Tuesday June 25th, 2013 14:18

Greg Says: All over the place with my iPhone

gregwilford

How are you today? Uh huh…fascinating. I’m ill. Still. I’ve had this casual on-and-off thing going on with what I have deduced is a bugger of the viral variety. I’ve got a scratchy throat which cuts like I’m swallowing wire wool every time I breathe; which aggravates my chest; making it throw spluttered coughing tantrums. I have a pathetic cough. A really wheezy number – my guinea pig has a more powerful cough than I do. All sound and sod all fury.

So, you’ll have to excuse me if this edition comes off as somewhat scattered! Still, I’ve managed to cobble together some thoughts about trying to make my iPhone work for me.

I’m kind of getting the interface results I wanted from this beast; but I’ve reached a dilemma. You see, to get the best setup for me out of the device I need two things to happen:

1. I need an app or software of some sort that will let me link the phone to my laptop creating an interface between the two. Then I’ll be able to use my mouse to work the phone myself – send texts, make calls, programme Siri. Looking at the…hmm ‘legitimate options’, there was an app called ‘Reflection’ I tired. It’s a free trial for ten minutes with the full package coming to $12.99. Personal opinion? If you use your iPhone for presentations, you will find this a really useful bit of kit. Install Reflection, quickly and easily, onto any piece of hardware – use wireless to sync it up to your iDevice and stream your slideshow onto a big screen.

The only flaw it has (for what I need anyway) is that you can only work the device on the phone itself rather than the PC being an input source. I need the latter setup – which sadly ‘Reflection’ doesn’t provide. In fact no ‘official’ apps are currently out there that do the job. Except Cydia –

For the uninitiated, Cydia is the ‘other’ App Store – offering all sorts of neat little tinkers and gizmos Apple doesn’t approve of and therefore doesn’t let people download these Apps onto the iDevice. To use Cydia on an iPhone, it needs to be ‘jailbroken’. Jailbreaking, to put as simply as I can, is questionably legal. Any phone ‘jailbroken’ immediately invalidates the Apple Care warranty meaning if any problems occur, I’ll have to pay for repairs. Fair enough.

Cydia has a little programme called ‘Veency’; this is an app that allows a remote viewer like VNC, to access your iPhone from a compatible PC/Laptop and uses your mouse as a cursor to work your hardware. It’s easy to load up, there are plenty of guides online to walk you through the installation step-by-step and, best of all, it’s free.

2. Default activation for Siri – Apple’s built-in voice software – needs the ‘Menu Button’ held down to start the magic. So for someone who aspires to integrate the iPhone into his ‘hands-free’ agenda…it is shit. Scanning through the World-Wide-Whaterville; I found there is an app called…ah…’Hands-Free Control’. Pretty self-explanatory. You can activate ‘Siri’ by shouting a designated phrase at your iPhone. Ideal? Hell yeah. Problem? You got to hack the fu…the fuc…the ‘thing’.

See this is what makes me ang-, pis-, grrr (I’m so irked I c-c-can’t find the right word to describe how outraged I am), I’ve bought the phone legitimately. It’s my property, okay? To use all the services and functions I’m entitled to (remember, I bought the phone. It’s mine.) – I have to hack it. There is no reason I can see why Apple can’t provide these services themselves – especially when you consider the benefits of these Apps for people with mobility difficulties.

So I’m weighing up the options…

GMW

Many people have been instrumental in the development of Creative Skills For Life, but there is one very special young man who shared our vision and passion from the outset. Greg Wilford described himself as “a writer who will put pen to paper for ANY reason” adding that “the key to good writing is crude humour and the excessive use of bad language”. Sadly Greg has now passed, but his spirit is part of CSL’s DNA and he remains an inspirational driving force for the CSL team.

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Wednesday May 15th, 2013 14:37

Greg Says: London fun run bonanza

gregwilford

iPhone!  iPhone!  iPhone!  Yes, I am now a proud inductee into the cult of Apple and it’s awesome.  I was going to write my initial thoughts on the device but I’m still trying to get my lousy, bony fingers to integrate with the system properly.  I have been playing with the idea of connecting it to my PS3 controller and using that to operate the phone – will let you know about any progress as it comes.

Anyway…

Hilarious thing happened to me the other day.  I was intrigued by a strange message I was sent from the organisers of the 2014 London Marathon confirming that I had been accepted into the ballot to participate in the race.

Funny thing is…I don’t remember ever applying for a place in the London bloody Marathon.  I’m in an electric wheelchair – I barely make a round trip to the shop at the end of my road without the battery clunking out… I’m not going to make a 26 mile race round London,  unless I could be like one of those people that waddles around in a diving suit ripped right out of steampunk fiction and takes like six months to stomp his way around the course.  My route will consist of me zig-zagging the charging points of London!

Now I have agreed to some stupid things under the influence of particular influences and moods – for example I one admitted I liked ‘The Beautiful South’ to ‘impress’ a girl… yeeeeeeah… kids are idiots.

Anyway, I then wondered: if I didn’t enter the ballot, which clever bastard could it have been? After a little investigation, I found out it was a mate of mine who clearly has too much time on his hands – and when I say ‘mate’, I’m saying it in the sense that if he was on fire, I’d crack out the marshmallows and have myself a barbecue.  (HIIIIII JACKSON !!!)

Congratulating him on his hilarious prank; I informed him that if we get accepted – WE will be racing – HE will be carrying me, on his back – ALL 26 miles – with me shouting ‘mush’ in his ear – and we’ll be dressed as R2-D2 and C3PO.  Will keep you posted.

GMW

Many people have been instrumental in the development of Creative Skills For Life, but there is one very special young man who shared our vision and passion from the outset. Greg Wilford described himself as “a writer who will put pen to paper for ANY reason” adding that “the key to good writing is crude humour and the excessive use of bad language”. Sadly Greg has now passed, but his spirit is part of CSL’s DNA and he remains an inspirational driving force for the CSL team.

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Wednesday April 17th, 2013 12:00

Greg Says: Disorder – The art of making stuff up

gregwilford

Radio. Live Transmission… So today, in my first post proper, I’m going type at you about creation – the pastime of creativity. What the heck is it? What good does it do, if any? And, more importantly, how is it going to make me my millions and buy me a mansion on a tropical island not found on any map – populated by just me, a Scrabble board and a harem of Amazonian super models who think I’m the best thing since sliced bread?

I ask for little.

The above is nothing but fantasy plucked from nothing. A pretentious way of saying ‘I made it up’ because that is what all this creativity-thingy is when it’s broken apart – the conversion of thoughts to things. It begins with an idea appearing in our head – these can come in any flavour (political, emotional, philosophical…Thunderbirds) – the idea then undergoes a chemical reaction with what your personality brings to the party, and this gives you something you combine with a skill set to recite, paint, compose or commit your message to print.

This is something we all do. Every time we retell an interesting incident to a friend; we edit, exaggerate and adapt the anecdote for an effect – this is creation. Easy as that. To take that habit into a hobby or career involves an understanding of why each element has the effect it does; and this is something I think on a lot – especially in relation to my own writing.

Creativity will be the thrust of this ongoing blog, with me saying why I think it matters. For now I’m going to introduce my process and what I use to help motivate me to write this entry.

I usually start by selecting some accompanying music. Set me in the right frame of mood – line it up properly, depending on whatever I’m working on. Today I need a compound of velocity and industry. Today, I need Joy Division.

(WHO???? – Really? 80’s Manchester band that same from the aftershock of punk. Prequel to New Order. All hyper-gloom and mood-atmosphere. Not advisable to be sampled at three in the morning… on your own… in a darkened room… after four cans. Read up more on Wikipedia. Watch the film Control. Then load up YouTube and fire on ‘Transmission’ – an audio voyage of going to a party, not knowing anyone bar the people you went with, and slowly tune your head into the tempo of the gathering And I challenge anyone to find a more human and honest example of art about love separating than ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart... Maybe ‘Maps’ by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs…)

I write with ‘Disorder’, a track that is less of a song, and more like the sound you would hear produce from the TARDIS’s engine ripping up warp space, sun waves and nebula storms. That vwarp chord reverberates like a cosmic pulse. It is never ‘just’ music. That is my soundscape.

Now I’d like to speak about the why of creativity. What does it bring? To paraphrase all-knowing story guru Robert McKee; he believes that all ideas, ever, can be broken down into four main categories: political, scientific, philosophical and finally – artistic/creative.

The currency of political ideas have taken a bit of a battering in the last fifty years with everything from Watergate to MP’s expenses leading the majority of us tot not believe in the people that make decisions supposedly in the interest of the population they serve.

Science, as wonderful as it is, really is something that is defined by rigorous testing, facts, laws, atoms and has little room for interpretation. There is a blend of science and creative inspiration in theories, such as quantum mechanics and parallel universe, but this cannot be proved under the conditions set by the scientific method.

Again, philosophy is an interesting subject to study, but has little relevance to the immediacy.

So, we are left with art. Creation. I think people respond to it far better than the other three registers because of two things, 1) form and content can communicate many themes in interesting ways, and 2)} the audience can relate, empathise and feel with the art – and each reaction is individual.

Art can communicate emotion succinctly in ways that transcend language and images alone on a huge scale. The simplest way to explain this is to ask to you to try and describe something like ‘guilt’ or ‘love’. Both are abstracts and difficult to accurately describe in terms of their effects – but I could say ‘love’ to you and somehow you will know what I’m talking about; a warm, uplifting, sometimes overwhelming feeling that seems already hardwired into our human programming. We communicate ourselves through our culture – favourite songs, films and books. That is art; communication, reflection and communion.

GMW

Many people have been instrumental in the development of Creative Skills For Life, but there is one very special young man who shared our vision and passion from the outset. Greg Wilford described himself as “a writer who will put pen to paper for ANY reason” adding that “the key to good writing is crude humour and the excessive use of bad language”. Sadly Greg has now passed, but his spirit is part of CSL’s DNA and he remains an inspirational driving force for the CSL team.

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Monday March 25th, 2013 12:00

Greg Says: Dabbling in creation

gregwilford

My name is Greg Wilford. I’m 24 years old. I have a degree. I live independently – with a guinea pig and an escape artist rabbit beast who confuses himself for a cat – and I like lots of stuff (pulled pork, beer, Chekov, Pavement, Leeds United, beer, Japanese culture and history, space exploration, The Third Man, spicy food, beer, Kal-El, ‘The Great Gatsby’, have I said beer already, poker…and the list goes on).

I also have a disability called Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy; a genetic thingy that produces one chemical gloop instead of doing its bloody job and making the useful protein it is supposed to – but the Blue Badge for parking, nocturnal ventilation, ‘leccy wheelchair and body-warping heart medication does make the whole trip that bit sweeter.

I also like to dabble in creation; always have from when I was younger, writing stories to studying film and film production. I had moved away from seriously wanting to write for a while to do…actually I don’t know what it was I was doing now that I think about it…but I’m back to it; approaching it from a whole new take.  Good times.

I’ve also been spurred on by upcoming projects that I’m involved in; this Creative Skills For Life blog being one of them.  Combing the best in digital media applications and imagination – we’re looking for young disabled people to create something that says what they want to say. That’s what this is about, giving interesting, spirited people with something to say, a chance – making stuff up – to entertain, to inform, to communicate ideas – like I’m doing now. Give it a go. It’s easy if you try.

In a bit

GMW

Many people have been instrumental in the development of Creative Skills For Life, but there is one very special young man who shared our vision and passion from the outset. Greg Wilford described himself as “a writer who will put pen to paper for ANY reason” adding that “the key to good writing is crude humour and the excessive use of bad language”. Sadly Greg has now passed, but his spirit is part of CSL’s DNA and he remains an inspirational driving force for the CSL team.

Tags:

Sections: CSL Invites