Skip to main content

My head's in the iCloud

For many years my definitive address book and diary have resided on my computer. I really can't remember when I last used one of those paper things. The problem with this was that when I was out at a meeting, I couldn't check my diary, so had to cross my fingers and hope, if necessary ringing up to modify an appointment later.

Since having the iPhone (and more recently the iPad) things had improved significantly, because every time I synchronized my mobile devices they got up-to-date copies of diary and address book, so when I was out and about I had access to these crucial resources. They might be a touch out of date, but essentially it was all there. What's more I now had extra backups of this essential data - and unlike users of a mobile phone with a conventional, unsynchronized address book I would never lose my phone numbers.

In the last week, Apple has launched iCloud, and with it my situation has changed again - and more fundamentally than I first thought. The migration was not without a little pain. When the Apple software was attempting to set things up, its duplication correction module went beserk, so now every entry in my diary is in twice and several people in my address book have two copies of their address.

What's more, the process has partially screwed up my desktop control centre, Outlook. It has moved my address book and diary to one hosted on iCloud, patched through to the Outlook system. Outlook is designed to be able to incorporate external sources, but it very much regards them as 'the rest' rather than the main one. So several of Outlook's useful features, like displaying the next six diary entries on the home screen and being able to add flags to emails to put them on your to do list have stopped working.

But in return I have a more fundamental change then I realized. Up to now, mentally, my 'real' address book and diary have been on the PC. So if I want to look up an address I would use the PC, even though it's a bit clumsy. Now my 'real' address book is in iCloud, so my natural tendency has moved to use either the iPad or the iPhone - and that's quite a fundamental shift. (It also means I can see my diary and address book from any internet connected computer, but the times I'm likely to use this seem very small.)

This is a significant shift of mindset, which I simply hadn't realized would come with the process. It will be interesting to see how things evolve...


Popular posts from this blog

Why I hate opera

If I'm honest, the title of this post is an exaggeration to make a point. I don't really hate opera. There are a couple of operas - notably Monteverdi's Incoranazione di Poppea and Purcell's Dido & Aeneas - that I quite like. But what I do find truly sickening is the reverence with which opera is treated, as if it were some particularly great art form. Nowhere was this more obvious than in ITV's recent gut-wrenchingly awful series Pop Star to Opera Star , where the likes of Alan Tichmarsh treated the real opera singers as if they were fragile pieces on Antiques Roadshow, and the music as if it were a gift of the gods. In my opinion - and I know not everyone agrees - opera is: Mediocre music Melodramatic plots Amateurishly hammy acting A forced and unpleasant singing style Ridiculously over-supported by public funds I won't even bother to go into any detail on the plots and the acting - this is just self-evident. But the other aspects need some ex

Is 5x3 the same as 3x5?

The Internet has gone mildly bonkers over a child in America who was marked down in a test because when asked to work out 5x3 by repeated addition he/she used 5+5+5 instead of 3+3+3+3+3. Those who support the teacher say that 5x3 means 'five lots of 3' where the complainants say that 'times' is commutative (reversible) so the distinction is meaningless as 5x3 and 3x5 are indistinguishable. It's certainly true that not all mathematical operations are commutative. I think we are all comfortable that 5-3 is not the same as 3-5.  However. This not true of multiplication (of numbers). And so if there is to be any distinction, it has to be in the use of English to interpret the 'x' sign. Unfortunately, even here there is no logical way of coming up with a definitive answer. I suspect most primary school teachers would expands 'times' as 'lots of' as mentioned above. So we get 5 x 3 as '5 lots of 3'. Unfortunately that only wor

Which idiot came up with percentage-based gradient signs

Rant warning: the contents of this post could sound like something produced by UKIP. I wish to make it clear that I do not in any way support or endorse that political party. In fact it gives me the creeps. Once upon a time, the signs for a steep hill on British roads displayed the gradient in a simple, easy-to-understand form. If the hill went up, say, one yard for every three yards forward it said '1 in 3'. Then some bureaucrat came along and decided that it would be a good idea to state the slope as a percentage. So now the sign for (say) a 1 in 10 slope says 10% (I think). That 'I think' is because the percentage-based slope is so unnatural. There are two ways we conventionally measure slopes. Either on X/Y coordiates (as in 1 in 4) or using degrees - say at a 15° angle. We don't measure them in percentages. It's easy to visualize a 1 in 3 slope, or a 30 degree angle. Much less obvious what a 33.333 recurring percent slope is. And what's a 100% slope