Proctele apps in the App Store

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

Sunday, July 31, 2011

NumberWiz sum 658: Solution

Hi, here's a solution to yesterday's 658 sum.

Q: How do you add, subtract, multiply and divide 2, 5, 25, 50, 75, 100 to get 658 ?

A: Since we have a 2, we start by finding that: 658 = 2 x 329.

Here's how to get 329:
329 = ((5 x 75) - 50) + (100 / 25)

Another beautiful way to get 329 is:
329 = (5 x 50) + 75 + (100 / 25)

Nice hey!

Buy the NumberWiz app in the App Store. Read more about it at

Saturday, July 30, 2011

NumberWiz sum 658

Hi Numberwizards, let's have another sum:

How do you add, subtract, multiply and divide 2, 5, 25, 50, 75, 100 to get 658 ?

You're very welcome to present a solution in the comments.

NumberWiz is a classic game of arithmetic played on TV-shows in Britain and France for decades. Read more about the NumberWiz app and other Proctele apps for iPhone/iPad/iPod touch at

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

About Google+, again

Hi all social webbers!
In a previous post I was speculating about Google+ and what it looked like. I found out it looks very much like Facebook. Look at this screen-shot from

This looks pretty good. We know from Facebook that the formula works. Whether it will work for Google or not is a matter of outperforming Facebook and attracting enough users. Google already has quite a lot to offer, like Google Docs, search, gmail, buzz, reader, YouTube. If they buy Twitter or integrate it nicely, Google+ will likely have what it take to outperform Facebook. The rest is up to goodwill. Do we like Google enough? A few years ago the answer would have been a YESSSS, but now there's doubt. They are really big and are becoming increasingly controversial. A bit like Microsoft actually.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Elephant Super Memory Challenge iPhone/iPad app updated

The Elephant Super Memory Challenge app has been updated with better navigation and graphics. The new version number is 1.2. 
The app name varies as follows in the localized App Stores:

  • English:  Elephant Super Memory Challenge: Recall This!
  • French: Challenge Elephant Super Memory: Rappel Ce!
  • German: Elefanten Gedächtnis Herausforderung
  • Swedish: Elefantminne: Memorera detta!
  • Dutch: Olifant geheugen: Dit memoriseren!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Has Google hired Jack Byrnes?

Google+ is Google's new attempt to create something social. If successful, it should help Google to remain among the top sites on the web.

If you've seen the brilliant Ben Stiller films "Meet the Parents" or "Meet the Fockers" or "Little Fockers", then you know Jack Byrnes, the father-in-law of Gaylord (Greg) Focker. Jack has his circles of trust and you'd better be in the right circle.
When I first heard of the circles within Google+ I smiled, because I immediately recognized it from those films. The concept makes sense. Jack Byrnes explained it to us all in his first private and very tense talk with Greg Focker, so I'm fairly sure I understand it.

Further Google+ elements are as follows:

  • Huddle is group-chat. 
  • Hangouts seems to be a video-version of Huddle.
  • Instant Upload is auto-upload to the web and picture-sharing.
  • Sparks is Google's version of StumbleUpon. It sends you stuff you're likely to appreciate, to make sure you always have something interesting to read.

The big questions is: will this work?

We'll know it works if Facebook starts to lose its grip on us and we start creating circles and enjoy sparks and start hanging out in the Google way.

Here's what I think, starting with Facebook. When I'm busy with Facebook, I'm Facebooking. That means I go to the site or open the iPad app and I start browsing my Facebook news. I'm constantly aware that I'm Facebooking, because whatever action I take, I will remain within the world of Facebook.
This is quite different from Googling. To google is to search. I go to Google's site and type something and get search results. I click on a result and that takes me to some site, just any site, and it's probably nothing to do with Google. The click took me away from Google and I will only return to Google if I want to search further.

For Google+ to be a success, Google needs to hang on to us somehow. It seems they will not try to copy Facebook and that's good. Instead they will keep throwing as many excellent services at us as they can think of and hope we're interested. If we are then Google increases its relevance to us, which adds extra meaning to googling. That's what I think Google+ may be about.
However, they may be trying something more like Facebook after all. If so, they will collect all those services into one site and try to get you to the point where "you can check out any time you like, but you can never leave" (Eagles). 
We'll see.

Monday, July 18, 2011

What's a PDA again?

Hi you lucky iPhone owners!
Looking back in time I found this article about smartphones: (the link is working now). It was written in September 2006, just a few months before the iPhone was introduced and changed the mobile phone industry. It did so in a big way.
I think it's a good article! However it feels really, really old. It mentions PDA's, a device that is about to be forgotten, and it does so in the first sentence: "Smart phones offer the functions of a mobile phone and a PDA in one device, but they are not for everyone. Here's what you need to know before buying one." Not for everyone? Yes, this was a true statement at the time, but not now.
The article definitely sees smartphones as a tool for professionals that are often away from their office. But it also says: "With increasingly more onboard multimedia features and cheaper flash memory cards, smart phones have become great companions for mobile entertainment, from picture and music playback to games and video.". Pictures are mentioned but not cameras.
Again, it's a good article, but a lot has happened in the five years since it was written. A lot of what has happened is thanks to Apple, the mobile phone industry outsider. I suspect there may be many more industries that need an outsider's help to start developing properly. Let there be more apples!!!

Friday, July 15, 2011

App News

Hi App Friends,
This is a short message to inform about our app news. There are three items.
Read it @ this link:

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Information organization is crucial

I read an interesting article today called "Why files need to die" by Alex Bowyer. It's about information organization and accessibility. 
Data is stored in files and files are stored in directories. That's a great way for computers to store data, but not so great for humans, the end users of that data. Imagine you're writing some document on the computer. You must save it and that means giving it a filename. You must also tell the computer what directory to store the file in. This is difficult to do in a good way. If you do it right, you'll be able to find the document quickly in the future. For me this is quite difficult and that's why I often have to search for documents on my computer. That usually works Ok for text documents, but for pictures it's different. A directory structure that makes sense today, may not look so brilliant next year when lots of files have been added.
Here's a good problem illustration. I registered on a web site recently and I wanted to use the same picture as I used for another registration some months ago. So how to find it? I knew fairly well when it was taken, with what kind of camera (mobile phone), the situation and what vacation. But I couldn't remember the meaningless filename nor where I stored it. It took me several minutes to find out I didn't have it on my computer, but on picasaweb. Then it was a matter of looking at directory names, which I usually give a time name, say "2011 april vacation". I found it finally among tens of thumbnails in a vacation directory.
There has to be a better way, and that's what the article is about. Tags seem to be pointing towards a solution. As I said above in the example, I knew fairly well: 

  • when the picture was taken (time),
  • with what kind of camera (device), 
  • the situation (on a plane),
  • what vacation (place).

If the picture-file had been tagged with that data, and that data had been accessible to a search engine, the picture would have been much easier to find. (That it was stored outside my computer made it extra difficult.) But it would have had to be an intelligent search engine, which doesn't care about date formats, time formats, place formats and such. Tagging has its difficulties too. The camera I used would have to be pretty clever to know I was on a plane and where I was, and that I was on holiday.
The reason we often say that Information Technology is in its infancy, has a lot to do with the way we handle data. There is a better way and we're going to find it.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

More home networks, please!

I want more use of networks in my home. Of course I already have Wi-Fi, which enables me to use my iPad and iPod touch and turns every spot in the home into a potential working place. However I want more.
I want sensors in my flower pots to wirelessly tell me when the plants need water. I want to be able to wirelessly set all those clocks and other equipment with clocks in them, and in one go. Why? Daylight saving time requires me to set all my clocks at least twice a year. I want all my thermometers to report their readings wirelessly. I want smoke and alarm sensors to report wirelessly and my PC to send that information on to me wherever I happen to be. I want to get rid of all wires. The wires to my PC speakers and the stereo speakers. Of course I already have wireless keyboard and mouse for the PC, but the USB wire to my backup harddisk is primitive. The wire for the extra screen shouldn't be there. The wiremess behind the TV's be gone! The phone charger's cable be gone! Headphone cables goodbye. All those chargers: AA-battery, walkie-talkie, GPS, toothbrush, battery-driven screwdriver.
Anything that provides information, even if it's only one single occasional bit of information, should be able to send that information wirelessly to some receiver that can inform a user.
Anything that can be controlled should be able to receive commands from a user wirelessly.
I'm sure this is going to happen, but probably not in my lifetime.

Alcohol Check - Skills Test: new version available

A new version of "Alcohol Check - Skills Test" is now available in the app store. Most important change is the addition of a tough mode. 
In the App Store the localized names are:

French: Vérifiez l'alcool – Compétences Test
German: Alkohol Check – Fähigkeiten Test
Dutch: Alcohol Check – Vaardigheden Test

Monday, July 11, 2011

Update to the Elephant Memory Test is coming soon

Dear App Friends,

We're working on an update to the "Elephant Super Memory Challenge - Recall This!". This app is for the iPad as well as those other wonderful Apple devices iPhone and iPod touch.
The most important change will be to the navigation, where we've gone for tabs. The change has made scene change quicker too. There are several changes to the graphics and we've added a share-button on the help-screen, to make it really easy to email info about the application to your friends. A bug related to the sliders has been fixed.
You're welcome to tell us about any other object you'd like to jolt your memory with. Use the comments field here or email to admin at to send us your ideas.

Friday, July 8, 2011

New App: Learn the times-tables

Proctele has released a new app called Timestables on 3 Wheels. It is for anyone who wants to learn the timestables up to 12x12.
The app contains a presentation to explain the easiest way to learn the table. Furthermore, there are screens where you study the table and test what you've learned. One screen contains the boom game, which used to be played in schools. Another screen shows two rulers sliding over the times-tables. It tests your multiplication speed.
In total there are 6 screens including the help screen.
There are some nice sounds and graphics to make learning more exciting. The most important screen is the one with three wheels. There you can study the tables one by one and discover the patterns that are going to help you memorize. This screen also offers tests. You can test one table at a time or all tables at once.
Timestables on 3 Wheels is for the iPhone and iPod touch. Also playable on the iPad. Here's the Icon:

Visit to see all Proctele's apps and read more about this app.

Here's a YouTube demo video: 

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Internet TV: modular is best

There are different ways to see Internet content on your TV, so I'll only discuss two ways. Both give full Internet access, as you have on your PC or Mac, or iPhone, iPad or iPod touch.

  1. TV with everything for Internet access built into the TV screen. Of course the Internet access modem isn't included.
  2. TV connected to a box, which has everything in it for Internet access. The TV is only a screen in this case.
Category 1 includes the Sony NSX-46GT1 with built-in Google TV.
Category 2 includes the Apple TV.

My own TV has Internet access according to point 1. All User Interface (UI) for Internet access is through widgets. In this case they are applications that don't take up the whole surface of the screen, usually about 25%. The reason I don't use it is that it's too slow. Getting the data from the Internet to the TV is quick, but the UI is too slow. After I press a remote control button to get access I must wait for the widgets to load and that takes a minute or more. The widgets, once loaded, are Ok. There's a news widget, a stock widget, a weather widget and more.
However I prefer to use the TV according to point 2, i.e. I have a Windows PC standing next to it and connected via HDMI. That works quite well. Browsing (Chrome browser) is quite pleasant, particularly if I put the zoom-factor above 100% (I use 144%). Zooming puts most of the junk on the page-sides outside the window and makes the text quite readable. The eye-TV distance is 3.3 m = 10 ft and screen size is 46 inches. 
So why don't I use it more for Internet access? The PC has a start-up time of a minute. There are more people who want to use the TV at the same time. I need to make table space for the mouse and put the keyboard on my lap (both are wireless). In fact the PC-TV combination is mostly used for watching the family's photos, and not for internetting.
Another weakness of type 1 is technical and economical. Screen technology and Internet technology develop at different paces. As an example suppose you buy an Internet TV today. The processor may be acceptable today, but will not be so in 10 years. I say acceptable, because no one is going to put a powerful processor into a TV. The screen will be Ok for many years, but the Internet access may become frustrating after 3-4 years. To fix that you'll either stop using the TV for Internet access, or you'll buy a box, and then you have a type 2 solution.
There's a parallel here with TVs with a built-in DVD player. Those devices didn't become feasible until the DVD player component came almost for free.
There's much more to say about this, and that's why I stop here.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

NumberWiz sum 739: Solution

Hi all NumberWiz friends.

Yesterday's problem was:
How do you add, subtract, multiply and divide 2 3 4 7 8 25 to get 739 ?

I thought it was rather difficult.

One solution is:
739 = 8 * 4 * (25 - 2) + 3

Saturday, July 2, 2011

NumberWiz sum 739

Dear number wizards, here's a good NumberWiz sum for us:
How do you add, subtract, multiply and divide 2 3 4 7 8 25 to get 739?

I'll be back tomorrow with a solution.

NumberWiz is a great Proctele app for the iPhone, iPod touch and the iPad.