I want the old Twitter back….

So you don’t like the new Twitter?

Well you can revert back to the old one in a couple of ways.

if you are running Chrome or Firefox then there is an extension you can install which forces your browser to use the old Twitter interface.

GoodTwitter for Chrome

GoodTwitter for Firefox

Install the extensions and your browser forces Twitter to use the old interface!

I want the old Twitter back....

There is another way without installing an extension which is as follows.

Click More

Click Settings and Privacy

Click About Twitter

Click Directory

Click Home (sometimes you click Notifications first)

You should then have old Twitter back.

So there is a lack of persistence, but there is also a quicker method is to use the URL

https://twitter.com/i/directory/profiles

which I’ve added to my bookmarks for quick access.

I can’t get this method to work on Safari and persist though.

They’re not deleted…

Flickr

In a recent blog post I reflected on if I should renew my Fickr Pro subscription.

I said

“I think the time has come, after eleven years to leave Flickr.”

So I decided not initially to renew my Pro subscription and look for alternatives to host my photographs online.

After some thought I realised I appreciated the way in which I used my Flickr account to not just store photogaphs, but also access them for images for blog posts and Twitter updates. However I still didn’t think $50 subscription was value for money.

So I was still going back and forth between do I subscribe or do I let it lapse.

However a decision by Flickr to retain all CC licensed photographs, has allowed me to defer my decision, as all my photographs are CC licensed, they haven’t been deleted.

At the time of writing, I am still thinking about paying the subscription, but I think I am learning towards yes.

Top Ten Blog Posts 2018

Over the last twelve months I have published 19 posts.

The post at number ten was from ten years ago, and contained a (now deleted) YouTube video on the new Skyfire browser for your Windows smartphone or PDA. Skyfire discontinued its Skyfire Web Browser in 2014.

The post at nine was now a rather dated post from ten years ago about how Scrabble’s owners were going to sue Scrabulous.

The eight most popular post was another ten year old post which was about when Apple was offering some free TV shows on iTunes.

The seventh post was from 2012 when my HP Photosmart printer died. My printer is dead! was a sorry tale about how replacing the ink cartridges on the HP B110a resulted it in destroying the print head.

The post at number six was Comic Book Fonts which was about the amazing comic book fonts from Comic Book Fonts.

The post at number five was wondering Where are my Comic Life Styles? I found them.

The fourth most popular post was about the free wifi (or lack of) on my holiday, Haven no wifi.

Polaroid Pogo printer

The post at three was about Dusting off the Pogo my old Polaroid Bluetooth pocket printer. Still going strong.

The second post was about when my iMac Fusion Drive Failed and had to have it replaced.

So the most popular post on the blog was my post about QR codes on chocolate bars, Cadbury QR Coding and Twirling was published in 2015 and was one of many posts I published on the use of QR codes back then.

Cadbury Twirl Bites QR Code

Is it time to go?

I think the time has come, after eleven years to leave Flickr.

Back in the middle of the 2000s we saw an explosion of social media sites, we saw the birth of YouTube in 2005, Twitter hopped onto the web in 2006. Flickr was launched as a social photography site in 2004.

I joined Flickr in April 2007, a month after I had joined the Twitter. I think the reason I joined was that many of my professional peers were either members, or were joining at the same time.

The first photograph I uploaded was of Admiralty Arch having just emerged from the Strand Tube station. The photo was taken on March 30th 2007 with a Nokia N73 mobile phone.

Admiralty Arch

I went Pro in July 2007 and have then since paid every year for the professional account. I have at the time of writing 14,280 photographs on Flickr.

I like to think that this is my top photograph, it’s of a zebra at the West Midland Safari Park.

zebra

The reality is that it’s a classroom in Gloucestershire College.

a classroom in Gloucestershire College

I use Flickr partly as a place to store photographs, but mainly to collate photographs into “albums” so I can find them easily when I need images for presentations, to share images on Flickr, or to use images on my blogs.

An example workflow, is to take a photograph of some nice food, edit and post to Instagram, then use IFTTT to upload that resulting image not just to Twitter, but also to Flickr. I can then download the image from Flickr and upload to the blog. I use to occasionally embed straight from Flickr, then that stopped working for a while, so I stopped using it.

However I think the time has come to cull my Flickr account. I don’t think it’s worth $50 per year. The value is there, but I am not sure if that value is $50. I am a little disappointed that existing Pro subscribers are not only not grandfathered in, on their old pro rate, but that they don’t even get the introductory discount of 40% that new subscribers get.

I still have a little time to reflect on this, but I think the time has come to say goodbye to Flickr.

I’m sorry I can’t play that music….

I have been messing about with a few voice assistant hub including the Amazon Echo.

One feature of these devices is the ability to ask them to play music, either an individual track, an album, an artist, a playlist or even just a genre or decade.

If I ask Alexa to play a particular song, she delves not just into my personal music collection on the Amazon Music app but also what is available through my Prime subscription. If the song isn’t available I could either subscribe to Amazon Music streaming service, or purchase the song. The Alexa ecosystem is built around my Amazon account and the services available to me as a Prime subscriber.

What Alexa doesn’t know that I have quite a large music collection on iTunes. She can’t see it, access it or play it.

With Google Home I have connected a free Spotify account to it. This is one of the key features of these devices that you can connect services you already subscribe to, so you can control them via voice. Of course the reason I have a free Spotify account is that Google Home would much prefer I was connected to Google Music, and it certainly won’t let me connect to either my home iTunes library (where virtually all my music is) nor to Amazon Music. So when I ask Google Home to play a particular music track, she gets annoyed and says that she can’t as that is only available on Spotify Premium. Now Amazon Echo can play from Spotify, so some overlap there.

This is one of the challenges of these devices that they are quite reliant on subscriptions to other services. Apple’s HomePod only really works if you have an Apple Music subscription. You can stream Spotify to the Homepod using AirPlay, but you couldn’t use voice control to say “Hey Siri, play my favourite Spotify playlist”. That wouldn’t work.

So at the moment my main focus is on the Amazon Echo and linking it into Amazon Music through my Prime subscription.

I like the concept of voice control and for many features these devices work well, but they do tie you into their ecosystems.

Bristolian emoji 😘

Inspired by @natlibscot here ‘s some Brizzle (Bristolian) emoji

😘 Alright my luvver?

👥 Babber

🧠 Keener

😳 Ark at ee

😄 Gert

❤️ Gert Lush

🛍  Cribbs

👍 Innit

🏘 Sadly Broke

🌉  Brizzle

👍🚌  Cheers, drive!

💚 Mint

🥙 Jason Donervan

💙 Proper

🍏🍺 Scrumpy

🗺  Where’s it to?

❗️Mind

🍏🍺 Glider

🎢 Slider

❄️ Pitching

👀 I looks at

👋 Laters

I also posted this to the Twitter.

It’s just layers and layers

Star Wars: The Last Jedi

I really enjoyed Star Wars: The Last Jedi I know it didn’t sit well with some of the Star Wars fans, but I thought it was great.

The special effects were really good and I think the use of CGI has significantly improved since the prequels. One aspect of the prequels I didn’t like was that the use of CGI allowed for the use of camera angles and zooming which wasn’t possible in the original trilogy. With the new possibilities that CGI allowed the battle sequences for me were all over the place with revolving cameras, excessive pans and zooms. Just watching some of those starship battle scenes in Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith made me dizzy. Okay so just me then…

What I have enjoyed about The Last Jedi, The Force Awakens and Rogue One was how many of the special effects sequences reflected the original trilogy look and feel, especially Rogue One.

This video shows how the different layers were meshed together to show the Resistance bomber attack on the Star Destroyer at the beginning of the film.

You can also see a similar process here for the mass of First Order forces.

These videos don’t ruin the movie magic for me, more they make me appreciate the hard work and effort that creates these movies. The attention to detail and making things look just right.

Tech Stuff: Top Ten Blog Posts of 2017

Over the last twelve months I have published 26 posts, many of these were about my return to fibre. So it is nice to see that the tenth most popular post on the blog this year was from nearly a year ago.  We will have fibre in “12 months”!  I said back then that according to BT Openreach we would have fibre within twelve months, I was slightly sceptical, but nine months after publishing that post I did get fibre.

new fibre cabinet 25

The ninth post was about when my iMac Fusion Drive Failed and had to have it replaced.

The post at number eight was another post about my fibre journey, Still checking… was when the cabinet was activated, but alas wasn’t accepting orders.

The seventh post was from 2012 when my HP Photosmart printer died. My printer is dead! was a sorry tale about how replacing the ink cartridges on the HP B110a resulted it in destroying the print head.

The post at six was about  Dusting off the Pogo my old Polaroid Bluetooth pocket printer. Still going strong.

Polaroid Pogo printer

The fifth post was how I don’t like BT FON which was originally published in 2011.

The post at number four was wondering Where are my Comic Life Styles? I found them.

The third most popular post was about the free wifi (or lack of) on my holiday, Haven no wifi

The post at number two was Comic Book Fonts which was about the amazing comic book fonts from Comic Book Fonts.

So the most popular post on the blog was my post about QR codes on chocolate bars,  Cadbury QR Coding and Twirling was published in 2015 and was one of many posts I published on the use of QR codes back then.

Cadbury Twirl Bites QR Code

What are you doing Apple TV?

Those who regularly follow the blog will realise that my local cabinet will soon allow FTTC connections, only seven years after the local exchange was upgraded. When we moved house five years ago, we took our internet service provider with us and kept the legacy account. Five years ago we expected to be upgraded to FTTC with a year or two…

This legacy account actually has a bandwidth limit of 120Gb per month, which considering my average ADSL internet speed is 1Mb/s is (usually) more than plenty. Most months we are lucky to hit 60GB. As a result I have never upgraded the legacy ISP account.

As we finally approach the possibility of having a fibre connection, I was checking what kinds of fibre accounts were available, I took the opportunity to check my bandwidth usage and was surprised to see how much bandwidth we had been using. We were using 4-6GB per day (which if you do the math, you will realise would take us over the monthly limit, as especially it is a thirty one day month).

After checking a few things and doing an overnight test, it would appear that the Apple TV was the culprit.

Apple TV

Not sure what it was doing (as it was supposed to be on standby) but I am guessing it was attempting to update itself or downloading one of its (rather nice) screensaver.

Reflecting another culprit could be the Wii U. Well let’s see what happens with the Apple TV turned off. OF course once we have upgraded to FTTC we will have unlimited bandwidth, so I won’t need to worry. Which will be soon…. I hope.

Time to replace the ink

Back in July I posted about my new(ish) printer, in which I wrote:

…by posting this post I hope to have some kind of record of how long the cartridges last.

Well I now need to replace one of the replacement cartridges.

The first setup cartridge to run out was the double sized black cartridge which is used for black and white output. This lasted from the end of March to the beginning of July, just over three months.

The replacement XL version lasted from July to January and is still going, so lasted over six months.

I have replaced all the cartridges over the last six months and it looks like the XL cartridges are on target to last as long as the XL black cartridge.