Proctele apps in the App Store

Proctele apps in the App Store
Click the picture to see Proctele apps in Apple's App Store

Friday, April 29, 2011

What happened in 30 years?

A lot has happened in 30 years since princess Diana married, I don't know where to start.
I lived in Gothenburg in Sweden and studied at the Chalmers University of Technology. I had a summer job driving a truck with a big cupboard in the back full of bread. On that particular day in July 1981 the weather was excellent and on more than one location on my bread route people were watching the big event on TV. So what has happened in information technology since?
The computer I used then was a PDP-11, called a mini-computer. It was expensive and big, but small compared to earlier 1960's computers, and its precious CPU-cycles and hard disk were shared with a few others. Back then, there were so-called data centers where you could buy a tiny bit of processing power and storage. Now my mother has an elegant laptop PC with infinitely more power than the PDP and the CPU-cycles are so abundant that neither she nor anyone else cares. Same thing with the internal memory and hard disk space. There's such abundance of it that no one cares.
Color screens were not common. The first one I saw was connected to an IBM PC. I got my first color screen sometime in the 2nd half of the 1980's.
Although a PC on every desktop has changed the way we live, tying all those PCs together on the Internet has done much more to change our lives. Finding information is so much easier now. I can no longer remember exactly how I found out about things before the Internet.   It must have been through books and magazines.
But it's not just the PCs that communicate a lot more these days. The mobile phone didn't exist 30 years ago, although there were car-phones in very few cars. Now there are billions of these devices, which of course means most people have one. Or two or three.
Another big change is the merger between the mobile phone, the PC, the camera, the walkman, the notebook, the ... The smartphone. Your camera is always with you and your photos, and your music. BTW the camera can take moving pictures too, and you can see the result immediately, and share it, without first sending a film to a lab for developing. Postcards are still in use, but many of us prefer to send MMS instead. Definitely more personal.
Email was born too and with it a quick and easy way of hearing from your relatives far away. Before that you would pick up your phone (not your mobile) and dial an expensive long distance call, or ha ha, dare I say it: send a letter. My father (70+) is the only person I know of, who sends letters to stay in touch.
The iTunes store and other music services, YouTube, Picasa, Skype. These were utterly unfeasible, indeed unthinkable 30 years ago. Instead we had LPs and cassettes, cinema, printed photos and expensive phone bills. Video telephony was much talked of, but unfeasible. With the Bambuser everyone has his own real-time TV broadcast channel. Facebook provides everyone with a networked diary and is the best stay-in-touch service invented so far. Twitter allows us to get a feeling for how celebrities spend their days. Blogging is everyone's own newspaper (what a misnomer, but sometimes an old word tells more).
DVD replaced the VHS, which was becoming really popular in 1981. In 2011 Blue-Ray is replacing the DVD. And of course content-streaming is replacing storage media (like Blue-Ray). Digital TV, cable-TV and satellite-TV has replaced analog TV. Better picture and sound quality are an important result. Teletext/Text-TV became available about 30 years ago. It's still a very good news channel, but lacks pictures. It could have developed.
The fax-machine came along about 30 years ago and almost made it into every home, before email came and stopped its advance. It was a key apparatus in every office and so was the word processor, another outdated concept. A PC with a printer replaces both.
GPS navigation. How could we live without it? Nowadays whenever I go to a place I've never been before, I take the GPS. And BTW it's in many smartphones now. 
Most people have a creditcard or paycard nowadays. They were rare in 1981. They did not feature a magnetic strip in those days.
I must have forgotten to mention some important IT-thing or service that changed people´s lives in the last 30 years, but I'll probably want to add that later.
In the near future I'm going to attempt to make some predictions about the next 30 years on this blog.

The next 30 years.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

NumberWiz sum 850: Solution

Good morning NumberWizards! Here's a solution to yesterday's NumberWiz problem.

The problem was to add, subtract, multiply and divide 1 5 7 10 10 25 to get 850.

Solution: 850 is divisible by 25, so 25 might be in a solution. Divide 850 by 25 and get 34. How to make 34? 34 = 5 x 7 - 1. Done!

And here's the solution in total: 850 = (7 x 5 - 1) x 25

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

NumberWiz sum 850

Hi NumberWiz friends! Spring has finally arrived in Skåne, the southernmost tip of Sweden. It's welcome after a long and coooold Winter, which was even longer and colder than last year.

We've had spring for a few days already, but I only mention it now, so as to avoid risk.

Here's another spring sum I collected from the NumberWiz app.

How do you add, subtract, multiply and divide 1 5 7 10 10 25 to get 850 ?

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

NumberWiz sum 904: solutions

Good morning (CET) dear number friends. The question from yesterday was:
How do you add, subtract, multiply and divide 2 6 8 10 75 100 to get 904 ?

Here's the first solution I found:
904 = 10 x 100 - 2 x 6 x 8 = 1000 - 96

I also found this solution:
904 = (6 x 75 + 2) x (10 - 8) = 452 x 2

Here's another problem:
How do you add, subtract, multiply and divide 3 6 25 50 75 100 to get 952 ?

The answer is in this video.

Monday, April 25, 2011

NumberWiz sum 904

Here again for another lovely numbers exercise for you Apple smarties:
How do you add, subtract, multiply and divide 2 6 8 10 75 100 to get 904 ?
This exercise is not so difficult, so I give no hints.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

I Practice Plus And Minus v1.1

A new version of  the I Practice Plus And Minus app has just become available in the App Store. The new version is called 1.1.
The application has different names in the localized App Stores, as follows:
  • English:  I Practice Plus and Minus
  • French: Je pratique plus et moins
  • German: Ich Üben Plus und Minus
  • Swedish: Jag övar Plus och Minus
  • Dutch: Ik Oefen Plus en Min
The new version features a better randomization of the numbers.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Good game: Real Football 11

I bought the Real Football 11 game some weeks ago, only $0.99. It's for iPhone/iPod touch.
Both my sons (5 and 8 years) play the game. The graphics is impressive with the grass looking almost like it does on the TV. The sound is quite realistic too. You choose your favorite teams and they feature the usual famous players. You have a local view and an overall dot view. 
My kids love this game. I think that by playing it they realize there's more to the game than running and kicking the ball. The games are played with huge audiences at the top arenas and the player can easily get the feeling it's for real. A major advantage of playing the game is the increased interest in real-world football. This is not simply what I hope, but a fact. 
I think the same goes for many a game, particularly sports games, that you get to try it on the iPod touch and that makes you want to try it for real. For educational games, the game becomes an additional study aid, which complements the books. More often than not, the game is probably a more entertaining tool than books are, and let's not forget that the nice devices the games are played on, make the studies more attractive.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Visit Copenhagen

I'm back from Copenhagen! I'm saying this in case you were wondering of my whereabouts.
Had a great day in the Nordic metropolis only an hour from here. We started the visit by admiring the change of guards at Amalienborg, the residence of the Danish queen and prince.
We went on to visit the Guinness Museum of World Records, which was particularly nice for the kids. A little shopping in-between for my wife.
After an hour at the Tivoli park, we had a Great meal at the Hard Rock Café, an establishment my wife and I rarely miss a visit to.
A good visit and lots of steps on my step counter: more than 11,000 steps. How about that, hey??

Monday, April 18, 2011

NumberWiz 818: A solution

The question was: how do you add, subtract, multiply and divide 3 4 7 9 25 50 to get 818 ?

I mentioned that one solution would be to get to 33 as a first step: 
33 = (4 x 9) - 3. Now multiply by 25 to get 825. Then subtract 7 and you're there:
818 = (4 x 9 - 3) x 25 - 7.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

NumberWiz: 818

Hi again all you Apple lovers. It's time for another NumberWiz sum on your sleek Apple device!
How do you add, subtract, multiply and divide 3 4 7 9 25 50 to get 818 ?
Hint: This is rather difficult. Try to get 33 and then multiply and then ...
Solutions are welcome in the comments.

Click here to find NumberWiz and the other Proctele apps in the app store.

Friday, April 15, 2011

The string that holds the iPad

Reading my feeds I found a good article by John Gruber at Daring Fireball. A large part of the article is about iPad and its relation to the PC. You know the first thing you must do after purchasing an iPad is to connect it to your PC, which runs iTunes. For this reason you just got to have a PC if you want to have an iPad. What do you need the PC for? This:

  1. updating iOS
  2. device activation
  3. getting your stuff onto your new iPad
  4. backing up and restoring your iPad

Cutting the cord to the PC means you have to be able to do all four points with the iPad. That's not easy, at least if you look at points 3 and 4. The obvious way to solve 3 & 4 would be to put all your data in the cloud. However that is not an attractive solution, because there can be an awful lot of data on an iPad. Some iPads can keep some 64GB of data. Downloading, or worse, uploading that amount of data would take a very, very long time with most Internet connections. So points 3 and 4 are some way off. Points 1 & 2 though are already feasible, because, as JG says in the article, Apple TV already does iOS updates and activation without a PC.
The conclusion is that the cord is there to stay for some years to come. I can definitely live with it. The worst thing about it is that Apple is letting all those people down who would like to own an iPad instead of a PC.

Read the whole article at:

Saturday, April 9, 2011

NumberWiz sum 735: Solution

How do you add, subtract, multiply and divide 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 8 to get 735 ?

The hint was to divide by 5. Then we have 735 = 5 x 147 = 5 x 3 x 49. 
49 = 7 x 7. No problem there: (8 - 1) x 7 and we're done: 735 = 5 x 3 x 49 = 5 x 3 x (8 - 1) x 7.

Friday, April 8, 2011

NumberWiz sum 735

How do you add, subtract, multiply and divide 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 8 to get the result 735 ?

Divide by 5 to get 147. 147 is divisible by 3 (because 1 + 4 + 7 is divisible by 3). That means you have 735 = 5 x 3 x 49. The rest shall be revealed tomorrow :-)
As usual solutions are welcome in the comments.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The New, Hip Devices

I've been considering the nature of devices such as the iPod touch, the iPad, the iPhone and the Kindle. What are they and what should they be called? I've considered the naming and four names I found were "Smart Handheld Device" and "Smartphone", "Surfpad" and "E-bookreader". I'll use those names in this blogpost. I suspect those words may not survive for many years. Here follow my definitions of those devices.
Smart Handheld Device:

  • Access to the Internet via WiFi
  • Touch-Screen: about 3 inches - about 10 inches
  • On-screen keyboard or keyboard with buttons
  • Microphone, speaker and headphone outlet
  • Camera for picture and video
  • Tilt- and motion-detector (ie, accelerometer)
  • Standard apps: e.g. app-store, web browser, email, contacts, calendar
  • Downloadable apps
  • Music player
  • Video Player
  • (Extra: Compass, GPS)

Smartphone definition: Small Smart Handheld Device + SMS, MMSmobile data channel.

Surfpad definition: Large Smart Handheld Device with screen of 7-10 inches. (Extra: mobile data channel)

E-book reader definition: Apparatus with E-paper display of at least 7 inchesAccess to a PC which downloads books from the web.

Then there's the definition of phoneHere's what phone used to mean, until about a decade ago: "electronic equipment that converts sound into electrical signals that can be transmitted over distances and then converts received signals back into sounds". Not a trace of the Internet there.We are using the word phone for a device that does almost anything. It's a networked general purpose computer with a speaker and a microphone and some other stuff.Now may be the time for another word for our favorite device. How about Gencom (= General communications device) or Unicom (= Universal communications device) or Sec (= Second brain) or Infoman/Iman (= Information manager).
Quoted phone definition taken from

NumberWiz classic 131: Solution

The Question was how to add, subtract, multiply and divide 1, 2, 5, 9, 25, 75 to get 131.
I hinted that getting 140 would be a good starter: 140 = (75 - 5) x 2
Now we just subtract 9 and we're done.
NumberWiz icon in App Store
Solution: 131 = (75 - 5) x 2 - 9

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Convenience of Wireless

Why is wireless so much more convenient than wired? We don't give it much thought anymore. Here's a short tale to highlight how great WiFi is.
Suppose your friend has a laptop PC and he connects to the Internet with a cable. Suppose further that you too have a laptop PC and you connect it to the Internet with WiFi.
You sit next to each other in two chairs. You change your body position easily while your friend has to keep track of the network cable to ensure it's not in the way and ensure that the connector doesn't get bent and perhaps broken. You can easily turn your chair or move it around the room, but for your friend it's not as easy. He might have to switch to a longer cord. You can easily bring your computer to another room while downloading a Web page. For your friend to be able to follow, he may have to switch to a longer cord or switch network outlet. The network cord comes into focus as soon as the computer is moved.
If weather permits, it's fun to sit outside. You have, as usual, no problem, but your friend does. What part of the garden, not all the way over there, right? Well, where's best to sit. But do we have a 15-meter network cord? Yes, we have, but we have to place it nicely so no one trips over it. Then we hope the dog doesn't bite it.
Another colleague comes to visit for a work meeting. He has a PC, but without wireless networking. Ok then, that meeting will have to be in the office, close to the network outlet. Maybe soon we'll all have upgraded our PCs to wireless.
In my home we all connect with WiFi, except the TV and the old PC. And that's Great!

NumberWiz classic 131

Let's have some normal numbers today, i.e. decimal numbers. They can be quite challenging too. This sum, which the NumberWiz app made for me, is not very difficult, but also not trivial:
How do you add, subtract, multiply and divide 1, 2, 5, 9, 25, 75 to get 131.
Hint: Try to get to 140 first.
As usual your solution is welcome in the comments section.

BTW: have a look @ for some more apps. Check out the Pi-app, which gives you a million Pi-digits in your pocket? They don't weigh anything. Incredible :-)

Monday, April 4, 2011

Hexadecimal Example from iPhone app NumberWizFP: Solution

The question was:
How do you add, subtract, multiply and divide 3, 6, a, e, 10, 80 to get a43 ?

Here's a solution:

a43 = e x 6 x 10 + 80 x a + 3

Great app! I'd buy it.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Hexadecimal example from iPhone app NumberWizFP

Here's a hexadecimal problem from NumberWizFP (FP = For Programmers).

How do you add, subtract, multiply and divide 3, 6, a, e, 10, 80 to get a43 ?

Would be nice to get a solution in the comments from my valued readers.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Some more iPad observations

When I bought my iPad1, I also bought the Apple iPad Case. It's not just protection, but it helps you put it into different positions. 
Pict_1 shows how I use it if I want to do some serious typing.
Pict_2 shows how I use it when I'm eating breakfast while reading. Also a picture frame position.
I recommend some kind of holder for a pad, because it adds to the functionality of the device. 
I've noted that the size of the iPad on-screen keyboard improves the typing experience a lot(!) compared to iPhone/iPod touch. I know this may seem too obvious to mention, but there you go. But it means I don't hesitate at all before typing an email on the device.