Tuesday, February 24, 2015

#HelwigsInUSA: Day -81

So it's 81 days out from the great USA family holiday of 2015, and for the last couple of nights I've been browsing the web, checking out the location of the hotel we'll be staying at in LA (Anaheim - Hyatt Regency Orange County) on Google Maps. What a fantastic way that is to get your bearing. With street view, it's like we've been there to check it out already, until that is, we actually do get there. The resort we're staying at in Hawaii (Honua Kai - https://www.facebook.com/HonuaKaiResort - @HanuaKai) looks awesome - can't wait for that leg of the trip.

Tonight has been Disneyland ticket price research night. Looks like we'll be settling for a 2 days, hopper pass allowing us to jump between both the Disneyland Park and the Disney Adventure Park, for 2 complete days. I think we'll need every minute, but the budget doesn't really allow for any longer. I hope the feet, legs, and kids patience can hold out that long.

Rach has also touched base with an old QCBB friend, who is playing in Vegas - a Bee Gees tribute show. Free tickets are being arranged and a night in Vegas is now on the itinerary.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Constructor's new promotional video

The final product is now up on our web site and YouTube Channel. After an exhausting day a couple of weeks ago, and some wizardry from Mio at Video Vault, here's the end product.

Monday, January 26, 2015

#YourTurnChallenge retrospective

So what have I learnt by forcing myself to meet Seth's 7 posts in 7 days challenge? It's about priorities. It's about lifestyle and it's about weighing up options consistently.

The schedule you commit to is driven by what priority you give to writing and how important you define writing in public to be to your career.

When attempting to meet the YourTurnChallenge, spending 30 minutes at work to post because I'm determined to meet the challenge, seems justifiable. That's not sustainable but it does illustrate what level of commitment you need to make in order to achieve your goal.  I think the key is deciding what the goal is, and why, then really understanding that no matter what the goal, and what the regime,mit is going to take strict committment and adherance to thc regime.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Getting unstuck - Just keep swimming.

So, for Day Five's post I found myself a little stuck! I resorted to the list of questions for inspiration. I was stuck. So the question says...."what advice would you give for getting unstuck". 

That would be "read the questions..." right?

But next week, when I'm stuck again, the questions will be gone - that's tough!

Anyway, being unstuck is temporary. This week, Seth's #YourTurnChallenge has provided the motivation and drive to actually write, and post daily. It's been great. In doing so I've also either discovered or re-discovered so many tips about drive, motivation, shipping and failing, but I'm still a long way from solving that problem, or creating the habit of turning up again, and again and again, and shipping again and again and again... Then it occurs to me, you never solve that problem.

It's like running into a patch of form in your favourite sport, or a run of luck or whatever.

It's temporary.

You're only as unstuck as your current streak - blog posts, exercise days, wins, shipments, whatever...

It might sound a bit pessimistic to say you can never win - you can never solve the problem - this is not a game, but it's also means, you can never lose. It's all tempoary. The sun will still come up tomorrow.

So, while I've had to resort to the YourTurn questions to get some inspiration, this doesn't alter the fact that I'm learning a valuable lesson about what commitment it takes to do something as simple as submitting post every day for a week. It takes physical action as well as a mental commitment. It's all very well to tell yourself you can do it - and you'd be right, you "can" do it, but executing, there's the key.

So my advice on getting unstuck is to remember, you can get unstuck as easily as you can get stuck. Start small, and keep going. Like Dory says, Just keep swimming.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Apps you can't LIVE without?!

I just read a list of 36 killer apps you shouldn't live without - seriously, 36?! and heaps of them double up, performing the same as others in the list. 

Here's a list of 5!

Evernote - record everything, to do lists, scan documents, diaries, links to web sites, take it everywhere, phone, tablet, PC, whatever. This is the last app I would remove and the first app I pay my annual subscription for.

KeePass - great secure way to store passwords for the plethora of accounts, we need to log in to these days from network to your electricity account....when combined with Dropbox, Google drives or someother cloud storages, you can take it anywhere...and there's mobile apps for it too. Invaluable.

Trello - organise anything....

GMail - these days you have to have webbased email - give up that ISP email address you've had and never change your email address again. (I've had mine since 2004!)

Teux Deux - it's kind of like my scratch pad list, before items get promoted to full on Trello Cards!

These are apps that I would and do pay for, and you know what? If I was pushed, I do believe I could in fact "live" without them, but they make life that little bit easier.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

How to install the Dot Net 3.5 runtime to a Windows 8.1 Pro system

I've been attempting to add the Dot Net 3.5 run time to my new Surface Pro 3 running Windows 8.1 Pro for about half a day now.

Initially the normal web installer for the 3.5 run time was failing with error:
"0x800f0906 : “The source files could not be downloaded. Use the "source" option to specify the location...". 
After a bit of Googling I discovered (in fact remembered because I think I've been here before) that you can only install the Dot Net 3.5 run time from the Windows "Add / Remove" features section of the Control Panel. However, this too failed, with the same error.

Now our Internet traffic in the office is all routed through a Web Guard proxy. There is however a work around for this exact scenario which I promptly implemented, ensuring I was bypassing the proxy - still the same error.

Next, I discovered there was a security patch, which could actually prevent the run time being installed - but that could be resolved using security update 3005628. I ran the Windows 8.1 x64 version of this - guess what, no change.

Now you always find what your looking for in the last place you look right? The next discovery on my part was that, as the only way to add the Dot Net 3.5 run time to Windows 8.1 Pro is via the Windows Update service (no stand-alone installation is going to work) you cannot be running your Windows updates via WSUS. Guess what, We are!

So, the work around for this is a command line option - found here.
DISM /Online /Enable-Feature /FeatureName:NetFx3 /All /LimitAccess /Source:installationMediaDrive:\sources\sxs
But alas, that too was failing.... still failing to locate the required files, with the same error!

Next, to disable the WSUS Group Policy. Luckily, we are a very small company, and I, as the developer and also "the I.T. Guy" because, you know, I know how to restart a server!

So I located the Group Policies in question, recorded the settings for each relevant one, then disabled them. (For the record, they are in the Computer / Policies / Administrative Templates / Windows Components / Windows Update branch of the Group Policy editor.) Having run "gpupdate /force" on the Windows 8.1 Pro machine, I tried again from the command prompt. It didn't work!  I was attempting to use a Windows 8.1 Pro MSDN disk as the source for the component.

So, I went back to the control panel, and tried adding the feature the original way - now that my WSUS Windows update policy was turned off, I was optimistic - with good reason - it worked! The Dot Net 3.5 run time was installed, on my Windows 8.1 Pro, Surface Pro machine.


Now I don't expect many people to read all that diatribe - here's the executive summary:

For error 0x800f0906: The source files could not be downloaded..... when attempting installing the Dot Net Runtime on a Windows 8.1 Pro machine:

  1. Make sure you are not accessing the Internet via a Proxy that is preventing access to Windows Updates (pretty unlikely you'd hope) - you must have Internet access as this is the only way, for Dot Net 3.5 on Windows 8)
  2. Remember, you need to be using the Control Panel / Programs and Features option to "Turn Windows Features on or off (you can find Control Panel in Windows 8 by just typing "Control Panel" from the Start Screen.)
  3. Make sure Security Update 3005628 is applied.
  4. Find out if you are using Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) for windows updates as this will prevent you PC from accessing the files required to add the feature. If so, you'll need to get it disabled for this process. If you're like me and in control of those Group Policies, temporarily disable them. If you work for a larger organisation where that is impractical, you will need to see if you can get yourself temporarily excluded from that policy, while you add this feature.
If none of these things have helped solve your problem, I'm sorry, but as I mentioned, step 4 fixed mine, and you also find the answer in the last place you look! (sorry I didn't keep looking for answers, after I found one).

Game Changer

I loved my first ASUS (Android) tablet. Still use it daily after nearly three years. It's mainly a social tool though for Facebook, Email, and then some Evernote.

At work I develop on a desktop computer and have a development laptop which I take home, for all that after hours stuff I do! I remember not that long ago, when we were debating whether you could develop satisfactorily on a lap top!

Yesterday however, my 4 (and a half) year old work laptop was replaced - yep - with a Surface Pro 3. It's an i7, 8GB RAM and 256Gig Hard Drive - and it works like a tablet, and like a lap top.

It comes with a 12 inch screen, which makes for some pretty small fonts at times, but considering we also got the dock, I can hook it up to a couple of monitors and all is good.

I guess this means I'll end up doing a bit more work at home in the near future - well considering what I'm supposed to be shipping over the next 12 months, that's to be expected.

As exciting as new toys are, it's now time to squash that lizard brain and get on with using the new toy tool, to ship today's work!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Don't break the chain

It's like the universe is conspiring to help me.

Just before Christmas I came across the "No More Zero Days" movement - doing something, one thing, no matter how little, that contributes to your goal, to a new habit and to your progress. No matter how little you end up doing, just do at least something, not nothing during your day - no "zero" days.

Then Seth Godin presents me with the #YourTurn challenge and today I find this, from Jerry Seinfeldabout turning up regularly and never breaking the chain of positive behaviour when forming a good new habit. Day after day after day, inch by inch by inch.

This theme has presented itself to me regularly and increasingly in recent times and it's something I know deep down is true and necessary - for posting content, work, exercise, eating better... pretty much anything worth improving on.

I am reminded of that story about the guy on his roof in a flood...
It had been raining for days and days, and a terrible flood had come over the land. The waters rose so high that one man was forced to climb onto the roof of his house.
As the waters rose higher and higher, a man in a rowboat appeared, and told him to get in. 
"No," replied the man on the roof. "I have faith in the Lord; the Lord will save me." So the man in the rowboat went away. 
The man on the roof prayed for God to save him. 
The waters rose higher and higher, and suddenly a speedboat appeared. "Climb in!" shouted a man in the boat. 
"No," replied the man on the roof. "I have faith in the Lord; the Lord will save me." So the man in the speedboat went away. 
The man on the roof prayed for God to save him. 
The waters continued to rise. 
A helicopter appeared and over the loudspeaker, the pilot announced he would lower a rope to the man on the roof. 
"No," replied the man on the roof. "I have faith in the Lord; the Lord will save me." So the helicopter went away. 
The man on the roof prayed for God to save him. 
The waters rose higher and higher, and eventually they rose so high that the man on the roof was washed away, and alas, the poor man drowned. 
Upon arriving in heaven, the man marched straight over to God. "Heavenly Father," he said, "I had faith in you, I prayed to you to save me, and yet you did nothing. Why?" 
God gave him a puzzled look, and replied "I sent you two boats and a helicopter, what more did you expect?"
 (Not that I'm religious at all but hey, it's a good story), 

So the universe has sent me numerous cues on how to improve all the things I've vowed to improve on, from "No More Zero Days" (the row boat), Seth (in his speedboat) with the #YourTurn challenge to help build the writing / posting / "turning up" habit and now it's Jerry Seinfeld (in a helicopter) highlighting yet again the importance of regular, never ending, incremental work towards any and all of your goals.

I'm placing a lot of faith in my week of posts and its ability to form better more regular writing habits for me and I hope I'm not pleading with Seth, or Jerry, next week asking why they didn't help me. It's time to accept their help and help myself.

As the Seinfeld article points out, this habit of continually turning up, day after day works for all habits, and it's very much what I need for my work projects, my exercise, my eating habits and my writing and content.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

My Little Golden Book

When I was a really young boy, I loved a "Little Golden Book" called "Danny Beaver's Secret". No-one wanted to help Danny build his pool; "too hot, too tired, too busy, you'll never do it." In the end, when summer came, they were all happy to swim in it though....

I would ask my Dad to read it to me every night, night after night after night. One night at about the age of 2 or 3, he found me "reading" it to myself, the way plenty of kids that age manage to do, completely by rote, turning the pages at pretty much the right time, reciting my beloved story - that's how well I knew it.

It's so easy to be negative. It's so easy to say, "that will never happen" or "you can never do that..." and is it ironic and pessimistic of me to say you will probably be right, most of the time.

What a downer of a meeting I've just come from, hearing team members scoff when you bring up dates that you're planning to release things by. And if I'm completely honest, they've probably just acquired these negative (realist as they like to call it) attitudes over years and years of being let down by over optimistic schedules and grandiose plans.

Right now I feel a bit like Danny Beaver - I'm drawing close to the end of a mega-development project that will be the springboard to the next 10 years at this company - many think it's never going to happen, but I bet they will all "be around for a swim" later this year, when it does! So like Danny, I will not give up, and when I'm done, I'll welcome everyone in!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Day -118 (and Day 1)

Today is Day +1 of the #YourTurn challenge is also Day -118 of the #HelwigsInUSA - something I've just started to go a little bit public with and something which is really in the forefront of our collective minds at our place right now.

When you've been telling yourself for months  years the importance of regular posting and content, and failing or succumbing to the Lizard Brain for just as long, then Seth Godin calls you out in such a blatant (how dare he see inside my head) way, you cannot shy away.

So here we are, Day 1 on the #YourTurn challenge and Day -118 of our great family adventure of 2015. We've been planning our US trip for a few months and finally settled on something affordable and yet still totally exciting for the four of us. We'll be at Disneyland, LA, and Hawaii this May! The kids can't wait for Disneyland, the grown ups are quietly looking forward to the Maui resort for those last 7 days.

I'm now working through the best ways to document our adventure. With the plethora of social media options available, I want to spend the time to get this right. I don't want to flood my friends' news feeds with show off pictures of us at Disneyland etc, but I do want to update them just a little.  I don't want to hide everything we do away in my DropBox folder either. I'm searching for that easy balance between Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, my blog, and simply storing all the photos and thoughts somewhere, for my own person record.

I don't want my the recording of the holiday to take over from the enjoyment of the holiday, but I do want to stay a bit "social" while we're away. The regime will need to be easy to follow on the run, mobile, remote, whatever, and thorough enough for my own personal enjoyment, years from now. My current way of thinking on this is daily blog posts (travel journal) all photos to Drop Box folder, every two or three days, a highlight photo post to Facebook. Then, using IFTTT, automatically Tweet all Facebook posts and automatically "Instagram" all Facebook photo posts...

Of course, I'll also need to have developed some really good, regular posting habits, so thanks Seth and Winnie for the #YourTurn challenge and bring on May.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

On the movie set

Something different at work today,as we spent the day with Mio from Video Vault, shooting the footage for a 2 to 3 minute promotional video for Constructor.

This is a project we've been putting some time into for a few weeks now. We took advantage of a generous promotional offer from Video Vault to have a few videos done and have settled on one, fairly ambitious video to be made, in the style of the "Sliding Doors" movie, about a builder who decides to buy Constructor (and also doesn't buy Constructor - that's the sliding door!) and the difference it makes to his lifestyle.

That's quite a bit to pack into a couple of minutes. Shooting took all day, and we were quite organised, with a well planned story board, locations etc.

I can't way to see the finished product. We should have the first draft copies of in a week or so.

It was great to have Kieren and Toby involved too, as kids being picked up from school (or left alone waiting...on the other side of the sliding door).

Thursday, December 04, 2014

We're not going to remember how cheap you were. We're going to remember that you let us down.

Seth Godin.

Friday, November 07, 2014

So tempting to blame the user for bad design...

The me from 15 years ago would've blamed the "dumb user" for this, but in these days of UX Design, usability and delighting the user I'd like to think I'm bigger than this now....

I am working on a line of business, Windows application which involves quite a bit of data entry. The screens are nice and consistent in their layout across many aspects of the system ranging from CRM and Sales tools to Accounting and graphical estimating tools. (www.constructor.com.au). Users are presented with summary information and choose to open the information they want to edit. Slightly old fashioned but with a decent user base around the country and the promise of lots of fancy new services to hang off this system, the windows client will suffice for our desktop users for sometime to come.

Today the boss came in, a little sheepish, asking if we had a back up. He'd just deleted an important client he'd been working on. He admitted to not really reading the message that popped up, but also insisted that he'd just altered some information and thought he was just confirming the "save before closing" style message.

Now the messages in both these situations (saving and deleting) are in fact quite different. We use these HTML message boxes (a custom thing I wrote years ago), so save confirmations are all green and blue, positive look and feel, with "Save Now" captions on the buttons etc, and delete confirmation messages a red with the item you are about to delete bolded, and so on.  But still, I found it intriguing that a relatively experienced user could "accidentally" click the delete button and confirm the action, on a screen he swears he wasn't using.

Turns out, I guess it's something of a design flaw on my part - if I'm tough on myself. It's still going to bite me again at some point though if I don't do something about it now. 

I watched briefly as my boss explained what he thought he'd done and something jumped out at me - the detective work here did impress him in the end, helped perhaps by the fact he was already somewhat placated by the fact I have backups occurring every two hours so the information he thought he'd lost was pretty simple to recover.

After entering a diary note against a sales lead he was working, he "just saved then clicked yes to confirm the save and close"....

Now that's strange, because you shouldn't have to confirm the save if you click on save - that would be just silly. You would only have to confirm the save, if you clicked on "close" and had made some changes that maybe, ought to be saved.

So I watched....

"Yeh, I just entered the notes in here the clicked here to save them and close" - I watched as he moved the mouse up to the "Save and Close" button and double clicked it....

Wait!  You double clicked....

Here's what it looked like when you close the diary screen....

So, directly under the "Save and Close" button, as "design" would have it, is a delete button. (At least when the screens are maximised.)

Now as I said, firstly there is no need to double click a toolbar button in any Windows system I've ever used, but, it does seem to be a common misconception.....and I have worked hard to have a very well worded, "are you sure" message, with RED text, and "no" as the default choice. We do however try to live by one other little golden rule here - use message boxes as a last resort. Try to design so you don't need them, and try not to build rude software the continually interrupts the user with such dialog.

We use message boxes sparingly and even then, they don't get read!

So now, I have to set about redesigning this scenario.

It appears far harder than it should to simply capture/handle the double click event on the toolbar buttons of the standard Toolstrip control in .Net. (At least not when you also want to handle the click event.)

Do I just move the delete button somewhere else - it is probably ironic that it lines up so perfectly with the save and close button on all our standard summary and edit screens (especially when they are all full screen size). Do I work harder on fixing the actually response to a double click on a toolbar button, of can I just step back in time, and blame the dumb user?

I think I'll sleep on this one....

Thursday, July 24, 2014

If it's free then you're the product

...but isn't this taking it a bit too far. Perhaps they need a new accounting system at Microsoft.

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Microsoft patch Tuesday

I've been reminded a couple of times recently how few people are aware of Microsoft's security update policy known as "patch Tuesday".  I wrote a post on it for a recent Constructor newsletter,  which can be found in our articles on the website.

Posted via Blogaway

Monday, March 31, 2014

How do you use templates in Word 2013

I can only see Online Templates, none of which I have ever needed!

Word 2013 will only show you the "Featured" AND "Personal" options on the "File / New" screen, if you have something entered in the "Default Personal Templates Location", which can be found in the Word Options screen. (Go To "File" in the top left, then down to options.)

Enter the path to your templates, in the "Default Personal Templates Location" field - I am sticking with the old Office 2010/2003 etc location.

Once you have a valid path in that field, the "Personal" link will appear on your File / New screen, and you'll be able to see your old documents.

Discouverable software - right! - discoverable only using Google.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Home grown is so tasty!

The Internet, and a Tablet, has changed cooking so much, with a bit of help from Evernote.

Rach told me she had lamb chops out for dinner.  I was in the mood for something a little tasty, and we have a bazillion tomotoes and even more cherry tomatoes from the garden at the moment, so 10 minutes before leaving work I "GoogleBinged" a recipe for lamb chops. The first hit included plenty of herbs and as luck would have it, cherry tomatoes on the side - pure luck I promise. A quick view of the recipe, using the Evernote's "Clearly" Chrome add in, a web clip, and I was off.

So I stopped and bought some fresh garlic and a couple of lemons. The rest we had - home grown tomatoes, herb and shallots.

At home, I flick on the tablet, pick some herbs and shallots, let Evernote Sync and there's my recipe for dinner. And how good was it!?

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Support Notes....

I'm going to point people here in the future...

... it's all common sense, problem is, common sense isn't always that common.

DYPII questions! http://www.forbes.com/sites/micahsolomon/2013/10/22/speaking-the-language-of-customer-service-recovery/

Any list of things has to be good too - http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/10-things/10-things-help-desk-techs-can-do-to-improve-service/

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

If it's worth fixing, fix it!

Imagine the door handle on your front door is broken. Most of the time it falls off in your hand when you try to open the door. If you concentrate, you can hold the handle in place, and get the door open, but it's slow, fiddly and annoying, and visitors always have difficulty and end up really annoyed with your front door. So one day, you decide you're going to fix it. You've got visitors coming on the weekend and you are embarrassed by your broken front door. 
So you get started,  you loosen the whole handle and disconnect it. 

Then, with the door handle it pieces, you realise that from the front of your house, it's very easy to simply walk down the side and enter via the side door. In fact, it's better because that way, you can see from outside whether anyone is home, and you enter the house, right into the main living room, which is where you (or your guests) are usually going anyway.  Really, it just needs a path down the side of the house to make it a bit more "user friendly". Add that path, and you and your guests will never use the front door.

So, you rush out and buy some paving stones, and pave a beautiful pathway down the side leading to your sliding door. You even add a "Welcome" door mat for good measure. Your guests arrive and are led straight down the side of your house. All weekend, you're in and out via your sliding side door, up and down the path.... brilliant!

Then, an interesting thing happens. You order Pizza for dinner one night. Half an hour later, there's a knock at the door.... the front door. You wander down and to your surprise (and embarrassment) there lies the front door handle, still in pieces, now completely non-operational. You call out through the door, trying to explain to the pizza guy, that the door doesn't work, and he needs to make his way, in the dark, around the side, to your sliding side door. He trips (in the dark) drops the pizza and leaves in disgust - most likely to sue you for the medical bills incurred when he sprained his ankle, and burnt his arm on the hot melted cheese from your pizza. (That's right, the pizza was actually still hot!)

This sort of thing happens a lot when maintaining legacy computer code too. A problem is identified. A solution might be started. Then, someone notices a better way - a way that if only the users could see, would avoid the mess in the first place - mostly. Most of the time, if they did things this other way, they wouldn't even need this bug fixed in the first place. 

The temptation (especially if the "other way" is easier to code) is to jump in and code away. Now, if you've started with the fix, stop right there!  Document the new idea by all means. But always fix that initial bug. If it's broken, and it's worth your time to fix, fix it properly. Then, go right ahead and do the second thing as well, but "don't leave broken door handles lying around, just because you think there's a better way to get into the house."


Having written and just re-read this, I'm struck by some overlap with the broken windows theory, which I am a subscriber too, but was far from my mind when I started dumping this thought from my mind...

I love lists.... and Trello

Geez I love a good list.

I'm the guy that needs lists to organise his lists.

I loved Teux Deux for a long time. So simple, so clean, so easy... and you get to cross stuff off! I also have an Android phone and tablet, so when they started charging a minimal subscription for Teux Deux, and still didn't offer an Android app, I bailed....

At about the same time I discovered Trello. (I am a complete Trello fanboy.) However it's not cutting it as a To Do list for me. It is so much more! I have too many boards. I have detailed cards, with attachments, and check lists and tags. I want something like a Trello overlay - something I can scratch notes onto, before they warrant a card in Trello, before the evolve into a fully fledged Trello card.

I've been trying the Momentum add-in for Chrome for a few weeks now. It's almost perfect. Beautiful background picture, a one liner to get you focused for the day, it's in your face when you're about to derail and head into Facebook, or anywhere else you need to not be for a while... and it has the simple, Teux Deux style list in the bottom right corner. I've read that momentum is by no means finished, and there's more to come so I'll definitely be keeping an eye on it, but, lack of centralised storage is the road block for me. If I drop a quick, "remember to read this" not on my Momentum task list, I really need to see that, when I open Chrome, on my laptop or my tablet or phone, of home pc or... Unfortunately, it seems, the to do list is stored locally so what I decide to do at work can't follow me home, and vice versa. So close!

Then, in my eternal quest for the perfect to list, I stumbled across "Remember the Milk". Looked great. I signed up, confirmed, linked to Evernote, Twitter et al. I started entering some tasks and quickly discovered this is a seriously powerful solution. I forced myself to keep my number of lists to three, downloaded the Android app which was pretty slick I must say, and battled on with the clunky web app interface, because, hey it's free - you get what you pay for, I can wear that. The App was nice and I'll spend most of my time there anyway.

So, I checked that my first task entered on the web, showed up on my phone, and pushed on. I entered a couple more tasks, and went to check how tasks in different lists appear in the Android App.... nothing.   Ah ha.. theres a sync button. (Press).... "please wait 24 for your next available sync - or sign up for the Pro version."

Now that's fair enough, nice app, gotta pay - they aren't a charity I get that, but really, I'm already uneasy about the tangents this app is taking me on.... priorities, multiple lists, tags, interaction with other apps, reminders.

Back to my original goal, a simple high level view of what I need to get done. I've got Trello for the details...I'm happy there... I love Trello....I said that didn't I.

So, "Remember the Milk" want $25 for a year's subscription - a very reasonable price for a very powerful system... but I don't want a very powerful system. I want an online task list - that's it. Items in, a couple of lists like I write on the notepad on the desk next to me, that I can get at where ever I am, in the car, at the cricket club, at home on the couch or when I wake up a 3 in the morning and remember that one thing...

Sound familiar - yep, it's Teux Deux. Break out the credit card and subscribe. It's time. Teux Deux will be my 10000 foot view of things, that I don't want to forget. I'm not looking to collaborate, Tweet, blog, email, or share - I just want to move stuff around in  lists and cross them off. When I need to keep notes, comments, add attachments, I'll use Trello (did I mention I love Trello). For the rest, its Teux Deux for me.

I really like all the products I've mentioned here - it comes down to "horses for courses":