Category Archives: Technology

Tweetbot and that f*cking iCloud sync

I’ve been a user of the Tweetbot Twitter client on my iPhone for quite some time and quite frankly I still rate it as one of the best available. In my tweeting lifetime I’ve used Echofon, Osfoora and even Twitter’s official once wonderful now wretched abomination.

But I digress, Tweetbot supports syncing of timelines and direct messages over iCloud meaning that whichever device you pick up to tweet it should remember where you last left off. Not a feature that was of any particular interest to me when I only used Tweetbot on my phone but since I’ve acquired an iPad it is a feature that has been of great interest to me, not to mention a massive source of frustration.

Apparently “it just works”. Unless it doesn’t, in which case… errm it doesn’t. I know this because I’ve Googled my fingertips flat trying to find out what stops it working and discovering that nobody seems to really know. However, if you’re a fellow sufferer, before you proceed I’d advise following this excellent troubleshooting guide from the Tapbots blog.

Anyhow, finally, it’s working (and bloody useful it is too) so here is – to the best of my recollection – the sequence of events that I carried out in my attempt to sort it out once and for all.


  1. Delete Tweetbot from both iPhone and iPad (and anywhere else you have it installed).
  2. Delete your Twitter account(s) from iOS
  3. Hard reset your iOS devices by pressing and holding down the sleep/wake button and the Home buttons at the same time until the device shuts off and the apple logo reappears as it reboots.
  4. Now log onto the twitter website through a browser and go to your account settings. In your Applications, revoke access to Tweetbot for iOS. You may need to do this for all accounts you use with Tweetbot.
  5. Re-add your Twttter account(s) to iOS on all of your devices.
  6. Reinstall Tweetbot on your devices and run the initial setup which should also reauthorise access to twitter.
  7. Setup your Tweetbot notification preferences on all devices (I got an authorisation error on one device until I completed this step)
  8. Finally, visit Account Settings in Tweetbot and ensure that iCloud is the selected Sync Service (it should be by default). You can also switch on the Visual Marker from this screen. It’s down to personal taste but I found it useful to indicate things were working. You can always switch it off again once you’re happy all is well.

If working you should now find that if you have both clients open at once and actively use one the other will update and update a few seconds later.

Whether streaming was set on or off made no difference.

Also, now it is working I can confirm that no Tweetbot data is visible in your Settings » iCloud » Storage & Backup » Manage Storage section.

There’s a lot wrong with this approach. It’s a proper blunderbuss technique, it involves the dreaded hard reset which I am not a fan of, there is no way of knowing which step actually solved my problem and there’s no guarantees it’ll work for you. The whole method is a product of frustration and a lack of time to invest into a more detailed and methodical investigation.

How very scientific.

I exist to serve and ensure your IT has everything you need for a productive day’s work

Annotate,   Print
Subject Request for Administrator Pass… Group
Status Closed Technician Neil
Created 20/10 14:50 Customer Productive Drone (p.drone@email.com)
Closed 10:19 Access key [Removed]
Productive Drone
[xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx]
20/10 14:50
Location: [Removed]
Phone: [Removed]Hi,
I would like to have the administrator password of my computer, I want to install some software, during any instalation it asks for administrator password.
I am looking forward to hear from you.
Best Regards,
Productive Drone
Neil Couper
[xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx]
10:15
Hi

Please can you supply more information about the software you want to install and we can then decide on the best way to proceed.

Thanks

Productive Drone
[xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx]
10:19
Hi,
Many thanks for your response, I have fixed my problem, I was going to install itune software, but someone in our department helped me.
thanks you again,
regards,
Productive Drone

Now… he thinks the matter is closed when in fact I now have to go and track down the mysterious Good Samaritan who is helping to install any old arse software software willy nilly on department kit. Then hurt them.

After 55 years of memory storage evolution. 8 bytes vs 8 GB

8GB vs 8B

I’m now so accustomed to technical advancements that I regard many of them with barely a blink of an eye. I’ve just got used to it, or even expect it.

Then occasionally I see something which gives me a sense of perspective, to look back to “the way things once were” and I am suddenly amazed by the technical advancements we’ve made in such a relatively short period of time. I had one of those moments today when I stumbled across a Wikipedia page that contained this photograph contrasting solid state memory from back in the day and modern media. In this case a microSD card that for the cost of a couple of pints can store gigabytes of information.

In the photo it is resting on a small array of magnetic core memory which in old money is capable of storing a meagre 8 bytes, that is only enough memory to store the word “gigabyte” (using ASCII code). The tiny micro SD card shown can store roughly a billion times more information than that.

A return to my grumpy, unrelenting, expectant norm is imminent with the wonder replaced by my old farmilliar jaded cynicism. The moment will have passed which is why I have recorded it here for… hey what’s this gushing old bollocks I’ve been typing for the last five minutes, and who the hell wants the word “gigabyte” stored a billion times on a little chip? 

Original Wikipedia photo page is here with attribution for owner of image and more info.

How to Please Your I.T. Department

  1. When you call us to have your computer moved, be sure to leave it buried under half a ton of postcards, baby pictures, stuffed animals, dried flowers, bowling trophies and children’s art. We don’t have a life, and we find it deeply moving to catch a fleeting glimpse of yours.
  2. Don’t write anything down. Ever. We can play back the error messages from here.
  3. When an I.T. person says he’s coming right over, go for coffee. That way you won’t be there when we need your password. It’s nothing for us to remember 700 screen saver passwords.
  4. When you call the help desk, state what you want, not what’s keeping you from getting it. We don’t need to know that you can’t get into your mail because your computer won’t power on at all.
  5. When I.T. support sends you an E-Mail with high importance, delete it at once. We’re just testing.
  6. When an I.T. person is eating lunch at his desk, walk right in and spill your guts right out. We exist only to serve.
  7. Send urgent email all in uppercase. The mail server picks it up and flags it as a rush delivery.
  8. When the photocopier doesn’t work, call computer support. There’s electronics in it.
  9. When something’s wrong with your home PC, dump it on an I.T. person’s chair with no name, no phone number and no description of the problem. We love a puzzle.
  10. When an I.T. person tells you that computer screens don’t have cartridges in them, argue. We love a good argument.
  11. When an I.T. person tells you that he’ll be there shortly, reply in a scathing tone of voice: “And just how many weeks do you mean by shortly?” That motivates us.
  12. When the printer won’t print, re-send the job at least 20 times. Print jobs frequently get sucked into black holes.
  13. When the printer still won’t print after 20 tries, send the job to all 68 printers in the company. One of them is bound to work.
  14. Don’t learn the proper term for anything technical. We know exactly what you mean by “My thingy blew up”.
  15. Don’t use on-line help. On-line help is for wimps.