I’ve decided to give Video Blogging a try for various reasons. More information in my first effort below!
I work in IT and I’m a man so inevitably that means that I have and love many, many electronic gadgets. To make matters worse (or better depending on your point of view) I’m also a musician. Not any old musician but a musician who has recently developed an interest in making digital music! So along with the kind of electronic gadgets most of us have these days such as Tablets, Smartphones, Laptops etc.. the musical side of me owns Guitars, a Digital Piano, Mixing Desk and Recording equipment too. I also have work equipment such as a Desktop Computer, Printer, Speakers, Chromebook for meetings and remote working, Phone Equipment and a Pro Camera.
Then there’s the leisure side. Many of us have PlayStations, X-Boxes, TVs (Curiously, I don’t have one currently for once and don’t actually miss it at all), Hi-Fi systems and more. There’s also a plethora of Hi-Tech smart home gadgets these days such as WiFi and Bluetooth Lights, Speakers, Heating Systems and even WiFi Smoke Alarms! So in general gadgets are an important part of our lives and sadly if anything happened to them, particularly our smartphones and tablets, the resulting cut off from society can be a pretty hard shock to the system. The average modern smartphone for example can cost over €600/€700 (I’m talking Android here. Apple stuff is even dearer!) to replace new out of contract. A cost many of us can’t afford. I personally rely on my 18 monthly free (or nearly free) phone upgrade with Three to get new phones. I’d never be able to afford to buy one off the shelf.
We’re all human and while I myself am fairly careful and protective of my stuff, accidents do happen. Especially if you have young kids knocking around as I do or are the kind of person who can’t leave their phone down when they go to the toilet!?
Many of our items may be covered under an existing house contents policy but why not have peace of mind for your gadgets on the move by signing up for an affordable monthly gadget insurance policy? Insurance companies cover the usual gadgets we all have and in addition, items can be covered on route to your home or place of work, travel usage worldwide, liquid damage cover, etc.. There’s also a lot of flexibility in cover and payment options and you can make two claims within any 12 month period. Quotes are instantaneous online and policies can be setup in minutes.
This post is in collaboration with Chill Insurance.
A new, fun little Christmas project I knocked up for the crack. Bored.com..
Live, Christmas 2017 – www.DaysSinceTrumpSaidSomethingStupid.com
Prompted by my own recent requirements to lose weight and try sort out my high blood pressure issues, myself and a friend in similar need to lose weight decided to document and graph our weight loss “progress” (hopefully!) so we jointly created a shared spreadsheet on Google Sheets where we can both input our weekly weight and have it calculate our BMIs then chart the lot on an easy to read graph.
I’d recommend doing this with another person or two as you can both spur each other on to lose the weight.
Download the Microsoft Office Spreadsheet HERE and fill in your own data. It should be easy enough to understand and use. You just need to enter your own data for the following:
- Your Height
- Your Weekly Weight
- Your Target Weight
- Your Target BMI
The spreadsheet does the rest.
I’ve just finished up my year long, part time and fully online BSc Design Degree run by the Digital Skills Academy in Dublin in conjunction with the Dublin Institute of Technology and wanted to write a few words about the experience and to largely recommend the course to others.
I signed up for the course last January after seeing a Facebook add for it. I applied through the Springboard program which offers free courses to those qualified and was accepted because of my prior experience in the design sector having worked as a freelance Web & Graphic Designer since about 2003.
Topics Covered in my chosen “Design” stream:
- UX, UI & Concept Design
- Entrepreneurship, Creativity & Innovation
- Digital Industries & Career Development
- Front-end Web & Mobile Development
- Adobe Illustrator & Photoshop
- Web Graphics Design & Production
- Digital Marketing Campaign Management
There was also a Major Project for the final 6 months were we worked as a team on a real life project.
My reasons for doing the course were:
- Gain a design qualification (had none!)
- Learn something new
- Experience of teamwork (I work alone a lot)
- An internationally recognised Level 7 Bsc degree in only 1 year!?
The fact that the course was online and part time appealed to me as I still had my full time business to run as well as having a wife and three kids and things were kinda slow work wise. A 10-15 hour per week commitment was mentioned at the start of the course but we quickly realised that was a bit of an under statement! I think I put in about 25-30 hours per week at least for the first 6 months.
Course Best Bits:
- Flexible access
- Modern relevant content
- Team work
- NO EXAMS!
- Only 1 year!
- Introduction to online learning tools
- Our Facebook group
Course Worse Bits:
- Moodle learning system
- Project brief confusion
- Support delays (Forum & Email)
- Inflexible LiveSync timings
- Tolerating poor teammates
I would highly recommend Digital Skills Academy courses. The lecturers are knowledgeable and accessible, the content is relevant to the modern digital workplace. Team work is excellent experience and the networking aspect is fantastic too. Where else would you get a degree, part time in one year too!?
Class of 2017
I chose this topic for a recent college assignment and thought that it might make for interesting reading on the blog for anyone with an interest in where music consumption is at these days.
I recently started a part time, fully online/remote degree in Digital Design & Technology after working in a similar field, unqualified, for nearly 15 years. I thought I knew it all and knew the best tools of the trade. I was wrong.
The fact that my course is 100% online forced the usage of the apps/websites I’m about to detail but I’ll be using these for my own business, collaborative and personal use from here on in. All of the following apps are cloud based and available from any device with internet access. All (Except Coggle) have native app versions for mobile devices too which give a streamlined, better user interface if you’re not at your main desktop or laptop.
You may notice a slight Google bias here! Most are free for personal/lite usage.
Nothing new or groundbreaking here of course but you can’t beat gmail for reliable, cloud based email communication. Filtering, Labels & Folders and email search are dead handy as is syncing between different device versions.
Standout Feature: Multiple accounts.
2 Google Drive
A file repository and storage system but with document sharing, commenting and integration with Google Docs, Sheets etc.. I love the live editing mode where you can actually see other people typing/editing on screen and commenting within documents is handy too.
Standout Feature: File & Folder access/sharing.
3 Google Hangouts
Excellent call conferencing and instant messaging system with good integration with Google Calendar, ie – click the link in a calendar event to join a call.
Standout Feature: Screen sharing to a group.
4 Google Calendar
Event/task reminder system with event invites and reminder notifications. I can’t live without this in my life. I might forget to breathe without it. Automatic email notifications of event changes to event attendees is handy.
Standout Feature: Add other people to events/Indicate attendance.
5 Google Apps (Docs, Sheets & Slides)
A cloud based alternative to the Microsoft Office suite of office apps. Apps are slightly less functional than the Microsoft versions but all are very capable still. I love that documents are automatically backed up and available across devices.
Standout Feature: Live simultaneous document editing by multiple people.
Simple collaborative mind mapping and idea generation tool. Initiate an idea in the centre and drag “idea” branches and sub branches out from it. Notifications of changes to branches are emailed to members automatically.
Standout Feature: Mind map exporting.
I’ve saved the best until last. My OCD loves this one! Trello is a collaborative project management tool with “Cards” for each task and To Do, Doing and Done columns. It’s great for an Agile/Scrum environment as task cards can have deadlines etc.. You can organise everything from a major project to your whole life with Trello.
Standout Feature: Board notifications and integration with Google calendar.