Autodidact: self-taught


Electronic Tools for the Autodidact

by V. L. Craven

I’ve had my iPod Touch eight months and would like to update and add information for this post.

($5 & worth every penny) I could wax lyrical about AwesomeNote all day. It’s a calendar, a to do list, a place to jot down ideas… I use it every day and it’s the sort of tool that helps you both  be more productive and feel more productive. Ticking things off during the day and at the end of the day is quite satisfying.

Here is a review from the Chronicle of Higher Education that lists the pros and cons (mostly pros) of Awesome Note.

($10)  Track and Share is great for those of us who love
graphs. Highly customisable, you can track anything you’d like (I keep up with migraines, time writing, number of words written, daily productivity, exercise info, etc.) It converts that information into graphs so it can be easily visually compared.

They also have an app to help track symptoms of people with autism, which is very useful for parents of autistic kids.

($6) Office2 (read Office Squared). Supports importing and exporting files to Dropbox. I only wanted to be able to access spreadsheets and text documents and most office apps are quite expensive. This is probably the best app for people who simply want access to their documents on their iOS device.  This  is a useful review.

Cons: Dropbox is better for just reading your documents–rather than editing them, as Office2 doesn’t display formatting the way it looks on your actual computer screen. Dropbox doesn’t allow you to edit files, but doesn’t give you a heart attack when you loko at a file and it looks completely different from how you expect it to do.

(free) Oh, Dropbox , how I love thee. The mobile app allows you to browse everything in your Dropbox folder that isn’t an OpenOffice or LibreOffice file. It also allows you to save photos in your Dropbox folder to your photos organiser. You can also save documents to your mobile device.

You can also download Project Gutenberg files directly to dropbox, though I’m not certain of the application of that, as you can directly open Kindle files from the Gutenberg site with your Kindle app.

(free) CloudReaders . This is the app I use for reading comics. It supports PDF, CBZ, ZIP, CBR and RAR format, though I use Adobe Reader (see next entry) for PDFs. Reading a comic book on an iPod screen takes some adjustment, but it’s nice to be able to carry all of the Sandman and Lucifer series in my pocket.

(free) Excellent for list-lovers, Springpad is great for to-do lists, shopping lists, to-watch/read/drink lists, etc. To add an item, put in a title and Springpad searches sites like Amazon and gives options from which to choose. You can even share lists. My husband and I can both add items to the grocery list. You can even access your lists online .

(free) Chrome. iOS comes with Safari and it’s fine, but I like having my tabs and bookmarks automatically on all of my devices (an Asus EEETop running Windows 7, an Asus netbook running Linux Mint Maya and an iPod Touch 4g running iOS6). Other than the bookmark usefulness thing, there isn’t an obvious difference. Except! Tapjoy , which I enjoy greatly, doesn’t work with Chrome.

(free) Adobe Reader . There are several apps that allow you to read PDFs, but the Adobe Reader app has mark-up capabilities. Sexy, sexy mark-up capabilities.


Useful Info for Ipod Touch 4g (Part 1)

by V. L. Craven

This week’s Useful Info post is late because I got a new iPod Touch 4g and have been setting it up properly. When new technology comes into my life, it must be poked and prodded and brought to heel. And this was very new to–it’s my first touch device.

As much as I love technology, I don’t have to have the newest thing the second it’s released. My previous iPod was a Classic and it lasted five years before needing to be retired last week (because I can’t live without music). And I am quite taken with this addition to my gadget arsenal.

Here are some links and information I needed to set up my iPod (her name is Lilith, as I name anything that appears to be alive–including technology).

 “Waiting for sync to start” error

You can set up your iPod so it opens iTunes when connected to your computer. However, occasionally, you may receive the error “waiting for sync to start”. It’s better to open iTunes and then connect your iPod. If you receive the “waiting for sync to start” error, eject your device, restart iTunes and reconnect your device.


“Username or password for “” is incorrect” error

When setting up your gmail account, you may receive this error.

1.] Make sure you’re using your full email address, not just your usename.

2.] It could be that you need to let gmail know your new device is indeed yours by going here
(Hat tip to the responder in this thread.)


Turning off the Shutter Sound

Settings > sounds > “The volume of the ringer and alerts will not be affected by the volume buttons” turn to ‘on’


Accessing Playback Controls While iPod is Locked

You don’t have to unlock your iPod; just double click the home button.

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