Keeping it simple to keep your sanity

I’m writing this blog post using the Notes app in my iPod. Last week I spent a few hours with WordPress’ Quick Post and lost the entire blog entry when I attempted to add an image. Usually I use the full Post function which allows saving of drafts as you go but I wanted to create a quick blog post (always good intentions but it rarely happens) and get back to other matters. Live and learn I suppose but at the time I was not best pleased! So until I find a better and more reliable way of composing blog posts (again!) it’s back to using a word processor and copy & paste.

There are a couple of things on my mind today. How best to compose blogs safely is one and the other is how to protect your data when technology fails completely.

For example, my iPod battery is beginning to fail after two years of heavy use and as a result I’ve lost a lot of data due to unexpected shutdowns and the factory restore. Its always the same, you think you’ve covered all the apps and transferred the important files and then you start the restore process and realise you missed an app like iFile (which stores all of my PDFs and office documents). Some are saved because they have to be uploaded from a desktop / laptop but most were downloaded using the inbuilt browser. Ach. Sometimes working offline in the ‘dead time’ between home and work isn’t a great idea.

So as I wait to see if I can get the battery replaced on my itouch 2g I’m keeping the digital content stored on it to a minimum. Even after it is fixed I want to ensure I don’t lose work in progress as easily again, so what are my options? I’m going to try using the Notes app to store blog posts in progress then email them out to my GMail account before logging into wordpress. If this works I might try the post-by-email option. Either way, I intend to keep a back up stage in my workflow and make it as simple as possible.

And what about files I’ve downloaded onto the iPod? Cloud services like GoogleDocs, Dropbox, Box.net are fine as they are quickly uploaded to a data farm somewhere else but they need wifi connectivity to operate. This will be an option with work in the future but at the moment cannot be considered especially because of these sites being blocked at work. There is free public access a few hundred metres away at the local library which while slow might provide a chance to backup or transfer.

Another alternative is to use Tumblr to record web links. The great thing is I can email links to my Tumblr blog at work. The only downside (except work access to view these links) is that post by email adds in the school disclaimer and I can’t see a way of preventing this from appearing in the post at the moment. Also, files have to be hosted elsewhere so this is not practical as an all-in-one solution. However I am a fan of Tumblr and feel it is slightly easier to post content quickly than, say, Posterous.

So in summary keeping it simple but safe is the best way to protect your data and sanity when using devices which require Wifi to transfer files. I need to keep that at the forefront of my mind when working and learning using my mobile device in 2012.

No regrets: Trust your own judgement in 2012

Wow. It’s here. Already.

A thought struck me today. It has been approximately four years since we found our current home. It wasn’t exactly the 1st of January, but it was the first weekend of 2008. We saw our house twice that weekend and bought it on Monday. There was no need for discussion, it was purely heart over head and for the good of the family. I’m not the kind of person that does this often but the speed of progress from first viewing to calling our solicitors at 9am Monday to sealing the deal that morning was head-spinning. Nevertheless we knew it was meant to be and in those four years we have never regretted the life changing impulse buy. It all worked out right. We rode our luck, pushed the boundaries, forced the issue at some key moments but it happened as we planned and on a very snowy day in March we made the move and never looked back.

 

On 1st January 2008 I had not made the resolution to move house. We had been in our previous home just over 2 1/2 years. This move had been made due to family necessity and we had spent a long time agonising over details and area. Head over heart won out and we maxed our budget over square footage. I’ll be honest: I hated the place but buying a house is a big investment of time, money and trust and I didn’t want to admit that I’d made a mistake. We put our efforts into personalising as far as we could but the disappointment and regret simmered on and on. It wasn’t a happy time.

I made resolutions last year which were mostly successful, but not in the way I’d planned. I did manage to find a new job, but it wasn’t the one I’d planned and prepared for. Like my house it was a very quick turnaround from application to interview to acceptance. Like my house there was luck and boundary pushing involved on the day of the interview. However it also marked convergence of my interests, experience and conversations with other educators. It was the right move at the right time.

So this year I’m going to continue to refine and improve like everyone else and I’m going to trust my judgement in making the right move at the right time. I’m going to enjoy any new experiences that occur along the way. No regrets. Happy New Year!