Apple seems to have altered its Californian desert (Mojave) landmark themed naming convention and have moved to the Pacific Island of Catalina, which is one of California’s Channel Islands.  The latest macOS desktop operating system has been released, now called macOS Catalina ver 10.15 .

Catalina macOS ver 10.15

According to Apple, it’s their most advanced desktop operating system with added new features such as:-

  • ‘Sidecar’ which extends Mac desktops with iPad as a secondary display
  • ‘Find My’ a new app which combines ‘Find Friend’ and ‘Find my iPhone’
  • ‘Screen Time’ – this is a useful addition as this used to only be available on iPhones
  • ‘Notes’ app has Gallery thumbnail view to quickly find notes with images, New Checklist Options that moves ticked items to the bottom and quickly reorder items using drag and drop, and has Shared folders that’s useful for sharing and collaborating with others
  • Safari Updates has a new start page with suggested contents on browsing history, links from messages, weak passwords warning among others
  • New Voice Control Accessibility features
  • ….. and many more…

I have updated my mac, loving the new island desktop background and I have yet to discover these new features. Read more about new Catalina macOS in Apple’s Official newsroom website.

WordPress powers millions of websites across the globe. For those who uses WordPress or simply has an interest in WordPress, including bloggers, designers, developers and end-users, I would highly recommend attending the upcoming conference that will be held in London Metropolitan University on 6-7th April 2019; Contributor day is on 5th April 2019.

I have been a volunteer at this event in previous years and I wouldn’t miss it again this year. Check out my review as a volunteer on https://itworksfine.co.uk/wordcamp-london-review/.

Read more about the upcoming event on https://2019.london.wordcamp.org/about/.

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macIOS Mojave

There are a number of new improvements on the new macOS, but below are my top 3 favourite useful cool features.

  1.  View a File by pressing Space Bar

To take a quick look at a file, image or pdf, point to the file and press space bar.  This saves you opening the app.  You can make changes using the mark-up tool to crop, rotate an image, add signature to pdf among others.

2. Capture what’s on your screen – still image

As in the previous macOS High Sierra, the screen shot key command combination is the same ie Command + Shift + 4 to take a screen shot on the portion of the screen, or Command + Shift + 3 to capture the whole screen, which will then automatically save the captured image on the desktop or default location on your computer.

In Mojave version, use the same key combination but a thumbnail image will be displayed on the right-hand side of the screen, and if you select the thumbnail, you can access the mark-up features that will enable you to edit, crop, rotate among others.

3. Screen video capture

Rather than opening QuickTime app, this has been simplified.  To take a screen video, press Command + Shift + 5 to either record the entire screen or selected portion of the screen.

Command + Shift + 5 again to stop recording.   The video capture will be saved on the desktop.

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Setting up Radio-controlled (MSF) clock

Radio-controlled (msf) clock
  1. Insert a new AA battery.
  2. Press Reset button at the back of the clock, the clock hands will go clockwise and it will automatically set itself to the correct local time.

Well, in theory, it should have been that simple, but – alas! – the radio-controlled clock I bought from Amazon had no set up instructions, so I never got it to work properly but, rather than bother to return it, I left it in its box for several years, stored somewhere in the house and long forgotten, until one day, my husband found it whilst de-cluttering and placed it by the recycling bin.  Luckily, I found it before the bins were collected and I had another go to see if I could make it work before ditching it.

Back of Radio-Controlled clock

This clock seems to be set to the Pacific Time zone and it automatically stops at 4 o’clock instead of 12 o’clock by default.  No matter which buttons I pressed, after referring to the various setup instructions I found on the internet, I could not get it to set to 12 and get to the correct time in UK.  The back of the clock only has three buttons – Set, Reset and Wave – unlike other radio clocks which have buttons for the different Time Zones.  After several attempts (and hours!) of trying, I finally got it to work (hooray!!).  Below I explain how I did it.

How to manually adjust the Radio-controlled (MSF) clock from default 4 to 12 o’clock

  1. Remove the battery.
  2. Remove the casing of the clock so you can manually adjust the hands.
  3. Locate the small hole at the back of the clock, using a pin, place it in the hole, press the pin, keep it pressed whilst turning the hands (hour and minutes) of the clock to the 12 position, then release the pin.
  4. Insert the battery.  The clock will rotate fully and should stop at 12. 
  5. If step 4 works (sometimes you have to do steps 1-3 again if it doesn’t stop at 12), press the Reset button.  The hands will rotate and will stop at the correct local time.

In the end, ITWorksFine!

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Keyboard shortcuts are keys or combinations of keystrokes on a computer keyboard that provide an alternative way to do something that you would typically do with a mouse or through a menu.

If you are new to Mac OS X, it can be a bit frustrating to learn some of the hot-keys that you were used to on Windows are not quite where they should be. While there isn’t always an exact equivalent, there are a few shortcuts that are similar and you will soon get used to it.

Here are five of the commonly used special keys on Windows and their Mac equivalents:-

Windows key Mac Key
Ctrl Control ⌃​
Windows logo Command ⌘​
Alt Option ⌥​
Enter Return ⏎​​​
Backspace Delete ⌫

 

Keyboard shortcuts on Macs
See Apple support link here, full url is on https://support.apple.com/en-gb/HT201236

Keyboard shortcuts in Windows
Applies to: Windows 10, Windows 8.1, Windows 7
See Microsoft Support link here, full url is on https://support.microsoft.com/en-gb/help/12445/windows-keyboard-shortcuts

I know it’s been a while since my last post, life’s got in the way, as always!

To get the momentum going, I recently published a couple of new YouTube videos about car dash camera unboxing and review.

Link to unboxing is https://youtu.be/EPf2kDCUlIc

Link to the review is https://youtu.be/o2c2rxeTiiU

Below is the transcript of Part 2 video:-

“Hello and welcome to Part 2 of my review of the car dash camera I bought from Amazon.  Hopefully, you’ve seen the first part of my video showing you what’s in the box.  There are a lot of car cameras for sale out there and it could be difficult deciding which one’s to choose.  i just want a simple dash cam so that, in the event of an incident, I have video captured evidence of what happened. Having seen several reviews, I bought an inexpensive forward facing camera.    An SD card  was not included so I went to my trusted local electronic store, bought and inserted a 32gb micro sd card which should hold up to 5 hours of video footage.

As you can see, I now have my camera in place.

It has an automatic start and stop, so  Once you plug it in to the power supply in you car, every time your car engine starts, the camera starts immediately and starts recording, when you turn the engine off, the camera disconnects from the power supply and camera stops recording.  It also has a feature which allows you to set so that after 3 minutes of starting, the display screen will turn off, this avoids distraction from driving, but the recording still continues.

I had this running for a few months now, and once I was driving along a motorway at night, I was forced to swerve to avoid cones being thrown down in front of me from a lorry by workmen who swore at me when I protested about this dangerous practice, they’re horrible and I was so socked, thankfully the camera worked as it should, captured the incident so I was able to send my footage to the highway authority and secured an apology. This proved the camera worked well even in low light.

The recording loops the video round, meaning you don’t have to keep changing the SD card, it rewrites over the memory card that’s inside the camera.  The way it does this is that the camera records in segments, you can set this up from the settings of the camera, there is an options to set it for either 5 or 10 minutes segments; it records in segments until it’s full, once its full, it will over writes and deletes the old 5 mins segments and so on,  so it always got the last segments recording in it.

Overall I’m fairly happy with this little gizmo, it works fine for me.

Thank you for watching, if you find this video useful, please like it, share and subscribe to my channel for more videos.”

Link to the review is

https://youtu.be/o2c2rxeTiiU

 

WordCamp London 2017 was held at London Metropolitan University on 17 – 19th March 2017.  Friday 17th March was the Contributors day where a community of WordPress users came together, shared knowledge, learned from others and contributed to the WordPress project.

Saturday and Sunday was the actual conference with a full-on schedule of speakers to keep us up to date with WordPress, including various brand sponsors and their friendly reps; from casual WordPress users and designers to core web developers in attendance, sharing their ideas in a relaxed and friendly environment.

I came to know about Wordcamp via the WordPress London meetup group last year 2016. It just so happened that when I attended the meetup, one of the WordCamp event organisers was there so I decided to put my name down to volunteer for the event.

Contributor Day

On my first contributor day (2016) I didn’t know what to expect.  I was fairly new to WordPress then, a bit nervous and uncertain as to whether I’d be able to contribute at all to the event but was glad to learn that there were no auditions to take part so I joined the Theme Review team.  It took me a while to understand the process but in the end, I successfully managed to review just one theme.  The team leader was ever so helpful, friendly and patient with me.

This year (2017) was my second Wordcamp and Contributors day. Knowing what to expect this time around I was more relaxed and joined the Polyglots team.  I was fascinated and wowed to learn that ‘Tagalog’ is already one of the languages that existed in WordPress, even ‘Iloko’ but I couldn’t find ‘Kapampagan’ – just as well as this could be a little tricky for me to translate even though it’s my native dialect in the Philippines.  Although a little slow in the beginning, I was more productive at this event and did about 75 string translations in Tagalog. As a group we did over 600 translations in different localization that day and I was really pleased to be part of it.

Note: Contributor day photos courtesy of Pradeep Singh

Conference

2016 – I was on volunteer duty for 2 days but had a few slots free so I managed to see a number of speaker sessions that weekend. I met a fellow Filipina who informed me about the Tagalog translation, hence I made sure I joined the team to contribute the following year. I even had the privilege of having a photo taken with the Wapuu – the WordPress mascot.   There was an after party, retro games, dinner and free drinks

2017 – Where was Wapuu this year? I missed him – he was probably on holiday (lucky for some!) but there were plenty of his stickers this year though.  I was one of the volunteers at registration but didn’t come across any pinoy (Filipino) this year.  If any of you are going next year, do say hello.

I also met some familiar faces, as well as new friendly faces this year.

One of the freebies I received last year was a one year’s free hosting from Siteground.  I took advantage of trying their ‘GoGeek’ plan and migrated a number of my websites to test it.  I was really impressed with their fast online chat support assistance, they seemed really helpful, enthusiastic, knowledgeable and competent. The hosting seemed reliable, fast and secure so I decided to renew it this year but downgraded to ‘GrowBig’.  It wasn’t quite as straight forward as I thought because I didn’t realise that downgrading meant my sites would be moved to different servers, so I encountered a bit of a technical issue, i.e. different named DNS, SMTP pointers.  Luckily, Siteground representatives were onsite at Wordcamp – Anton was very helpful in sorting out my mail issue so I was really pleased that my technical issues were resolved in less than 24 hours. Very good customer service and quality of support is superb.  I’m a happy customer.

Due to prior commitment, I couldn’t make it to the after party this year, I heard it went really well and everyone was as happy as ever.

Verdict

Will I attend Wordcamp again?  Definitely! I hope to be there again next year. I would like to give a huge thank you to the talented organisers for making this event another success.  WordCamp was one of the best conferences I’ve ever attended, it was very well organised, there were friendly and helpful volunteers, lots of swag giveaways, inclusive meals, and there was even a crèche provision for people with children. Excellent value and amazing event.

I highly recommend any WordPress users that have never been to any Wordcamp event to attend. Don’t miss out, it’s worth it.

ITWorksFine!

Our Samsung TV takes ages to turn on, about 10-15 minutes, sometimes longer, very frustrating! I searched the internet for similar issue and found out that this is a common fault on Samsung TV, that it could be due to bad capacitors. I was actually thinking that rather than spend money on getting someone to repair it, it’ll probably be better to buy a new one since our TV is over 7 years old and out of warranty. However, being an IT engineer, I decided to put my screw driver to work and had a go at investigating and fixing it myself first and see how it goes. After opening the tv back panel, I discovered 4 buldging capacitors – the culprits!

Tools I used are as follows:-
1. screw driver – philips head
2. soldering iron – I don’t have this on my toolbox so I bought a new 6-in-1 kit from Amazon which includes cleaning sponge, solder, iron stand, solder sucker
3. solder wire – included in the above kit
4. new capacitors, the same voltage as the existing ones

Prior to starting work, make sure you power off and unplug your tv from the mains. Leave it for at least 24 hours to fully discharge power to avoid electric shock whilst working. Take pictures of back connectors and circuit board; this is useful so you know where to put things back together again.

I bought new replacement capacitors from Maplin Electronics. You can also get them from Amazon or other electronic shop. The replacements I used are 25v 1000uf; the original is 820uf, but they said higher uf should work so we’ll see how it goes, cost .49p each, I needed 4 so it cost less than £2.

Ensure that you place the TV on a flat surface face down. Unscrew and remove the back cover.

Check the circuit board for bad/buldging capacitors, carefully remove the jumpers/cables attached to the board and unscrew the circuit board.

Unsolder and remove the bad capacitors. Carefully solder the new ones (ensuring that the negative side is correctly positioned on the board), trim off any excess cap metal connectors at the back of the circuit board. Screw the board back, re-attach all the jumpers/cables, put the cover back and all the tv connectors, aerial and power cable. Switch on, the TV should now turn on as quickly as it did when new. It really worked fine, you can see the video on how I did it below.

If you found the video useful, please like it, feel free to share and subscribe to this channel to see more videos.

 

You cannot entirely block or turn off sponsored advertisements on Facebook. The ads that
appears on your page depends entirely on what content you and your friends interact with.
This means that frequent liking, commenting or posting on a close friend’s timeline or Page
will drive more content from that account to your feed. Facebook gives you the option to limit
or hide unwanted advertisement content from a person, Page or Group.

To limit unwanted ads appearing on your timeline.

1. Click the down arrow   at the top corner of the sponsored ads

2. Click ‘Hide advert‘   

3.  On the ‘Why don’t you want to see this?’ choose the relevant option 
Three ways of reducing unwanted content. First, click the down arrow at the top right corner
of the post and select one of the following three options:-

1. Hide post – this hides a specific post and prompts Facebook to limit content from that
account.

2. Unfollow – this is a subtle way of removing a friend from your News Feed without
unfriendling. You can also unfollow a profile or page by visiting the account, hover your
mouse to Following, select Unfollow or Unfollow this Page.

3. Report post – malicious or offensive content that do not abide by Facebook’s community
standards can be reported.

Popular News Feeds content

Facebook by default, flashes the most popular content based on Top Stories on your News Feed.
To browse more post:-

1. click Home at the top of Facebook
2. click on the three dots  next to News Feed on the left near top column
3. select Most Recent.
This will display content from your friends according to the time they were posted, the most recent appearing on the top. By default, Facebook constantly reverts to Top Stories mode.

Try the above tips and see if your Facebook experience improves.

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Technology is a huge part of our lives at the moment, and it’s developing fast. Quite rightly, schools are starting to teach ‘coding’ (how to write code for a computer programme.) Gone are the days when IT lessons were only using Microsoft Publisher to make WORDART or PowerPoint to make words move fancily across the screen. With all this technology, children are accessing ‘screen time’ much more at home. ‘Screen time’ used to just refer to watching television or playing consoles, but now we not only have televisions and computers but laptops, tablets and smart phones too.

In a recent article in the Telegraph, Lydia Willgress discusses an Ofcom study which says,  “three to four year olds are online for an average of 71 minutes per day or 8 hours, 18 minutes a day- an hour and a half more than last year.” In the same article, she quotes Dr Hayley Van Zwanenberg who says, “Screentime stimulates the ‘reward centre’ of pre-school children’s brains, acting like a drug, so they will want more and more. But young children should be active, investigating the real world and having lots of social interaction to develop healthily, physically and mentally.”

When I was in primary school, we had one computer in the juniors that I got to share with a couple of friends in a timed slot. I honestly couldn’t tell you what we did on it. It definitely did not enhance our learning.

At home, we had a really old computer with white letters on a black background. I don’t think we were allowed to touch that! By my teens, we had upgraded the computer and I used to have to fight for ‘screen time’ with my brother, waiting for the whirring and the buzzing of the phone line connecting to the internet only for my Mum to shout that she needed to use the phone.

As a teacher, part of my job was to teach Music Technology. My pupils had not seen or heard of a gramophone or a record player which might be expected, but they had never seen a tape before either. And do you remember the Mini-Disk? Children of today will not know the pain of trying to record the Top 40 off the radio and trying to cut out the speech between songs.

I believe you can use technology in fun and purposeful ways to help children investigate the real world and still develop well.

  1.  Interviews
    Do you remember singing Spice Girls into your hairbrush when you were young? (or was that just me?)  Well, get your hairbrush (back) out and use your smart phone or tablet to interview your child and let them interview you too. ‘Hot seating’ is a technique used by teachers to enhance speaking by choosing a pupil to answer questions planned by the rest of the class. Work with your child to come up with ‘who, what, where, why, how and when’ questions, and don’t forget ‘did and do’ questions. An example of a story to bring to life in this way would be the Lonely Beast by Chris Judge. This book is about a beast who sets out to find some friends. He goes through the sea and the mountains to the city. At first, the people in the city run away from him. But their curiosity brings them back and they let him stay in the park. Although, he has many visitors, he still feels lonely. So, to find more friends he tells his story by going on the radio and television. You can pretend to be the beast and interview each other, you can even pretend to be the curious city people and think about why you ran away. This can be replicated with any story. Pick a character and plan some questions. Encourage full sentences and make your own radio or television interview. Then re-listen time and time again.
  1. Photograph books
    You take photographs on an outing – what happens to them? Upload them to Facebook? Do you remember when we took our films to be processed at a supermarket and you would have to wait a week to find out that you’d put your finger over the lens or you’d made the skyline all wonky? Children of today will not know our pain!

You can make your photographs a learning tool in a fun and purposeful way. With your child, upload them to your computer or laptop and let them choose four. You then have two options:

  • Show them how to print them directly, and help them hand write a caption under each photograph (scribing if necessary).
  • Copy the photographs into a Word document and support them to type the sentences under each, then show them how to print. The more you do this, the sooner your young child will learn how to print independently.

With both options you get a wonderful memory you can keep forever. Most supermarkets sell reasonably priced laminators and pouches. (Health and safety- don’t leave it unattended)

This can be replicated with story books, taking photographs of your child’s toys as characters, or even make up your own stories together: photographing a scene, a character and an event.

  1. Stop Motion Animation
    Kudos to Sainsbury’s for making this easily available and affordable with their ‘How to Make your own Film’ with an animation kit and a downloadable app at only £5 (and £2 goes to Great Ormond Street Hospital) called “The Greatest Gift.”  It has film sets and characters with a director’s handbook to help you with everything you need to know. Alternatively, help your child use their own toys and move them little by little, pausing them at every movement.
  1. Videos
    Bringing stories to life using videos can simply be you and your child using your tablet or smart phone to video yourselves acting out the story. Gather props and costumes. Learn dialogue off by heart. Outtakes can be funny to look over.  Make up your own stories and watch them over and over again. I have some puppet shows on my iPad from a family I worked with from years ago (with permission) and we even used to make video tutorials on how to make cakes.  I now use videos to help the seven year old I look after improve his football technique. I video him scoring goals in slow motion and we watch them back to see how he can improve.
  1. Stories and Nursery Rhymes
    Sometimes, you do need to use technology to have a little quiet time where you can get on with some chores. I do use t ablet screen time at bath time so I can focus on the little one in the bath while the other is safe and still learning.A great website for helping your children to learn or improve their English is the britishcouncil.org in the ‘Learn English’ section. There are so many songs and games and there are so many electronic stories such as ‘Little Red Riding Hood‘, ‘Goldilocks and the Three Bears’, ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’ as well as all sorts of subjects including Eid and Chinese New Year.The BBC has an amazing site for learning but during bath time, I like to put on Nursery Rhymes for my littlest. Not only do they have an amazing selection, my favourite being “Brush Your Teeth” which helps after bath time but also has medleys such as action or counting songs. All parts of your day are an opportunity to learn.

I do believe the right apps and games are important as they can help with fine motor skills and usually are a great vehicle to explore problem solving. I am not advocating hours and hours of screen time on computers, tablets or smart phones; however; making screen time purposeful and fun will make it enjoyable for you and your whole family.

Guest Blog by:

Kathryn Lord
www.moretobooks.com
Twitter- KathrynLord912

Kathryn Lord is the Award-Winning Author of “There’s More to Books Than Reading – how to help your child bring stories to life.” She has taught across England and Europe as a Teacher, Nursery Nurse, Tutor, Nanny and Governess. With a passion for reading and making learning fun, she shares her experiences and learning. Her aim is to make your little ones learning more fun. Kathryn believes everyone has the ability to help their child bring stories to life.

Note being: Kathryn Lord is not getting anything for sharing the products and websites above, other than the satisfaction that more children will learn from them.

Quotes taken from www.telegraph.co.uk “Pre-school children spend more than four hours a day looking at screens” by Lydia Willgress (16 November 2016)

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