The Woes of iCloud Photos

I’ve blogged before about how Apple’s iCloud is a disastrous mess when it comes to managing your music library. What about photos?

Until recently I had been using Flickr to upload my iPhone photos to the cloud. Flickr is about to enforce a 1000 photo limit for free accounts, so I thought I’d give iCloud Photos a go. In the settings page on the iPhone it proclaims that iCloud Photos will …

Automatically upload and safely store all your photos and videos in iCloud so you can browse, search and share from any of your devices.

Nice promise, but largely unfulfilled. I’ve been using iCloud photos for about a month, and I’m somewhat gobsmacked at how badly a global tech giant like Apple can mess up a basic function such as uploading photos to the cloud. I’ve experienced numerous problems over the last month. Yesterday was a prime example of the inadequacies of iCoud. I went bushwalking and took about 50 photos. When I arrived home and connected to Wi-Fi, iCloud uploaded the most recent 7 photos and then resolutely refused to upload any earlier, or subsequent photos.

When you do a Google search on iCloud sync issues, you get hundreds of results, but all the suggestions are various permutations of “Have you tried turning it off and on again”. (Yes I have. It turns out that turning it off and on again doesn’t stop iCloud being rubbish.)

In the interests of truthfulness and transparency, Apple ought to update the message in the iCloud Photos Setting to

Automatically Intermittently and unpredictably upload and with a false sense of safety safely store all some random subset of your photos and videos in iCloud so you can browse, search and share from any some of your devices (because the Windows PC iCloud client is rubbish.)

[Update: In a cruel twist, moments after I hit Publish on this blog post, iCloud uploaded the remaining photos from yesterday, some 17 hours later. I guess that just reinforces the point that uploads are intermittent, unpredictable, and ridiculously slow.]

Soniq TV Factory Reset

Problem. We have an old Soniq E32W13A-AU TV whose remote control was broken.

No problem, we just bought a Huayu RM-L1130+8 Universal Remote Control as a replacement, and it was a simple matter of entering code 103 into the remote to get it working with the TV.

But there was a problem … the TV was displaying subtitles, and the Huayu remote did not have a button to control subtitles, and using the buttons on the TV there was no way to control subtitles.

No problem I thought, I’ll just do a factory reset of the TV and set it up again. That should get rid of the subtitles.

But there was a problem. How do you do a factory reset on a Soniq TV? The instruction manual had nothing to say on the matter. Much Googling led me down a few blind alleys until I finally found an article that explained how to do a factory reset.

  1. Turn on the TV
  2. On the remote press Source
  3. On the remote key in 200912

This brought up the Factory Settings menu where I was then able to choose “Restore Factory Default (All)”. After setting up the TV again, subtitles were gone. No problem!

Electricity Commission of NSW

In the summer of 1982/83, in the long break between my first and second years at University, I worked for the Electricity Commission of NSW as a trainee electrical engineer at the Tamworth Regional Centre.

I could only find two photos from that time, that were included in the work placement report I had to write. Its interesting to note how much work safety standards have changed in 35 years.

Electricity Commission of NSW, 1983.

Electricity Commission of NSW, 1983.

Eraring Power Station

Eraring Power Station, 1984.

In the summer of 1983/84, in the long break between my 2nd and 3rd years at University, I worked at Eraring Power Station near Newcastle, as a trainee electrical engineer.

At this time some of the generating units were in production, and some still under construction.

Wallerwang Power Station

Wallerawang Power Station cooling tower. December 1985.

In the summer of 1985/86, in the long break between my 4th and 5th years at University, I worked at Wallerawang Power Station near Lithgow, as a trainee electrical engineer.

Liddell Power Station

Not Liddell power station – ABC News gets it wrong. (Actually Bayswater.)

Liddell power station (near Muswellbrook NSW) has been in the news this week, with a bit of a public stoush between its owners AGL who intend to close the station in 2022, and Malcolm Turnbull who wants to keep it open for five years beyond that date.

One of the frustrating aspects of this has been how frequently the media shows a picture of a power station other than Liddell when reporting on Liddell.

I’m familiar with Liddell power station as I worked there as an electrical engineer from December 1986 to January 1988 in my first job  after graduating from university.  Since the media is incapable of showing pictures of Liddell, I thought I’d scan and post some of the photos I took while I worked there. It was an interesting time, as there was a lot of repair and remediation work going on, and I got to look inside a lot of equipment that would normally be unseen.

Liddell High Voltage Certificate.