Melting the Wi-Fi

The canal in Birmingham

Back in the early noughties I remember attending edtech conferences and the wifi failing to cope with the number of delegates. That wasn’t surprising, they were often using a single wireless access point and when sixty plus edtech delegates hit the event with their laptops and PDAs it wasn’t much of a surprise to find the lone access point failing to deliver any wifi.

Even today I have been to events where the wifi struggles as delegates with their laptops, iPads, smartphones connect to the wifi. It is partly about the number of devices, it is also about how they are using the connection, refreshing twitter, uploading photographs, streaming video like Periscope. I also think that some people may take advantage of the fast connection (sometimes inadvertently) to download updates, podcasts and video.

The canal in Birmingham

At the recent UCISA Spotlight on the Digital Capabilities event in Birmingham, the conference centre wifi, which in theory could cope with 250 wireless clients, failed to deliver a stable consistent wifi connection. I found that if my laptop was connected to the wifi, it not only took time to get a connection, but every so often the connection would drop. I would say that when I had a connection it was fast and consistent. I felt lucky that I could still tweet and upload photographs using my phone on my Three 4G connection. I was getting over 60Mb/s on that connection in the main auditorium. I was quite pleased that the seats in the auditorium had tables and power sockets.


The thing is, a conference with delegates from the edtech world are probably going to melt the wifi as most conference centres don’t plan their capacity on the extremes. For most events it probably works just fine. Personally since those early days I have come less and less to rely on the conference wifi, using a 3G dongle, 3G tethering, a 4G WiFI Hotspot to my current 4G tethering. This means that not only do I not worry so much about melting wifi, but it frees up the bandwidth for somebody else, and I think I might a pretty heavy user of bandwidth!

Keynote Tweetless

Loose Change

Today I was presenting a keynote at the RSC Wales Conference in Cardiff. I had finished my presentation, however on the train I took the decision that the audience probably would be on the Twitter and therefore this was an opportunity to engage with my audience and get them discussing through Twitter. It would also be an easy way to add value to my Keynote presentation with links to relevant blog posts, news items, wikipedia articles and images.

So I went through the presentation and added the [twitter][/twitter] comments in the presentation notes.

It was only after I had done all this that I wondered if the recent Twitter API change would make a difference, so I tested the process and it didn’t work.

It had worked seamlessly before, but wasn’t working now. The main difference between then and now was the change in the Twitter API.

I checked my settings and then went through the process I had used before that was outlined on this blog post. I checked, and went through the whole authorisation process, but to no avail.

As a result I didn’t have the time to set up another solution, so my presentation was in the end tweetless.

For the future I think I will need to find another solution, what I liked about Keynote Tweet was the seamless way it worked with Keynote allowing individual tweets to be “sent” from individual slides.

If you know of a possible solution let me know in the comments.


Osfoora for Twitter

Over the last few years I have been using the Osfoora client on my iPhone and iPad to use the Twitter.

On June 11th, Twitter turned off their API 1 and developers were only allowed to use API 1.1

As a result (well I think as a result) Osfoora stopped working as a Twitter client.

What is disappointing is that there was no news from Osfoora and no updates to the apps available.

What is disappointing is that this wasn’t a free app, these were apps I paid for.

I am not sure who I am more disappointed with Osfoora or Twitter.

There was an update for the Osfoora client for the iPhone, that allegedly used the API 1.1. It though, required 6.1 (something I had been putting off), I did that, updated Osfoora, rebooted the phone and now the app doesn’t work at all…

The end result is that I am looking for a new iOS Twitter client, in the meantime I am using the official iOS Twitter client, which is okay, but not really my cup of tea.

Update: Deleting and then reinstalling the app has fixed the app. Of course this won’t work on the iPad I believe as Osfoora HD hasn’t been updated and is not available.

Twitter Infographic for @jamesclay

Here is an infographic of my Twitter account @jamesclay.

Twitter Infographic for @jamesclay

Vizify have made it very easy to create your own, go and have a go.

Osfoora for Mac

I have been a fan of Osfoora for iPhone and iPad and it is my default client for iOS.

On the Mac however I have either been constrained to the web interface or more usually the free official Twitter app.

There is now a new Osfoora app for the Mac.

Osfoora is a powerful Twitter client with a clean and intuitive user interface. You’ll enjoy a wide set of powerful features such as Muting users, Read Later, Message Conversations, Multiple Accounts, and more.

This is not a free app and is £2.99 which considering what it does compared to the free Twitter app is in my mind a little expensive. However for the price of a venti coffee from a certain chain, I didn’t worry about it too much.

One feature that you may like (and probably worth £2.99) is the functionality to mute a contact.

This isn’t blocking, this merely means that the person’s tweets “disappear” from your timeline. In the preferences you can unmute them and once more you will be able to read their tweets. This can be useful if someone is at a conference and is “flooding” your stream.

I quite like the interface and the way it looks. I don’t think it handles multiple accounts very well, certainly I prefer how the official Twitter app does that.

In the end I bought this app as I like the iOS versions, I think it looks good, it lacks some of the functionality of the other apps, but I suspect that will come in future versions.

Get Osfoora for Mac in the Mac App Store.