Tag Archive | review

2014 in review

The Annual Look Back

The Queen loves the Annual Blog In Review Report. If you’re interested, here it is.


Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,900 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 32 trips to carry that many people.

Click HERE to see the complete report.

© 2014 This Material Is The Intellectual Property of Evil Wordsmith
© 2014 Evil Wordsmith, Evilwordsmith.com. All Rights Reserved.

New App Review & An App Update

Compass Apps

Recently we had an opportunity to watch the Antares Rocket launch from Wallops Island in Virginia. We needed to know the exact direction from our viewing position and Evil forgot his nautical compass. Well there’s an app for that! There are a lot of apps for that. Be careful though, some only display information in their home creators language. I found many for Chinese and Japanese that don’t have options to translate to English. Not all compass apps are accurate, so read the reviews others have left. I downloaded three apps and checked them out. Here’s what I found.   

Compass by

Compass by Catch.com – ☆☆☆☆☆
Works great on my Galaxy Nexus. We put this app up against my husbands nautical compass when we got home and it’s matched up in accuracy perfectly. It’s great whether you’re standing still in your backyard for star gazing, or on the move in the car driving down the road. I really like it. The free version has several themes that can be used, and there are more you can purchase. Frankly I’m a big fan of the wood/antique look one which is part of the free version. – The only thing I’d like to see added is for the latitude and longitude to be displayed under the address that’s displayed at the top of the screen. That’s very helpful when you’re star gazing.

Smart Compass by Smart Tools Co. – ☆☆☆
If you have Samsung Nexus anything, don’t bother. In its current state as of 04/2013 its erratic and not as accurate as Compass. It has some nice features, but it also has some that are rather annoying. Although you may turn the phone into portrait or landscape mode, the heading is fixed. I don’t want to read sideways. For me, it was kind of useless.

Tiny Compass by Nikolay Ananiev – ☆☆☆☆
No frills! Accurate within 10 feet. It lacks information that is provided by Compass by Catch. But if you’re looking for nothing but a compass where you can derive other information on your own, this would be the app for you. I like a little frill, so I wasn’t impressed with this one. But for what it is, it’s good.

Update: Screen Saver Apps

Photo Slides (Photo Frame) by Softick Ltd. – ☆☆☆☆☆☆  – Yes, that’s 6 stars..I like it that much!
In a recent update Softick has provided an option to display the status bar of your phone while the screen saver is running. I really like this, because some of my alerts for news or weather don’t take over the phone, they display as an icon in the status bar. So I really like this update…especially since it’s one I suggested!

You can see all my Long, Continually Running Android App Reviews on my Android App Review page.

© Springwolfs Hanko
© 2012-2013 Evilwordsmith.com. All Rights Reserved Springwolf D.D., Ph.D.

Another Android App Review

Skyvi (Siri for Android)Skyvi Voice (Siri for Android)

If you have an android phone and want Siri to speak to you, there is an option. It’s called Skyvi from BlueTornado. She has a pleasant voice, similar to Siri. She does everything Siri does and she’s pretty funny sometimes too.

As with most voice apps, it works as well as you speak. If you can speak clearly, Skyvi can understand you. If you have a very heavy accent of some sort, she can get a little confused. And that seems to be the biggest issue with Skyvi. Some people have reported problems with the speech recognition.

I have a slight southern accent. I don’t hear it, but people say I have it. I know it comes out when I’m tired. But Skyvi doesn’t seem to have a problem understanding me. On the few occasions where she has had an issue, I can usually speak the command or conversation again with extra clarity and she gets it fine. I’ve noticed she also gets better with use. The more you talk to her or use her, the better she gets at understanding you.

Our version has to put up with me and the Prince. So she has some extra duty to deal with. It would be nice if we could program two or more users with speech recognition. When he uses my phone for homework, it would be nice if she called him by his name and not mine. But that might be a lot to ask from a free app.

She does have a few issues recognizing names. I have a friend named Maura; Skyvi hears “more a”; when she repeats the name she turns the A into a long A, like ace. When I say call Maura; she doesn’t understand who I’m talking about. Since she displays the names when she asks you to connect it to a contact in your address book, it would be nice if you could edit that name and perhaps fix the issue.

The biggest disappointment to the Prince so far (remember he’s 10) is that he can’t say “thank you Skyvi” because she doesn’t seem to recognize her own name. That is kind of disappointing.

My biggest issue is that she overrides all the other phone sounds I have set and have gotten used to. That simply will not do. That one issue caused me to uninstall the app.

You can read all my Android App Reviews, but remember I’m simply a busy mom and retired IT geek. What works for me, may not work for your schedule or life. Take time to read the reviews on the apps before you download. Someone else may have the same phone or device as you and they may have experienced problems that I didn’t on my Galaxy Nexus.
© This material is the intellectual property of Author Springwolf
© 2012-2013 Evilwordsmith.com. All Rights Reserved. Springwolf, D.D., Ph.D.

Two New Android App Reviews

valentinesLive WallPaper

Each time a new holiday or season comes around I go looking for a new wallpaper to celebrate the event. Today, it’s Valentines Day. After doing a little looking around, I also thought St. Patty’s Day is around the corner.

Being a Celtic Pagan Shaman, it’s a nice time of the year of me and my kind. We don’t celebrate St. Patrick, instead we honor our Celtic heritage, the magik of the little people and our friends the faery folk.

So I found the following two live wallpapers that are worth sharing.

You can check out my continually running Android App Review too.

Sweet Heart – by GO Launcher Dev Team ☆☆☆☆☆
shamrockA Lovely Live Wallpaper – I really like this wall paper. It’s great for Valentines Day with some very beautiful backgrounds. And for any time of the year, you can put your own picture on the background and let the hearts of love fly.

Shamrock Live Wallpaper – by 1473labs ☆☆☆☆☆
Fun wallpaper for March, Celts and anyone who likes the Luck of the Shamrock on their phone. Some nice background images to choose from. Set the number of clovers and fireflies to float across your screen. Along with a special gold 4 leaf clover! I like it!
© This material is the intellectual property of Author Springwolf
© 2012-2013 Evilwordsmith.com. All Rights Reserved. Springwolf, D.D., Ph.D.

A Book About Us

I do engineering work, and as a result I know quite a few technicians and engineers like me. One thing we all have in common is that we often seem cold and detached. We are well suited to mining through and moving data because it’s built into our psyche. We are also poorly suited for the emotional world around us.

Unfortunately our wives don’t always get to see the other sides of us. Sometimes in our effort to do what we see as our duty we bury that other side so deep that I’m sure it seems like that other side has simply vanished, or worse, was never there in the first place.

One of those engineer friends of mine, Greg Riffe,  has written a book which gives a unique look beneath his surface. I’m not finished reading it yet, but it’s obvious to me that he is bravely speaking for the rest of us who share this detached persona.

He’s opened up that other side for everyone to see. If you’re one of the spouses wondering if the rest of him is still in there, then this is a book you should read. If you’re one of the analytical types who seem unfeeling and overly guarded, you should read this and remember that part of yourself hidden deep within.

A Look Behind My Eyes, by Greg Riffe


By the way Greg has been a very bad influence in my life. Talked me into doing really dumb things like quitting a perfectly good job and becoming self employed. Pretty sure he’s owed some bad Karma for that, and barring that maybe a beer or two. His friendship is one I truly honor and respect.

© 2012 Evil Wordsmith. Evilwordsmith.com. All Rights Reserved.