Lifeblog – How to …

what you always wanted to know about Nokia Lifeblog

…free up mobile memory instantaneously

with 5 comments

Just imagine you are in a party. You are taking pictures with your Nseries device like crazy. And you are running out of memory. What do you do?

You can run to the next electronics shop and buy a new memory card.

Or you fire up Lifeblog.

In Lifeblog, you select “Options” -> “Manual cleanup”.  Two more clicks with the left soft key (“Yes”->”Ok”) gets the job done: all non-Favourite Lifeblog items will be removed from the device. But only such items, that already have been transferred to PC Lifeblog before. I.e. items that are safe.

Let me stress this: this single operation looks through all Lifeblog data types: images, videos, SMSs, MMSs, notes, sound, and also blog posts. Everything that is already backed up on the PC can go. Lifeblog does the cleaning for you. And you don’t have to fiddle with various applications in order to do the same manually which would take you at least until the party is over. Maybe even until the next party is over as well. ;-)

Written by lifeb

January 11, 2007 at 9:54 pm

…to reload Lifeblog objects from the phone

with one comment

Consider the following use case: by coincidence -or due to hardware failure- you have lost some of your Lifeblog data on the PC. But you still have it on the Mobile. Now you would like to restore the “lost” items on the PC from the Mobile.

This case is not so uncommon since items are not deleted automatically from mobile Lifeblog after synchronization anymore.

A normal synchronization between mobile Lifeblog and PC Lifeblog does not help in such a case, because Lifeblog 2.X only considers mobile items for synchronization that are either new or changed. And latter characteristic is the one that we can use for this small “hack”:

In the Timeline in mobile Lifeblog, select “Options” -> “Mark/Unmark” -> “Mark all”.

Afterwards, select “Options” -> “Make favourite”. Then start the synchronization. You might grab a cup of coffee now. ;-)

With or without coffee, afterwards all your mobile Lifeblog items should be on the PC again. In the Favourites, you have to do a bit of clean-up now: you have to un-Favouritize the ones that received the Favourite status due to the “hack”.

I have to admit that this post was inspired by Jonathan’s comment on Ivan Kuznetsov’s blog:

http://www.ivankuznetsov.com/2006/11/gmail_mobile_cl.html#comment-27369134.

Written by lifeb

January 10, 2007 at 11:09 pm

…set up a blog

with 19 comments

Ok, Lifeblog is not about blogging. It’s definitely not about turning my whole life into a public event.

Instead, it’s about lifelogging: it’s about creating and keeping a multimedia log of my life.

But from this personal log I can share all the stuff that I have. Therefore, if I want to blog, I can do so. And even better:
when combining PC application and mobile application into one neat system, I get the best of both worlds: I can share instantaneously from my mobile Lifeblog. And I can review and share more consciously from my PC Lifeblog.

Cut the crap, how do I set up a blog? Ok, ok, here it comes: a very much biased listing of blog services that work with Lifeblog 2.x.

* TypePad (http://www.typepad.com)

TypePad by Six Apart is the default blogging service for Lifeblog and it is also the easiest to set up with Lifeblog. As the main advantage of TypePad I see:

  •  Lifeblog comes with predefined settings and help environments for TypePad. That means, TypePad is the blogging service that is the easiest to set up in Lifeblog

Against that I would name as the main disadvantage of TypePad:

  •  It costs money – starting at a basic level which currently costs $ 4.95 per month / $ 49.50 per year
  • For TypePad, the Lifeblog help describes how to set up a blog, but in order to be repetitive, here are the steps:

  1.  Get a TypePad account:
    • In mobile Lifeblog, “Options” -> “Settings” -> “Blog” will take you to your blogging accounts and from there “Options” -> “Sign up online” will take you via the Lifeblog web page to the TypePad site from where you can sign up.
    • PC Lifeblog, click on “Tools” -> “Blog Account Manager” -> “Add New” and you will find a link to the Typepad page.
    • Select your favourite web browser, type in http://www.typepad.com/ and take it from there
  2. Enter your TypePad credentials into Lifeblog
    • In mobile Lifeblog, open “Options” -> “Settings” -> “Blog” and create a new blog account via “Options” -> “New account”
      Chose an Account name of your liking and enter the Username and Password which you selected when signing up for TypePad. The Server address you should leave exactly as is (http://www.typepad.com/t/atom/weblog/); no need to fiddle around with it! As an Internet access point, chose the one that you like :-). Also, whether you set “Optimise images” to “Yes” or “No” is a matter of taste; chose “yes” if you want to save time and money when uploading and if you want to enjoy a bit more reliable setup; chose “no” if you have a good data plan or enough money ;-) or if you fancy high resolution images.
    • In PC Lifeblog, same steps as before apply: click on “Tools” -> “Blog Account Manager” -> “Add New”. In the dialog, just add the User name and Password that you used when registering for TypePad. Again, leave the Blog server address exactly as it is! Obviously, the Lifeblog do not think that money is an issue anymore in today’s Internet data plan world; hence, there is no way to adjust whether you want to downsize images when blogging
  3. Select one or several items in Lifeblog and start blogging

* Vox (http://www.vox.com/)

According to its web page, Vox is free and fun. And just like TypePad, it’s run by Six Apart. And even better, it supports upload from Lifeblog. I love Six Apart for having done that! :-) That brings me to the main advantage of Vox:

  • It’s free!

The (really) tiny disadvantage is

  • The server address has to be entered into Lifeblog manually.

Not surprisingly, the steps for taking Vox into use are quite similar to setting up TypePad:

  1.  Get a Vox account:
  2. Enter your Vox credentials into Lifeblog
    • In mobile Lifeblog, open “Options” -> “Settings” -> “Blog” and create a new blog account via “Options” -> “New account”
      Chose an Account name of your liking. As Username, you should enter the email address that you have registered for Vox. As Password use the password that you have chosen for your Vox account.
      Now comes the biggest difference: You have to change the Server address to http://www.vox.com/atom/)! Again, Internet access point selection and “Optimise images” are up to your personal preferences
    • In PC Lifeblog, again the same basic procedure applies: click on “Tools” -> “Blog Account Manager” -> “Add New”. In the dialog, change the Blog server address to http://www.vox.com/atom/. Then, insert the email address under which you have registered for Vox into the field User name and your Vox password into the Password field.
  3. Select one or several items in Lifeblog and start blogging

* Flickr (http://www.flickr.com)

Is there anyone who doesn’t know Flickr? If you are one of those, where have you been hiding during the last two years? Just for you, Flickr is THE photo-sharing slash photo-blogging web service. It became the ice-breaker 2.0 in the frozen sea of internet monetization, when it was sold to Yahoo in March 2005 for what is now to be considered an insanely small amount of money.

But back to the topic, what advantages does Flickr offer to you as a Lifeblog user?

  • Even though it comes in two different flavours, the basic account is free. The pro account adds $24.95 to your list of yearly expenses.
  • It enables you to share your images as part of the currently largest image-sharing community.

The main drawback, you’ll ask?

  • The main drawback from a Lifeblog user’s perspective is Flickr’s clear focus on images. No other Lifeblog data types can be shared through Flickr.

And the procedure to take Flickr into use with Lifeblog is:

  1. Get a Flickr account (in case you are the last one on earth who doesn’t have one)
  2. Log into Flickr with your Flickr credentials and go to http://www.flickr.com/tools/lifeblog
  3. Create a Flickr account in Lifeblog

* Movable Type

Using a preconfigured and hosted solution is too lame for? But you lack the time to write your own solution from scratch?

If you have a server that fulfills the requirements listed here, another solution from Six Apart might be for you: Movable Type. Even though Movable Type is a commercial solution, the Personal Edition is free.

Unfortunately, Movable Type is not shipped with Lifeblog support. Therefore, some additional
assembly is required besides the basic installation. Luckily, all the information, bolts and screws are available from Robert Price’s blog. If you do exactly as you are told there, it should work quite nicely. At least, it did for me. :-)

Good luck! And: if you know more blogging services that support Lifeblog uploading, please let me know.

…use an advanced search strategy on PC

leave a comment »

I have about 25,000 items in my Lifeblog vault; amongst these are about 19,000 still images and 300 videos.

Even though browsing is fun, it can be tiresome to find this one image that I want to find just by navigating in the timeline. And my memory is too bad to remember the day -or even the exact year- of it.

In my previous post, I already explained the power of search in Lifeblog. But you can do even better if you follow a few simple rules.

Here is my proposal for a search strategy:

  • Never ever delete any messages from your PC Lifeblog! No, not even stupid messages from local providers such as “Welcome to Italy…”. No, not even if you don’t care about messages at all. Why? Because you never know whether they will provide for a pointer during a later search.
  • Before your search, disable any type-based filtering! Then you can be sure that your search will cover your whole database incl. all data and metadata. And you are more likely not to miss any pointers to this one little missing image.
  • When typing your search, watch for the immediate feedback while you type away! Lifeblog shows a list of search terms that occur at least once in your database. Once you hit the search button, you can be sure that you get at least one hit back as long as you stick to the proposals.
  • Watch for tiny pointers in the search result! In case you can’t spot the wanted image right away in your search result, look for clues. Such as the “Welcome to Italy…” message. It can be the missing pointer to the SLR image of Milan that you were looking for.
    When you have found such a pointer, just scroll the timeline such that your pointer is in the middle of the screen and push the “back” (<-) button. Now, you can see the time-based context – and your Milan image.

Written by lifeb

September 24, 2006 at 5:21 pm

…find stuff on your PC

leave a comment »

How to explain best what you can do with search in PC Lifeblog? Maybe the best advice is: Just use and see! :-)

Seriously, there are plenty of things that you can do with that small search box that Lifeblog offers.

Search for text contents

It’s probably obvious that you can search for the contents of all items that contain text (text messages, multimedia messages, text notes):

  • if you want to find all messages and text notes that contain the terms “football” and “worldcup”: just enter “worldcup football” (again, the order of terms does not matter)

Search for manual tags and descriptions

Of course, also all the manual effort that you spent on describing and tagging your items can be used during search:

  • if you want to find all images that you tagged with “football” and “worldcup”, use the same search string again
  • if you want to find all videos that have “football” and “worldcup” in their description field, you already know what to do. ;-)

Search for automatic tags and descriptions

When creating items, such as images, on the mobile, Lifeblog enhances them with metadata. This metadata includes the name of the country that you are currently in, the information from calendar entries that apply to the current time, any sender/recipient information in case of messages and, of course, the timestamp. Hence, what you now can do is:

  • if you want to find all the mobile images that you took in Germany, just enter “Germany” – even if you did not spend any manual effort on tagging
  • if you search for “birthday stephen”, you will get all items that you created or received on your mobile at the time for which the calendar entry for Stephen’s birthday was valid
  • if you want to find all the messages that you exchanged with somebody from Nokia, just enter “Nokia” in the search field
  • if you want to find all your pictures from Chistmas Eve (independant of the year), just enter “December 24″. If you are only interested in pictures from Christmas Eve 2005, then you enter “December 24 2005″. Quite handy isn’t it?
  • if you want to find all weekend items, you should search for “Saturday Sunday”.
  • if you are interested in the pictures that you took in August over the years, you can enter “pictures august”
  • etc. :-)

You are a routine guy and want to view how a certain area has changed over time:

  • Right-click on an images that you took with your mobile and select “Show objects from same network area”. It feels a bit like magic. :-)

Written by lifeb

September 17, 2006 at 10:47 am

…view message threads

leave a comment »

Let’s assume you want to view the exchange of messages that you had with John Wayne.

If you want to view such a message thread on your mobile, you can go to “Options->Find” and the enter “John Wayne” into the search field. Actually, you could even enter “Wayne John” as the order does not matter. And voilà: what you get is a timeline of all the messages that you have written to John or received from him.

As Lifeblog takes the name from your mobile Contacts application you need to be a bit careful of how you have spelled the name there: because a prefix search is used in mobile Lifeblog, a search for “John Wayne” would still reveal all the right messages if the corresponding contact entry says “Johnnie Wayne”. But it would fail for “John Waine”.

PC Lifeblog follows the same basic principles, but it provides for a bit more flexibility: “John Wayne”, when entered in the search field, will reveal all messages related to John. But on the PC, Lifeblog uses infix search rather then prefix search. And in addition you can also search for phone numbers.

If the phone number of John happens to be +1234567890 then a search for “1234567890″ will show all his messages and so does “567890″ or “2345678″. Also, “ohn ayne” would do the job.

Can be quite an entertaining feature for cold dark winter evenings. :-)

Written by lifeb

September 16, 2006 at 10:06 am

…tag stuff via the mobile calendar

leave a comment »

Yes, in Lifeblog you get fully automatic tagging of your collection with cellids, country names, filenames, etc.

Yes, you can also tag stuff manually, both on the mobile and on the PC.

But there is also a middle way: Use the calendar on the mobile. For example, you can put all personal events into your calendar such as “12.12.07, 17:00-23:00 Birthday Party, Jenny”. Afterwards, you will be able to find all your images from that party just by entering “party” or “party jenny”.

Similarly, you can pre-tag all your holiday images from Crete. Or your videos from the football match Finland vs. Portugal.

And, as a side effect, you won’t forget about Jenny’s birthday party, anymore. :-)

Written by lifeb

September 7, 2006 at 2:58 pm

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.