29 March 2013

Fiver's Mac Tip of the Day - Securing your iOS device for your children, Part 1: Setting up a kid-friendly iTunes account

read more here

via http://www.tuaw.com

Also check out the other parts of this series at tuaw.com

25 March 2013

Jozi Walking - Part 1

130209 Yeoville and Ponte 101
The other day someone asked me about walking tours in Jozi. Since I have attended a few and plan on taking more, and they are such a thing here, I thought I would write a series of posts about the different kind of walks you can take part in when you are in Jozi.

130310 Melville Walk 48
Discovering Melville's back alleys
I have to explain first to those non-Jozi people why visitors and locals don't just go for a walk, why they congregate in groups to explore a part of town. Most obvious there is the perceived danger of visiting some of the suburbs with less than salubrious reputations, like Hillbrow and Yeoville. With South Africa's turbulent history, it is not surprising that some areas of the city have at one point or another been no-go zones.

Then there is the strange suburban separation that means people are unfamiliar with other parts of town. Massive changes have taken place in this city since the end of Apartheid, making locals unfamiliar with their own home city. A hip neighbourhood might have become run-down, and businesses have fled parts of the city wholesale, and are just recently returning. It is disorienting and creates uncertainty.

And there is the usual reason for going on a walking tour: to get a knowledgable local guide who will illuminate a neighbourhood beyond the obvious.

130209 Yeoville and Ponte 33
Hillbrow Introduction
My friend Heather on her blog frequently writes about Jozi tours. It's a good place to start. My previous posts about walks are here and here. And as a first introduction, here are a few tour guides and organisations offering walking tours of one kind or another. Get walking!

More walking posts in the next few weeks.

05 March 2013

04 March 2013

My Anti-Hoarding tips

Inspired by my friend Deidre, house converter extraordinaire, here are a few random tips for keeping down the stuff we accumulate. As Deirdre says: First World Problem, still...

1) Move house often. It's amazing how the effort of packing boxes and the cost of a container can concentrate the mind. Don't pack anything that you can't assign to a room or a purpose (no 'miscellaneous' boxes allowed).

2) Discarding clothes is hard. I have emotional attachments to my clothes: "I wore that all summer when it was so hot." "That was one of my favourite outfits when I lived in Wellington." "I wore this dress at that great dinner party."... My solution is to be harsh and stuff everything I haven't worn in a while into a bag and stash it in the bottom of the wardrobe for  on cycle of seasons (varies by climate). I can take out anything if I think of it and miss it, wear it and put it back on the hanger. Anything else gets chucked without looking at again at the end of the term. The 'not looking at it again' is the magic ingredient, because otherwise my memories are triggered and I can't do it. Works a treat.

I have also been known to cut up a load of old jumpers and patchwork them into a blanket, or to frame that perfect t-shirt. That requires a bit of a DIY effort, but can be worth it.

3) Get a scanner and Evernote or Dropbox to cut down on paperwork. I use the Fuji Scansnap 5500M, as it has a multi-page feed and scans double-sided directly to a folder. Great for articles and receipts, and you can set it to do OCR - text recognition - so the article is full-text searchable. Then dump it all into Evernote or Dropbox until you need to read it again.

4) Indulge one vice. It might be hats, or art books, or commemorative mugs. I collect camels. No guilt, no restrictions.

5) Find a freecycle place or a charity. Passing on items rather than throwing them out is much easier. Often what you don't need, someone else is looking for. I am not keen on selling on eBay, it's a lot of effort for little return. Be generous with the things you don't really need any more, and make someone else happy. Sometimes just placing things next to a bin rather than in it means that someone else will find it and take it home.

There you have it, my anti-hoarding tips.