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I bought a iPad game called small world. It’s based off a board game that was highly rated. Though I haven’t played the board game, from what I can tell, the iPad version is like the board game except with bugs. Some abilities didn’t count towards the conquering of other races.

The iPad version only allows two players whereas the board game does four, but that’s not an issue for us. I mainly bought the game so we’d have something to do while we were waiting around for something or other.

Well, Chris is enjoying the game immensely and wants to play the game even while we’re not waiting for something or other. So I’m wondering if any of you have any suggestions for games similar to this game, preferably on the iPad. Or just any suggestion for 2 player games on or off the iPad. We have several board games for 3 or more, but there’s currently justChris and me, so two player games are what we’re looking for. Thanks!

Crossposted to Samantha Ling, Dreamwidth and Livejournal

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So late Friday night, of rather really early Saturday morning. l made myself a better stylus using the body of the pogo stylus. I saw that Crabfu had used an old drafting pencil. I couldn’t find my old ones, so I set out to find some. Unfortunately, Joann’s craft store didn’t have any in their art section and neither did Office Max. I could go down to the art store, but it would cost me ten dollars in tolls and gas to get one. You can find a decent one online for $10-15.

But what I did find at the craft store was this copper wire in the jewelry section. They have several different kinds of wire so make sure to buy the copper one and not the aluminum one. You could totally buy the sterling silver wire if you wanted a very expensive ghetto stylus. The craft wire comes in varying colors and gauges. Get the thicker wire or it will be too flimsy. Also, buy the copper one. I don’t want you to go home with something that’s non-conductive.

Instead of conductive foam, l used a scotch Brite sponge.

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You only need like a centimeter of the sponge. I tried a couple of different things because I tried to make the stylus look more like a pen and tried to hide the copper wire. It didn’t work out. The great thing about the sponge is that you can still use it to scrub stuff. You have plenty of stuff left.

For the pen body, I use an old Pilot Bp-s. I’m not going to rehash the instructions. This is my final result.

Don’t as me why it sticks out so far. I was trying to do something with the pen that didn’t work. I just kept the length. The one thing that I’m having issues with is keeping the craft wire in contact with the Sponge. It keeps wanting to come out the top. Taping it didn’t help much. I think it’s just part of having an open ended pen.

The great thing is that the sponge is not falling apart. I wrote this whole thing in writepad using the ghetto stylus. And even if the sponge did fall apart, I can just cut up more of the sponge.

Overall, I would choose this over my pogo.

Copper wire : $2.50
Sponge : $1
Pen body : $0 or if you don’t have an old pen lying around, the pilot pen is $2. But you’ve got to have an old pen lying around. Any old pen will do.

Total : $3:50-5

pogo stylus: $12 and already falling apart.

Crossposted to Samantha Ling, Dreamwidth and Livejournal

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I can’t sleep, So I surfed the internet. I discover that Scotch Brite brand sponges are conductive. I looked in our supplies and found some unused ones. I busted it out of its packaging to find out it it’s true. Or, like many things on the internet, full of lies. Turns out it’s totally true.

So I cut myself a hunk off the sponge and attached it to pogo.

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It’s hella ugly. But you know what? It is totally way better than conductive foam. I don’t need to press hard at all. The thing is though, don’t wash it before you put it together. I mean, you could, but my sponge always gets hella hard when it dries. Noe if you know a way to wash it without getting hard and dense, let me know. Otherwise, don’t wash it first.

I thought that it needed to be wet because water is conductive, but no. My sponge is dry and it works. I wouldn’t try a wet one on here!!

I used craft wire to secure it. I had some from making jewelry.

Tomorrow, l will try Jerry rigging this to a real pen.

I saw something on the net that looks real easy to do. I just need to find me a drafting pencil.

I’m going to try to sleep now. Wish me luck!

Crossposted to Samantha Ling, Dreamwidth and Livejournal

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It’s the end of iPad week and I wasn’t sure what to write about. I could talk about apps, carrying cases, bags, screen protectors, other accessories. I may write about them eventually. I may not do a whole week like this week. Not sure how many of you regulars care. I think random people might stumble by who care. I’m sure you want to get back to the fish journal. I know you love the fish. But I’m getting sidetracked here.

I’ve decided to write about the pogo sketch stylus because I have strong feelings about this. How ipad and iphone touch screens work is by conductivity. It has to do with electrostatic fields. This is why any old stylus doesn’t work and neither does your perfectly manicured fingernails. You basically need something that conducts electricity.

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This is where the pogo Stylus comes in. It’s a stylus that has a little foam piece at the end. It’s not pointy because these devices are made for fingers and our fingers aren’t pointy like a pencil. Unfortunately, this means that we will never have a stylus similar to the Wacom tablets.(but I can still hope.)

The foam piece at the end is a little piece of conductive foam. It’s the same stuff that’s used to keep your computer ram safe from static charge. Now if you have that lying around or can find it really cheap, you can DIY a stylus. They are all over the interwebs. All you need is an old pen and some copper wire or an old drafting pencil. I did not have foam nor copper wire. It was not cost prohibitive to go out and buy some just to try out my handwriting recognition app. So I just bought the stylus. Was cheaper in the short term.

Here is the thing about the foam. Like any soft materials that gets rubbed against a surface, even a very smooth surface, it will begin to wear down. I’ve only had this for a day and it’s already deforming horribly. If you plan on using the stylus for handwriting recognition software, you are better off using your finger. This thing won’t last a week. You have to press the stylus down a little bit hard for the pad to recognize your strokes.

You can see that it’s already deforming from writing this entry using WritePad (an app that I may or may not review later.)

Someone in their garage invention lab needs to create a substance that is capacitative, soft enough not to damage the screen, and yet durable enough to withstand constant use. Until then, we have to make due with squishy foam. (Or in the case of a different brand, a brush- like tip. I don’t find that a viable alternative for writing.)

It’s also too thin. Your hand may get cramped writing with it for any period of time. But since it was originally made for the iphone, portability was important. Portability isn’t such a big deal for me, so I want something that’s thick like a pen.

I think if they made replacement foam tips, I would be more inclined to recommend this stylus. But since there isn’t, I’d say skip this altogether. For as much as this costs, it should last more than a few days. As of right now, it’s a total waste of money. Wait for something better or just save your money altogether and use your finger.

Crossposted to Samantha Ling, Dreamwidth and Livejournal

ling: (pic#253518)

I’ve been using google docs a lot lately due to the various devices and computers that I’ve been using. It keeps me from having to connect everything together. Documents to Go allows you to work with google docs (along with several other cloud syncing services like drop box and the like, but I haven’t used those so I don’t know if they work well). You have to by the premium edition (which costs $5 more).

The thing is that it doesn’t quite keep all the formatting. Here’s a document that I started in Docs2Go.

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This is a document that I created in Docs2Go with the built in tabs.

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Unfortunately, it doesn’t transfer over.

The alternative is just to do spaces instead of using the tab. The indent on google docs defaults to 4 spaces. So if you do four spaces in docs2go, it’ll transfer over. If you download it back into Word, the four spaces are still there. You can just write a macro to search and replace the four spaces and reformat the document so that the first line of each paragraph indents a certain amount. It’s a little bit of a pain and an extra step, but it’s the only solution that I’ve got.

The good thing about this combination is that docs2go allows you to work on the documents offline and then sync it afterwards.

I know that quick office also has the ability to could sync, but I haven’t used that one in a while, so I can’t talk about how well that works with google docs.

Though there are formatting issues between these two programs, it’s not enough for me to go out and look for another program. Let me know if you’ve used other programs that work better with google docs.

Crossposted to Samantha Ling, Dreamwidth and Livejournal

ling: (pic#253518)

I am using Documents to Go to do all of my writing and editing. I had it on the iphone so I could look at documents sent to me via work. All the documents I received were in word or excel format and I never had any problems. I also read several manuscripts this way.

I didn’t notice a problem until I tried to download an rtf of a manuscript. I didn’t understand why I couldn’t download the file.

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This is from the native ipad mail program. When you hold down the attachment icon, a popup comes on letting you choose between open in native reader or open it in documents to go.

Not so much with RTF.

Or txt.

If you read the documentation from dataviz, you’ll see that both txt and rtf are supported files. However, it just won’t let you download from the native email client.

You can transfer txt files using the Docs2Go desktop wireless sync, which bypasses the need to boot up itunes and hook up the ipad. But it doesn’t support syncing of rtf files. I don’t even know how else to sync it, but docs2go has been around for so long that they really should have that ability, but whatever. It all became pretty moot anyway.

I downloaded the rtf to my laptop thinking that I could convert it to doc, but word just decided that it wanted to capitalize various sections of the manuscript. I was just screwed either way.

Luckily, in this strange wacky world of ours, we have choices. And those choices won’t bankrupt us. I downloaded Goodreader, which allowed me to download the rtf attachment using its internal email and managed to open it up perfectly. No funky caps in random sections. It also allows you to open docs, pdfs, txts,etc. And it only cost me $.99.

I wouldn’t necessarily recommend docs2go, but it’s what I got. When reading reviews about Pages and quickoffice, it seems that they have problems of their own. So the choice seems to be between 3 evils.

If all you need is the ability to read files, from my very limited experience with goodreader, I would suggest that instead. It’s the difference between a dollar and ten.

Crossposted to Samantha Ling, Dreamwidth and Livejournal

ling: (pic#253518)

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Did I tell you that it’s ipad week? I’ve had it for about two weeks and I’m totally enjoying it. I’ve used it for all sorts of things besides checking email and surfing the web. I’ve used it to write lots of stuff and playing games. I’ll talk about writing stuff in another post.

This one is about the Griffin ipad stand. It’s made out of metal and is about 1.2 pounds. I had bought it to take on the plane with me so I could watch movies. But I’ve ended up using it quite a bit around the house. In conjunction with the mini bluetooth keyboard, I can type pretty easily in any sitting or lying position. I just prop it up on the couch beside me or the side table or my big belly.

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Here’s a size comparison between the keyboard and the iphone. They are about the same size, but the keyboard is much lighter and much thinner. I can pretty much touch type with this thing and I can type just as fast as using the three finger method on the onscreen keyboard, I have to say that I really didn’t like this keyboard when I first got it, but I don’t see how I could do without. It still clacks like a mother though and the bluetooth sucks down the battery life.

So back to the stand. I didn’t get the ipad dock because you can only orientate it in portrait mode. The stand can hold it either way and I wanted it in landscape for movie watching. There’s a gap at the bottom where you can plug in the power cord and have it orientated in portrait.

When folded down, it gives you a tilt.

I like this stand except for the weight. I wasn’t thinking about that when I bought it. Between it and the ipad, that’s about 3.5 pounds that you’re already toting around. The case and stand combinations are about half a pound lighter. I didn’t choose to get the case and stand combination is that the reviews say that the build quality wasn’t so great in those. But it’s not like I’ll be hiking through the Appalachians. That half pound going between flights in Texas won’t be that big of a deal. The layover is only about an hour. And I think that I might be carrying that much in discarded receipts in my purse everyday.

Overall, I like this stand and would recommend it. I’ll let you know how well it goes on the flight to DC.

Crossposted to Samantha Ling, Dreamwidth and Livejournal

ling: (pic#253518)

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At lunch the other day, I didn’t recognize something that came on my plate. I asked Chris what it was and he said that it was butter for my potato. Durrrr….

I don’t know why my brain didn’t recognize it. I blame it on the previous night’s insomnia.

Do you like the graphics in that photo? I did it using Photogene on the ipad. It’s $4.99 and comes with some basic photo editing options like crop, rotate, some basic filters, red-eye remover and some basic shapes. It also has the ability to put together some basic borders like the one seen above.

I had to transfer the photo from my iphone where I took it to the ipad. I did it by uploading to smugmug using smugshot. From the ipad, I browsed to the web page and downloaded from there. I hate having to connect to itunes twice just to transfer one photo.

In actuality, I had downloaded camera for ipad thinking that it was a photo transfer program, but it’s not. I misunderstood its intended use. That program connects your ipad and iphone and uses the ipad like a remote control. It’s the stupidest thing I’d ever seen. Why would you use your ipad to take a picture with your iphone? And it crashed constantly so I didn’t even get a chance to see if it worked well or what. I totally wasted $.99.

Crossposted to Samantha Ling, Dreamwidth and Livejournal

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So I recently received a mini bluetooth keyboard made by Brando. It’s an asian manufacturer so this thing came all the way from Hong Kong. I wanted this thing for portability. I already carry around a bunch of junk and I didn’t want to add to the weight. It’s about the size of the iPhone in both width and height and weighs next to nothing. In this department, this is totally a win. i wish the width was a little smaller since I have to stretch out a little bit to hit the middle keys, but it’s still way better than trying the onscreen keyboard. Since I’m so used to thumb typing anyway, this isn’t a problem.

Taken with SmugShot on my iPhone

It’s got a dedicated row of numbers and has arrow keys that work for moving around in a document, but it doesn’t work for highlighting. There’s no control key so you can’t copy and paste using hot keys. but since you can’t highlight anyway, I find that it’s a moot point.

It paired super easily with the ipad. Though there was a dinky little cd, the device came with no it other instructions. _ just turned it on and hit the button that looked like it was needed for pairing.

Charging it, though, looks like requires a laptop. It comes with a mini usb cord with a regular usb at the other end. I don’t like this at all because I like plugging things into the wall. I haven’t used it a whole bunch yet, so I don’t know how long this thing lasts on one battery charge.

There are tow things that I don’t like about it. the first is that the thing feels cheap like if I sit on it, I might break it. It’s really thin, which probably attributes to its light weight. this doesn’t bother me as much since I try to take care of my gadgets. what really bothers me is that the keys are hell a stiff. and they clack when you hit the keys. Remember way back in the day when cell phone buttons used to clack when you were making a call. Yeah, me neither. I’m surprised at how loud this thing is. I’m hoping that it will go away with some use, but I’m also afraid that the buttons might just stop working.

Another odd thing, but not worrisome is that there is the regular qwerty keys and above those keys are alternative characters like ‘”;_+=, which are blue and use the function key. But the keys above the number row use the shift key even though it is also blue.

The only thing going for it is that it’s only forty dollars. It’s cheap for a bluetooth keyboard. My initial recommendation is not to buy this keyboard. The keys are too hard to press and it’s loud. Find something else.

Crossposted to Samantha Ling, Dreamwidth and Livejournal

iPad:Day 1

Jul. 27th, 2010 02:26 pm
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I bought the iPad. I know some of you hate it and some of you love it. Some of you don’t understand the appeal. But I like gadgets and I had a little bit of a bonus from work plus gift cards from credit card rewards points, so I decided to use it for an iPad. It’s just the 16gb wifi version. I work from home and I have an iPhone, so there’s really no reason for me to shell out the extra $140 for the 3G version. I once had a phone that had Internet capability, but I never used it because I didn’t want to pay the connection fees and I’m pretty sure I’d do the same thing here.

Out of the box, I didn’t have any problems getting the iPad to connect to iTunes. My problem was that it synced to every app I had. This shouldn’t be a problem if you only have the iPad, but I had the touch before and it decided it was the same thing even though I said new device. Not sure if there was something I could have done about that, but I ended up spending time deleting apps and rearranging my display.

Typing on it sucks. Anybody who says they can thumb type on this thing had monster thumbs. Plus the ipad is kind of heavy. I don’t imagine people with carpal tunnel would be able to thumb type just for that reason.

Landscape is ok, but you’ve got to get used to where the keys are. What I don’t understand is that the f and j keys have little nubs on them like a real keyboard, like you can feel the numbs on the glass. Why bother making those graphics? You can’t feel the nubbins!!

The main problem with the landscape is that you don’t always know where your fingers are since you can’t feel the nubbins. And the lack of apostrophe on the main keyboard sucks. It makes typing so much slower. But then I’m typing this in landscape at a pretty decent pace, though there are still a few typos.

Another thing is that the screen smudges. When you look at the screen head on, it’s not a problem, but when you look at it an angle, it looks like you’ve been eating Fritos and then touching the screen.

Having briefly examined the apps that I have, I’m a little disappointed to see that I have to pay for a couple of apps again to get the iPad version. For instance Bejeweled, Scrabble, Echofon, and Words with Friends all require additional monies. It feels like the app developers decided that if you have enough money to buy an ipad, you have enough money to pay for these apps again. Yeah, not going to happen.

Of course I could just imbiggen the iPhone app, but that’s like watching regular tv on an HD tv. Everything is a little blurry. It’s not bothering me so far only because I don’t want to spend the money, but still annoying. Luckily, Documents to Go is nice and big and I don’t have to pay extra. It works perfectly fine, thank goodness. Quickoffice can suck it.

I’m waiting for my slip case and a stand to come. I haven’t bought a keyboard for it yet. I’m waiting to see if I need one. The one thing you have to factor in to the cost of these things is that you have to buy accessories and none of it is cheap. So I’ll be making a list of things that I’ll definitely need and a list of “would be nice”. Any of you have any suggestions?

Crossposted to Samantha Ling, Dreamwidth and Livejournal


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Samantha Ling

August 2013

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