Solving HTC Desire low disc space issues

I love my HTC Desire mobile phone, but for the last few months we have been at war. It started with a Low Disc Space warning. I retaliated by ensuring every app that could be moved to SD card was moved. I cleared the cache and even for some apps the data – which was a pain as I had to re-enter passwords.

I researched and convinced myself I would root my phone, but I chickened out and opted for a Factory Data Reset. Even that was nerve racking.

But something had to be done as in addition to the low disc space messages, I was also getting warning messages that my phone wasn’t functioning properly – not surprising when you have less thank 500kb free!

So Friday night I performed a factory data reset available through settings. The reset was really quick and it took only about an hour to re-enter passwords, install apps etc.

During my research I found that people recommend a data reset after a firmware upgrade, though rooting is the best long term solution.

I have resigned myself to the idea that I may have to reset frequently but it’s only until June when I upgrade, and now that I’ve done it once, I know it’s no big hassle. At least I can go back to using it as a smartphone now that I have room to reinstall Tweetdeck and G+ and a couple of days later I am pleased I took the plunge and wish I had to had the courage do reset sooner.

TIP: Check the apps you want to keep, there may be an option to export data to your SD card. You will still have to reinstall each app from the Marketplace (which remembers which apps you have bought) but at least any data associated with that app will be saved – though will probably still have to re-enter your passwords. And, if you have synchronised your contacts with your Google account they will magically reappear once you’ve re-synchronised.

So don’t delay take the plunge – but you will still have to be harsh on which apps to reinstall, especially if you want resource hungry apps like G+ and Facebook.

A Geeky Guide To Buying A Mobile Phone

I am completely dependant on my mobile phone. It is for this reason that I can award it the grand title of ‘My Favourite Gadget‘. I text, email, tweet, Facebook, blog and shop on it, to the extent that I hardly ever use my computer. I can browse the web, but for specific tasks like my online shopping, news, social media I prefer to use apps, most of which are free.

I love my mobile because it is pretty, easy to use and allows me to do all of the above wherever I am. There would be big tears should it end up out of commission.

My mobile is a smartphone and if you haven’t got one yet I can tell you that when you do, you are in for a real treat. But choosing which phone to buy is no easy task with so many different choices. Friends will usually recommend their own phone but will it be right for you?

It is true I am a geek but that doesn’t make me an expert, I just get rather more excited by gadgety things than the average bod. But I do have some information that you may find useful.

Think of a Smartphone as a little mini computer. If you were buying a computer you have two main choices, will you buy a PC or a Mac? If you buy a PC you have a wide range of different manufacturers to choose from, but if you choose a Mac your only option is to buy an Apple machine.

Buying your mobile phone you will be faced will similar choices. First you have to choose between the type of phone. The main players are iPhone, Android, Blackberry, Symbian or Windows. The iPhone is a fairly straightforward choice as your options are to buy the earlier version, iPhone 3, or buy the newer iPhone 4 and then decide how much storage for all your photos, apps, messages etc. If you decide upon an Android phone you not only have a choice of manufacturers but also a choice of phone design – for example with or without a physical keyboard.

Now for the biased part. I have an Android HTC Desire. I bought this phone on contract, well actually it came free, and I can whole heartedly say I throughly recommend it. I didn’t buy an iPhone because they are far more expensive and the HTC Desire does the same thing. Some will argue it does more, others will argue it does less. I guess it depends on exactly what you are trying to do with your phone.

You are very unlikely to regret buying either. I believe some of the earlier Android phones aren’t as good as the HTC Desire, and since I bought my phone I know that newer models have been released. Also HTC are not the only manufacturer of Android phones.

I know that some people say that the iPhone is best as it’s really easy to use, and they are right, it is really easy to use, but so are Android phones.

So what about the other options, Symbian, Blackberry and Windows? They are the less popular choices, but that doesn’t mean they won’t be right for you. Blackberry has a messenger feature that is making it very popular with kids. My sister bought a HTC Windows phone as at the time it was the only phone that had a particular app that she wanted. Die-hard Nokia fans will no doubt swear by their Symbian phones, and let’s be honest, they really are great when it comes to sound quality.

So my geeky recommendation to you is that you do your research. If you are signing up to a contract you could be tied in for two years. That’s a long time with a phone you hate, find frustrating or doesn’t meet your needs.

As for whether to buy a contract or pay as you go and choosing a network, you need to choose what works for you. But I can tell you that if you have chosen wisely, you will be tweeting and blogging from the supermarket queue and will end up paying through the nose if you don’t have unlimited web usage (or what is effectively unlimited, most have an upper limit but providing you use your Wireless connection when at home you would have to do some serious surfing to exceed it).

Is your mobile phone your favorite gadget? How did you choose which smartphone to buy? What do you think of your choice of phone? Would love to hear from you.

This blog post was written for Notes From Home’s Friday Club Geek Carnival: A Favourite Gadget.

Helen at Cheeky Wipes tells us about her favourite gadget in And the award for best gadget goes to…..

Cara at Freckles Family writes about a gadget she loves.

Bibsey writes about her favourite gadget, my ‘precious’.

Merry at Patch of Puddles tells us about her clay sculpture tool.

Jax at Live Otherwise gives us her favourite gadget and it’s not what you think.

Cass at The Diary of a Frugal Family posts Gadgets – I love you….. .

Clare at Seasider in the City gives us Tech her family can’t do without.

Jacq at Mymumdom tells us about her backing camera.

Katherine at Living and Learning tells us about the fizz in her favourite gadget.

Maggy at Red Ted Art posts about her digital camera.

Ella at Notes From Home tells us about her home media centre.

A Geeky Guide to Losing Weight & Getting Fit?

Geeky Son has recently celebrated his first birthday, so the whole ‘I am fat because I just had a baby‘ excuse is wearing a bit thin – well at least something is. So along with a large percentage of the population, my New Year’s Resolution was to get back to my pre baby no 2 size with a stretch goal of shrinking to my pre kids size.

So far I have lost 7 lbs which I am really pleased about, though I do confess that 2.5 lbs was thanks to a sickness bug that was no fun at all, but I am pleased that it has managed to stay off, so I must be doing something right?

Being a bit of a geek, the way to get me to do anything is to throw gadgets at me (not literally as I really can’t catch). Whether this approach is going to work, only time will tell, but in the mean time, feel free to point out the errors in my assumptions or applaud my geeky methods.

Food

Everyone knows that getting rid of the flab is a two-pronged attack, watching what you eat and exercising. Eating better has been my starting point. I have read numerous books, from the Food Doctor to Paul McKenna. My research has led me to create the following guidelines for myself – not rules, as that implies they have to be followed, guidelines mean that when I break them I don’t have to feel guilty:

  1. Eat when hungry – otherwise apparently you can screw up your metabolism and starving myself would, well, I like my food way too much.
  2. Stop eating when no longer hungry – I tend to edge more to the before I am full, but the point is, clearing my plate is not the objective. Too many times I have eaten way too much because I like the taste or feel like it is too much of a waste not too.
  3. Only eat what I want to eat – there are a lot of foods I don’t like, for example I love broccoli and carrots but can’t stand peas, I am not big on fruit and whilst I can eat it, I would rather stay away from lettuce. If eating healthier means I have to eat grapefruit then quite frankly I would prefer to be mistaken for expecting no 3.

To keep an eye on what I eat I decided I needed to keep a food journal, and this is where we get to the gadgety part. I did consider joining Weight Watchers Online, I love the idea of a points system and I know quite a few people who have had great success with them. However whilst looking at phone apps for my Android HTC Desire I came across WWPoints. It isn’t affiliated with Weight Watchers but I found a number of reviews by people saying that they had compared it with the official Weight Watchers calculator and it seemed to be spot on. So for a few quid as a one off payment, I have been kind of following a Weight Watchers Pro diet.

I don’t use the app religiously, but I find it useful to help me make good choices, like I very rarely now have cheese as that uses up an incredible amount of points, but if I am careful about what I have eaten, I can squeeze in some naughties to satisfy my chocolate addiction.

Exercise

So that’s food covered, what about exercise? I am signed up to a Pilates class which I love, but as Geeky Son is currently being either ill or a monkey about going to bed on time I am only managing about once or twice a month which is so infrequent that it almost isn’t worth it. Something I can do at home is the only practical solution.

After some lovely conversations with @clare_anderson and @R2UK I was recommended EA Sports Active. I checked the reviews on Amazon and, whilst it might offer good value for money in comparison to a gym membership that is never used, £40 is still £40. But this is the exciting part, the lovely Fairy Hobmother aka @ian_goodall from Appliances Online sent me a tweet telling me that he wanted to give me a gift. Well it made my Monday. An Amazon voucher for £15 was perfect timing and I swiftly ordered my latest new toy – EA Sports Active 2 for the PS3.

We also have a Wii, but it was clear from the reviews that people found the PS3 version much better. It comes with 3 strap on sensors, one of which is also a heart rate monitor.

I have only had time to set it up and have one workout, but I can confirm that it is a lot of fun. There is a lot of running on the spot, jumping up and down and squatting, but they incorporate it into fun games. It really does feel like you have your own personal trainer. I feel that it deserves its own review post, which I might do once I have used it in earnest – presuming I do manage to put it to geeky good use.

So there you have it. A phone app and PS3 game are hopefully going to be the secret of my geeky success to good health.

If you want to read more stories of weight loss I suggest you check out @kateab as she has on her blog The Five Fs My Fitness Story where you will find exactly that, people sharing their journeys for a healthy life.

Do let me know what you think and if you have any tips for me as I am determined that I will succeed.

Appliances Online sent me a £15 Amazon voucher to spend on whatever I wanted in return for a link to their website. No other incentives have been received from any of the other companies or products mentioned in this post.

Twitter – Choosing Who To Follow & To Stay Following

Following (no pun intended) @nickie72‘s blog post it made me realise that people must have different reasons as to why they follow people on Twitter.

I am not saying that my way is right, but it works for me.

My Geeky way of choosing who to follow is based entirely on whether or not I am interested in their tweets. Yes it would be lovely to have them follow me back, and even better if they actually tweeted me, but those are added bonuses rather than a requirement of my following.

For this reason, whilst I do try to check my new followers every so often, I don’t auto follow back.

I usually find new followers by:

  1. Conversation – if they aren’t a spammer and genuinely tweet with me, I will usually follow back
  2. Recommendation – if one of the people I follow retweets a tweet of theirs or a blog post I really enjoy reading, then I also usually follow.

However, I never ever follow without first reading their bio and checking out their latest tweets.

If I don’t follow back it’s often because I am very time poor and don’t get around to it, or something in their bio or timeline puts me off. But I do revisit.

This works for me as I don’t track how I am doing. I don’t track my follow count and I don’t use unfollow apps. So if someone stops following me I won’t notice and I won’t unfollow them. I am still at the ooohhh, I got a mention stage in my Twitter life, so I also don’t get upset when people don’t respond. But even once I have reached Twitter stardom, I really hope I manage to keep my feet on the ground. I don’t read every tweet, so how can I expect other people to do so. Yes, Twitter tools do let you know when you have been mentioned, but they are notorious for not working 100% of the time. But even if someone does read my tweet, there can be many more reasons as to why they don’t reply.

Maybe that sounds foolish but if you remember, I don’t follow to be polite, I follow in the hope that I am going to read some great things, that doesn’t change just because that person no longer follows me or because they haven’t answered my twitter question.

Maybe when I have some Klout then I will join in with the stress of worrying about those apparently important numbers, but until then, I will continue to enjoy Twitter as a great source of useful info, links and chatter without too much obsession.

And in case you do want to follow me, be careful to pick the right Geeky Mummy, there are a few of us out there. I am @GKMummy.

How to set-up 123-reg email with a WordPress.com domain

So you have decided on a WordPress.com blog, bought your domain name and an email address from 123-reg.co.uk, bought the WordPress.com domain upgrade and got your domain pointing to your blog – phew, well done. But just as the champagne cork nearly takes out someone’s eye you realise that you aren’t receiving emails.

Getting your email to work in this situation is a lot tricky than you would have thought and getting 123-reg support to provide meaningful help was for me like getting blood out of a stone. When they finally gave me a detailed answer the information was wrong!

Yes, you do need to add MX records which you do by going to Upgrades, Domains, Edit DNS. However, the crucial part to getting it to work is to enter the following:

MX 10 mx0.123-reg.co.uk.
MX 20 mx1.123-reg.co.uk.

Note that it appears to be case-sensitive. Hope you find this info helpful. I have suggested to 123-reg.com that they add this information to their help articles.