Ok, so it shows that I've had a bit of a free day from work today, though free is probably the wrong word as busy with the family. I've had some fre thought and came up with a self challenge of writing this post on my mobile phone.

It's not the greatest idea for a post as it is literally about "can I write this post on my phone"!

Now. I'm pretty sure that in the past I've written posts on my previous phones but I'm unsure. I'm unsure if I wrote some, all. Did I create the featured image? There are lots of if and buts rattling around - so I thought dedicating a post about writing a post on the phone while writing the post would be good symmetry.

It also means I can write it as it happens. Real time, well for me, writing.

What's the typing like?

In the past I've written posts on an iPad which is great as keyboard is big, well compared to a phone. See, I suffer with chunky-finger-litus... I don't have small hands ans certainly not small fingers.

I often find that my texts to people contain strange words. Words were my fingers mistype and the phone calculates the word to something strange or out if context.

Do, I do find myself being a little more careful while typing a full post on this tiny keyboard.

Don't get me wrong, I have a Samsung phone with something like a 6.5in screen, so the keyboard is quite big compared to phones in the past. It's still easy to mistype.

However, this issue is proving to be a bit of a bonus because I am taking more time abs actually reading what I am writing.

So, type wise it is a little slower and there are some miss types. Over all though it's not a bad experience.

That said, the real challenge would be typing with little Mr pulling at me.

Next challenge, the featured post

Typing done, well not quite. Next challenge is making the featured post. Now I use a service I paid for to do mine, but it is easy enough to use canva or similar on the phone.

If you were going for a photo then you could just do with the phone camera dynamically, just when you needed it.

However... this is why my challenge failed. Now, if I were using canva I could have created the image, infact I should have, I may even do. I use a service called RelayThat. I use them because I bought a life time deal and it is easy and simple to create featured images all the same.

However, RelayThat says it does not support smart devices when I try to edit an image. Fail!

If I were to rely on it for my post image creation I would fail any challenge. If I only had my phone to write posts then I would fail. Which is disappointing as today's phones are just powerhouses for computing power.

This phone is so much more powerful than any of my computers last century. Just sounds better when say that way. I had many including Intel based systems and this phone would leave them in its smoke.

As it turned out, Canva worked well.

So, the answer is yes

Yes I can create a post on my phone. It is possible to blog on a phone, though designing your page maybe a little beyond capability at the moment. Though I'm sure its not too far off being completely mobile capable.

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I wanted to try something different today. I recently downloaded, recently being today, a new handwriting note-taking app for my iPad: one that's compatible with the Apple pencil. So I wanted to test this by writing a quick post using it.

As part of the app, it converts or can convert, the handwriting into text. Even my bad handwriting. At this point, it seems to be doing a very good job: even when I misspell things.

But why you may ask?

Why should I be trying this you may be wondering?

The truth is, although I am not the greatest writer: I do like to write. The best writing, or the best flow of writing, I find happens when I put pen to paper.

This isn't truly pen to paper of course: but it's amazing how close it is. And to be able to take my scribble and automatically get it converted... Well, to me, that's going to motivate me to write down notes move and share.

In can you wandered, before I go off on another tangent, this app is called Nebo.

I can see me using this app a lot more

New technology, when embraced, can help and improve our lines and our workflow.

I know this app is going to improve Mine.

As I said in the beginning, this post is really about testing this app and how capable it is. I think it's really capable of what I want and is going to allow me to be creative...

So I hope to start sharing more again.

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So, I’ve been pretty spoilt over the past couple of months. First off I wanted some new Logitech G933 wireless headphones for my computer - I use mainly headphones, and although I didn’t need the 7.1 I thought, if I do play any games then that would come in handy. So, during Black Friday deal I purchased some - so that the kids could give me them for Christmas  🙂

Then in January, for our anniversary my wife picked me up some Bose QC35 MkII headphones - this time for listening to music. So, I was spoiled in having 2 great wireless headphones - though each for a different purpose.

I thought, as I have been using them for 1-2 months now (2 months for the Logitech), I thought I would give you my run down of them so far. How I have found them. Anything that could be improved and my current opinion them.

Logitech G933 Wireless Surround Sound Gaming Headphones

Let me start with the Logitech G933 gaming headphones.

Logitech G933 Gaming Headset
Logitech G933 Gaming Headset

Let me start by saying that I think these are a beast of a gaming headset. They are big, they are a little bulkier than some - but they are not, least for me, heavy or awkward. They fit very well and go over al my ears (I don't personally like headphones that sit on my ears).

So, before I give my thoughts, let me explain a little about the reason I bought these. I have an awesome sound card in my desktop, but as I use it a lot when the kids are in bed I mostly use headphones. The one issue I had was that the lead kept going under the wheelchair or wrapped around something.

So, many main requirements were for it to be wireless. Now, because I had an awesome sound card, I didn’t want to lose quality - so the choice had to be something that was as good a quality.

After research and looking at reviews, I came up with the Logitech G933. They are not the cheapest out there but they were on a good deal (Check the latest price on Amazon - Amazon Link).

The great things about these are as follows:

  1. The go over my ears. I don't have small ears really, and I really hate headphones that site on my ears. These go completely over and have some space around my ears - and the cushions are soft too which makes them really comfortable.
  2. They sound great. I've not done a lot of gaming in them yet, I have only played a few times. The games sounded great - though have to play a little more to try surround I think. I've also used them for music and video - the sound is great for these too. All in all, probably the best gaming headphones I've owned.
  3. Although bulky, I don't find them too heavy. They feel very nice and I don't really notice them on too much
  4. Although I have not tied the pull-down headphone yet - I love the fact that it activates when its pulled completely down - so no issue with premature speech 🙂
  5. The battery life seems really good in them (I turn off the LED so to get more life out of it) and charge times seem to be good - you can also use them while the lead is in charging.
  6. They are surround sound 🙂
  7. You can turn the volume up and down as well as having other functional buttons on them
  8. They look fantastic - even better when lights are on...

One small thing to note is these use a USB adaptor that plugs into your computer. This is what the headphones connect to. There is a compartment in the side of one of the headphones that you put this USB adaptor into when transferring.

Here are a few more images of the headphones :

Logitech G933 Gaming Headset
Logitech G933 Gaming Headset

Logitech G933 Gaming Headset
Logitech G933 Gaming Headset

Bose QC35 MkII

Next up we have the Bose QC35 (Quiet Comfort I believe they stand for).

Bose QC35
Bose QC35

The Bose QC35 is a Bluetooth headset which is really aimed at music and music lovers. It has Noise Cancelling (one of the best I have tried) to make the listening experience even better.

The headphones I have are the MkII version which comes with an extra button on the left headset. This is to access Google Assist and to change the level of noise cancellation. Personally, I don't use google assist and think Why would I want to reduce the level of noise cancellation?

Bose QC35 MkII
Bose QC35 MkII

Overall these are probably the best music headphones I have ever owned. The noise cancellation is fantastic. They are really comfortable, again fitting completely over my ears. They pair so easily with everything I have tried - and the sound quality to me is fantastic (though I am not an audiophile - so some may say different).

They aren't the cheapest (Check the latest price on Amazon - Amazon link) but you are paying for the quality of the sound and the noise reduction. They also seem very well made.

Of course, you could go for the first edition of these headphones - after all, it uses the same noise cancellation technology - you just don't get the Google Assist and ability to reduce the noise cancellation (Check the latest price on Amazon - Amazon link). At the time of writing this, they are about £50 cheaper.

So are the good?

In my personal opinion, both are brilliant. Both of them serve  different purpose and they are brilliant for that purpose. I'd give both 9/10  (I never give 10/10) - but both come near to that perfect score for me.

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How can you automatically back up your website?

If you've just migrated your site to WordPress, are thinking about it or even have a site on WordPress, I wanted to spend a moment and talk about how you can automatically back up your website.

If there is one important thing I have learned with website and technology - backups are important. Things happen. Sites can get hacked. You can make changes to your site/theme and mess it up. data can get corrupted. Things happen, and without a backup, you can lose it all.

Backing up can take time. If you write one post a week, fortnight, months, then you may just backup that one time. Chance is though, you don’t just write that post on the day, you most likely spend the week. At that time, it may be saved in your posts on site and if the site got corrupted you would lose all that work.

I found a great solution for me

I had a site where I did several posts a day. A site where I wanted that constant backup every day. It would have been very time consuming. I like to automate these repetitive tasks, so after a little research, I found a solution.

For just a little amount (currently just $2 per month per site) ManageWP can do that daily backup for you. You can sign up for free, you can, at the moment, do 1 backup a month with this free plan. For a daily backup it's just this small amount.

For those of you I have recently spoken too, those that are moving to WordPress or thinking about it, this is a fantastic thing to have. I have migrated my site using their tools. I have restored my site several times (after I managed to corrupt something). The daily backups I have setup go at a time I want and save off everything, posts, theme, database. All of it.

So simple to setup

It's so simple to set up too. You simply signup. You then have to install a WordPress plugin on your site. This is where the link up from your site to the ManageWP account is. You then go to the ManageWP dashboard and setup your backup timings. There are other tools they offer too, I personally only use the backup.

The backup gets stored on their server space (or the server space they link up to), so for your $2 you get daily backups stored off site. Fantastic service.

I have 2 sites linked and for both I have used the restore. Its quick and its easy to do.

I would certainly suggest to anyone moving to, or even currently on, WordPress to check out their service. Setup those backups (even if  you only use the free 1 month backup) and feel more safe and secure in your site.

Play safe, play smart, automatically back up your website.

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A few years ago I used to listen to a few great podcasts. Back then it was more around techie podcast listing on things such as Linux, etc. I listened avidly to one or two.

I even had my own small podcast, based on general technology, though I phased out on listening to podcasts as well as producing.

New year, new podcasts

So I recently got re-bitten by the podcast bug. I was listening to an audiobook from Problogger and decided to check out the podcast. I got really excited because just before Christmas they started featuring a 10 day set of podcasts from successful people in the blogosphere.

They were giving their stories of how they started and so on. The bug really got me then. I added a few more to the list and are now up to, currently, 6 in my playlist.

Some of these have been around for some time so there is no chance of me having all the time to catch up on all of them - though I may dip into an episode or two.

So, what is in my playlist

Each of these in my current list serve an interest I have. They go mostly around blogging and most of them are still producing, there is only 1 in the list that I think hasn't had any new episodes for some time - that's more for listing to back episodes.

So, currently, my podcast list is:

This order is just the order in my podcast software, currently, I am enjoying the ProBlogger and The Blog Millionaire the most - though I have only just added the Lion Zeal Show and I found the first episode very interesting.

That's my January list

So, that's my current, January podcast list. I will do an update each month on what I am listening too and let you know what I am enjoying.

If any of these sound interesting to you, then why not go check them out yourself. Also, if you have any suggestions for me, please leave a comment below. I would love to check out any new podcasts you suggest.

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This week I am going to use yet another video of my desktop to show off the fantastic app I have picked. You can probably tell from the title, this application is called 'Alfred'.

What is Alfred

So, Alfred (how many times can I say that?) is a productivity tool/application on the Mac. Basically, it allows you to search your local computer as well as the web for a given typed in word. You can then select that tool or document or page or whatever it finds.

It speeds up your productivity by finding what you need. The only way I can describe it is a better version of spotlight. To see it in action and get a better understanding, what the video below.

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Today's tech tip Wednesday is dedicated to the Windows 10 start menu.

I've been using Microsoft Windows since version 3.1, well I used DOS more then. My Windows experience with into 95 and 98. I bought Millenium, played with Windows NT4 and Windows 2000.

I then bought Windows XP when it first came out and used for years until Windows 7 appeared. I bought Windows 7, paid for Windows 8 and then got the free upgrade to Windows 10. So, you can see I have used quite a few.

For the biggest percentage of time, up until Windows 8, we always had a start menu (well with 3.1 it was drop down menu's) and so with Windows 8 and now 10 that all changed.

The great thing about Windows 10 though is you have, in my mind, more control over what you can do. I'm going to list a couple of these changes/tips in this post.

Resize the start menu

Did you know you can resize your menu? So, when you click on it you have the menu and then on the right-hand side the tiles. Just like this image below.

The Start Menu
The Start Menu

If you were to move your pointer over to the right-hand side, on the edge, your icon will change to an arrow pointing both ways. You can then click, hold and move the pointer left or right to make the start menu larger or smaller. Making it smaller will show fewer tiles, larger shows more.

You can even resize it to show no tiles, just the menu. This is great if you want it similar to Windows 7 or earlier.

Removing tiles from the start menu

You can also remove tiles from the start menu that you don't want to see. Simply hover over them, right-click the tile and you get a menu, as in the below image.

Start Menu Remove Menu
Start Menu-Remove Menu

Just select 'Unpin from start' and it will remove the tile, but not uninstall. You can even uninstall from this menu.

Moving and resizing tiles

So, to start with resizing. From the menu previously mentioned by right-clicking a tile, you can see the resize option. Simply choose the size you want that tile to be.

To move them around in the menu, simply hover over the tile, left click and hold the mouse button, then move the tile to the new position you would like.

More start menu customizations

Finally, you can customise the start menu's overall appearance. Choose Settings and then go to Personalization and then Start.

Start Menu Customize
Start Menu Customize

From this settings menu, you can select things such as colour option for the background, etc.

Go forth and customize

So, these are just some tips to make the start menu look and feel how you want it to. If you find these useful, or have any other tips, why not drop them into a comment below.

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