Unread messages in Gmail app on Android?

gmailThis has been bugging me for years. I check on my browser and there are no unread emails. I go to the Android app and there’s that annoying “1” next to All Mail or Inbox.

I found a really simple fix online and thought I’d write a post to make sure I don’t lose it!

  1. Open your Gmail app on your phone
  2. Search for is:unread
  3. Mark as read and relax!

It worked for me and I’d be interested if it worked for you too!

Posted in Android Google Tech by Paul Godden. No Comments

Play Android Games on your PC

Jetpack Joyride. Addictive as hell and good fun. If you’ve got a mobile, tablet or Windows 8 you’re all set. Windows 7, Vista or XP though and it isn’t as easy. Plus the other games out there that would translate, probably better, to the PC from the mobile platforms aren’t available (or at least the vast majority). My wife’s happy. So are the kids. She has a Windows 8 laptop and it looks great fullscreen. I knew my Windows 7 machine could run it easily but I’m left out in the cold with the new apps built for Windows 8. Shame on you Microsoft.

I had to find a way to install it on my PC – even if I never played it. Middle finger to the man and all that. Shallow and sad I know – but those are the kind of things I need to sort out in my life so I can sleep at night. After a bit of searching and a few false starts (Android-x86 on VirtualBox? Meh) I found something promising.

The program’s called the BlueStacks App Player, or more affectionately, plain old BlueStacks. It sounds like another “product named after the only domain that sounded OK & available” website (like moonpig.com or any of the other ridiculous domains you see registered on TV) – and I was a bit dubious about its claims of being able to run games and apps from Google’s Play app store well. I was expecting a slow, jerky, emulation program that would struggle with the simplest games. I should have had a bit more faith..

BlueStacks Screenshot

I installed it, which took a bit of a time. I started it up and to my surprise it actually is an Android platform, thinking it’s a tablet, running on your PC. Without looking into the details, I couldn’t say if it is an emulator, a virtual machine, or a bespoke program using the android libraries. What I do know though is that it works really well!

Like I said, it takes a bit of time the first time you start it up as it downloads various things and runs through its routines. When done, it will connect and sync to your Google account (yes you need one) and will enable you to download and run most things from the Play store. I say most because I haven’t tried everything of course, but the games and apps I have tried work flawlessly.

There are a few things however (why can nothing ever be perfect?) Firstly I’m thinking you need a pretty beefy PC to run it. Anything low spec may struggle with the intensive 3D games out there. Secondly, if you’ve never used Android before it might take a little digging to work out how to remove apps you’ve downloaded and installed.

The software is still technically “Beta” so beware. However, it’s functional, fast, and easy to use. Plus you can go fullscreen!

Jetpack Joyride? Installed – and a newer, better version than the Windows 8 one. Runs really smoothly fullscreen too. Job done. Now I can sleep…

Posted in Android Gaming Tech by Paul Godden. No Comments

Live Lightning Strikes UK

We had a cracking thunderstorm earlier that knocked the power out in my house for a split second. Computers & routers rebooted, lights flickered and a few seconds later a loud thunder clap echoed out. Interested in where the storm was heading I found this cool website that displays strikes over the UK. Unfortunately it showed me it was moving away towards London (I live on the South coast, just north of Southampton). Check out the website and some of the other cool features it offers..

Headcorn Weather Live Lightning Tracker

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Autumn Web

Autumn Web by Paul Godden on 500px.com

Autumn Web
Paul Godden

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Long Hard Road

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Swan Song

Swan Song by Paul Godden (techsnake)) on 500px.com
Swan Song by Paul Godden

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James Randi’s TED Talk on Supernaturalism.

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I didn’t know about this service, until I started searching for a website that could keep a note of what you’ve read and what you thought of it…

I know it sounds like an odd thing to track, but since Christmas my wife bought me a Kindle and pretty much since then I’ve wanted to keep a track of what I’ve read. I went from reading lots of books 10 years or so ago, to nothing, to reading 10 to 15 or so books over the last 3 months.

Well Shelfari sprang to my rescue after a quick Google. The website tracks your read history, what you’re reading now and what you plan to read in the future. You can rate the books you’ve read, post reviews, if you want, and generally organise your reading. Suggestions can be provided from your friends which can be an interesting addition, but generally it’s all about sorting your reading brain out (for me anyway)

You can post anything you’ve read socially to the likes of Twitter, Facebook and others… In all honesty my first thought was “will I remember to update this site when I read a book?” But then I don’t read that many, so realistically it shouldn’t be an issue for me, and as I’m really lazy, it shouldn’t be a problem for anybody. =)

Below I’ve included the widget from their website which shows other people what you’re reading – spread your “literary genius” to others =)

Posted in Books cool Website by Paul Godden. No Comments

Need a CD case? Print and make your own!

I stumbled upon a website, papercdcase.com, today when I found myself with a freshly burned CD I had to give to somebody, but no wallet/case or anything else that would keep it safe and secure in an envelope. After 2 minutes the case was printed, folded and housing it’s new partner – safe and snug.

The website’s form is geared towards people making “mix-cds” – but you can print one out without any writing on at all – or just write what you need in the album name or track listing that’s provided. They come in letter or A4 variants and the folding is pretty straightforward (after visiting the about section). Once you’ve done one, you shouldn’t have any problems doing them again in the future. You can also download the PDF file the website creates and print out later if needed. Very handy when you need to get out of a CD-caseless fix.

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Urban Exploration – Crack the Surface

I’ve done a little bit of this myself – and it is good fun – as long as you’re careful – remember if you’re thinking of taking it up (which of course I don’t recommend) take nothing but photos and leave nothing but footprints.

This video (the first of two so far) is the interviews of some of the people that love to go Urban Exploring, why they do it, and the calculated risks they take to enjoy their past-time. Made in conjunction with Silent UK where you can visit to view some of the amazing shots people have taken whilst out exploring.

Posted in cool photography video by Paul Godden. No Comments