Of iPhones, Amazon deliveries, and Sticky Notes

Nothing too involved today – it is a holiday weekend, after all

iPad and iPhone tip – recent list

iPhone Open Apps Image
Swipe up on the image of the app you wish to close
If you wish to return to an app that is difficult to find on your home screens then a double-click on the home key will bring up a list of your recently used apps. You can swipe left and right through this list to go backwards and forwards between the open apps. Just tap on the app that you are looking for and it will come to the front.

This is also the way that you unload a program that’s in memory. Just bring the program to be closed to the centre of the screen (as described above) and then swipe upwards. I often use this function (when I remember) to close any mapping programs I have open (such as the London A-Z). These programs track your location even if you are not actively using them (as long as they are open and the GPS feature is switched on). In my opinion this is a cheek. If I’m not using the program then there’s no legitimate reason at all for its publishers to continue to track me.

Amazon Pickup Locations
Amazon pickup locations now include post offices. This is extremely useful if it is unlikely that anyone will be at home when deliveries are attempted. Amazon send an email to tell you when the package is at the pickup location and you just collect it at your leisure (armed with the usual proof of identity and Order Tracking Number).

Post Office SignWell, that’s the theory, but I think Amazon are touchingly naive in thinking that just because they’ve delivered it to the pickup point, then it’s ready for collection. The Post Office in Clapham kept telling me last Saturday that they hadn’t received a package that Amazon said they had delivered. It took a bit of time to persuade the PO clerk to go and check for parcels they hadn’t yet booked into their system. It was there, of course.

It may be worrying that Amazon are single handedly destroying our town centres, but at least they can usually be relied upon to be efficient while doing it. You do lose the “free delivery” option when you arrange for delivery to a pickup location.

Transferring or copying Microsoft’s Sticky Notes to a different computer

A while ago (see Who Needs Word?), I blogged about the rather useful little utility built into Windows that allows you to create sticky notes on your screen and display or hide them at a keystroke. I find this so useful that I’ve got a version of it on my main laptop and also on my Microsoft Surface Pro 3. The problem is that the notes are completely different from each other. I wondered if it might be possible to store the data (ie my specific sticky notes) in a Dropbox folder so that both computers would address the same data.

File Explorer Address Bar
Figure 1. Type the circled text into the File Explorer (Windows Explorer) address bar to open the folder containing the Sticky Notes data file.

This is a bit fraught with problems such as could you have the same file open on two machines, what happens if you change them both, and so on? The only way of finding out would be to try it. Well, I couldn’t find any way of easily changing the location of the file. It’s almost certainly to be found in a key in the registry but I never play with the registry unless I’ve got very good reason. What I did find out, however, was that your Sticky Notes data is to be found in one of those folders that is normally hidden. If you want to open the folder (so that you can copy the file for pasting into a different computer, or for backup purposes), then do the following:

  • Close the Sticky Notes program. Do this by right-clicking on its icon on the taskbar and left-clicking on “close window” (or you could close it via the Task Manager)
  • Open a Windows Explorer window (NOT Internet Explorer, but Windows Explorer (now known as File Explorer, actually))
  • Type the following into the address bar of the Explorer window – %AppData%\Microsoft\Sticky Notes (see figure 1) and click the enter key.
  • You will then find the file called StickyNotes.snt. This can be copied and pasted elsewhere for backup or for transfer to a different machine.
Sticky Notes Data File
The circled file is the Sticky Notes data file