Okay, so I thought what might be useful is to get a list of some groups on Facebook that you can join, this is helpful to myself because as someone diagnosed with BPD – I find it comforting to fit in with a community where I can recognise that I am not alone.

Please note however, that although these groups are great for seeking advice, you should always seek professional advice where necessary. The people who run these groups are usually not mental health professionals, and many of them are people diagnosed with BPD themselves – so please take that in consideration and check any group rules before joining or posting. Some (if not all) of these groups are restricted and you will need to gain permission from an admin to join.

I must also note that although I am myself members of most (if not all) of these groups listed, I am not affiliated with any of them in any way. If you know of any other groups or pages, feel free to post them in the comments and I’ll happily share them. 🙂

Also, there are the following Facebook pages which you can “Like” or “Follow”:

Hopefully, I will keep this list updated as I go along.

So after I had the painful process of setting an M3 smartwatch up to my Huawei Honor 7 Android phone today, I thought I’d share the process. It seems that there was not too much help available on the internet, and I had to scan around for quite a while to get everything set up and configured properly. I mean, don’t get me wrong – Bluetooth connectivity is plug and play, but try using some of the functions!

The M3 Smart Watch and an Android phone connect fairly easily with Bluetooth. You can do this using the following process:

  • Access the Smart watch, and go to “Bluetooth”
  • Ensure the “Power” option is set to “On”
  • Switch on your phone’s Bluetooth visibility on your Android phone;
    • Go to Settings
    • Go to “Bluetooth”
    • Turn on Bluetooth
    • Turn on Visibility.
  • On the Smart Watch, go back to “Bluetooth”
  • Select “My Device” and then “Search new device”
  • Select your phone’s Bluetooth name and select “Pair”
  • Confirm that the pairing codes match on your phone and the Smart Watch.

Brilliant! I thought that all of it would be set up now to be honest, but I found the following issues;

  • When making or receiving calls, my phone was sending the phone audio to the watch by default.
    This could be changed on the phone itself every time you make a call, but I considered it really annoying because I imagine that there’s few people who would actually use the smart watch as a default audio device for making/receiving calls. Are we in a Sci-Fi movie? I think not. To top it off, I found a method to disable “phone audio” connectivity to the watch in the Bluetooth settings. “Great!” I thought, but then, no, it stops communicating to the watch when your phone is ringing. Probably one of the most useful things about a smart watch is that you can see who’s calling you on it. I knew there must be some kind of way around this…
  • When trying to use any of the M3’s “apps”, I was given the message “Please install “”BT Notice”” app in remote device”.
    Funnily enough, when you try to find said “BT Notice” app in Google Play Store, there is no exact matches. Instead you find apps with similar names, like “BT Notifier”, “BT Notifications”. These all require accessibility permissions to read your notifications, and permissions to read your messages, access your files, access your camera, etc. So I consider it fairly important to ensure that ANY app that you download, whether through the Google Play Store, or via a downloaded APK file that it does not contain any kind of infection or malware. Leading me on to my next point…

    • Eventually I found a website which stated that you should just be able to get a QR code from the watch, use a bar code scanner and download the app from that. I did that, and let me warn you. Pleasedon’t do that…
      All I can say is that the QR code I scanned took me to an unknown file sharing website, where I had to download the APK. Once I had done this, I had change the settings in my phone to allow installation of apps from unknown sources – I would always recommend looking into any apps before doing this, though I had confidence that something advertised on a smart watch available to the general consumer would be safe to use. Once I had downloaded and installed the app, my Avast! mobile antivirus alerted me straight away of a malware infected application, that being the app downloaded via the QR code on the watch. I obviously removed the app from my phone, and was then left with a Smart Watch that wasn’t very smart at all.
  • The watch kept getting partially disconnected from my phone in the sense of it was still connected, but the watch reverted back to stating that the app wasn’t installed.

So how was it set up in the end, did I get it working? Well, yes I did. But without technical know-how you may struggle. Please let me state again that this method has worked for my phone, though I cannot say that it will work for any other/every other Android phone, and although I will try to respond to any comments – I do not provide support for this, it’s all off your own back.

You will need to download the “SmartWatch” app by Iday.
It is available from the Google Play Store. Please let me state that I am in no way associated with the developers of this app, and that there are many other applications that will provide the same features – but after many tries myself with different apps, this is the one that finally worked.

Once you have downloaded and installed the app, you will need to ensure that your phone can communicate it’s notifications with the Smart Watch app. You can do this as follows;

  • Go to your phone’s “Settings” app
  • Find “Advanced Settings”
  • Select “Accessibility”
  • Enable “SmartWatch” service.

Once you have done this, save and close your settings. You will then need to open the SmartWatch app, and go into it’s settings, enabling everything in the list;

  • Push SMS messages
  • Push missed call
  • Close the media audio for saving power.
  • Show connection status in the status bar when BT notification is connected.
  • Push notification always.

Go back to the “SmartWatch” app “home”, and then select “App Push”. On this page, ensure that “Notification Service” is ticked.
Further to this, you can then configure which applications are allowed to send notifications to your watch by selecting “Notification app”.

What you will then want to do, is go and download the “SoundAbout” app by RareEarth Software.
Please let me note, again, I am in no way affiliated with the developers of this application and I’ve seen a couple of other applications that do the same thing, but this is the one that worked best for me. Also note that I have only downloaded this app today, and it is free – but I get a message when opening the app that the PRO features are only available for a couple of days, and that they will need to be purchased after that via the “SoundAbout PRO” app. I’m not sure what the PRO features include, but that being said, if I need to purchase it – the app is only ÂŁ2.99 in the Google Play Store, and I’m sure I could part with that considering the money you save on this watch compared to many other Smart Watches.

Once you have installed the SoundAbout app, you will need to open it and complete the following;

  • Ensure that “SoundAbout Service” is ON.
  • Change “Media Audio” to “Speaker”
  • Change “Phone call audio” to “Earpiece”
  • Go into the “Connectable devices” menu
    • Go to “Wired Headset” settings and ensure the settings are as follows;
      • Wired Headset detection: ALLOWING port in/out detection.
      • Wired Headset microphone: DETECT microphone for Wired Headset.
      • Un-plug pauses music player: PAUSE music player while unplugging.
      • Plug-in continues music player: NOT changing music player status.
      • Headset disconnect audio: NO audio. This prevents accidental audio if headset media disconnects.

If you’ve done all that, you should now have a Smart Watch that will see your call history, messages, notifications and alert you of all of these. Awesome! Now it’s set up. But now I had another problem, the functionality was intermittent…

I worked out that this was because the app was automatically being closed by my phone when it was locked. I’m not sure if the settings will be the same for every phone, but it’s basically a power saving setting. The method for me to resolve this was as follows;

  • On your phone, go to “Settings”
  • Go to “Advanced Settings”
  • Go to “Battery Manager”
  • Go to “Protected Apps”
  • Enable the “SmartWatch” and “SoundAbout” app so that they can run in the background.

I hope this guide has been of use, if you have any questions feel free to post them in the comments below and if I can answer them I will try to.

Peace,

Niall Davies.

After installing WordPress to my website to run a blog on the 28th June, I decided to make the next decision to migrate the whole site.

I had to edit a lot of the page content HTML, mess around with WordPress to get it to run nice, edited a lot of the content as it seemed really out of date and then complete the migration. This involves changes wordpress settings, moving the physical files on the FTP and checking all permalinks work OK.

All done now, and glad as it’s 4:55AM. But well worth it. Have a look around the site, let me know what you think in the comments below. But just to note that ND CMS is no longer operating here… RIP, though the code and database will be kept in backups forever!

Peace and love all,

Niall 🙂

So just thought I’d share this as we’ve been testing Windows 10 as part of the implementation process at work and came across this:

Brilliant – Microsoft are finally acknowledging responsibility for their issues. Although the funny part is, group policy is what’s stopping Microsoft account user creation in this situation.

That is all,

Niall

I was told on Friday morning that Soundcloud was shutting down. Shocked at the news at first, I think I refused to believe it. But it was confirmed to me in the following article: http://variety.com/2017/music/news/soundcloud-has-enough-money-to-survive-only-50-days-report-claims-1202494582/

The above article reports that;

The prognosis on SoundCloud, the popular but financially strapped streaming service, has been grim for all of 2017, with 40 percent of its staff laid off last week and statements from its founders that it may not have enough money to see it through the year. According to a report published Wednesday in TechCrunch, the company may not have enough money to see it through the summer.

I was gutted to find this out, as if you know me I am a long time user of SoundCloud and have uploaded many of my songs. It is a great resource for sharing your music, and listening to many other DIY artists as well as artists that have established a decent fanbase. I know many people who share on SoundCloud, ranging from DJs to producers, to singer/songwriters, I am sure that they will share my feelings on this and want to get to the bottom of it.

After doing some Googling, I couldn’t really find much out about this, apart from the above article. It seemed to be crazy to me that nobody had made an official statement regarding the claims that SoundCloud could only operate for the next 50 days, into the fourth quarter of 2017. It makes me think that SoundCloud really is in trouble, and without the support of it’s user base and funding from pro users and ad revenue – we really could lose it for good. What would this mean for DIY artists, djs and producers then though? After discussion with a few friends about this, we came to the conclusion that we’d probably use YouTube. But it’s not the point, SoundCloud was built for a market – and that market is still there – so why is it struggling so much? Plus YouTube is full of so much variation, so what gives anyone confidence that people would use it to look up independent music in the first place? SoundCloud was always a community to me, people helping eachother out. It’s not like YouTube, Spotify, Deezer, or any other music sharing website. It was built for the people, by the people.

Eventually, I came across this article:  SoundCloud Issues Statement, Says It’s Not Going Anywhere – XXL

This week, the Internet has been in a frenzy after reports surfaced that Soundcloud allegedly only had enough funding until the start of the fourth quarter of 2017. After Chance The Rapper vowed to work on the issue, and claimed to have had a phone conversation with the CEO earlier today (July 14), the streaming service is releasing a statement confirming that the company isn’t shutting down any time soon.

Read More: http://www.xxlmag.com/news/2017/07/soundcloud-issues-statement-not-going-anywhere/?trackback=tsmclip

I have now found this statement, here: https://blog.soundcloud.com/2017/07/14/soundcloud-is-here-to-stay/

Hey everyone,

There’s an insane amount of noise about SoundCloud in the world right now. And it’s just that, noise. The music you love on SoundCloud isn’t going away, the music you shared or uploaded isn’t going away, because SoundCloud is not going away. Not in 50 days, not in 80 days or anytime in the foreseeable future. Your music is safe.

Along with each of you, we’ve built this incredible creative community of artists, podcasters, DJs, producers and more who are the driving force in pushing culture forward in the world. That’s not going to change. Last week we had to make some tough decisions to let go of some of our staff, but we did this to ensure SoundCloud remains a strong, independent company.

Thank you for the outpouring of love and support. Some of you have asked how you can help–spread the word that we’re not going anywhere and keep doing what you’re doing–creating, listening, uploading, sharing, liking, and discovering what’s new, now and next in music. SoundCloud is here to stay.

Peace,
Alex

The above statement didn’t really fill me with too much confidence, for the following reasons;

  • It doesn’t actually say how they expect to keep running into the fourth quarter of 2017, and the “foreseeable future.”
  • It doesn’t define what is “the foreseeable future” – when you think about it, this could be the end of this year, are they seeing how it goes, and trying to brush the problems under the carpet? Who knows? Only the people working at SoundCloud could answer that.
  • They’ve stated that they’ve had to let some staff go, which is an unfortunate step that a lot of companies have to take to ensure that they stay in operation. However, working in the IT industry myself leads me to believe that letting a few staff go is a short-term fix, not one for business continuity. I would imagine that an organisation as big as Soundcloud will have a lot more costs on servers and infrastructure than they will on wages.

One thing that has pleased me to see from the above statement however, is that they’ve stated that “to ensure SoundCloud remains a strong, independent company.”

It’s a good thing that SoundCloud wants to remain independent, after having discussions with a couple of friends regarding this, we thought that perhaps somebody like Google, Apple or Microsoft might snap SoundCloud up. But this wouldn’t necessarily be a good thing. Why? Because operating something for independent artists is never going to work when the focus is on profits. That’s not what independent music is about.

I hope that SoundCloud continues to operate, I really do. But the fact remains that however the future goes, the next quarter is going to be a difficult one for them. In the meantime, take their advice, “keep doing what you’re doing–creating, listening, uploading, sharing, liking, and discovering what’s new, now and next in music.”

Peace and love to you all,

Niall