SnapMyLife

Posted in BlackBerry, BlackBerry Bold, email, SnapMyLife, twitter on June 7, 2009 by TferThomas

Picked this application up the other day (it is free download from BlackBerry Application World) and it is quite an interesting application that relies on the BlackBerry (or any camera phone) and its user’s mobility.

SnapMyLife in their words:
“Instantly share and view photos on your mobile phone.
SNAP a picture with your camera phone.
SEND to friends, family or the world.
VIEW everyone’s photos from your phone.”

It’s free to join and I as I said before, the application for BlackBerry is also free. In fact, as the screen shot shows, there are two applications for twitter, and three ways to upload photos:
1. SnapMyLife application for BlackBerry: upload your photo as soon as you take directly to your SnapMyLife account. The SnapMyLife application runs in the background & pops up as soon as you have taken a photo.
2. Email the photo to your SnapMyLife account directly with the use of an email address specific to your account (attach the photo as a file, and type the comments for the photo in the subject field of the email)
3. Snap2twitter application for BlackBerry: take a photo and the Snap2twitter application for BlackBerry pops up (runs in the background), refer second screen shot) and prompts you with either save or save and send to twitter & allows you to add some commentary. It also then sends the photo and comments to your SnapMyLife account.

SnapMyLife suggest you may have to disable one of the SnapMyLife applications for BlackBerry to avoid potential conflict, so I guess there may be some developmental work underway here.

Two main disadvantages to these useful & extremely easy to use BlackBerry applications:
1. Applications are only available to be downloaded from the BlackBerry Application World (although to their credit, the developer emailed me the applications (here in Australia, RIM have not provided us with access to the BlackBerry Application World) with great descriptive instructions on how to load)
2. At this stage, the applications only run via your phone carrier’s data plan, and don’t have BIS support (at the time of writing, I am still awaiting the developer’s thoughts of when BIS support will become available), so ensure you have a good data plan.

My SnapMyLife account can be found http://snapmylife.com/users/tferthomas

For more info contact Mobicious Inc’s site http://snapmylife.com/

Enjoy,

TferThomas

Paying it forward…using twitter (it’s happening right now)

Posted in Angels and Demons, BlackBerry Bold, friends, movies, paying it forward, twitter on May 25, 2009 by TferThomas

So a small group of us went out to a movie on Saturday night (saw Angels & Demons) and after it we went to a little cafe for so delightful crepes and hot chocolate, where the conversation took an interesting turn… and I could pay it forward.

One of our friends (a small time film maker, embarking on a documentary) had enlisted the assistance of a prominent Australian muso, but had now lost contact with him, and could not get a further response.

I may have a solution, or at the very least, an avenue to pursue… from my BlackBerry Bold, I opened up SocialScope Lite and DM’d one of my good twitter friends, and asked if there was a way to contact the muso in question. Hey, it couldn’t hurt, and I had a good feeling.

Within half an hour, the reply was back (received on the drive back to the CBD)… there were two ways contact could be made, both very successful in the past.

Our film maker now had a way to get the project back on track, all because of a social media network called twitter, my positive helpful friend on twitter, and my BlackBerry.

Where the story is at….

A draft email is currently being penned, which will be forwarded from our film maker friend, to my twitter friend, for forwarding to the muso, whose help with the project will greatly assist 1. the project but more importantly, 2. some needy individuals.

Don’t underestimate the power of paying it forward.

I shall update this as the story unfolds.

Until later,

TferThomas

Paying it forward …. twitter style

Posted in Pay it forward, sharing the love, twitter on April 23, 2009 by TferThomas

The amazing thing about twitter, is the almost instantaneous nature of the conversation (or referred to as “tweets” from the twittersphere). The tweets are usually short and to the point, and really, how can they not be, when you are only allowed up to 140 characters per tweet?

So how does one pay it forward on twitter?

Firstly, paying it forward…

Paying it forward, if you weren’t sure, is a concept by which I try to live my life by, and I know others do the same. To pay it forward, simply means helping out someone randomnly (unplanned) in a way that potentially may give that person the necessary leg up so that they can achieve something important in their life. To you it is nothing of any great significance, and doesn’t really cause you any discomfort, mentally, emotionally, physically, nor financially.

To the recipient however, your paying it forward may just be the missing piece in the puzzle for them to achieve something positive/life changing/life saving from their life, for their life. For example, placing some spare change into a parking meter, allows a person to park (they may actually have no money), and make that critical job interview on time, therefore win the interview process, get the job, and become employed for the first time in two years. What did it cost you…. $3.20 perhaps. But for them, that $3.20 helped them get their life back on track.

So, I understand the concept of paying it forward, now how can I pay it forward on twitter?

Twitter works on building a social/business network by finding people to follow, and people follow you….. and so it goes.

You can pay it forward by simply connecting two people, who may not know each other, together, and you have paid it forward, because you are the middle link.

  • Someone may be on hard times and needs that leg up…. you know someone who can assist, and by bringing them together, you have paid it forward.
  • You come across some information tweeted by someone you follow, and you think it is interesting enough to retweet (share it again)… this information then goes out to all of your followers, maybe onto someone who really needs this tweet… you have paid it forward.

Paying it forward on twitter can really work. What does it cost you? Apart from your time… nothing.

So, the next time you feel an urge to share the love, I have three words to share…

Pay It Forward

Paying it forward… simply put

Posted in karma, paying it forward, twitter on April 1, 2009 by TferThomas

One thing that I can confidently say is on twitter (http://twitter.com), I am well known for promoting the concept of “paying it forward”. Well, at least with my twitter friends, and my friends, colleagues and peers in person.

A common question people ask when interacting on twitter, is how do I “pay it forward”? Hmmm, good question, and one that I shall now try to cover off here.

Firstly, paying it forward is never something you could say is pre meditated. Instead, you pay it forward, when the moment grabs you…. or spur of the moment, totally off the cuff. So being in tune with your inner self is important. Some call it your higher self, others refer to it as your sixth sense, but whichever it is… listen carefully to it. It is normally right.

Secondly, a paying it forward action should never have real negative implications for yourself. For example, putting some loose change into a parking meter (something I have done) is not really going to tax your overall position financially, where as spending $5,000 on a random someone just may. Paying it forward comes from someone who “can” to someone who possibly “can’t”.

Thirdly, paying it forward is done without having to think “what will I get out of this?” The very point of paying it forward, is to do it when you get the opportunity, done randomly, and with zero expectations to receiving anything in kind. Rest assured though, when you are in need, pay it forward comes full circle.

So the next time you get a feeling to help someone out, listen to that feeling, run with that feeling, and pay it forward.

Setting up to work effectively from home

Posted in working from home on March 30, 2009 by TferThomas

You may have been retrenched and decide it’s time to follow that dream of yours, you may be tired of working next to the same old people, or you now may have more flexibility in your current career, … you decide now is the time to work more from home.

Its far more easier to decide to work from home, then to actually do it for real, and having done it for approximately seven years (no longer as it doesn’t fit in with my current career), I will now give you the guidelines according to Thomas.

The are a number of non negotiables that I abide by when setting up to work form home (I may be flexible on other matters, but remain totally firm on these):

1. Dedicated space for your home office.
Normally I allocate a bedroom and kick the bed out (at the most, the bed replaced by a sofa bed). By making a room exclusively your home office, means when you walk in, mentally you are at work.

2. A proper desk / work space.
This space is to be used for work, and work alone. No using the desk for your partner’s hobbies or for you to store perhaps your magazines.

3. Suitable hardware.
Think about all the various office hardware you would normally use in a typical office situation… now, ensure you have the same in your home office (eg. If you use a fax, then implement a fax solution into your home office). If you short cut the process here, your work’s efficiency levels will surely take a hit.

4. Communication.
Similar to hardware, if you use a landline as part of your business, ensure a landline is present in the home office ( a dedicated one at that), and don’t forget a fax line, if the obligatory fax is used.

5. Chair.
A dining room chair just will not suffice. Companies don’t provide ergonomic office chairs for the sake of it. That sofa bed I previously referred to has another purpose… visitor seating.

6. Air conditioning.
Most offices have their air conditioning set at 22.5 degrees celsius (apparently the optimum working temperature for office workers, or so I have been led to believe) so here is another area that must not be overlooked.

7. No house work during working hours.
This is a critical one to remember, so easy and logical, but many people use house chores as an excuse to take them away from their office work. Ask yourself a simple question… is it work related? If not, it is to be overlooked.

8. Dress for work.
Yes, sounds simple enough, but so many people forget this little detail… if you dress for work, it helps you to get into work mode. It may not be a suit as such, but adopting a certain dress code will always aid the process of working from home.

9. Schedule in some time with colleagues.
Humans, being the tribal species we are, love company, and it is the same in work. Perhaps once a week, go back to the office, even if it is for half a day, and mingle. Your work at home ethic will benefit as a result, and be easier to sustain.

10. Keep normal hours.
If you work an 8 hour day normally in an office environment, then a similar working day, at home, is totally appropriate, and not a 16 hour day. There are many good valid reasons for working from home, but longer hours is not one.

So there you have it, ten tips for working effectively from home. Use this as a starting point, and build from here. I hope it helps, and if you are lucky enough to be in this position… good luck.

When the "taken for granted" does not happen… and what to do.

Posted in Melbourne, simple things in life, taken for granted, weather on January 30, 2009 by TferThomas

My week in Melbourne has been interesting. Not only has it been a fabulously successful week business wise (http://tinyurl.com/pmanz), a stimulating week fitness wise (three 1.33 – 1.5 hour brisk walks), but most importantly, was the stark realisation of when the “taken for granted” just does not happen, and how to overcome the hurdles which invariably transpires.

Three major “givens” occurred in Melbourne this week: the heat wave (the hottest since 1939), widespread power losses, and of course the train service (or rather lack of service).

The heat wave:

From the viewpoint of a Queenslander staying in Melbourne for the week, it was I guess, curious to see how people weren’t coping. Yes, it was very hot (within 0.5 degrees celsius of the hottest day on record in Melbourne).

It was a really significantly dry heat, and one that almost took your breath away (not used to the dryness, as I haven’t lived in Western Queensland for ages). For me, I liken it to being in an oven (where as in Queensland, it is more like being in a pressure cooker).

This weather system took everyone by surprise, and really slowed the place down. Who could blame the Melbournians… not me for one.

How to overcome this type of weather? Quite simply; stay out of the heat where ever possible, drink lots of fluid (and I mean water), don’t do anything strenuous, and be patient (everyone is in the same boat remember).

But there is a cooler change a coming, so let’s try to remember this for next time.

Power losses:

Due to the heat wave, properties all over the Melbourne power grid had their power switched off, even if it was for an hour (in blocks of 20,000).

Now this happened without notification. The basic commodity of power, and the “given” of its continuity, was shattered in one swoop. No power… no refrigerator, no air conditioning, no fans, and none of life’s little luxuries (recharging of mobile, computer, lights, PS3, music etc).

What to do: keep the fridge closed to maintain the coolness, get the candles out, have spare batteries, get a small appliance charger (for laptop, mobile etc), and load some songs onto your mobile (I have 420+ songs on my BlackBerry Bold). Most of all, patience is required.

And hey, the perfect opportunity to meet and get to know your neighbours… you never know when you may just need them.

Train services:

Melbourne is where I have truly embraced public transport, over the car I would normally use. In Brisbane, the opposite stands true… I consider Brisbane’s public transport system a bit of a hotch potch affair, and one to be avoided at all costs.

But in Melbourne, I happily use trains, trams and the Skylink service. But all that changed today… courtesy of Connex (train services) and their simple lack of being able to contend with the heat.

Train lines buckled (why doesn’t this happen in the more tropical climate of Queensland, or if it does, is it handled more efficiently?), and train services cancelled (300 services alone today).

So when the service from Glenferrie Station to Southern Cross Station kept being delayed, after half an hour of delays, I knew I needed an alternate plan. And seeing everyone else must have had the same idea…. a taxi was out of the question (booking line 131008 was engaged, so can only imagine how overwhelmed it must have been), and so I had to rely on, yes indeed, a colleague and his car. Made it to the airport with minutes to spare…

What to do: give yourself more time (plan for the situation occurring (you can always enjoy a coffee or similar at your destination if you arrive early), pay attention to the local news service, twitter your concerns (so others can, and do, tweat back assistance), have a back up plan, and be patient.

Overall, I must say, I did embrace the week, I did pay it forward, and was returned the compliment by someone I had never met (thanks @iDarryl), and I did enjoy my Melbourne week.

Stay safe, stay cool, and may patience for your situation and others be rewarded.

Thomas

The simple things in life: time to enjoy them

Posted in enjoy, life balance, relax, simple things in life on January 22, 2009 by TferThomas

The Managing Director of the company I work for (Priority Management: http://tinyurl.com/pmanz) took me out for dinner last night, as we were both in Melbourne (Brisbane is home for both him and I) for the week, working from the Hawthorn office. So we caught the train into Flinders Street (from Glenferrie) and walked across the bridge to SouthBank.

We selected a restaurant close to the water and boulevard, and were able to simply watch the world go by. Now, I don’t know about you, but I am fascinated by watching people go about their daily lives (and no, those reality type TV programs just don’t do it for me), and it was a simple pleasure to do this… it really didn’t cost anything, you can learn a lot about a city from the people you see, and you get to see people really from all walks of life, race, colour and creed. From a mulitcultural level, I believe Melbourne does it better than any other Australian city.

I watched in amazement when Richard (our Managing Director) burst into French, when he discovered a french gentleman waiting nearby… amazing (reminds me, I must get back into my Hindi learning).

We caught the train back to Hawthorn, but this time, disembarked at Hawthorn station and walked to the Glenferrie Hotel (where the company normally puts it’s people), but before we went our separate ways, we decided (well Richard insisted) to have a couple of ales at a little bar near the Glenferrie Hotel (the Glenferrie Hotel is currently undergoing some massive renovations in the bar area).

Again, the act of having a beer (or two) and actually talking casually is really a simple thing to do, but ultimately a very rewarding past time.

We forget that some of the simple things in life, normally the ones we actually don’t think about, or overlook, are some of the most rewarding occurences in our lives, and are usually the things which balance out the busy, over crowded lives we lead.

So the next time you are feeling perhaps a little overwhelmed, or frazzled, find a nice spot, sit down and let the world pass you right on by…. allow yourself to stop.

Enjoy the simple things in your life, make a mental note of them, and see how they give you some badly needed balance.

My thoughts and twitters for now,

Thomas