Reduce disturbances from Google Home/Nest Mini speakers

How to scheduled do not disturb in the Google Assistant, which has the most settings I’ve ever seen in an app. Its complexity is compounded by the multiple accounts you may have linked. Here’s how to set “Do not disturb” on a schedule so you can silence them at night.

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PC means Personal Computer

Having a rant about why Apple are wrong to refer to MS Windows as “PC”.

Something that bothers me everytime I see a advert for Apple Mac, is the way they refer to Microsoft Windows as PC. PC means ‘Personal Computer’, as in a computer that can run independently of others and is suitable for personal use; a household computer.

See what I’m saying? Therefore a Apple make PCs. iMac: a desktop PC. MacBook Air: a lightweight notebook PC. Mac Pro: professional standard desktop PC. Mac mini: compact home PC. They’re all PCs.

There seems to be a little confusion when descibing Apple’s main OS rival, Microsoft Windows. Windows and Mac are both operating systems which can be installed onto a PC. I’ll spell it out…

BrandOSPC
MicrosoftWindowsYes
AppleMacYes

Fair enought if they were talking about any PC (e.g. Windows, Linux), but they’re not, they’re specifically referring to MS Windows. So they’re wrong.

Rant over.

Review of the Apple iPhone 3G

I’ve had the iPhone for about 6 months now and I’m extremely happy with it. My previous phone was a Sony Ericsson W880 – that really flat one with the fiddly buttons. It had all the features I [thought] I needed and I was pretty pleased with it. I’d just got myself the Jabra BT500 Bluetooth headset and was getting used to the voice dialling. For me, the main thing was the size of it. This dinky little gem would be totally forgotten about in my sky rocket, and provide a handful of music which was just enough for commuting. I’d also installed the Java app which gave me good access to Gmail.

I’d seen the 1st iPhone in the stores and not really thought much of it. Thought the touch-screen might be a bit of a pain and the applications gimmicky. Little did I know…

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Barcelona Christmas party

Barcelona Christmas party photos
Barcelona Christmas party photos

I spent last weekend in Barcelona for the corporate Christmas party. Now that’s a pretty good Christmas party! Half day on the Friday (always a pleasure) and 2 nights in the fabulous Clarion Hotel Pulitzer. It’s not often hotel rooms are as nice as the website pictures would have us believe, but the Pulitzer did not disappoint. Unfortunately the Sky Bar is not open at this time of year, but the lounge bar was very comfortable (just don’t order a club sandwich unless you like your chicken clucking in the bun).

Saturday was largely walking around the city and up to Guadí’s Parc Güell, followed by Casa Batlló and Casa Milà – which is what most of my pictures are of. We followed this up by a quick shop at Vinçon for secret Santa presents. I also got myself a little pressie in the form of a Colorsplash Flash for my Lomo (time for some colourful evening shots).
After watching Dan and Stephen haggle for old soda water bottles it was time for a little sleepy back at the hotel.

The main event started in the private room at a restaurant in the square off the bottom of the Rambla, maybe called Plaça del Teatre, I dunno? So after that we popped into Bar Pippa in the same square. I like this place, it’s a great little pub hidden in the corner that feels like you’re in somebody’s apartment, but with a stage in it. Andrew and I found it when we were there for Jai’s stag weekend. We eventually ended up at a club, which my bank statement tells me is called “City Hall”. Had a fantastic (and very long, bed at 6am) day. Didn’t feel that great on Sunday, and I’m really not a fan of showering whilst still under the influence.

Boil an egg with no water

I was just watching last weeks episode of Dragon’s Den. I love this show. Anyway, one guy who did get an investment was James from Staines with his invention that boils eggs without water. He’s got two models. One looks like a little Dalek and the other looks like two sun-beds for eggs. Deborah didn’t … Continue reading “Boil an egg with no water”

I was just watching last weeks episode of Dragon’s Den. I love this show. Anyway, one guy who did get an investment was James from Staines with his invention that boils eggs without water.

He’s got two models. One looks like a little Dalek and the other looks like two sun-beds for eggs. Deborah didn’t think it was a good idea at all, but I think she couldn’t be further off the mark. What a great idea!

How accustomed are we to toasters these days. Do you know anyone who doesn’t have a toaster? It’s easier to put a slice of bread under a grill than it is to find a pan, boil some water and get the timing just right for that perfect egg. I will certainly buy of of these when they’re available. Furthermore, I reckon they’ll be almost as common as toasters within 10 years.

iPods are shite

I bought him a little jumper, but it wasn’t enough. My third iPod has failed, with the same problem – HDD failure. So I’ve declared all iPods as absolute shite! I find it very hard to say. I have loved my iPod. Especially this one, as it’s lasted the longest (about 10 months). But I’ve spoken to Apple and it turns out that when they replace iPod #1 with the any-old-crap they dish out. Your warranty only covers you for a 90 day period. This was fine for iPod #2 because it broke within 2 months and it was still under the original 12 month warranty. But now, this poor little bugger has gasped it’s last digital breaths and kicked up it’s heals outside of the safe haven of warranty.

It is a shame, iPod #3 and I had some good times. They’re certainly the smallest, easiest to use and the best looking MP3 player available. I was going to also buy an Apple iBook G4 in the near future, but now I’ll have to reconsider any more investment in this company.

Apple have said that I could send it back for repair at a cost of £160. But I think I’ll just smash it up with a hammer.

To be continued…

Finding a new keyboard

Programmable keyboard
Programmable keyboard

I know it’s a bit geeky, but I want a new keyboard. Sometimes my keys on mine don’t engage properly and it’s frustrating. I’ve got one of those new Dell space saver jobbies at work which is simple and all I need. But do you know how hard it is to find it on their crappy website!? Very. Only because I know someone who works there did I manage to find the part number and subsequently, the item itself.

Looking around Digg, I found the Das Keyboard which has no inscriptions on the key what-so-ever. The idea is that you’ll force yourself to memorise the keys by their location, increasing your productivity. That’s all very well, but it’s damn ugly. For $80, why not buy a cheap one and scrub the letters off?

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Expensive iPod accessory

BMW have just placed a ‘1 Series with iPod connection’ ad at the bottom of my road which led to me finding iPod you BMW. I’ve been waiting for someone to release some slick iPod/car integration and I was hoping this would be a good start. I’m left disappointed. It looks as though they’re still … Continue reading “Expensive iPod accessory”

BMW have just placed a ‘1 Series with iPod connection’ ad at the bottom of my road which led to me finding iPod you BMW. I’ve been waiting for someone to release some slick iPod/car integration and I was hoping this would be a good start.

I’m left disappointed. It looks as though they’re still making things more complicated than they have to be.

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Server downtime

Oh dear. What a stressful time it is when your host’s server suffer “technical difficulties” and takes 36 hours before it’s back online whilst loosing your 2 most recent blogs (now recovered). Hmmm… clearly no load balancing here then. The first technical support guy was so unhelpful. But I knew I had to stay calm, … Continue reading “Server downtime”

Oh dear. What a stressful time it is when your host’s server suffer “technical difficulties” and takes 36 hours before it’s back online whilst loosing your 2 most recent blogs (now recovered). Hmmm… clearly no load balancing here then. The first technical support guy was so unhelpful. But I knew I had to stay calm, as shouting doesn’t get you anywhere in these situations [thinks back to 3 delievries of a Dell].
Thankfully a new server is in place which is actually responds to page requests much faster.

Now I have to find it within myself to re-post the last two blogs.

My third iPod

That’s right. My third in eight months. My second iPod, which arrived February 23rd 2005 broke a couple of weeks ago. Today I have received my second replacement. Suffering from similar symptoms as the previous plus I couldn’t update it and then screen stopped working.

Apple have been pretty good though. I called them last Monday, they picked it up on Tuesday and now I have a brand new one. Lets hope this one lasts.