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There’s an awful moment after I tell someone what I do for a living when you can see the cogs churning behind their eyes. “Oh,” they say, nodding in a way that suggests they’ve suddenly realized they don’t have to spend five quid on a gadget magazine, “I need a new phone/laptop/tablet/washer-dryer actually… what do you recommend?”[Image credit: Tom Rolfe]

Before I go too far, I should probably make the usual “I realize how sweet my job is” disclaimer. Yes, a hobby turned into a job for me, and I get to write about gadgets and play with phones and tablets, and generally get paid to have a snarky opinion. It’s brilliant and I’m not trying to say I have a tough time in life by any stretch. Please don’t read any more into this than some casual observations in my geeky life.

“What phone should I buy?” is the most common question, fueled no doubt by the fact that the smartphone segment seems to have taken over from PCs, PMPs and the like as the fastest-mover of the moment. There’s usually a simmering desire for an iPhone – either because they really want one or because they think they ought to have one – but mixed in with the sense that they could be stuck with a wrong decision for two long years. During which time, of course, their friends and family will mock them with their “better” phones, and call them names like “Brick Boy”, “Big Mister Phone Dud” and “Silly Susie CrapPhone.”

Problem is, there’s no one, single answer. After all, we fill a lengthy review for every cellphone we cover, and that’s not – well, not entirely, anyway – because we love the sound of our own online voice. The right gadget for one person is entirely the wrong gadget for another, and you can fill a long conversation (a whole evening if wine is involved) digging through use-cases and the like figuring out which makes the most sense.

Because of that, I’ve lost my ability to make snap judgements, which is a problem since that’s just what people are hoping for.

Friend: “My contract is up, I need a new phone. You write about phones, what should I get?”

Me: “Ah, good question. There are some really good phones coming out now. Do you do more messaging or more calling?”

Friend: “Yeah, exactly… I’ve heard the iPhone is good, right? I should probably just get that.”

Me: “Well, it’s a good phone, yes, but it’s not necessarily the best for you. Do you play games or use Twitter?”

Friend: “That’s on one of those HTC Androids, isn’t it. I’ll get one of those, then, an Androids.”

Me: “…”

The work world seems divided by those jobs that prompt work related questions from near-strangers and those that don’t. The doctors I know say they eventually get used to random people describing oftentimes deeply personal symptoms to them in the hope of an off-the-cuff diagnosis. Asking a builder friend if they could slap down a few bricks seems less acceptable, as does inviting a dentist to stick their fingers into your mouth and see if that molar really is wiggling. Maybe if they perpetually carried one of those mirrors-on-a-stick it would be different. My day job used to involve promoting safe sex, and I didn’t find I would get too many questions about condoms and STIs. Well, sometimes, but I’m not really allowed to name any names.

The saving grace is that there isn’t really such a thing as a truly “bad” device out there today. Yes, you get the odd model that obviously missed the final quality-control check and needs to be replaced, but it’s tough to find something that’s legitimately awful through and through. That’s why, when pressed, I usually suggest people buy the phone that best matches their eyes.

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Gift Guide: Gadget Gifts That Non

Buying gadget gifts for fellow techies isn’t too difficult: You’ll likely know the things they’ve had their eye on. But there are some gadgets that non-techies will love, too.

The secret with making your choices is to discount the Gadget Factor we all love, and to think about things which will either enhance the pleasure friends and family get from their existing interests and passions, or which make their life easier.

I’ve already covered a couple of areas that will work for many: music and photography.

Music

Check out my audio gift guide for recommended headphones and speakers for the music lovers in your life.

Photography & videography

Similarly, you don’t need to be a gadget fan to appreciate camera accessories. If someone loves taking photos, check out my photography and videography gift guide.

Robot vacuum cleaners

There was a time when giving someone a vacuum cleaner as a gift would not have been appreciated! But these days, a robot vacuum cleaner is a great way to give someone the greatest gift of all: time. If a gadget can take care of the hoovering and mopping, that’s more time someone has to spend doing the things they enjoy.

Robot vacuum cleaners are available at all price levels, but when you’re buying a gift, it’s probably wise to avoid the $100-ish ones. Most tend to start at around $250. Some options worth considering here are:

The latest version of one of the most popular models, suitable for both hard floors and carpets, and particularly good for pet hair.

Stepping up a level, you can get models that combine vacuuming and mopping. Some of these are better than others, but the 360 S7 Pro works well.

Top of the robo-cleaner food chain these days are self-emptying models. Rather than have to empty an onboard bin every two to three days, the dock does that for you, so you only have to empty that bin about once a month. I recently tested, and was impressed by, the Neabot Q11.

Coffee warmers

If you have a tea or coffee lover in your life, then a way to keep their drink warm for longer can go down well. You can get both heated coasters and heated mugs – the former are the inexpensive option, while the latter are the best performing.

This heated coaster comes with a matching ceramic mug for a particularly neat appearance, though it can be used with any mug.

Ember makes a range of well-regarded heated mugs, with this stainless steel one the starting point. Other models, like copper, get more expensive.

The ultimate version is a heated travel mug. Again, Ember is the best name for these, with the 12 ounce cup keeping coffee electrically heated at the desired temperature for up to three hours.

Smart pet food dispensers

If you have a dog owner or cat staff to buy for, a smart pet food dispenser is a useful gift, while a treat dispenser is a fun one.

An easy way to ensure a cat or small dog is kept fed while away, this model is on a par with more basic ones, but enables the schedule to be set in an app, making it easier to program.

The top-rated treat dispenser on Amazon, this one combines 1080p camera and two-way audio, so someone can talk to their pet while at work or away, as well as see their reactions.

Smart sous vide

A sous vide is a really great way to easily get perfectly cooked food every time, and an app-controlled sous vide makes life even easier. Just select the food in the app and it then sends cooking instructions (temperature and time) to the sous vide device.

The Anova Nano is popular, highly rated, and an affordable price. Note that the recipient will need a large cooking pot, too – either a large saucepan or pressure cooker pot.

The Pro offers exactly the same capabilities, but boosts the heating element from 750W to 1200W for faster cooking. Again, a large cooking pot is needed.

Smart photo frames

Digital photo frames are a popular choice for grandparents, and although they may be happy with a basic one, they’ll quickly fall in love with a smart model for one simple reason: Other family members can upload photos to it remotely. This means they get a constantly updated stream of family photos.

I reviewed this model last year, and it remains a good option. You’ll want to do the setup for a non-techy, but once you have they don’t need to do a thing – new photos will be displayed automatically as family members upload them. You don’t need to be a techie to send photos to it either – this can be done via an app, a website, or even by email.

Photo: Hert Niks/Unsplash

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.

How To Type I With Macron (I With A Dash Or Line Over It)

In today’s article, you’ll learn how to use some keyboard shortcuts and other methods to type or insert the letter i with Macron (i.e., i with a dash over it) in MS Word for Windows.

Before we begin, I’ll like to tell you that you can also use the button below to copy and paste the letter i with a line on top into your work for free.

However, if you only want to type this symbol using your keyboard, the actionable steps below will show you everything you need to know.

To type the i with a line over it Symbol in MS Word for Windows, press down the Alt key and type 0298 or 0299 using the numeric keypad of your keyboard, then let go of the Alt key. This shortcut works only on MS Word.

The below table contains all the information you need to type this Symbol in Word using the keyboard.

NameLetter i with MacronSymbolĪ or īUppercase Alt Code0298Lowercase Alt Code0299Shortcut (Word)Alt+0298 or 0299

The quick guide above provides some useful shortcuts and alt codes on typing the letter I with a dash in Word on Windows.

For more details, below are some other methods you can also use to insert this symbol into your work such as Word or Excel documents.

Microsoft Office provides several methods for typing the letter I with a line above it or inserting symbols that do not have dedicated keys on the keyboard.

In this section, I will make available for you several different methods you can use to type or insert this and any other symbol on your PC, like in MS Word for Windows.

Without any further ado, let’s get started.

See Also: How to type all letter i with Accent marks

The i with Macron Symbol alt code is 0298 or 0299.

Even though this Symbol has no dedicated key on the keyboard, you can still type it with the Alt code method. To do this, press and hold the Alt key whilst pressing the I with a line over it Alt code (i.e. 0298 or 0299) using the numeric keypad.

This method works on Windows only. And your keyboard must also have a numeric keypad.

Below is a break-down of the steps you can take to type the letter I with a dash on your Windows PC:

Place your insertion pointer where you need the symbol.

Press and hold one of the Alt keys on your keyboard.

Whilst holding on to the Alt key, press the I with Macron alt code (0298 or 0299). You must use the numeric keypad to type the alt code. If you are using a laptop without the numeric keypad, this method may not work for you. On some laptops, there’s a hidden numeric keypad which you can enable by pressing Fn+NmLk on the keyboard.

Release the Alt key after typing the Alt code to insert the Symbol into your document.

This is how you may type this symbol in Word using the Alt Code method.

Related Posts:

Another easy way to get the I with line over it Symbol on any PC is to use my favorite method: copy and paste.

All you have to do is copy the symbol from somewhere like a web page, or the character map for windows users, and head over to where you need the symbol (say in Word or Excel), then hit Ctrl+V to paste.

Below is the symbol for you to copy and paste into your Word document. Just select it and press Ctrl+C to copy, switch over to Microsoft Word, place your insertion pointer at the desired location, and press Ctrl+V to paste.

Ī

Alternatively, just use the copy button at the beginning of this post.

Obey the following steps to insert this symbol (Ī) in Word or Excel using the insert symbol dialog box.

The Symbol dialog box will appear.

Close the dialog.

The symbol will then be inserted where you placed the insertion pointer.

These are the steps you may use to insert this Symbol in Word.

As you can see, there are several different methods you can use to type the I with Macron Sign in Microsoft Word.

Using the alt code shortcut for Word makes the fastest option for this task. Shortcuts are always fast.

Thank you very much for reading this blog.

I Hate Android: Why? – By A Hardcore Android Lover!

Like millions of people around the world, I am an Android fanboy. Recently I though about sharing some of my  aspects which I don’t like about Android.  Eventhough being Android has gotten better over the years but there are still many things I dont like about it. To put it bluntly, I hate Android, at least some of its features. I have used Linux for a few years since Ubuntu Gutsy Gibbon and fell in love with the open source movement. Ive come to realize that all the hype about being open and portraying Apple and RIM as the evil closed platform was all a deception. . Theres a list(I love lists). Lets go through them. I hate some of the UI. Customization is nice but it allows for more things to break. These include themes and design. At first, the UI was cool and beautiful. I felt like I had a computer in my hands, literally. Icons were nice to touch and scrolling was smooth(at first). After using it for a while, I started to experience the pains of using the touch screen. Mistypes, and mistaps were frequent. The Android experience varied depending on manufacturer. All the different flavors of Android pushed by their respective hardware developers all look different. OneUI, TouchWiz, and MotoBlur are all different. OneUI is probably the best(IMO) out of all these. TouchWiz makes me feel like Im using an iPhone and MotoBlur is a mess with all their social networking widgets. These skins load on top of Android making it slower than its vanilla stock core. When I get my phone, I hate all the bloatware that comes with it. All carriers seem to do it. They push Vcast, SprintTV and other bloatware that I dont want. The Chinese manufacturers Xiaomi,Oppo,Vivo are the notorious ones feeding bloatware just to compnsate for the cheap price they offer in some countries. Not only that, but I hate that I cant delete them. I hate knowing that they are on my phone and the only way for me to get rid of them is by rooting my phone. Why do I have to jump through hoops just to get rid of this crapware? Im not scared of rooting my phone. In fact, Ive done so and install a few custom ROMs but there is always a risk of bricking your phone and leaving it useless. Average users dont want to risk the warranty by rooting their phone. Not only are there crapware on the phone, but there is/was malware on the Market. I hate Andoid memory management, being an old Symbian OS user.Symbian was the most efficient Mobile Os in memory management, followed by iOS. My old Nokia 808 Pureview had just 512MB RAM which was handling the Mammoth Camera, the 41MP beast with Xenon flash. I know that comparing a Symbian Phone with very limited apps and strict developer requirements with Android which has an ocean of apps and simpler developer standards is not fair. But are these crazy RAM of 12GB,16GB etc etc in many high end Android Phones really necessary? Or are they worth the performance they offer compared to iOs? Expanding from the 1st and the 3rd reasons, I hate Androids software fragmentation. I hate that Motorola’s flavor is different from Samsung’s. I hate that the buttons are different in all manufacturer, and even sometimes, within the same manufacturers. And I hate that I cant install certain apps because I my phone doesnt have the latest and greatest version of Android. Notoriously all my Samsung Phones from Galaxy S3 to Galaxy S9 Plus started showing sluggishness after 1 year of usage. The problem being whenever I update an app, the hardware is not able to cope with newest software. Android isВ recognized as the open platform and that unadulterated Android experience does not come standard. It only comes standard on Googles Nexus phones  and Selected flagship phones from other manufacturers. But most people dont own these flagship devices. Most people get their Droids from their carriers. Not only are these phones locked down with carrier bloatware but they are also locked down from performing specific tasks. People have gotten around this issue by a process called rooting. This grants the user superuser status allowing him to do anything he wishes with the phone. The Nexus phones are relatively easy to root but carrier phones are harder. Android phones are great if you want the phone to be your hobby, if you dont mind tinkering with the device, rooting it, or if youre just a techno buff.  

Should I Buy A 5G Phone Now Or Wait?

You might want to move up to a 5G phone to be among the first to enjoy those new, faster data speeds or perhaps you just want to get the most out of the latest and greatest handsets on the market. Whatever the reason, here we take a quick look at the state of 5G, what your money gets you and whether now is the time to make the leap.

5G networks and coverage

First, let’s look at the mobile carriers offering 5G in the UK. As mentioned in our guide to 5G EE, O2, Three, BT, Sky Mobile, Tesco Mobile, and Vodafone (plus its offshoot Voxi) all have their hats in the 5G ring.

EE and Vodafone currently lead the charge on offering 5G, centred around major cities; including Birmingham, Cardiff and Manchester. At the time of writing, London, the nation’s capital, is the only city which currently supports 5G connectivity across all four major mobile networks (EE, O2, Three and Vodafone).

The big issue right now is coverage. 5G isn’t available nationwide, from any of the big networks, and it’ll likely take time for the infrastructure to build to a point where you can consistently pick up a 5G signal when you’re out and about. Even in central London, 5G is only available within specific areas, right now.

There’s also the fact that 5G is actually a collection of different technologies and only once all of these technologies are implemented are working in concert can we consider a carrier’s network as boasting true 5G.

5G phones

If you’re still interested in tasting 5G and you’re happy with the carrier options and coverage in your area, next you have to choose a phone which supports 5G. We have a more in-depth Best 5G Phones feature worth checking out but below is a shortlist of all the 5G phones currently available in the UK and their respective 5G carrier availability:

Huawei Mate 20 X 5G (

available on BT, Sky and Vodafone)

LG V50 ThinQ (EE exclusive)

OnePlus 7 Pro 5G 

(

available on BT and

EE

)

Oppo Reno 5G (available on EE and O2)

Samsung Galaxy S10 5G

 (

available on BT, EE, Sky and Vodafone)

Samsung Galaxy A90 5G 

(

available on EE, Sky and Vodafone)

Samsung Galaxy Note+ 10 5G

 (

available on BT, Sky and Vodafone)

Samsung Galaxy Fold 5G

(EE exclusive)

Samsung Galaxy S20 5G 

(pre-order on BT, EE, O2, Sky, Three and Vodafone)

Samsung Galaxy S20+ (

pre-order on BT, EE, O2, Sky, Three and Vodafone)

Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra 

(

pre-order

 on EE, O2, Sky, Three and Vodafone)

Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 5G 

(available on Vodafone and O2)

As the list highlights, the number of 5G phones may be growing but at the top end of 2023, it’s still small. Samsung is leading the charge by granting users a choice of devices at varying price points, with varying skill sets, while Xiaomi offers one of the most affordable 5G phones currently available in the UK.

The forthcoming Samsung Galaxy S20 family will no doubt help supercharge 5G adoption and more manufacturers are set to make 2023 the year they join the 5G contingent too.

5G prices

On the carrier side, 5G plans come at a premium. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a 5G tariff south of £50 a month, for at least 24 months. If you want to pick up your phone SIM-free and pair it to a 5G plan later, the hardware also works out more expensive too.

Take the standard  Samsung Galaxy S20, for example. In the UK, the 4G-only model costs £799, while you’ll pay a £100 more to acquire the 5G variant.

So, should I buy a 5G phone?

Hopefully, this feature has highlighted the fundamental issues with the state of 5G right now. It’s only available in limited areas, works with only a handful of smartphones and it’s comparatively expensive.

If you can look past such caveats, all the pieces are there to start enjoying 5G today. Otherwise, it’s best to wait a little longer. 2023 was the year that 5G launched, 2023 should be the year it really builds momentum.

Related stories for further reading

How Can I List The Contents Of A Directory In Python?

A computer’s file system’s directory is an organisational feature used to store and locate files. A tree of directories is created by organising directories hierarchically. There are parent-child relationships in directories. A folder can also be used to refer to a directory. Python has accumulated a number of APIs that can list the directory contents over time. Useful functions include Path.iterdir, os.scandir, os.walk, Path.rglob, and os.listdir.

We could need a list of files or folders in a given directory in Python. You can accomplish this in a number of ways.

OS module

A function that returns a list of the files or folders in a directory is available in the OS module of Python.

The files in a directory are listed using the Python operating system library. Every file and folder in a directory are listed by the Python os.listdir() method. The function os.walk() returns a list of all the files in the whole file tree.

There are several ways to list files in a directory using the Python OS library.

Getting the files and folders in a directory using os.listdir() will be covered in this article.

Using os.listdir() method

The os.listdir() method in Python displays a list of all the files and folders in the specified directory.The operating system adopts special entries like “.” and “..” to traverse between various directories, but this method does not return these.

Additionally, files and folders above the first level of directories are not returned by os.listdir().In other words, nothing from the method’s found subfolders is returned by os.listdir().The directory’s file path, from which you want to retrieve the names of its files and folders, is the only parameter that the os.listdir() function accepts.

Syntax os.listdir(path) Example

Following is an example to list the contents of directory using os.listdir() method –

import

os path

=

'D:Work TP'

folders

=

os

.

listdir

(

path

)

for

s

in

folders

:

print

(

s

)

Output

Following is an output of the above code –

moving files.py mysql_access.py stored procedure python-sql.py trial.py Using the os.walk() method

A list of files contained within a tree can be obtained using the os.walk() function. Each directory in a tree is iterated over by the technique.

The names of all files and folders contained within a directory and any subdirectories are then returned by os.walk().

Syntax os.walk(topdown)

topdown indicates that directories should be scanned from the top down when set to True. Directories will be scanned from the bottom up if this value is False (optional).

Example

Following is an example to list the contents of directory using os.walk() method:

import

os path

=

'D:Work TP'

for

root

,

directories

,

contents

in

os

.

walk

(

path

,

topdown

=

False

)

:

for

name

in

contents

:

print

(

os

.

path

.

join

(

root

,

name

)

)

for

name

in

directories

:

print

(

os

.

path

.

join

(

root

,

name

)

)

Output

Following is an output of the above code –

D:Work TPSubDirectoryHow to copy files from one folder to another using Python.docx D:Work TPSubDirectoryHow to create an empty file using Python.docx D:Work TPSubDirectorySarika Sample Articles (Python-MySQL Procedures).docx D:Work TPSubDirectorysql python create table.docx D:Work TPmoving files.py D:Work TPmysql_access.py D:Work TPstored procedure python-sql.py D:Work TPtrial.py D:Work TPSubDirectory Using the os.scandir() method

Scandir uses the same directory iteration system calls as listdir to obtain the names of the files on the specified path, but it differs from listdir in two areas.

The lightweight DirEntry objects are returned as opposed to bare filename strings, holding the filename string and offering easy methods to retrieve any additional data the operating system may have returned.

Instead of instantly returning the entire list, scandir behaves as a true iterator by returning a generator as contrasted to a list.

For each file and subdirectory in the path, scandir() returns a DirEntry object.

Example

Following is an example to list the contents of directory using os.scandir() method –

import

os dir_track

=

r'D:Work TP'

for

track

in

os

.

scandir

(

dir_track

)

:

if

track

.

is_file

(

)

:

print

(

track

.

name

)

Output

Following is an output of the above code –

moving files.py mysql_access.py stored procedure python-sql.py trial.py glob module

The Python glob module allows us to search over all path names in order to find files that fit a given pattern . The rules established by the Unix shell are used to define the supplied pattern for file matching.

The output of the software returns the result acquired by following to these guidelines for a certain pattern file matching in the random order. Because the glob module can navigate through the list of files at a specific point in our local disc, we must meet certain requirements when using the file matching pattern. The module will primarily go over disc lists of files that only follow a particular pattern.

Using the glob() for searching files recursively

Pathname and recursive flag are the two parameters this function requires:

pathname − relative or absolute (including both the file name and the complete path) (with UNIX shell-style wildcards). By providing either an absolute or relative path to the glob() method, we may do a file search. A path name with a complete directory structure is known as an absolute path. A relative path is a pathname that comprises directory names as well as one or more wildcard characters.

recursive − If set to True, recursive file searches will be performed. It searches all files in the current directory’s subdirectories chúng tôi recursive flag’s default setting is False. This means that it will only look in the folder that is listed in our search path.

It searches all files in the current directory’s subdirectories chúng tôi recursive flag’s default setting is False. This means that it will only look in the folder that is listed in our search path.

Syntax glob.glob(pathname, *, recursive=False) Example

Following is an example to list the contents of directory using glob.glob() method using absolute path:

import

glob contents

=

glob

.

glob

(

"D:Work TP*.py"

,

recursive

=

True

)

print

(

contents

)

Output

Following is an output of the above code –

['D:Work TPmoving files.py', 'D:Work TPmysql_access.py', 'D:Work TPstored procedure python-sql.py', 'D:Work TPtrial.py'] Using the iglob() to loop through the Files

The only difference between iglob() and glob() is that the former provides an iterator of file names that fit the pattern. The method generates an iterator object, which we can loop through to obtain the names of the individual files.

Syntax glob.iglob(pathname,*,recursive=False)

Without actually storing all of the items together, return an iterator that produces the same values as glob().

Example

Following is an example to list the contents of directory using glob.iglob() method –

import

glob glob

.

iglob

(

'D:Work TP/*.py'

)

for

items

in

glob

.

iglob

(

'D:Work TP/*.py'

)

:

print

(

items

)

Output

Following is an output of the above code –

D:Work TPmoving files.py D:Work TPmysql_access.py D:Work TPstored procedure python-sql.py D:Work TPtrial.py Pathlib module

We can use the pathlib module, which offers a wrapper for most OS functions, starting with Python 3.4.

import pathlib− For many operating systems, the Pathlib module provides classes and methods to manage filesystem paths and retrieve file-related data.

Use the pathlib.Path(‘path’) next for constructing the path of the directory.

In the end, use the path.isfile() function to determine whether a current element is a file.

Example

Following is an example to list the contents of directory using pathlib module –

import

pathlib dir_path

=

r'D:Work TP'

res

=

[

]

d

=

pathlib

.

Path

(

dir_path

)

for

items

in

d

.

iterdir

(

)

:

if

items

.

is_file

(

)

:

res

.

append

(

items

)

print

(

res

)

Output

Following is an output of the above code –

[WindowsPath('D:/Work TP/moving files.py'), WindowsPath('D:/Work TP/mysql_access.py'), WindowsPath('D:/Work TP/stored procedure python-sql.py'), WindowsPath('D:/Work TP/trial.py')]

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