24-Aug-2014 Answers On A Postcard, Please

Posted August 24th, 2014 by jivauk and filed in jiva


What do these two pictures have in common?
And how are they relevant to jiva?

Answers on a postcard, please…
but, as you probably don’t have our postal address,
a comment on the blog will do just fine.



Jimmy & Val (jiva)

17-Aug-2014 Does Size Really Matter?

Posted August 17th, 2014 by jivauk and filed in jiva

You may well ask – well, it’s like this.

When the original Samsung Galaxy Note phone was released with a 5.3″ screen and a stylus Val treated Jimmy to an early birthday present in 2012 – needless to say he was delighted. Then for Val’s birthday that year Jimmy bought her a 10.1″ tablet (Samsung Tab 2 10.1)… it was so good that Jimmy was soon hankering for a 10.1″ of his own too, and with Christmas being just around the corner a Note 10.1 was duly purchased. Soon afterwards Val got a smartphone which had a somewhat larger screen than her Samsung Galaxy S2 – the aptly named Mega 6.3. Wow, a real crossover device, somewhere between a phone and a tablet. The Note 2 didn’t seem worth the expense of upgrading so we held back until the Note 3 became readily available for Jimmy with a good phone and data package in early 2014. And then we bought a Note 8 for Val which, with the addition of the TomTom app, was pressed into service as our SatNav in the car. By this time an updated version of the Note 10.1 had been released but we resisted the temptation as the upgrade wouldn’t offer us anything that couldn’t be done on the original Note 10.1. But but but, along came the Note Pro 12.2… a gargantuan A4-sized powerhouse that would be even bigger and better for taking handwritten notes (ideal for songwriting and taking notes at meetings with clients for the various projects we’re involved with).

Val’s phone contract came up for renewal and we were disappointed with the performance of the network provider (they increased the data allowance to ‘unlimited’ but, in reality, the reliability of actually being able to get on line slumped to almost useless – and they didn’t allow tethering), so we cancelled early and had a bit of a fight with them over what the early repayment charge should actually be. We took out a new unlimited calls, text and data plan with tethering included and treated Val to a new phone – she now also has a Note 3 and quickly became accustomed to the stylus on both phone and tablet, so much so that her ageing Tab 2 10.1 was starting to lose its appeal. Guess what? Yup, we bought Val the 2014 updated version of the Note 10.1.

So there we are, both sorted.


You know how we like order and consistency? Well, Jimmy is chuffed that at last (after a few near misses) he finally has matching cases for his mobile devices (Note 3 phone, Note 10.1 tablet and Note Pro 12.2 tablet)… we are thankful to two German companies (Leicke and Stilgut) for their excellent products and customer service, and to Amazon for their unmatched returns policy for lesser items that did not fit the bill. Val has not been so fortunate – we’re still looking for matching cases for her devices – have you any idea how many shades of purple there are? Jimmy’s were easier – black is pretty much black (unless, of course, you’re submitting artwork to printers for CDs or for leaflets etc… but that’s another story).

So, in the picture above you can see, resplendant in their black cases:

  • Note 3 (5.7″)
  • Note 8 (8.0″)
  • Note 10.1 (10.1″)
  • Note Pro 12.2 (12.2″)

And what’s that whopper 22.0″ ?

That would be telling… Life is good, and getting bigger all the time.


Jimmy & Val (jiva)

10-Aug-2014 Time And Time Again

Posted August 10th, 2014 by jivauk and filed in jiva

It’s been a techno-centric week, filled with all manner of stuff related to gadgetry, apps, security, reminders, productivity and all such stuff. It’s all too easy to become consumed by the technology – how so? Well… let’s see…

There are never enough hours in the day to get everything done, and some things inevitably end up at the back of the queue (and keep getting pushed further and further behind schedule) – the more often this happens the more likely it will become routine to overlook these items. Sometimes this results in an important item/opportunity being missed or maybe rearing it’s head as suddenly urgent when the realisation sinks in that it really must must must be done, and NOW (which, in turn, moves everything else further back in the queue!).

time-management-mind-mapSo, what to do? How about getting organised? And how best to do that? Post-It notes? Scraps of paper? Notebooks? Diary? Wallchart? Personal Organiser (paper or electronic)? How about using technology – after all, isn’t technology meant to help us be more productive, get more done, etc? That’s the theory – but often the reality is that we don’t get more done, but we do get more busy. It’s not so much that using technology to be organised consumes more time than we save, it’s the seemingly never-ending cycle of discovering different ways of keeping track and prioritising… and the nagging thought that maybe the newly-discovered method might be slightly better than how things were done before. In order to find out, you have to try out the new method, and that takes time to learn and perfect, which in turn means that the time previously reserved for doing has been spent in experimenting.

Where are we going with all of this? Good question! Having settled on what we currently think will be the best way, Jimmy promises to try and not discover ‘the next best thing’ – at least not until we get properly organised with how we intend to organise and prioritise. In the meantime must get this into Evernote… synchronise it across PCs and tablets and phones… port it to Life Reminders… share with Awesome Note HD Calendar… synchronise with DropBox… add to backup schedule… post on jivacoustic blog site… publicise on Facebook ‘band’ page… share on Facebook personal timeline… share on Twitter… stream to jiva website… update reminder for next week’s blog so we can do it all again.

Crikey! I need a lie down… let me check the diary and see if there’s a vacant slot… nope, no time for rest or sleep.


Jimmy & Val (jiva)

03-Aug-2014 100 Years On

Posted August 3rd, 2014 by jivauk and filed in jiva

What a tremendous response we had to last week’s blog. Thanks to Ian and Caroline Warburton, who live in Prudhoe, for sharing our Facebook update and to some of their Facebook friends for re-sharing the share. The picture of the old Prudhoe park certainly brought back happy memories for many… ourselves included.

Reminiscence is a strange thing – it can leave us feeling happy with some cherished memories or perhaps a little sad about things that have changed, places, the people we have lost and those we meant to keep in touch with but somehow didn’t… our song ‘Best Friends’ was borne out of such feelings.

Birmingham IceAs this weekend marks the 100th anniversary of the start of World War 1 many places throughout the land are holding ceremonies, services and exhibitions in commemoration.

We were very moved by an item we saw on the BBC news (link below) – www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-birmingham-28621777 ‘War dead commemorated by Birmingham ice installation’ – which somehow seemed to encapsulate the transience of human existence and the futility of war while also honouring those who lost their lives in the name of their country.

Some will ask “Did the war achieve anything? Did it help? Did anything change for the better? Was it worth all the dying?”. Others will remonstrate with those questioners saying “Can we stand on the sidelines and watch and do nothing? Should we not fight to preserve what we believe in and to protect our friends and family, our country? Death is the ultimate sacrifice but, without fighting against those that would do evil there would be no defence and evil would prevail”.

It’s a very difficult subject, and both sides will argue their points vehemently – without having to make such decisions, it’s difficult to know how any of us would react were we asked to fight.

One thing is for certain, war is horrible – and it’s unlikely that the human race will ever be able to live in peace with one another. If only we could somehow put a stop to all the endless fighting and killing going on around this world of ours, it would surely make the world a better place to be… the kind of world where we share the good things, respect each other’s views, and spare more than a passing thought for those more needy than ourselves.

Life is good for some of us and, unfortunately, less so for others.


Jimmy & Val (jiva)