Why are smart bands not more of a thing?

When Pebble was a going concern there were a couple of smart bands that appeared to add functionality to the Pebble watch. I liked the idea of these although I’m not sure that they were particularly successful.

The Apple Watch has had a couple of similar add ons with bands that add video capability and one that adds gestural control. I looked at both and decided that, whilst they were both interesting, they were both bulky and I knew that in the end I wouldn’t use them and they’d end up on eBay.

Now I wonder why these haven’t become more mainstream? It would seem like an obvious place to put more functionality and controls, but no one seems to be doing that. I do wonder if a future Apple Watch will bring that kind of functionality. One thing is for sure though. They’ll have looked at it, or they are looking at it.

Buses with USB ports

Yesterday I got a bus to work, or at least part of the way to work anyway. Normally I would get a train to work, but the rail strike meant that I had to find other means. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t begrudge the strikes. Quite the opposite in fact. The rail network in this country has been decimated through privatisation and a constant lack of investment. The workers should be striking for pay and conditions.

Anyway, I don’t often get the bus, although I’m not averse to public transport by any means. But this bus was a bit different. Like many trains it had USB ports for charging your devices on the go. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that on a bus before. I was quite impressed.

What I would like to see from DayOne this year

As a user of both DayOne and WordPress I have been waiting for quite some time to see the promised integration of the two. Since the purchase of DayOne pretty much nothing has happened, which is kind of annoying. So I thought I would put some thoughts down on what I would like to see this year, although I have to say my expectations are pretty low.

  • Some real integration between DayOne and WordPress (you might like to know what I mean by that, so here goes)
  • Where you have both a wordpress account and a DayOne account, a simple way to link them
  • Assuming the above then an easy way to make sure that a post from a wordpress site is included in a DayOne journal entry automatically
  • The ability to post a DayOne journal entry directly to a wordpress site and link the two
  • For DayOne only I would like to see a better implementation of HTML

I really don’t think that I am asking for too much here. There was a promise made just after DayOne was bought out and I think it would be good if that was honored. Of course this is just my opinion.

First impressions of the Orba 2

I’ve had an Orba 1 for a while now, and when the Orba 2 was announced it looked like just the update I wanted. The form factor of the the devices are identical, which is good as the accessories all fit both devices. The original Orba was fun to play with but lacked the ability to use samples, amongst other things. It was still fun, but kind of like a musical fidget toy rather than something that I could finish a piece of music with, (not that I have finished anything in a very long time).

The Orba 2 is a different story. Size wise it is exactly the same as the Orba 1.

Orba 1 and Orba 2 devices from Artiphon

In fact they are almost indistinguishable. However, from a functionality perspective they are very different indeed and the Orba 2 is a big step up, as is the app that is used with it.

Thus far I’ve done little more than play around with it and tried out the sound packs that come with the app. I haven’t quite got the hang of getting my own recorded samples into it so far. But I probably will in the new year, or at least that is what I intend to do.

I’m not sure if there is any real benefit to having two of these. You can’t really play them together and I don’t think that there is anything in the technology that brings them together. Perhaps that will come later.

Anyway, for now this is a nice toy, and an improvement on the original. As I get more familiar with it I will post a bit more about my experience with it and maybe even make something to listen to.

Max Gen~

Max Gen Book

Over the last couple of years I have tried to learn Max and have experimented with various projects. Some slightly successful, others less so.

When RNBO (‘rainbow’ apparently) was announced recently, this book was also announed, and it peaked my interest again. I have only just began it, but I am going to do my best to read this and understand it, and I may even end up making something. If I do I will share it.

Also, as I make my way through the book I’ll give you my views on it.

The field recording device I would really like

All too often I miss interesting sounds. All too often I start recording just after it would be useful. I have often thought that what would be useful was a device that records continuously, but has the ability to capture the last fifteen minutes or so of recording. That would be so amazing.

Does anything like that exist?


Another thing that I’ve backed somewhat impulsively on Kickstarter. I had originally been looking at their previous product, the Pocuter, and I am still very tempted by that. However, I am more than aware that I can get overly excited by curious technology that I think I have a use for. Sadly, it often means that I end up with stuff that I actually have no use for at all. Hence why I said that I had impulsively backed it.

It’s due to arrive in the spring of next year. When it does I’ll post about it again.


Arpeggio might still be a thing

Back in 2015 I wrote about this device on Kickstarter. It looked like a cool idea and I backed it. Seven years later I have received nothing, and, what’s more, heard nothing for quite some time about it. Then, the other day, quite out of the blue, I got an update from Kickstarter. It appears that it is still progressing. Although the timeline is months away, apparently due to the global chip shortage.

Whilst I could take that as a good sign, I still have my doubts about this ever arriving in my hands. I had pretty much given up on it.

Of course this is always the danger of Kickstarter. There have been a number of things that I have backed that never came about. The most annoying of which was the Blocks Smart watch. That one in particular was annoying as they appeared to have spent a good deal of the money on enjoying themselves rather than creating a product. I got nothing back. It still hurts.

These days I am much more careful about what I back on Kickstarter, and I back a lot fewer projects. It would be nice if this one did come about, but in many ways I have resigned myself to never seeing.

An update to thoughts on the HomePod mini

I posted about this a while back and since then I have found a couple of additional uses that are vaguely helpful. Or at least they are vaguely helpful for me.


I use a lot of alarms. A lot of things to remind of what I need to. Being able to have them on multiple devices might be useful. So far I’m not entirely how useful this might be, but I’ll try it out.


This is also a potentially useful feature, but again I’ll have to spend more time seeing just how useful it might be.

Like so many bits of technology that I have, I struggle to make them actually useful to me. These two features of the HomePod Mini might be useful, or at least it is a possibility, and one that I’ll try. I’d actually like the HomePod to do more, but so far I haven’t found any other uses.

Of course I do make use of it as a speaker, which is of course its primary purpose. In terms of that it works just fine.

Goodbye Mutable Instruments

I read this on CDM the other day and it made me think about when Bhajis Loops came to an end. If you were unaware, Bhajis Loops was an application for the PalmOS that was the nearest thing to a DAW for Palm devices. It lasted for some years, but, like all things, it came to an end. It’s creator went on to start Mutable Instruments, which has been infinitely more successful.

But the closing of Mutable made me wonder what, if anything, might be next. Of course the simplest answer is nothing at all, and that is entirely possible. In fact I’m not suggesting that anything will follow. However, if it does then I think it will be entirely unexpected.