Categories
Android

How I fixed the silent timer in Google Clock

The timer in Google Clock didn’t go off when the timer ran out. There was no alarm or notification buzz when I needed it. I’m posting this here in case this happens to anyone else because this was happening to me for a long time. I use the timer on my phone a lot, especially when doing a little cooking:

  • Put Y on at 200C in the oven.
  • Everything done at 50 minutes.
  • Put X in the oven at 40 minute mark.
  • Bring water to the boil at 15 minute mark.
  • Boil some veg..

You get the idea. It’s nothing revolutionary and it worked for years. In the last year or so I found that the timer would not make a sound unless I unlocked the phone and the screen was on.

I searched in vain for a solution. Most search results suggested clearing app data or resetting the phone. Clearing app data did nothing and I did not fancy setting up my phone again.

Until finally, I found a fix on Reddit. Optimize Battery Usage was the culprit. The operating system was turning off the alarm as it put the clock app to sleep when the phone screen turned off. Here’s how to fix it (pre-Android 12):

  1. Go to settings -> Apps.
  2. Tap the 3 dots, then “Special access”.
  3. Optimize battery usage.
  4. Change the filter to all, find Google Clock, and uncheck it.

In One UI 4, Android 12 things changed a bit:

  1. Go to Settings -> Apps.
  2. Look for Google Clock and open the settings for it.
  3. Tap on Battery.
  4. Change that setting from Optimized to Unrestricted.

The Samsung Clock app worked all this time but setting a timer is horrendous. You have to flick hour/minute/second rollers up and down instead of tapping the numbers I wanted.

I may have “optimized” the Clock app myself by accident but I don’t remember doing that. Other people have had this problem too so it’s not an isolated issue.

I bet this will help someone else. I did a little dance when the timer started working again.

Categories
Music

Vivaldi’s Four Seasons played by London Concertante

London Concertante in St. Fin Barre’s Cathedral, Cork. March 2022

We haven’t been to a concert in a long time. Last night I went to St. Fin Barre’s Cathedral in the heart of Cork City to listen to London Concertante.

My son has shown a huge interest in music over the course of lockdown. He started with an electronic keyboard, and then on to other instruments. I know Matt would be delighted to hear he has expressed an interest in learning the saxophone too.

Anyway, we heard that there would be a classical concert in the Cathedral so we had to go. It was an amazing night. I’ll admit I don’t know much about classical music. I recognise the most popular compositions everyone else recognises. But despite that it was a feast for the ears.

In the video above they play Vivaldi‘s Four Seasons. I can’t imagine there’s anyone reading this who won’t recognise this fabulous piece of music.

PS. I shared this video on Facebook too and received a copyright strike. Luckily, I could dispute it without penalty and it was not muted “in 74 territories”.

Categories
Life

A 100 Year Old Online Time Capsule?

The next census to take place in Ireland will be on April 3rd. On the last page they’ve added a blank space for people to add a hand written “time capsule” that will be revealed in 100 years time when census data is made public. There’s a thread on Reddit asking “what would you write there?” which got me thinking.

What I would love to do is create an online time capsule that future generations could find using hand written clues in that census form.

Much as I’d like to think that donncha.wordpress.com will still be around in 100 years time it’s highly likely that we won’t be using the same method of addressing content online that we are now. Will the wordpress.com website even be around in 2122? Will “https://” mean anything to someone looking over old census forms in 100 years time?

I found this blog post talking about “the100yearwebsite.com” back in 2007. For a one off fee of £20 you could keep your capsule safe until 2107! Unfortunately, by 2010 it was gone.

The obvious choice is archive.org. It’s well funded right now and has a very good reputation for preserving sites. It even has my old Geocities website from the late 90s!

Could I tell a future relative to look up “odd.blog” on the website “archive.org” and will it mean anything to them?

I suspect it’s none of the above. Only the most basic information will be useful to future generations.

  • Prices of goods such as bread, milk, fuel.
  • Our worries such as Covid 19 and the war in Ukraine.
  • Where I work or the shops I frequent.
  • Nice places to visit at the weekend. I guess Blarney Castle will still be here in 100 years time.

Apart from this census, we should all print out a selection of the family photos we have on our phones and computers, add the date and names on the back in good ball point pen and put them in a photo album. In 100 years time that may be all that survives of your vast digital footprint.

Categories
Apple

HOWTO: Fix missing Thumbnails in Finder

I recently upgraded to macOS Monterey (yeah, finally) and immediately noticed that previews of new images weren’t showing up in Finder.

Old images did have a preview image so something was wrong with how previews were generated.

Searching online, I found a few solutions, including one that involved deleting the Finder configuration file (plist file) which may have worked in 2009 or 2012 but that was long ago and it doesn’t work now.

So, to save you doing that and having to resize your favourite Finder windows and configure settings again, the answer is very simple and I found it here.

Load up Activity Monitor and search for com.apple.quicklook.ThumbnailsAgent. Double click on it and force it to quit.

CMD-right click on Finder in the dock and relaunch Finder and your thumbnails should now appear in all their tiny glory.

I’m writing this here because apparently this happens to people over and over again. While it’s the first time I’ve seen this problem it probably won’t be the last.

Categories
Ireland

Voice Over LTE is on now

My wife and I both noticed a new “VO LTE1” icon next to the 4G symbol on our phones this morning.

Apparently that’s Voice Over LTE.

Voice over Long-Term Evolution (VoLTE) is an LTE high-speed wireless communication standard for mobile phones and data terminals, including Internet of things (IoT) devices and wearables. VoLTE has up to three times more voice and data capacity than older 3GUMTS and up to six times more than 2GGSM. It uses less bandwidth because VoLTE’s packet headers are smaller than those of unoptimized VoIP/LTE.[1] VoLTE calls are usually charged at the same rate as other calls.

Wikipedia

So now you know if you see this icon too. Let’s hope Eir/Gomo aren’t planning on removing 3G support any time soon like Verizon in the US is. Reception can be patchy in many parts of the country.

Categories
General

High Altitude Surveillance Aircraft over Ukraine

This tweet prompted me to look up flightradar24.com and look for the remotely piloted aircraft observing what’s happening in Ukraine right now.

I won’t pretend to know anything about the capabilities of these craft but a “Northrop Grumman RQ-4B Global Hawk” with the flight designation FORTE11 is flying all over the country.

It was joined by Forte12.

A third drone was launched from Sicily and is flying the same flight path as FORTE12.

To learn more about what’s happening there follow Gavin Sheridan’s Twitter list of “Ukrainian accounts, journalists, news orgs, foreign journalists in or near Ukraine & OSINT”.

Categories
General

Almost Got It

On the 22nd day of the 2nd month of the year 2022 I was almost in time to photograph the time display at 20:22. Almost.

Categories
Ireland

The devastating effects of Storm Eunice

The west coast of Ireland woke up to severe winds this morning as Storm Eunice hit the country. After a lull at 7am wind speeds picked up again and the trees behind my home were swaying alarmingly. Three roads out of Blarney have been blocked by falling trees already. Some who believe the storm isn’t that serious have commented that many of those trees were old trees with pre-existing conditions and they were going to fall anyway.

Cork has been devastated by the storm. In the photo above you can see a poor cow that has been blown into a tree in Emmett Place near the Opera House. Emergency services will shortly be on the scene.

How will we survive at all?!

Categories
Animals

Tetanus? I’m good for another ten years

Ah, Mommy Cat. We have two cats. They’ve lived with us for more than 13 years. Originally there were five but the three boys wandered too far and unfortunately were lost to cars on a nearby road.

Mommy Cat, the matriarch of all she sees, brought her kittens to us way back in 2009. The only girl of the litters she bore is Hoppy, so called because she’s missing a part of her back foot. It doesn’t slow her down though. When she wants to she can run like the wind, or hunt silently and bring us “gifts” to the back door.

Mommy Cat is still half wild. After all these years she will barely tolerate us touching her, and only while she’s eating cat treats. For many a year she would sit on the window sill, rain or shine, hail or snow, looking into the kitchen. She would never come in unless the back door was left wide open.

Until a few weeks ago that is. Much to our delight she came in and didn’t flinch (too much) when I slowly and quietly closed the door behind her. She ate some food. Looked around. Wandered through the legs of the kitchen table. Sniffed the legs of the chairs. She even went over to the dog’s bed, and lay down, watching us through lidded eyes.

We were amazed. At 15 or 16 years old she realised she didn’t have to run out the door when we approached. She realised it was nice and warm inside and she was safe inside. After a while she went out again into the night, and her bed outside in a kennel.

Things only got better and better. First thing in the morning she came in with her daughter, meowing in a croaky voice. Slightly unsteady on her elderly feet, but she still has an appetite.

Soon enough she was staying in the bed all day until I coaxed her out, but then she started staying in all night. She obviously has good bladder control as she had to be pushed out in the morning!

This continued for the last two weeks but she’s the worse for wear. Her fur is matted, her paws are yellowing. We could see she was doing better being inside in the warmth but one morning we smelled something nasty. Her matted fur was the source. Out she went again and my wife washed the dog’s bed, adding bleach to help get the smell out. We decided something had to be done.

Later that afternoon we acted. Mommy Cat needed to be brushed down and cleaned. I now wonder what the hell we were thinking we could do since she was half wild. Our attempts lasted all of about two minutes. Wearing kitchen gloves, I slowly crawled up to her, put my hand out to catch her. Quick as a flash, she twirled her head around and bit down hard on my finger!

Mommy Cat ran out the door and blood pumped out of my finger as I ran cold water over it into the sink. It slowly stopped but was very sore to the touch.

Of course I had to then get a tetanus shot. The last time I got one of those was in the mid-nineties. Thankfully this time it was in the arm. I have a dose of antibiotics to take for the next week, and my finger is all bandaged up. It’s still very sore but hopefully the infection won’t go anywhere.

On the way back from the doctor we stopped at the local vet to get a trap. It’s a small cage, about a metre long with a panel that slides open at one end to put the food in, and a door at the other end that swings up and is held up by a spring loaded catch. When the animal steps on a plate the door swings down behind them. Our vet knows how to handle cats. They’ll be able to clean her up and check her health.

Mommy Cat? Thankfully she didn’t take off. She came back later in the day looking for food. This morning we put out the trap. Hoppy had to be kept out of the garden because we knew she’d go into the trap without a thought for any food. Mommy Cat is smarter. She must have been starving but she never went into the trap, even though we put tuna and cat food in there. I think it’ll take a few days for her to become used to seeing it. We’ll leave the trap out for the next few days and hopefully we’ll be able to get her to the vet.

She’s in again tonight. It’s cold out. Best place for our elderly cat.

Categories
tv

When Diego heard a cat

Our chihuahua Diego’s favourite time of the day is when I tell him, “we watch TV!” He looks up expectantly and runs into the living room. We’ll sit down on the couch and Diego will jump up on one of us and settle down for a sleep and gentle rubs.

We’re going through the 1978 series of All Creatures Great and Small right now. It was prompted by the appearance of the new series but my wife prefers the old one so I bought her the box set for Christmas, ripped all the DVDs so we can play them through Plex on the TV. Watching one episode a night, this will keep us going for quite some time!

Last night we watched Tricks of the Trade, an episode where James Herriot finds a tiny black kitten at the side of the road. He brings it to the farm he’s visiting where the kitten is cared for in a wonderful way.

However, before the kitten comes home he is loud in his attempts to gain attention, meowing for all to hear, and that includes Diego. He sat up straight, looked at the TV and watched for several minutes!

It’s not the first time he’s watched All Creatures Great and Small. In other episodes the sound of dogs barking and people calling after them has grabbed his attention and he’ll look up sleepily at the TV, I’m sure wondering where those dogs are.

If you like the new series, you’ll love the old one too. If you haven’t seen the new series but have fond memories of watching it in the past go out and buy the box set and enjoy it all over again!

The box set is on the Golden Discs website, but can also be found on Amazon. However, Golden Discs was much cheaper. YMMV.