Trying (Tech) Stuff Ahead Of Time, Always A Good Idea

In part as as part of getting ready to go to CES 2015, and also because having, or being able to do, these things should be part of my “mobile toolkit,” I’ve been trying a bunch of things, and, true to the name of this blog, they’ve been trying, in particular:

1) Tweeting from my phone.
2) Posting to my WordPress blog(s) from my phone.
3) Having a mobile device good for writing in trade show/travel circumstances.

For 1) and 2), you’d think that (like my friend Ernest Lilley said to me, in an “it’s that simple” tone) all I needed to do was get the right app(s). (My current phone is a Samsung Galaxy 5, running Android, BTW.)

You’d think.


For tweeting, pretty much so — install a Twitter for Android app, and read/tweet away.

And Twitter’s own Android app does this… although the UI strikes me as unnecessarily cumbersome and cryptic, but that may be my own still-neophyte Android expertise, having moved over from an iPhone 4.

Next step(s), I’ll try one of the other free or cheap Twitter for Android apps. Hopefully at least one will be more user-friendly for posting.


Meanwhile, over on the WordPress front: Yes, WordPress has an Android app.

Day 1:

No, it doesn’t work. At least not for me, trying to post to a “self-hosted blog” (presumably meaning, not a blog hosted at WordPress. Mine are hosted on the same ISP that my web site’s on and email’s at.)

I can create a post. I appear to be able to post it. But the app says “Local Draft” and no matter how many times I click on Publish, that ain’t happening.

And having done that, now all my WordPress blogs — and my non-WordPress web site (all hosted by — can’t be reached via Firefox, Chrome, or Opera browsers. Not from either of my desktop computers, not from a notebook, not from my Galaxy phone. (Interestingly, the site and blogs all respond as normal when I try using the Lynx ASCII web browser from either of my two *Nix shell accounts. Tres weird.) I close down the WordPress for Android app, but everything stays hung for 15-30 minutes.

Talk about mega-epic FAIL.

It’s clearly time for some tech support. I’ve already browsed through WordPress’ own forums, and while I see some similar problems, I don’t see anything helpful… and if this really was a general problem, I would expect to see a lot more unhappy Q&A.

So I email Pair’s tech support, who are always responsive, helpful, and almost always have answers or fixes. (A lot of problems turn out to be configuration or similarly local/specific to me and my often-quirky ways of doing things.)

Day 2:

Pair tech support theorizes the problem may be my phone’s IP address “triggering a security
monitoring program here that could be blocking it.” They suggest I send them the IP address I’m posting from (via an IP-address providing tool on their web site), so they can tweak their rule settings.

Meanwhile, mirabile dictu, the WordPress for Android app on my phone is now able to post to my blogs. It’s still a mediocre app — a lot of guesswork and random tapping to do stuff — but working beats not working.

I’ve also set the Android app to automatically “smallify” (size down) pix to a more reasonable size, when adding them to a post.

That’s enough problems solved for one post. Mobile devices in next post.

Wrangling Photos: A Picture Gallery from Readercon 25

Digital cameras make it easy to take not just dozens, but hundreds of photos at an event like a graduation, wedding, bar/bat mitzvah, reunion, or convention, at, unlike “analog” photography, no “cost per click” for film or developing. Wrangling these batches of photos — culling duds, naming the keepers and batch-naming a collection, turning into a postable set — takes time. I’ve been exploring and experiementing with some of the free/cheap tools.

ere’s one such batch (hence, including it in my TryingTechnology blog), from the 2014 Readercon (“conference on imaginative literature,” July 10-13, 2014 in Burlington, Mass., per my event report in

This one uses NextGEN Gallery’s free plugin for WordPress, rather than the free Gallery feature built into WordPress. I’m still exploring some of the settings — for example, why am I not seeing the photo captions, mmm?

NextGEN Gallery’s non-free versions offer more viewing and commerce features, and there are also a bunch of interesting-looking third-party add-ons to NextGEN Gallery I plan to look explore.



Products Seen At 2014 CES: A Starter Dozen Or So

Of the 3,200+ exhibitors at this year’s International CES (formerly standing for “Consumer Electronics Show”) held in Las Vegas January 7-10, 2014 (plus probably another 300 or so exhibiting at associated/concurrent events like Pepcom, ShowStoppers, Storage Visions, the NMX New Media Expo, and/or in private suites, but not necessarily also on the CES show floor), I probably managed to see and briefly chat with/try three or four hundred, and quick-glimpse maybe half that again. Continue reading

Off to Consume Electronics! (at 2014 International CES in Vegas)

And so off to this year’s (2014!) International CES, the show formerly known as the Consumer Electronics Show, or, as I refer to it, “Consume Electronics!” I’m packing a camera, my iPad and Asus Nexus 7 tablets — plus, for most of my note-taking, if the AC charger still works, my trusty old NEC MobilePro, which flips open ready for being typed into faster than anything else I’ve got. Continue reading

Buying Media for Digital Cameras – A Class-y Act?

As I move up from $100-$200 pocket point-and-shoot cameras to bigger, better ones (more about this in another post), I’m up against the question: what are the right (minimum, good, best) SD (‘Secure Digital”) media cards. Somewhat like (analog) film of yore, SD cards come in various speeds (here, read and write, rather than light-sensitivity), capacities, and vendor/brand names. Continue reading