Writing Joy

reMarkable 2I was recently given a digital paper tablet and it really is as wonderful as you can imagine.  Naturally I had to test it out by writing something. This is what I came up with.

Sonnet XI – Writing Joy

The pen is gently scratchy on the page,
Familiar the sound to all who write,
Whether it be for novels or the stage
Or ramblings poetic late at night.
The words pour out in rough untidy hand,
Corrections adding to the melee there.
In script only the writer understands
They try to capture something they can share.
As ideas grow, the words they need to move.
Reordered to enhance the growing whole.
Our changing text, the poem to improve,
The process thus brings pleasure to the soul.
Remarkable to find such written bliss?
An electronic notepad brought you this.


Flex 2 vs Vivosmart 3 – An Unlikely Comparison

So at the moment I’m walking around with two fitness devices on my wrist. Why? Because having just bought a Garmin Vivosmart 3 it seemed like a good opportunity to compare it with the Fitbit Flex 2 I’ve been using for the last year or more.

Now these aren’t devices that usually get rated against each other but my primary criteria puts them both in the same category; they monitor steps and sleep, have a silent alarm, receive call and text notifications, are waterproof and importantly both are small enough not to be bulky on a small wrist (and are moderately priced).
The Garmin also provides a screen and some more sensors which I’ll mention later.
Continue reading

Syncing My Time – Googasync

My mobile phone is a Nokia. A real Nokia, running Symbian, not one of these Windows upstarts. I love it, it does everything I want a phone to do and does it very well. I can run my life almost entirely from it (although blogging usually requires a real computer at some point).

But as I do run my life from it, it requires me to keep track of my calendar on it, and therein lies a tale.

I have a variety of Google calendars, to track various things; my own activities and family birthdays being just two. This means they can be shared among people who need to have some idea of where I am at any given time. Of course Google do provide a mobile web interface to their calendars but its interface is almost entirely unusable and it relies on having a data connection so that was never going to be sufficient.

Until recently therefore I had synced my main calendar with my phone using the ‘Mail For Exchange’ application which comes free with the phone. This was really forcing it to do something it didn’t really like and the result was that I had my main Google calendar synced to a (secondary) calendar on my phone and resorted to the web to view the others.

I might well have continued like this indefinitely had this connection not stopped working recently and curious I looked around for something else.

I found Googasync. It’s a native Symbian application and although a paid for application it does have a free fourteen day trial. So I downloaded it and had a play.

The picture on the website had tempted me with a pair of screenshots, one of several Google calendars and another of the same calendars on the phone. Could it really do that? Well I started the application, entered my username and password and went to the select calendars option. It crashed.

I opened it and tried again. It crashed again.

Slightly irritated, I decided to give it an alternative chance to prove itself. I open it and clicked on the big ‘Sync’ button. This ran me through the settings screens again but this time I refrained from trying to sync more than one calendar. Having refused its option to delete entries from my existing calendar (bear in mind that my default calendar was not used by ‘Mail For Exchange’ I let it sync. This time, there was success. Each calendar now contained all previous items from both calendars.

From this point it seemed happy to go through the process of downloading my list of calendars from Google and syncing the ones I asked. Yes, this was exactly what I had wanted all along. My next challenge was to send a support query to find out if I would need to reinstall if I purchased it and more importantly to prove there was someone at the end of the company and that going through the purchase process would result in a downloadable (and usable) application.

That done, I did indeed purchase it and really I only wish I’d discovered it sooner. It’s not complicated, it just does what I want and really that’s all any application should do.


  • It syncs multiple Google calendars to multiple Nokia calendars (syncing the main Google calendar to the default phone calendar).
  • It automatically re-syncs at intervals if you want (or manually if you don’t).


  • It’s a paid for application and the initial price shown is excluding VAT.
  • Support is slow. I had to wait several days for a reply to my query. I doubt I’ll get much help if it goes wrong.
  • Automatic syncing is limited to a simple interval. There’s no concept of peak times.

Pondering Getting Fit The Lazy Way

I’d like to be fitter. Not ‘running a marathon’ fit but more just a little all-round fitter.
We do have a Wii and indeed Wii Fit Plus but these days it always seems as though I’d have to throw somebody out of the lounge to use it. So wouldn’t it be a good idea to make more of my everyday activities and try and measure them and therefore motivate myself to extend them. With this in mind I started doing some research into what technical toys would help me with this because a) I’m a geek and b) how better to avoid actually doing any exercise than Googling about it. I started with the FitBit because I’d heard them mentioned quite a lot recently. Continue reading

Inventing on the Move

What I need is a little device like a bluetooth headset. Hey, why don’t we actually make it a bluetooth headset while we’re at it. This device needs to record subvocalised speech and for added inventor points could also speech-to-text it onto my phone.
Then I wouldn’t need to type this with my thumbs.

(I’m claiming copyright for this one)