Archive for July, 2016

Adidas MiCoach Fit Smart review

July 23, 2016 Leave a comment

Well, this is a very short and specific review.

They’re great – until the strap snaps. Since you try hard to get it tight to your wrist, that’s going to happen at some point – after 30 wearings in my case.

Then, because it’s moulded onto the body, you pretty much have to throw the whole thing away.

I’m currently looking at how to repair it – maybe some high tensile cloth superglued across the gap…

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Fake Xiaomi Power Banks and ‘Licensed manufacturers’

July 20, 2016 1 comment

I recently received a few Xiaomi power banks I bought on eBay here. Like an idiot, I bought the line about the ‘appearance differing slightly’ because of the manufacturer being ‘Xiaomi licensed’, but not Xiaomi original.

On the listing, they say:

Important notice: this product has two variations: one is originally Xiaomi factory made, and another is made by Xiaomi licensed factory.This listing represents Xiaomi Licensed product.It may look slightly different from the original factory made, and no Series bar but it is 100% legal and authorized by Xiaomi. Please review the license certificate attached.

Yeah, right. It just so happens that the fake described this site perfectly matches the ones I received.

Of course, if the manufacturer was licensed by Xiaomi, they would have given them genuine product verification stickers, so that when I checked the serial number on my scratch-off sticker’s, it would have been the first time anyone had checked it, rather than the 38,764’th.


So – I have three dodgy power banks that I bought for around half price. One arrived dead with a broken button, while the other two seem to work (although they may have half the capacity).

I’ve asked for a refund for the broken one. Once I receive that, I’ll threaten negative feedback, raising a paypal dispute, etc. and hopefully get a full refund. And then post the feedback anyway.

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Oxford Aquatex cover on my Blackbird

July 13, 2016 Leave a comment

Having given up on RJays, I’m now trying a cheaper option – Oxford Aquatex.

Arrived and put on today – let’s see how it handles Sydney weather. The “large with top box”size fits the Blackbird with a small top box perfectly. 

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Why do mind maps hide connections by default?

July 4, 2016 Leave a comment

Something that seems to be a consistent theme in mind mapping software, which is in conflict with one of their core purposes, is to hide relationships between nodes when they are un-expanded. In doing so, they limit the clarity for which many of us turn to them in the first place.


Hiding Relationships

This is the real killer. Many mind map apps allow you to have a ‘dotted line’ relationship between two nodes that aren’t in the same branch. For example, you may have an org chart, and want to show that a certain person is linked to three projects, so that you know where their influence and interest is. Another example might be linking a company to some clients they work with, or products they sell.

However, every mind mapping app I’ve seen, will hide the relationship if either one of the nodes are hidden. That is to say, if you’re viewing the person, but don’t have all the projects they might be related to at the same time, then there is no clue that there’s a relationship drawn between them. Why is this?!? Surely I need the app to at least hint at me that this person has relationships, and ideally navigate or hyperlink to them, otherwise it’s hiding that fact from me, and I lack visibility.

XMind is a good example of this: now you don’t see it:


But if I expand the Collateral node, now you suddenly do:



If I hadn’t deliberately expanded the Collateral node, I would have missed that vital link.




Hiding Filtered nodes

Another thing that Xmind specifically does, is not show you tasks unless you specifically display them. It has a filter to show tasks that are priority 1,2,3, etc… but if you’re not viewing those nodes specifically, you’d never be aware they existed. Again – why?


Let’s look at the P1 and P2 tasks I have, by applying a filter to highlight them


Phew. There’s only one of each, that’s easy.


Oh… hang on… what where those ones doing hiding under Retail??


It was because it was unexpanded.


You see the problem. You’re using a tool that’s intended to help improve your awareness and see the big picture, but yet it doesn’t show you that; it only shows you the picture that you specifically view. And that’s a problem.

There are solutions… I believe Mindjet Mind Manager will create a task list for you as a separate view, and TheBrain Personal Brain treats all relationships equally, and permits different types, allowing more of a ‘mesh’ of relationships than the traditional branch-and-leaf structure. But these tools grow because the other mind managers fall short – and I can’t understand why.

Categories: Uncategorized

Picturelife Update

July 3, 2016 4 comments

Picturelife is looking slightly heathier, but don’t trust it just yet.

It seems that I can now browse my photos on the mobile and web apps, and the photos actually pop up pretty quickly – they seem to have more funding for the EC2 instances to run the servers. Place browsing and timeline also work as they used to.

However… there’s plenty still broken, principally the most important parts – upload and download!

  • For upload, my iOS app will not even attempt to upload any photos (in the previous death throes, it did upload them but then showed a ‘cloud X’ icon implying the upload was rejected for some reason).
  • For download – you still can’t, at least not in bulk. I tried adding another album to my zip-to-download queue, and it just joined the other 15 months’ worth of photos showing the ‘creating zip…’ text

Also, search is still broken, which can make it tough finding a photo.


Again, a huge shame. I’ve just now subscribed to Dropbox, because Mylio was letting me down in a few areas. Mylio’s peer to peer protocol seems fantastic, but misses on a few key functionalities that you want in a photo app including:

  • Wanting to find and stream a video to your phone to show someone: Dropbox can do this, as could Picturelife of course
  • Wanting to edit and replace photos – such as creating montages, or splicing videos, then uploading the replacement. Mylio is limited to non-destructive whole-of-photo edits which are stored in the XMP sidecar file
  • Failing the ‘business-as-usual’ test; my wife hasn’t opened Mylio since last time I tried to tease her into using it by showing her old baby photos. And when I did, it had a queue of 150 photos with all sorts of P2P syncs that hadn’t completed by the time she closed the app again. Wishful thinking, but she’s just never going to use it to sort photos – at least Dropbox has location-based triggers that will, eventually, upload her photos even if she takes no action herself.
  • Failing the ‘photo clearout’ test. I wanted to wipe my camera roll once all had been uploaded, but I didn’t quite have the confidence with Mylio, despite this being its purpose. I asked “if I delete all my camera roll, even with the entire contents protected on my NAS, will it then detect the deleted photos, wipe them in Mylio’s app on my iPhone, and it also instruct my NAS to delete the photos?”. I just wasn’t sure…
  • No social aspect – no ability to send a folder or link to friends

I do like all the photo organisation options Mylio has such as person tagging and star rating, but it just isn’t working in practice, and I end up spending far longer trying to organise on my phone rather than just a big batch job I would otherwise do on my far more capable PC. Also, XMP files are great… until you remember that only a few semipro photo apps support them, and most apps you use to show those photos in the future – your TV browser, Apple TV, random iOS app – will likely ignore them.


So – I’ll give Dropbox a go. It doesn’t support photo tag editing, etc, but I can do that in Picasa and then it’ll sync to my devices… (right??).

Categories: Uncategorized

RJay cover quality is not what it used to be

July 1, 2016 Leave a comment

I posted a couple of updates on my RJays cover. I really need to replace it now. 

Remember this is the third one in five years – nothing more than Sydney sun and rain on it. 

I don’t think I’ll be getting a fourth RJays cover.

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