The PowerPoint Problem

I’m going to go through this slowly, because I’ve been having great difficulty making myself understood when I asked what I thought was a very simple question on Twitter about 6 hours ago. I’m still trying to clarify it – hence this blog post.

I’m making a PowerPoint presentation for a speech I’m giving next week.

I use PowerPoint for Mac to create presentations, and I’m making it on my Macbook Pro.

On my Mac, I have a range of lovely fonts to choose from in PowerPoint. Usually, I use Helvetica Neue. I generally use white text on a black background.

However, in this particular case, I’ve been asked to send the PowerPoint presentation as a file via email to the conference organisers, who will then pre-load it on the computer in the auditorium.

That computer is a PC.

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30 days of ideas – 27: Tamagotchi Gardening


Photo by aidanbrooks

Today’s idea is a terribly simple one – so much so, I’m astonished nobody else seems to have thought of it: Tamagotchi Gardening.

Instead of looking after a pet, you tend a garden. Dig it over, choose what to plant, care for it, water it, and reap the rewards.

But it’s not simply about the satisfaction of growing your own (virtual) food.

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Obligatory iPhone App post

It occurs to me that I’ve had an iPhone for 6 months already, and still not done the obligatory ‘Apps I Love’ blog post.

My friend Dave Harte got himself one today, and I was about to recommend him a couple – but I thought this would be a good opportunity to fulfill my blogging requirements. Kill two birds with one enormous stone.

You’ll note that there are apps that you can’t delete – like Mail and Clock, Calendar and (inexplicably) Stocks. And then there are the apps you add yourself.

Here are the apps I use. You don’t need squillions of them, despite what will probably be an overwhelming desire to try as many as you can. I have downloaded, and over time, have deleted far more apps off my phone than I currently have on it. Right now, it’s pretty much trimmed to the bone. These, to me, are the essentials.

Some of them are the most useful tools of any kind I’ve ever owned – and some are just really nice to have. Hope this is helpful and/or interesting.

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30 days of ideas – 01: Keymash


Photo by poportis

Today I start my 30 days of ideas.

The way it works is this: Each day, for the next 30 days, I’ll have an idea for something: a business, a system, a book, a website, a concept, a piece of software, a new sandwich filling – whatever it might be.

I’ll describe it and explain how it works here on my blog… then it’s all yours. You can take the idea and run with it. You don’t need to ask me – or even tell me. I don’t claim any intellectual property.

A community has sprung up around this concept under the banner of Project Idealism, and I hope I can do that community some justice with the quality and originality of my 30 ideas… but they are presented here on an ‘as-is, where-is’ basis. I offer no guarantees as to whether they’re actually any good – or even that nobody else in the world has ever thought of them before. Who knows?

So – disclaimers out of the way, here’s my first idea.

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Something that will clean properly – or I’m starting again

Inspired (and frustrated) by last night’s battle with the application that would not die, I’ve been going through and cleaning up my Macbook. I’m prepared to do a complete fresh reinstall of the operating system if it comes down to it – but if I can avoid it, I will.

There’s something I’m looking for. Logic dictates that it MUST exist. It’s an application that will go through your hard drive and completely remove all traces of files that were associated with software that you have uninstalled.

Let me be clear: I’m not looking for something that will do a clean uninstall of programmes I have on my machine and would like to remove. I’ve had one of those for a while now.

What I’m looking for is something that will deal with files left behind by programmes I deleted long ago. Any ideas?

You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone

System Monitor

I had a problem on my laptop. Something called AddressBookSync was going crazy – sucking up almost all of my system resources. I don’t really know what it was, which piece of software it was connected to (though I have my suspicions) or even how I eventually managed to get rid of it – but the difference to my Macbook now that I’m rid of it is astonishing.

I only really noticed the problem over the last few days. The computer’s been getting more and more sluggish over time which, when it happens gradually, you’re only marginally aware of. But recently, the fan has been going nonstop, programmes were taking minutes to load, and it had started to do that thing where you type, go make a cup of tea, and return to see your words emerge, one character at a time, on the screen.

I went for the Activity Monitor and immediately identified the process to blame, quit it, and things calmed down. Three minutes later, it was back – and it was angry. I killed it again, but like the last 15 minutes of Terminator – just when you think it’s dead, up it pops again like an unstoppable, all-devouring technozombie.

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