Friday, November 23, 2012

Review: Day One journal app for iOS and Mac

"People today are busier than ever and rarely take even a minute to stop and reflect on the day".

This is a statement from Paul Mayne, creator of the 'Day One' journaling app for iOS and Mac, and I agree with it 100%.  It speaks to the rush-rush world that we all live in these days when we barely have a minute to sit down and think to ourselves, let alone reflect on an entire day.  

I absolutely can't believe how time is flying by these days, especially when I get exceedingly busy at work and it causes me to lose track of things even more.  One minute it's April and I'm enjoying the warm days of spring, then in the blink of an eye it's the end of summer, and another blink later and it's snowing in the middle of winter.  The years are just blowing by....and sometimes it's a bit disillusioning to me.  Actually, it's a lot disillusioning!

For this reason, I've always wanted to keep a write down some quick thoughts from any given day that I might otherwise forget and then be able to reference them in years to come to see where I've been, where I am, where I'm going, etc.  A way to re-live memories.  It's also a way to track ideas, goals, etc.

The problem with keeping a journal in the past was making it easy to keep up with it.  I'm not one to sit down and write with a pen and paper for 30 minutes to catch my thoughts from the day...I just don't have the time and it's inconvenient.  Keeping books of journals around is also clunky.  Whatever journaling mechanism I use, it needs to be fast and easy.  I tried doing it on a computer once, but unless I was where the computer was when I had a thought (which was not typically the case), I wouldn't do it.  So all of my previous attempts to keep a journal didn't work out.

And then came along the Day One app for iOS and Mac.  This single app completely opened the door to an easy, quick, effective, and elegant way to keep a personal journal wherever you are, whenever a thought hits you.  It's got just the right features to let you get your thoughts stays out of your way and lets you think.  It syncs across all of my iOS and Mac devices instantaneously and works on all of my Apple devices (one of which I have with me at all times).  So therefore, this became the perfect journaling solution for me and if you're looking for something like this then Day One might be just right for you too.

People who have read any of my other reviews on this blog know that I don't spend time talking about each and every feature of something when I review it.  There are already some great and very thorough reviews of Day One out there and I prefer to link to them instead echo them.  Here are some links to just a few:

  1. The New Day One -
  2. Day One:  A Gorgeous, Synchronized Journaling App -

So all of this being said, which are my favorite features of Day One?  They include:

  1. It works across all iOS and Mac devices, meaning I can always write when I want to on whatever device I'm using at the time.
  2. One button click to start a new entry.
  3. Automatic, instantaneous cross device synchronization.  
  4. I like the way the Mac app combines multiple entries from one day into a single entry and timestamps each one of them for a clean view of a single day.
  5. I like the auto adding of weather and location to entries.
  6. Tagging and search functionality to easily categorize and find entries.
If you're in the market for an iOS/Mac journaling app, give Day One a try.  I think you'll find, as I did, that it's just the ticket to get your journaling activities started....and keep it going.  

Sunday, October 21, 2012

GE F7 error on oven

I haven't written on my blog in a long time.  This has been a horribly busy year at work and everything else in life has been bounced around because of that so writing became a low priority.

But today I was motivated to write this quick post that I hope people are able to find using Google and use it to help them solve this miserable F7 error code with the GE Profile JTP56WA3WW (or JTP56WOA3WW) double wall oven.

We've had our oven for 11 years and for the most part everything has worked fine.  The one nagging problem that we've had intermittently over the years is that it occasionally starts beeping with the F7 error code on the display and this error basically shuts down the control panel and causes the temperature settings, timer, and clock to go crazy.

This seems to be a fairly well known issue with this oven (Google the model number and "F7 error" and you'll see) and I've tried many different internet remedies over the years that only temporarily fix the problem, and then it comes back again a few months later.  Then I stumbled onto the link below and it permanently solved the problem.

It seems that the oven control panel builds up a short circuit over time because of the way that the control panel ribbon cables attach to the circuit board passing through the metal control panel frame.  When the panel short circuits, the F7 error is displayed and the oven goes crazy.

The solution is described in the PDF located at this link on Appliance Blog (with text and photos):

What's described in the PDF takes only minutes to do and permanently solved the GE F7 error on my oven.  Never again will you be awoken by your oven going crazy and beeping in the middle of the night.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Using Photoshop Levels - Quick, easy, effective

Hello again, everyone!

It's been a long time since I've posted to my blog (about two months!).  I can blame life for that. :-)

In addition to a new role that I got at work that has created 15-hour work days recently, a lot of things have been going wrong or simultaneously breaking around our house and these things have taken high priority to resolve over everything else.  Washing machines, dishwashers, cars, you name it.  Things have not been going well...

But since I got a minute to breathe this weekend before heading out for a hike with my daughter, I came across this short article and decided to post it here because it makes some good points about using Levels in Photoshop for quick and significant fixes to the most common technical/exposure photography issues.

The article is located here:

For a variety of reasons (e.g., camera settings, exposure mistakes, etc) photos can sometimes come out of your camera looking flat and dull.  They lack the "pop" of a properly exposed and edited photo.  People often ask me what the fastest way is to fix this in Photoshop, but that single question opens up a Pandora's box of answers because there's always more than one way to fix things in Photoshop.

Since Photoshop is such a massive beast of a program, I often try to guide people to the easiest way of doing something and still obtain proper/usable results.  For the type of situation that I'm talking about above, often using the basic Levels function is enough.

Check out the steps in this article on a sample photo of your own, and if you like the results that you get then I suggest developing a further understanding of what Levels can do for you quickly and easily.  There are any number of tutorials available on websites like Digital Photography School and others.  Enjoy!