Social Media Links

After successfully adding a logo to my header, I’ve decided to continue tweaking the Travelling Banana site. Today I added a few Social Media links. You can find them just under the Travelling Banana logo or if you’re visiting on a mobile device, drop down the menu (the three lines often referred to as the hamburger) and you’ll see them pop up.

In case you’ve been living on Pluto or you’ve actually been busy doing more important things, you may not know what some of those hieroglyphics mean.

Here’s a quick guide on the Social Media icons I have added to my site.

TumblrTumblr – pronounced “tumbler” is a microblogging platform and social networking website. Often contains a mixture of art, design, photos and videos. It has been around since Feb 2007

TwitterTwitter – Twitter is an online social networking service that enables users to send and read short 140-character messages called “tweets”.  It’s been around since Mar 2006.

FlickrFlickr – pronounced “flicker” is an image and video hosting website owned by Yahoo. It’s a popular website for users to share and embed personal photographs since Feb 2004.

PinterestPinterest – Pinterest is a visual discovery tool that you can use to find ideas for all your projects and interests. It has been around since Mar 2010.

Google+Google+ – pronounced and sometimes written as “Google Plus” is an interest-based social network that is owned and operated by Google Inc. It has been around since Jun 2011.

Have you noticed how a lot of these social media sites launched in February or March apart from Google – I wonder why?

This is only a small selection of a vast amount of social media sites that are popping up all over the place.


Here are a few of my doodles that you can find on Tumblr


 

Travelling Banana Site Icon

WordPress have just released version 4.3, also known as “Billie”.

One of the new functions of this release, which I’ve already implemented, is the Site Icons feature.

Site icons represent your site in browser tabs, bookmark menus, and on the home screen of mobile devices. Add your unique site icon in the customizer; it will even stay in place when you switch themes. Make your whole site reflect your brand.

So if you are looking at this post (or anything on my website) whilst on your computer or laptop you should now see a mini banana just left of the travellingbanana.com url in the browser.

Can you see it?

If you are on your mobile device such as an iPad or iPhone you can add me to your homescreen using the Add to Homescreen feature.

You will now have a funky smiling banana as an icon. It should look something like this:-

Now you can have a useful visual identification to help you find one of your favorite websites :-)
Now you can have a useful visual identification to help you find one of your favorite websites 🙂 and a convenient link on your mobile device.

If you are visiting from an Android device, let me know the options you have and I will add those instructions here too?


You can find out more about this new WordPress release here

Functions in Pages that are different on the iPad and Mac

Apple’s Pages is their equivalent to Microsoft’s Word and is available on both the iPad and Mac. You may have discovered a few differences on how to achieve the same result or thought that some options are just not available. However, some of the functions in Pages can be accessed a different way depending on what device you are using.


Here are a couple of functions in Pages that are different on the iPad and Mac and how you can still access them by navigating to them a slightly different way.

HOW TO LOCK AND UNLOCK OBJECTS

Sometimes you need to lock or unlock an object such as a photo so that it does not move and stays in a certain area in your document – for example the object moves with text or the text wraps around the object.

Mac version

  1. Select one or more objects, then tap the brush icon
  2. Click Arrange, then click Lock. If you don’t see Lock then the object is probably set to Move with Text. To turn that off – Click Wrap and turn off the Move with Text option.

how to do the same on the iPad

Lost Numbers Day

It’s official, those numbers have returned…but I lost a day so lets make up for it now!

Yesterday, April 8th 2015, marked Lost Numbers Day…a day when the Lost hatch numbers fell back into alignment.

4   8   15   16   23   42


If you don’t recognize those numbers let me explain.

Lost (2004–2010) was a television series, created by J.J. Abrams and Damon Lindelof, about the aftermath of a plane crash on a mysterious tropical island somewhere in the South Pacific.

So why was April 8th 2015 Lost Number Day?

April 8th 2015
April 8th 2015

The first three numbers in the sequence relate to the fourth month (April), the day (8th) and the year (2015) but how do you explain the next three numbers? Well it’s the time 16:23:42 as shown in 24 hour clock mode as the Hour:Minutes:Seconds

The Numbers

In 1988, slightly more than 16 years before the crash of Oceanic Flight 815, Danielle Rousseau’s science team picked up a mysterious short-wave transmission from the island. The transmission was merely six numbers repeated over and over again: 4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42. She wasn’t the only one who heard them. The same transmission was also picked up by a U.S. Navy long wave transmission monitoring station where Leonard Simms and Sam Toomey worked.

find out more

The Best Stylus

The Best Stylus to buy has always been a tricky venture. Ever since iOS and Android devices have been designed with their finger friendly screens there’s always been a limitation when drawing or writing on occasions. It’s a bit of a minefield and as Apple seem to refuse to make a stylus for their own products it’s left to other manufacturers to come up with a solution.

Each one has their own special quirk and has often some alliance to one particular app, so unless you have the app the pen will work with to get the most out of the pressure sensitivity and other features you’re not going to be getting the full user experience even though you’ve paid full price!

The JaJa Pressure Sensitive Stylus. Worked great at the beginning but the first one had to be replaced and my second one just does not want to connect.
The JaJa Pressure Sensitive Stylus. Worked great at the beginning but the first one had to be replaced and my second one just does not want to connect and makes strange electrical noises

I’ve used a number of styluses from the cheap $0.99 version that feels so thin and cheap in your hands and ends up having to be dragged forcibly across your screen to the polar opposite end of the fancier pressure sensitive pens that can set quite a dent in your pocket. Which all means trying to find THE pen is extremely difficult. I don’t want you to fall for the uber cheap version but I understand you may feel wary parting with large amounts of money. Luckily I have boldly ventured forth on your behalf and can at least share my experience so far.

I’m using two different stylus or should that be styli. The main one I have been using is the JaJa Pressure Sensitive stylus from HEX3 but I’ve had some issues with connectivity and pressure sensitivity so I’m not going to recommend it here, even though I really do enjoy using it.

If I love it why am I not recommending it to you?

Well, I’m on my second pen. The first one failed to connect to the apps as promised and the button just did not work. Not to be deterred I got a replacement but this one also failed to work. The connection was better but the pressure sensitivity would not work because 90% of the time it would not come on and would make an awful electrical buzzing noise. I still have both but they are used purely as non working “insensitive” pens! Sorry HEX3 but that’s the bottom line. I really wanted to love this pen but you have ignored my emails to try and get the problem sorted but you’ve gone dark so I guess I’m on my own with broken styli!

However, not holding a grudge I’ve kept an eye on their new developments and they appear to have been working hard on some new and hopefully better models which look interesting and work across multiple devices. Maybe they’ve just been too busy developing to answer any concerns from past customers. Anyway, the proof will be in the pudding and if I venture down this route I will report my findings. I’ve been extremely disappointed by this company so I’m not too confident ordering from them again but I will showcase their new range within this article so you can make your own decision.

Continue reading The Best Stylus

Drawings and Doodles on Tumblr

The Picture Window – my adventures with an iPad, stylus and Tumblr.

I’d like to share a selection of my most recent doodles and drawings that can be found on my Tumblr account – The Picture Window. They are drawings plucked from my creative mind or inspired by surroundings or my interests.

Tom & Jerry up to their old cat and mouse tricks
Tom & Jerry up to their old cat and mouse tricks

I had been drawing some well known cartoon characters for a while that were full of bold colors and larger than life features and I really enjoyed the challenge of trying to capture everyone’s favorite cartoon icons. It’s harder than you think!

Mickey Mouse
Mickey Mouse

I then started to explore black and white doodling. One of my favorites is Moonlight. It’s very simple but sometimes the moon really is that big and makes you feel very small.

I made the drawing using the app Paper by 53. It really does make it easy to pick up your device and start drawing. Paper by 53 is just like using an old fashioned piece of paper. There are no fancy layers or hundreds of options to delete your work. You have a selection of pens and pencils of varying strengths and thicknesses, a palette of colors with a mixer option, a great zooming in feature for all the small detail and an eraser. With only these options available it really focuses the mind just like using the real thing.

Moonlight
Moonlight

The drawing of the cat on the lined paper is not my drawing but one I found amongst the many talented artists who post their work on Tumblr.

Sneakers
Sneakers

The featured image of the sneakers I’ve used to illustrate this post was quick and easy to do. I was really pleased with the results and I hope it conveys a sense of relaxation when you look at it. Even though I didn’t define any legs I think it gives the illusion that there are actually some there. My mind seems to fill in the blanks. I’m also hoping that the actual shoe looks like it is filled with a foot so I tried not to make it look flat and lifeless.  Did it trick your mind too?

which stylus do I use…read on

WordPress Fun and Foibles

I have tried many times to create a website and have used WordPressQuestion-Mark-Dice-Blue-1500x1500 consistently…at least the choice was consistent…the actual content production, not so much. The reason, I have discovered, has been a number of factors.

WordPress itself – it has always been reputed as being easy to use, easy to set up and you’ll be up and running in no time. Yes that is true, for the most part, and I like a lot of their features, but sometimes it can be rather frustrating and you can’t always find the solution to what seems a simple question!

Let’s try adding a video to a post for example. There’s a lovely button that says Add Media and this is where you will find a much streamlined and fast way to upload your images and videos. It works like a dream for photos and with the new drag and drop feature it’s very smooth and extremely quick.

Add Media

So armed with the new Twenty Fifteen theme from WordPress I gaily attempted to add a video to a post I had written about the World Cup 2014. Just as images are really easy to add to your post I thought it would be the same with videos. Can you guess what happened next? Not a lot of content uploading or writing but lots of frustration, a stiff neck and a headache…so I gave up.

Not to be defeated, I returned the next day having consulted various videos and information on the wonderful web of wisdom and no-one seemed to be having any trouble with embedding a video as long as you were using YouTube, Vimeo and any other social media third-party that allows you to copy their link or use their pre-made embed code. But WordPress make it possible to upload my video without having to get an account anywhere else. I don’t have a YouTube account, I have a WordPress website and that’s where I would like my content to sit so I don’t have to login anywhere else.

Video Embed & Thumbnail Generator
Video Embed & Thumbnail Generator

So the proof is in the pudding and now that I have found a wonderful plugin (which, even though good, I really should not have to use) it now works. So thank you Kyle Gilman for your Video Embed & Thumbnail Generator which can be found on WordPress.Org Plugins

The now fully embedded World Cup 2014 video can finally be viewed here

Ambient Weather Solarbag Adventurer2 Emergency Solar Hand Crank Radio

Charges by 6 different ways: Solar, Hand Crank, AAA Batteries, AC, DC or car charger.
Charges by 6 different ways: Solar, Hand Crank, AAA Batteries, AC, DC or car charger.

 

For a while now, we’ve had our eye on a radio and this is the one we’ve finally bought. It arrived from Amazon in a large package with quite a few other treats but let’s not worry about those when this was the star of the show!

First of all here’s his full title:

AMBIENT WEATHER WR-335-SOLARBAG ADVENTURER2 EMERGENCY SOLAR HAND CRANK AM/FM/SW/WB WEATHER ALERT RADIO, FLASHLIGHT, SIREN, SMART PHONE CHARGER AND SOLAR BAG KIT

We get all of that for the great value price of $99.99 plus free two day shipping – don’t you just love Amazon Prime. The other great thing is that it shipped via USPS so we didn’t have to stick 20 messages on the front gate especially for our friends at UPS (not to be confused with USPS). The great thing when they deliver using the United States Postal Service is, just like Santa, they use their special super powers to open all the doors not matter whether your a small condo complex or the Portifino – how do they do that? But that’s for another article.

Let’s have a look at what features are packed into this small compact radio.

Check it out

Bond Tracker for iOS

Everyone has their favorite Bond growing up and with every passing generation there’s a new Bond actor, movie and book. This app helps you track everything Bond.


James Bond, Licenced to Thrill

Splash Screen
Bond Tracker Splash Screen

Everyone has a favorite Bond and a James Bond they remember growing up with. There have been so many books, movies and even video games spanning a total of 60 years since it’s first conception in 1953 by author, journalist and naval intelligence officer Ian Lancaster Fleming that we thought we needed a handy device to log all this great entertainment.

This app was a lot of fun to create. As well as being huge fans of Bond, we love putting together useful apps to help make life a little more fun and a little easier to handle especially when there is so much information out there.

Have you looked at the web lately, phew, you can get lost out there.

We started to find that we just couldn’t remember what we had watched – call it loss of brain matter or the advancing years creeping up on us I guess! Was there a new movie, book or game out that we’d be interested in and if there was wouldn’t it be great to have something handy to help us find the info as well as help us remember too.

We’ve done the hard work for you. Let me be your Q and explain how this app works…and Bond, please do try not to break it…

the following content is for your eyes only