Saturday, March 19, 2011

Silence your iPhone but still receive important calls at night

I became annoyed at the calls and updates I was receiving in the middle of the night. I had to have my phone on in case one of my children needed me as they are of the age when they spend more nights at friends houses than they do at home.

Here's what I did to set it up:
1) go to your family members in Contacts and set a custom ringtone for each person (You can use the same ringtone for every one, I just like to hear who's calling without picking up the phone).
2) Download a ringtone that plays few seconds of silence.
3) Install the ringtone in iTunes
4) Sync the ringtone to your iPhone

Ok, now you're ready for the clever part. I know this is a kludge but Apple still has not created sound themes in iOS.

Change the ringtone to the silent ringtone you downloaded earlier.
Turn off all alerts and sounds (see the image).
Change the SMS tone to None.
Advise your family members that they will have to call from their own phones for you to hear the ringing. SMSs will not make noise.
I also turn off the vibrate mode as the phone will still vibrate for all SMS and calls.

When you wake, restore all your preferences. I set an alarm to remind myself to do this.

The great things about all this are:
You will still be contactible in emergencies.
Alarms will still sound as normal (unless it's a change of daylight savings, but that's another rant).
You can sleep without being woken by random messages and alerts but still see the alerts when you to wake.

The down side:
If they have lost their phone or the battery is flat then you will be uncontactable by mobile. They will have to ring the landline instead.

Friday, June 04, 2010

Drop Box

I've started using Dropbox to sync my files and make them available online at other locations. I find that having access to the most up-to-date version of a file across a number of devices is invaluable for saving time and effort.

Automation is king.

Update (2 Jan 2011): just successfully transferred a very large (44mb) PDF from my computer to the ipad via DropBox. Was the only program that succeeded. iTunes failed to do the same thing. Kept timing out.

PS: If you use the link on this blog to get to Dropbox then we both get an additional 250mb storage. They are offering 2gb for free which is enough for casual use.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Torchwood wallpaper

I created a simple black wallpaper with the Torchwood logo from the BBC television series for personal use.

All trademarks are the property of their respective owners etc...

Monday, April 20, 2009

USB device not recognised error

I recently moved job locations and plugged my flash drive into a Windows XP computer with no problems at all.
After a few days, however, the dreaded "USB device not recognised" error appeared.
I tried all the solutions online:
  • Turn computer power off at the wall
  • Uninstall USB drivers
  • Set USB sleep timer to never
None of them worked. I then realised that I had mapped a network drive to a new letter just before the problem appeared.
I went to and downloaded the USB Drive Letter Manager and edited the ini file to manually force the USB drives to the letter I specified.
It worked! I haven't had any issues since.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Getting Things Done

Here's a site I visited when I got started in GTD:
I carried one of these with a small number of cards for capturing data when it would take too long to get the right program running on my PDA.

I also made a couple PocketMods to carry around.

And you moght find this useful:

Add a good 4 colour pen to code entries and you're ready to rock.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Catastrophic failure of hard drive

I recently suffered from a hard drive failure that erased 2 weeks of data.
In order to prevent this from happening again, I've decided to move as many files and activities as possible online. This means using a number of web sites to complete work I would normally do on my computer.
Why do this, you ask?
Well, I now have a HTC Diamond so I can complete tasks while on the road. There are also a large number of sites that will integrate nicely with SMS reminders.
I'll compile a working list of site I'm using here.
In order to reduce the time installing software on new computers I'll also list software I consider essential and where to get them.

What software do you need to have and why?