Mini Technology for Maximum Fun

Today’s fun comes in a small package.  Small but amazingly creative and wonderful.

Have you ever wanted to expand the capabilities of the camera on your cellphone?  Like being able to take up-close and personal photos of a delicate flower, a spider’s web, the wart on your friend’s elbow?  (Well, maybe not the wart.) The results you get probably won’t win any photography contests.  You’ll look at your picture, sigh, and then click the trash-it button.

What about getting a fish-eye pic?  Or wide angle?  All a no-go with a cellphone camera.  Until now.

Thanks to some very creative folks, you can now purchase a fisheye, macro and wide angle lens for your cellphone.  These lenses do not discriminate against cellphones.  They will work with ANY one that has a camera.

How?  How in the world can you attach a lens to a cellphone? you ask.

Boy, I didn’t realize that you were so skeptical.

By a powerful magnetic ring, that’s how.

The wide angle/macro lens sells for $20.  That’s the price of a trip to the movies with nachos, popcorn, and a drink.  The fisheye lens is $25.  Bundled together you get them for $40.  What a bargain if you ask me! You can find them here if you are interested.

And, if you are into photography this next item is such a fun lil’ item.  A mini camera that is a 1/16 scale model of a your real-life DSLR camera — detachable lenses and all!

With the holidays coming up before you know it, you can start dropping hints that this would make a great stocking stuffer.  Great for the photographer in your life (ahem, that’s you, my friend). Display it on your desk (but be careful not to lose it in the clutter).  Hang it on a chain around your neck.  Use it for a claymation movie with your GI Joe figures.  You can find it here.


Make Friends with These Plugins

Here are three great WordPress plugins that you ought to make friends with — assuming that you are using WordPress on a self-hosted site.

The first plugin has to do with publishing posts.  Let’s say that you are extremely ambitious and on-the-ball.  You type up scads of posts.  They are sitting patiently in your post draft area.  Waiting.  Waiting.  Waiting to be published.

Or, maybe you want to go on vacation.  And you want to keep up posting on your site.  But you don’t want to take time out of your vacation to write and publish something.  What’s a body to do?

Instead of having to go in and write and publish each post when you want a new one, you can use a plugin to create a schedule for your already written posts to automatically be published.  Sweet!

That plugin is called Scheduled Draft Publish Plugin for WordPress. (Say THAT fast 10 times!)  Dagon Design created it.  Take a look at it.  Try it out. I think you’ll like it.

Worried that some disreputable person might copy content from your site and paste it into theirs thus stealing your content?  Never fear!  Blog protector is here!  PC Drome has written a nice plugin that disables text selection and right click.  That makes is harder for someone to scrape text from your site.

The third plugin helps you to reply to the comments left on your blog. If you respond to a comment on your blog, the person who wrote the comment probably won’t check back to see that you made a response to his comment.  If you reply through e-mail, your comment doesn’t show up on your blog.   Ugh!!’s Greymatter Honeypot has a Comment E-mail Responder plugin that fixes that dilemma.  When that plugin is installed, you can respond to a comment on your blog and your response shows up on your blog AND is sent to the person’s e-mail.  Two responses in two places in a one-time effort.  Nice.

Hope these plugins make your bloggin’ world a little brighter!

Mystery Guitarman’s iMouth

I love, love, love Mystery Guitarman.  I could watch his videos all day.  (My work might not like that.  I would but methinks they wouldn’t.)

I also love all things iPhone.

Put them together and you get Mystery Guitarman’s iMouth.

What a hoot!  You’ve just gotta watch it.

And if this doesn’t inspire you to be creative with your iPhone, I don’t know what will!

Protecting Your iPad

I love it when I see something that tickles my sense o’ humor.  So, consider me tickled!

While I’m still trying to twist my husband’s arm provide ample reason to my budget that I need an iPad, I think I’ve found an exceedingly fun case for it.  The manila folder!

BoxWave offers a case that looks like a regular, run of the mill manila envelope.  It’s constructed out of leather to ‘withstand the harsh environments.’  (I guess if leather is good enough to protect ol’ Bossy from the harsh elements, it should work great for the iPad.)

It is padded and lined with a soft interior to ward off scratches.  That’s nice.  I was so not full of glee when my Nano got scratched . . . and, I immediately hustled out and got a case when I procured my iPhone.

You’ll be the talk of the town — or at least with your up close and personal friends — when you show up sporting both an iPad and an iPad in an envelope!  It’s worth the $39 (for the case, not the iPad) for all of the fun you’ll have with it!

Rockband — On My iPhone

The other day, I played researched how Rockband worked on the iPad.  I only have three words to say:  fun, fun fun!!

I was so absorbed in playing, that I was oblivious to how loud it was and how annoying I possibly was to other customers in the store.  (I found that Rockband on the iPad was much easier than with the guitar that came with the actual Rockband set up.  My little finger is weak and slow.  I guess I just need to practice to build up my strength.  That’s what I’ll tell my husband when he comes downstairs at 3:00 a.m. to see what I am doing . . .)

After I left the store, I was moaning that I didn’t have an iPad.  Then, inspiration struck.  I have an iPhone!  I dashed to the iTunes app store and found Rockband for the iPhone.  It was $6.99.

Then, I noticed there was a free version.  Being the extremely frugal person (read that to mean cheap) person that I am, I immediately downloaded it.  Here’s what I think of the free version.

Graphics.  I was amazed at the graphics on such a small screen.  I’m used to playing Rockband on my 52 inch HD TV.  That’s a little bit different than on the iPhone.  So far, I don’t mind the small size because the graphics are good.  Compared to my TV, they aren’t as flashy-snazzy, but they are nice.

Sound.  It had good sound.  Of course it doesn’t compare to my home theater surround sound but it is still good.  Not tinny.  No buzzing. Plenty of ‘depth.’

Ease of play.  I am so much better on the iPhone than on the Rockband guitar.  Since I’m all thumbs when it comes to things like crafts, that ‘thumb-ness’ has paid off.  Playing Rockband on my iPhone is much, much easier.  Love the drums, too.  I’m not a bass fan but playing it is fine, too.

Level of difficulty.  There are three levels of difficulty: easy, medium, hard.  Boy howdy! The hard level is definitely hard!

Song selection.  If you don’t mind having only one song, you won’t mind getting the free version of Rockband.

There is one drawback.  It doesn’t play in landscape mode.  If your fingers tend to be on the larger side, this may pose a challenge to you.  (Since I have dainty finger pads, it’s not a drawback for me.)

From my point of veiw, there is really only one reason to get the free version of Rockband:  so you can tell if you would be happy with the $6.99 version.

And is it worth it to pay almost seven bucks for an app on my iPhone?  I do think that price is a little steep.  However, I do think it’s worth the price.  On the days when I’m riding the bus home from work and my eyes are too droopy, sleepy to read, I can whip out my iPhone, pop in my earbuds, and jam away until I get to my stop.

I recommend that you buy the full version.  I think you’d like Rockband, too.

Sweet Find in iTunes

I know that you are probably already aware of this little feature in iTunes. But I wasn’t. And I am so glad to learn about it.

Do you have duplicate songs in iTunes, like I do? And are you having a Dickens of a time scrolling through your long list of songs to find them?  Scroll up.  Scroll down.  Back up again.  Are those songs the same?  I dunno.  Better scroll back down.

This little tip can save you lots of grief.

Open up iTunes. Hold down the Option key. Click on the File menu. You will see Display Exact Duplicates in the menu. If you have duplicates, you will get a list of songs that are exact duplicates of each other.  Now, you can go easily go through and delete the duplicates (and free up some room on your hard drive).

(Stop rolling your eyes at me.  While you might have known about this, like, for-ever, it’s new to me.  Okay?)


Free Fonts

I’m a collector of free fonts.  I salivate over them.  I hyperventilate over them.  I go berserk when I find sites offering them.  I get a technology fix when I install them on my computer.

I’ve just gotten a new fix . . .

If you, too, are interested in some free fonts, check this site out:

You might find something you like.  Most of ’em are are either completely free or free for personal use.

Enjoy.  I certainly did!