iPad Pro 10.5 inch with Apple pencil. It’s the first time that I’ve had a stylus, it’s rather cool, though it does take some getting used to. What has surprised me is how there isn’t a penito- text keyboard within iOS, I would have thought this a natural inclusion.

when deciding whether I might purchase an iPad Pro I had seen a demo version of the app “Procreate”, it blew my mind what it was capable of, oil paints, acrylics, sketching, and so much more. It was immediately apparent why Apple had given this app an award 5 at $14.99 it is well worth its purchase price.

Getting back to the handwriting recognition, I’m actually writing this in an app called Nebo. A few sites recommended, though some users did complain they’d experienced issues with crashes. I’m backing up to Dropbox, hopefully this avoids any losses those users mentioned. That aside, it does a good job of recognising my scrawl, in both left and right hands.

The new iPad is very nice indeed, quick and the display so crisp and clear. The Pencil is heavier than I might have expected it to be, one thing I would like Apple to add to iOS is the ability check the Pencil’s battery level.

I use 1Password as a password manager, and up until installation on this iPad all had been hunky dory, however when I went to setup and import it asked (naturally) for my monster password which it gets via the archive, it kept failing- had I changed it? I didn’t recall doing so, but tried other passwords I might have used. Still failed! It wasn’t until I logged in on the MacBook Pro that I knew l’d not changed it and 1 Password had a problem. Eventually I managed to install as the Mac version offered a WLAN connection option. Phew!

This morning I got to try out the multitasking features within iOS 11, wasn’t the easiest feature to use, but I eventually managed to make two apps sit side by side. This will be useful with the art and having photos for inspiration

Great new toy, and loving Procreate!

New me

In the late 1980s I discovered my paternal grandfather had changed our surname prior to marrying, at the insistence of his future wife, she did not want the hypenated surname. It may also have been related to his being disinherited as he was marrying a catholic where he was I assume Church of England.

Upon learning of this I really wanted to restore our surname to its original, though it did eventually take me another four years before I did so legally. During those years I would use it unofficially and also considered whether I wanted to keep my first name, something I associated negatively with all the bullying I’d endured throughout school.

When in 1993 I formally changed my name I had wanted to change my name to Corin but I faced such opposition within the family just with changing the surname that I ended up retaining the first name but modifying middle names to feature what I wanted. The result never was what I wanted and having all those middle names I felt kind of embarrassed, I would avoid telling people about or how they came to be.

After my little brother took his life in April I couldn’t help but cast a lens over my life and examine what I too wasn’t happy with. For me it was obvious, for 24 years I had lived with those names as middle names that I had wanted to make my new name, it was time to seize the day, carpe diem. At the end of May I began using Corin as a preferred name, I had some interesting reactions:

  • Some friends expressed liking my original name but supported my change;
  • Many expressed liking the new name;
  • Some were curious to understand the name’s meaning – it is Celtic with Roman origins to their god Mars; it means Spear thrower;
  • I got asked by one person at work whether anything else was changing. This made me laugh so much, but I confirmed was solely a change of name, happy with gender and sexuality!

I submitted the paperwork to change name formally in August and a month later, or thereabouts, an email advised I had to send my old birth certificate and change of name certificate to them to be destroyed. I had a quiet chuckle here as mum had covered the birth certificate in contact film in the 80s, good luck shredder! I was forced to delay sending due to a holiday to Singapore in October, I knew I’d not get documentation and a passport quickly enough.

Finally, on my little brother’s birthday, the approved change of name came through and I am now officially Corin. I felt quite elated for about ten or so minutes, almost as though floating. I’ve since been arranging new identification and updating name with banks and government etc, this has been a lot quicker than I thought it might have been with 75% completed in 2 days.

I think I need a holiday!