Tag Archives: iOS

Technological nightmares and extra work

I’ve been working on my storyboards in drips and drabs. Right now I have six in various stages of completion, and some are nearly complete.

There are two stand alone novels, the finale of the Lanternfish trilogy, and three future stories for Lizzie and the hat. I was feeling pretty good about the process. That’s when everything started failing.

The app I’ve been using is called Pinnic. It randomly erased one of my ledger cards. I tried opening and closing, even a reboot. That’s when I discovered another board had the same thing happen to it. Then it started throwing out a random index card that could not be edited or deleted. It also covered another card I would really like to read.

What happens is these developers stop updating their apps. It’s happened before. I used to use an app I really liked, but the developers stopped updating and eventually it became unusable. This one was so long ago that I don’t even remember its name. That’s when I switched to Corkulous Pro.

Corkulous Pro also went the way of the dinosaurs and I downloaded Pinnic. They haven’t had an update for a long time, but Apple has had many. You can see where this is going.

Lo and behold, a new developer bought Corkulous Pro about a year ago and resurrected it. It became a subscription based app. It’s like $1.99 per month, but half that for a year at a time. In theory, this is to allow them to keep it updated and trot out some new features on occasion.

Oddly enough, they refuse to tell you what the subscription fee will be in the App Store. I would kind of like that data prior to committing and it seems like the ethical thing to do. I even tried googling it to no avail.

Ultimately, I decided to download the free app and hoped to learn what the fee was. This worked, but I thought it might just be a blank check of some kind.

Something is lost and hopefully something is gained. I had a bunch of old storyboards on Pinnic that will be abandoned. I really don’t need them for books that have been published, but things like Yak Guy, Serang, and Grinders were in there. I see no reason to recreate them now.

I spent part of last night and all of this morning recreating the next six storyboards by hand in Corkulous. The split-screen feature in my iPad helped, but I was using two different apps with different controlling actions to accomplish that. There were many times I used action A on app B and it slowed down the process.

None of this involved a drag & drop, or a copy & paste, because they are different apps. It involved retyping everything I had.

I always got along well with Corkulous. There were features in other apps that it does not have. It has features the others don’t. Honestly, I don’t need a lot of bells and whistles. Give me some index cards, a few sticky notes, and I’m golden. It will allow me to attach images and I like to do that on occasion. My old images were sacrificed, but I may spend some time dropping a few into the new boards.

The downside is losing the time. I was supposed to be reading the next Lanternfish on an editing pass. I still haven’t started that task. Maybe tonight or tomorrow.

On the plus side, I have six storyboards that are pretty close to ready. I may have an app they will keep updated to the new operating systems. Does anyone else have problems like this, or am I the only one who uses apps when I create things?

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Filed under Writing

A Doubt filled weekend

Doubt

Yesterday involved a bunch of problems, sponsored by WordPress and Apple.

Apple’s iOS had a bug that hit some users, but not others. It forces a symbol replacement for a capital I when you type. I googled how to fix it, and they suggested a kind of macro that tells the computer when you type “I” what you really mean for it to do is type friggin “I”. It didn’t work.

A different website promised a repair was coming soon from Apple, so I checked. The update was already available, and fixed everything.

The second issue came from WordPress. It seems they’ve driven away all the decent blogging apps, and I’ve been using the actual WordPress app. One of the good things about it was the way it handled pictures. That all changed.

I used to be able to size, move, and tag photos. Today that’s all limited. For instance, if I tell it to move the raven to the left, that’s no problem. However; now it will no longer allow me to type beside it. The image insists upon taking up the entire area. That’s why the photo is centered above on today’s post.

I used to have two options for tagging images, but today I only have one. I can schedule the post, then edit it inside WordPress, but it worked well two days ago.

The other thing it’s doing now is randomly changing the pitch of my type. All is well if I just keep going, but if I go back to make a correction, all the future words want to be in some kind of micro-text. I have to delete my last good letter, then retype from there to get it right.

None of the WordPress issues are major, but it worked fine a couple of days ago. They need to address this, and while they’re at it,would it be too much to ask if I wanted to actually center some text, and change the pitch of my letters inside the app? As an example, I will add a section break below this paragraph. I will have to left justify it, post it, then edit it inside the WordPress Admin function to make it look right.

***

I went to the writing cabin around nine o’clock this morning. I spent yesterday working through The Hat and some suggestions I received. It really is looking good right now.

I plucked the hat from my desk and dropped him on my head. He was configured as a grey fedora, his preferred look. I opened the window, and gestured outside to Doubt, the raven. “I don’t think we need you for this one.”

It was an odd feeling. I have doubts about all my stories, but this time I feel great about one.

The hat said, “Go catch mice or something. Craig and I got this covered.”

Doubt glared at us like we brought his daughter home late.

“Go on, buddy. We don’t need you. In fact, Craig and I are ready to publish,” the hat said.

“Well, not exactly. Lisa is still with Sean Harrington, and we need her promotional posters. We may not have those until the end of the year.”

“So, what are we supposed to work on today?”

“I received feedback on The Yak Guy Project from a dear friend. I thought we might work our way through that.”

“What’s that got to do with the old hat?”

“Nothing really. I thought you might like to read over my shoulder. Lisa isn’t here, and maybe you have some suggestions.”

“You’re probably smart to come to me. Besides, I wasn’t doin’ anything anyway.”

I turned on my computer, and sat up an iPad beside it for the redline copy of my book.

“So, that Internet has the corrections, and the other Internet has the actual book? Is that the deal?” The hat asked.

“They’re two different devices, but they work on the Internet.”

“That’s what I said.”

“It’s, well it’s like… Yeah, we can check the suggestions on one, and make any changes on the other one.”

“Sounds like a good plan.”

I scrolled down the redline to the first suggestion.

“Slow down. Still reading here,” the hat said.

“Sorry.” I pondered the first suggestion and looked across the room.

Doubt lowered his head into what I call his classic vulture pose. “Kaaaaw, ha, ha, ha.”

“Oh, shit! Why couldn’t you just leave while I felt good about The Hat”

“Kaaw.”

“Hey, Yak Guy is kind of a dork. I gotta tell you, Lizzie has her shit together a lot more than this guy,” the hat said.

“Yeah, they’re different stories. In The Hat, Lizzie is supposed to be a go-getter who needs a bit of direction–”

“Your’s truly.”

“Exactly. Yak Guy needs a major overhaul in his life. Where you are more of Lizzie’s partner, Yak Guy needs a mentor.”

“Man I feel sorry for that guy.”

“He’s a yak.”

“How can a yak be a mentor?”

“How can a hat be a partner?”

“Touché. I’ll just go with it.”

“Thank you.”

***

Between the evil glances and croaking of Doubt, and trying to explain everything to the hat, it was a long day. The book, The Hat, is nearly ready to go. I’m expecting to hear from one more reader, and need some artwork.

The Yak Guy Project keeps waffling from deleting it entirely, making it into a trunk novel, self publishing it, or submitting it to an actual publisher. I kind of need to narrow the distance between those bookends somehow. This weekend is in the books, so I don’t have to decide anything today. I need to get on with it though.

How about some covers. Everyone loves covers, right?

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Filed under Muse

Agony and Ecstasy

I'll start off with the bad stuff first. I like to close on a good note.

I haven't been around as much lately, and this is because of a WordPress/Apple problem. I'm blaming Apple, but who really knows. I'm posting this in hopes that one of the WordPress gurus will read it and offer some clarity.

I read blogs using the WordPress Reader and the Safari browser. I have options, and thank God for that. My preferred gadget is my iPad Pro. I also kept my old iPad, and it works normally. Yesterday, most of WordPress stopped working for iPads.

I can still log in, and read my own blog. I still get comments, and interaction. The link to look at stats produces a white screen, and the link to Reader does the same. This could be an iOS problem.

When I try my iPhone I don't have any problems. This also works on iOS. What the hell does that mean? I cleared the caches on both iPads and rebooted them – no help.

I tried the WordPress app (which I hate) and can read posts and comment from there. This is also an iOS product.

I tried the Mac, and everything is perfect there.

Using an iPad, I can still get to my WP Admin and upload images. Somewhere in this post I'll see if that works or not. I write my posts with an app called Blogsy, because it's easier. It seems to work, but I have something pre-scheduled tomorrow and am nervous about it loading now. Hell, I'm nervous about this post loading too.

These things drive me crazy, and surfing for answers doesn't help. I get top choices from questions asked six years ago. This is a today thing Google!!! Moving on…

I pulled on my editing jacket and managed to work through two short stories today. This is only the first pass, and I have several others to make.

I'm tempted to leave the jacket on as I fight with iOS and WordPress.

My number one goal was to finish reading Wings of Mayhem, by Sue Coletta. This I accomplished, but it worked kind of like this.

Open my Kindle app. Let Otto, the puppy outside.

Make coffee, let Otto inside.

Read a chapter, rescue the dirty laundry from Otto.

Microwave my cold coffee, let Otto outside.

Read a chapter, let Otto inside.

Read a chapter, rescue my foot from Otto's jaws.

Read a chapter, find Otto in my closet eating my shoes.

Read a chapter, walk the dog, repeat until the end.

I really enjoyed Sue's first book, Marred, but Wings of Mayhem is the best book I've read this year (so far). I gave her a five star review, and wished there was an extra star to award.

This never has been a book review blog so I'll stop here. Check out Wings of Mayhem yourselves.

I also sent off a list of desires for the cover of The Experimental Notebook of C. S. Boyack II. I paid in advance and ordered four more pinup pieces. Some are for book promotion, and some are for other purposes. Fans of Lisa can watch this space, or host me when I'm ready to tour the new Notebook around and you can share the artwork on your own blogs. These will be pieces loosely related to one of the stories in the book.

I'm still toying with the idea of paying someone else to format this one. I could do it, but it seems like a reasonable thing to farm out. I scoped out Jo Robinson's services and they seem pretty reasonable. I have to finish editing and get some beta feedback before I decide. It should be finished before I send it out.

So ending on a high note; I did a small amount of editing, I have new cover art on the way, and I finished reading a great book.

Now that I have a few minutes to pay attention, Otto is sound asleep. I posted a video to the Facebook page of him in his new wading pool if you are interested.

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Filed under Writing

Oh WordPress, what’s next?

I give WordPress credit for improving the comments bar. I still prefer the old idea where I could go to a page of nothing but comments, follows, likes, awards, etc. this new version at least gives me a filter to look at only comments. 

I have a new problem though, plus the return of an old problem. It’s probably an iOS issue, but it exists. If I want to like a comment, the icon registers and immediately unregisters my action. I have no idea whether my idea registered at the other end.

Whenever I respond to a comment, the wheel thingie just keeps spinning. It used to make one cycle and my reply was posted. Now, I have no idea. I have to visit that specific site and check comments to see if it worked. I always respond to comments, even if it’s just to like them. I’m embarrassed to think I might have missed someone.

The reboot issue has returned with a vengeance too. If I read a post, I have to log back in every single time to read the next one. Does WordPress have any idea how frustrating it is to go through 12 hours of posts like this?

WordPress is hell bent on changing things up. They aren’t going to be dissuaded by their users. I believe they owe it to us to make something that actually works. 

If you’ve commented, and I failed to respond in some fashion, I’m sorry. I attempt to respond to everyone. It makes me angry that WordPress is making me look bad. 

Get it together, WordPress. 

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Filed under Blogging

A day, in which I don’t like things

If you aren’t into tantrums, here’s your opportunity to skip this post. We will still be friends.

I am not a patient guy, but I try. One of the things I do is give things time before making a judgment. I still have to force myself, but I’m improving.

After much deliberation, and a reasonable amount of time, I don’t like the new and improved WordPress.

I still think it’s the best blogging platform out there, but they’ve certainly made it less user friendly for those who blog. Here are my examples:

  • I can’t stand the new and improved stats display. It looks like bad chibi anime to me. I vote every single time I check stats, but apparently it was to placate serious users with no real value behind it. I’ve been clicking to display the old stats page, but now they forced me to swipe through all the new displays to the bottom before I can see any stats that make sense. It has the feeling of a close out sale. “Once they’re gone, they’re gone.”
  • I am pretty disappointed that I can no longer open a page of my comments, likes, and follows. I am getting a lot of action these days, and the scroll thingie doesn’t work all that well. I would be mortified if I couldn’t acknowledge someone’s comment, and am afraid I might have missed one or two.
  • None of the changes work well with iOS. I’m sure there aren’t many Apple fans out there, so why bother. (Rolls eyes.) When I try to respond to a comment, the display actually jerks around, and I wind up hitting the wrong button half the time. The send button isn’t reliable when I do manage to hit it.
  • I know it’s old now, but I don’t like the new post “beep beep boop” version either. I always click through to the older one, but wonder how long that will remain. Even it doesn’t like iOS very well. I write most of my posts in Pages these days, and paste them into the new post.
  • I want the link option to work every single time. Two thirds of the time, when I highlight a section, the link option greys out. I have to choose a different word to highlight until the link option is available. ( Three or four times, minimum.) Only then can I make the link I originally wanted.
  • I want the ability to include a picture when using my iPhone. I usually write these on my iPad, but sometimes it isn’t available. The entire iPhone version is frustrating.

I feel like a hacker whenever I use WordPress these days. Nearly everything is becoming a work around. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not going anywhere, but I feel like WordPress developers ought to actually use the software on various platforms before they release it to the masses.

I loved BlogPad Pro, but they decided not to update it when iOS 8 came out. It has a bug now that allows me to type faster than it can think. I’m not a fast typist.

Do any of you know of a reliable app that does WordPress better than WordPress?

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Filed under Blogging