This Project Was A Waste Of Time

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Over at my other website I take part in this podcasting/vlogging challenge for cartoonists called Art Soundoff. The past couple of years I’ve had some kind of technical issue that made me miss a few days even by my chosen schedule (just on weekdays; it’s up to the participant if they even post the recording or just keep it for themselves, and how often during the month of November you do it–technically you could make one recording, not share it, and complete the challenge). So this year I thought I’d use my project day to go through and put everything together so that come Sunday night I could record something and easily have it ready for Monday morning.

So instead I set a new record by having technical issues BEFORE I begin the challenge. Oh, lucky me.

Part of this is going to come off as venting but without getting too technical (since this isn’t a tech blog but a clutter fighting blog and yes in a way this does fit in…good thing, given that it took up the whole afternoon and I woke up late Saturday) here’s what I tried to do using some old electronics…and what failed to happen.

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Quick Report: More Cellphone Webcam Experimenting

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I found a use for the old smartphone, by using it to replace the regular webcam that has trouble working after a while. Let it sit long enough and you can get a few days out of it before it goes haywire again. I hear so many people praise Logitech but they always break for me. Always. And I’m not even that rough on my equipment.

The app I was playing with last week only worked through OBS (Open Broadcast Software), a streaming and recording program that records your screen and any external input like the webcam and microphone. I found another one that I want to play with a bit more before doing an article on (I don’t want to promote something that doesn’t work right or at least go over key areas it doesn’t work) but can be used as a regular webcam and doesn’t need an OBS plugin to use it. I only found it a couple of days ago so I haven’t really played with it but it seems easier to use.

In the next week or two I’ll be decorating for Christmas (I’m not letting 2020 stop me on that) but hopefully I’ll get back to a proper project soon.

Quick Report: Learning My Smartphone

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With my back still a bit tender my ability to do any heavy cleaning is suspect. There’s this one small spot in the small of my back, which is the spot it usually starts, still being restrictive. So this week I decided what I really need to do is go through my new smart phone and learn all the apps. This is something I’ve not really done in the past but long since should have done on my old phone. I even added an app or two to improve function but I don’t want to bother putting too much on. However it is still clutter clearing as any app I couldn’t use or wasn’t interested in was taken off…if it could. I also cleaned out a bit of my library and wishlist for apps I’ll never want to use.

Having apps that can’t be removed is sort of a pet peeve of mine when it comes to smartphones. I didn’t have this problem on the tablet, which has the same storage issue as my old phone, where I can’t even update the darn thing without a fight anymore. (My computer-savvy friend says that Android likes to take up a lot of space, and I’ve noticed that when I install a new update it doesn’t delete anything from the old one, which takes up even more space.) The big issue though is that smartphones have these apps you can’t get rid of even if it doesn’t affect the working of the phone. I don’t need the Facebook app on there because I’m rarely online when I’m out. (I don’t have a data plan and only use public WiFi when necessary. I don’t even have the phone on when I’m home most of the time.) I certainly don’t need Uber because I have a car and it’s already rare when I use it these days. And yet I can’t pull them off of the old phone. Heck, Google just canceled Google Play Music in favor of their YouTube Music app (I would have done it the other way around but what do I know?) I can’t use the app anymore except when downgraded to listen to the old radio shows and music I have on the SD card but for some reason it’s an app you can’t pull off, and yet Google Play Games is, despite being still active and one I probably use more. It just eats up space and it’s used for the function of the phone or basic operations. Why, Google? What makes you think this is a good idea? I just disable them so they won’t update again but it’s still clutter.

So get to know your apps and see which ones you’ll actually use. It takes up space and if you can remove it, do so. If you can’t, uninstall all the updates and disable it so it won’t waste even more space. It’s an odd sort of clutter project and I don’t know if iPhone and Windows Phone users have to suffer through this nonsense but it’s a good idea. Also, get a micro SD card and transfer all your pictures, videos, audio files, and contacts to that. If you use a media app or navigational map program that lets you download, make sure it’s set to that micro SD card. You’d be surprised how quickly space on your phone or tablet gets eaten up.