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Monthly Archives: September 2013

Tablet

I finally bought a tablet in September. The Nexus 7 (2013).

The main criteria were:

(a) size (i find the 10inch tablets too heavy and oversized) and

(b) price (Around EUR100-120 cheaper than Galaxy Note 8 and the Ipad Mini). Only the Kindle Fire competes at that price but i can’t use most of the Amazon features in Cyprus.

It looks like a fine tablet so far with some synergies when used with my Samsung phone. For example, once i first logged in to Google it started downloading all my apps and it also has the passwords of all the Wi-Fi hotspots i used with the phone. Which is actually a bit scary to think that Google has all these stored somewhere.

My main concern with the tablet was it’s useage.The tablet is just for consuming media and browsing the internet. I already do more than enough of that with the PC, Kindle and my mobile. With the absence of a physical keyboard it has limited productive use.

So far my concerns have been confirmed with some exceptions. Exceptions which are basically improvements as to how i do things.

Evernote – I had Evernote installed on my PCs and my phone for a long time now but i did not have a lot of use for it. Now, it gets much more use, especially for PDFs. I can now store boardgame manuals without needing to print them, save food recipes, articles and make notes which i can access from anywhere). Also it’s useful for reminders when i’m reading something. Take a screenshot of the webpage, create a note in Evernote and then set a reminder of what i want to do with that webpage. Very smooth and easy. I’m starting to scratch the surface of this fantastic software and it’s because of the tablet.

Get PocketI love my Kindle but there were articles which included photos and videos that were clearly meant to be read on the PC and tablet. Now i’m saving these to Get Pocket which is excellent on the tablet. The rest of the articles i continue save to Instapaper which i then read on Kindle. You can send Instapaper over W-Fi to your Kindle without needing a PC. As far as i know you still can’t do that with Get Pocket not is it supported on Calibre.

All-the-Cooks – In New Year’s Resolutions 2013/14 i mention that i want to do more cooking this year. Clipping recipes on the Evernote is one way to go. Another is using applications like All-The-Cooks. The screen is just right for reading instructions and adding the ingredients to your shopping list. I’m still not convinced that All-the-cooks is the right application for me but for sure the tablet is helping me work towards the learn how to cook goal.

These are what i have right now. I’ve also ordered a bluetooth keyboard to use, especially for Google drive, WordPress and my emails. It’s not for home use but just while i’m on the go. Hopefully, i’ll be able to do more productive work with it.

 
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Posted by on September 30, 2013 in Lifestyle

 

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Movie of the week – Kon-Tiki

A wonderful, beautiful adventure movie.

The true story about legendary explorer Thor Heyerdahl and his epic crossing of the Pacific on a balsa wood raft in 1947, in an effort to prove it was possible for South Americans to settle in Polynesia in pre-ColumbianĀ times.

Kon-Tiki

 
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Posted by on September 27, 2013 in Movies, TV & Documentaries

 

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New Year’s Resolutions 2013/14

I’ll be brief.

Two (Secret & Health) of the resolutions are carried over from last year, three are skill based (Cooking, Reading, Teaching), one relates to a character flaw i have (Short-tempered) and finally the last one is a variant of last year’s Travel resolution (Events).

Here we go:

Cooking – I want to put more effort and thought into what i eat. Partly for the end result (better food, hopefully!) but also for the process. Cooking can be a quite relaxing and satisfying experience. I’ve seen this with the limited cooking i’m already doing. It’s a skill i’d like to improve. There’s the issue of finding the time to do this and dealing with the mess after. The problem is that cooking a meal for one or two/three people usually means more or less the same cleanup. But i’ve made up my mind. Cooking is the new skill i want to develop this year.

Reading – Focus my reading on less broad areas of interest and also get better at it. I find myself spending too much time going from one article or book to the next without thinking about what i’ve read. So less time reading and more time analyzing what i’m reading!

Teaching – Although i’ve put it as a resolution i don’t expect to fully pursue this one yet but it’s something i’ve had on my mind for some time now. I just want to put it here to force me to explore a few possibilities.

Emotional/Short-tempered – This is one of my many character flaws. It’s not as simple as it appears from the outside as there are a lot of factors contributing to why i’m like this. Whatever the reasons behind it however i hate this about me. It will be difficult to assess how successful i’m with this resolution but i’ll figure it out along the way.

Events – Go to more events. Whether it’s festivals about music, film, photography, talks, seminars or whatever. This year i went to Hack Cyprus 2013 which i found to be extremely interesting. There are things about Cyprus that still surprise me. For example, that there is a Cypriot toy company!! In fact i bought my first game from them the other day for my goddaughter. There’s a lot of stuff happening out there. This year i want to find out what they are.

Secret Resolution – Continues from 2012/13

Health – Continues from 2012/13

Happy New Year! šŸ˜‰

 
 

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Movie of the Week – Good Vibrations

The story of music legend Terri Hooley, a key figure in Belfast’s punk rock scene. Hooley founded the Good Vibrations store from which a record label sprung, representing bands such as The Undertones, Rudi and TheĀ Outcasts.

Good Vibrations

 
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Posted by on September 20, 2013 in Movies, TV & Documentaries

 

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New Year’s Resolutions 2012/13

It’s time for the resolutions post and although i’ve not been posting as regularly as i would have liked, this is one (two actually) post i wanted to publish. It’s a brief review of how i coped with the resolutions i set myself last year. If you remember i said at the time that they were quite ambitious because they were not completely in my control to achieve. However, i believe i was and still am the decisive factor in all of them. I’m surprised. I think i did a lot better than i expected and writing this post now has lifted my mood as i’m reflecting on how the year fared.

Let’s go through these resolutions in more detail (but not too much!).

Last Year’s Resolutions (2012/13)

Travel -This has been a relative success. It could have been a lot better but i’m very satisfied with the progress. During the year i arranged my yearly vacations to Larnaca although not as many days and with no road trips this time. However, i did manage to go Kalopanayiotis and Pafos for a few days. In fact i’ve already planned another Pafos trip for this year! Pafos is especially refreshing because i have not visited the surrounding villages for a long time now and some even not at all. I loved it!

Finally, the Germany trip is all set and i’m currently making my necessary geeky preparations which i will mention in a future post. The important thing is that i’m going and i’m very very excited about it! šŸ™‚

The only caveat is that all these trips have been done with others and there was no solo travelling which was one of the ideas i wanted to pursue. However, at the end of the day what matters is that i did more travelling than previous years and that’s enough for me right now. Achieved!

Volunteer -This has been a massive fail. Zero effort in this one all through the year and if i’m honest with myself i don’t know if i want to actually achieve this anymore. My desire has diminished significantly. I see my priorities lying elsewhere at the moment and i don’t want to spend energy on this. Maybe later or if it happens by accident. Fail and not keeping for next year.

Exercise – Fortunately this is one of the big successes of the year. I’ve managed to find a few things i can do to keep me relatively fit and happy. There’s no jogging, football or mountain biking. However, i did a lot of swimming (since beginning of June and still going) and also home exercises. The home exercises have been especially satisfying as i can do them 4 times a week and usually the after effects are manageable. I’m trying new things every month to keep things interesting (TRX trial in September!!!).

Overall i’m surprised that i’ve found a level of exercises that i can manage and importantly be happy with it. Achieved!

Secret ResolutionFail and keeping for next year

Health – This has been more good than bad. I have now settled into a routine with my ups and downs. Physically and mentally. Sometimes it’s almost as if everything is perfect whereas other times things do seem to take me back to those “dark nights”. However, i’ve made considerable effort for this one and i’m happy about that. I do need to keep this going because things are still fragile. The fact that exercise wise things have been going well was a considerable boost to my morale. Relatively satisfied with this but still a lot of work to be done. Achieved! (keeping for next year because this is the big one)

I’m now working on the resolutions for 2013/14.

 
 

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Movie of the week – A Hijacking

Those silly Scandinavians. They really know how to make good films and tv series.

Tensions are high after a Danish freighter is captured and held for ransom by Somali pirates, leading to weeks of high-stakes negotiations

A Hijacking

 
 

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A Clash of Kings, by George R.R Martin

A fan of the series but not of the books.

I’m about 63% into the second book and i think i’m done. To be honest i have a bit of book reading fatigue so that may be a factor but i don’t think it’s only that. I fail to see what has captivated geeks around the world about the books.

 
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Posted by on September 5, 2013 in Books

 

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