Backing Up WhatsApp by John J K Morris

TLDR: May be backing up chat histories isn't important, it may be easier to let it all go. Seriously why save it?

Recently my phone has been demanding that I make some space available for it, then it may leave me alone for a while longer. I've checked on the state of the apps I'm running and I've also been trying to get all my photos under control. 

Podcasts could be a problem (10GB reserved for them), but I strictly manage those with Castro. The last space hog left is WhatsApp. I've been using it since my first iPhone (3GS, then 4S and now 5).

The WhatsApp app has survived through different host bodies through numerous iTunes backups, growing larger and larger and consequently slower and slower because of it. So to save phone space I need to lobotomise WhatsApp of its memories, actually my memories, and put that life's history into another host body. Let's say my Mac so I can check on it later and it can live on.

What back up solutions exist?

My first reaction is to think I'd need to save it all so I can reference something in another conversation later.

At the moment, WhatsApp laughably allows for iCloud backups, but it's just a backup, not something that can exist separately from the app. There is also the option to email out the contents of your chat histories. I use 'histories' and not 'history', because you'd need to do it for each chat you value. I guess if you're anal and went through with this email back up thing every month, you're set. This seems however like a lot of work.

I'd rather just export everything out once a year before chats get too big. It would be searchable though.

Archive? Well, I'm not sure whats going on as all the information is still on the phone. You're just hiding it and not saving space. To me an archive is something to view later, I think of the Ark from that Indiana Jones movie where they saved it somewhere else from everybody with top men working on it for later (don't see Crystal Skull [where it pops up again], but see here for the official word on archiving).

The Ideal Solution?

I'm left with the idea of an app that creates a backup/archive in a format that allows the images and texts to be reviewed later in a browser on a desktop machine.

Just a side note, I never think about email in the same way like text messaging and I have email going back years and years, 

If you want something like that desktop app I mentioned. It's possibly going to cost at a minimum $25USD. Those apps are not (speaking as a Mac user) on the App Store. They all seem to reside on dodgy looking sites loaded with adverts and questionable user reviews and state they are free until the last moment before downloading it, also thou. Like this app.

The fact that none reside on the app store makes me think even more about the legitimacy of these solutions. There is iFunbox and it seems the best way, but it hasn't been updated in a while and nor does it actually work (for me anyway).

The Other and the Final Solution

Oddly in this digital age of 1 million+ apps touted repeatedly by TIm Cook, there is no app for this, I can get a fart app instantly if I wanted, but something potentially more worthwhile like a simple backup app for text messaging apps isn't. Considering how much time and thought I've put into this, looking for a solution, it made me question the point of actually wanting to actually back everything up.

Rather than start writing about the value within this topic, it's probably better if I leave this section open ended. I'd rather hear from other people to see how they manage their digital memories and revisit this topic at a later date.

I'm thinking of nuking it all. It's not like we can hold onto our internal transcripts, so why should I try to insist on saving the digital ones? 

'Welcome to Macintosh'. by John J K Morris

There's a new podcast out called 'Welcome to Macintosh', I found it on, I've already listened to all three episodes thus far. The episodes are short and they so far chronicle the little interesting things that have been developed around the Mac and Apple over the years. Think of, but far more contemporary and in audio format!

Two things were made apparent to me though. First, it's another tech podcast; it's more than just a bunch of fans talking around their microphones and chatting. This podcast along with Inquisitive's mini series 'Behind the App', are elevating the tech genre in the podcasting medium, there is more reportage and cultural analysis being employed. As somebody who listens to probably to too many tech podcasts, I hear a lot of overlap when large groups of like minded people are commentating on singular technology events. These two podcasts stick out for trying to do something different. They are also a sign that the genre is growing up and becoming self-reflective.

Second, These two podcasts revolve around Apple. I haven't come across a similar podcast in the same style into the effects of say Samsung's or Microsoft's impact on our culture.

New Photography - 'Occupy 2014' by John J K Morris

Those who read the old website will remember I made daily updates regarding the Umbrella Movement of 2014 here in Hong Kong. Today I finally finished a portfolio edit of images from those previous months. I've been tardy with this I know, but I've always worked long term on projects. My fastest was done in six weeks, but luckily I had enough local knowledge beforehand. Though I enjoyed the process of almost like blogging the events that transpired here. It helped immensely as I was writing in the moment.

A protester takes a rest after securing Lung Wo Road.

A protester takes a rest after securing Lung Wo Road.


if you're reading this on my site, just head to the top of the page, if you're reading from Tumblr click the link here. Thanks for looking, share if possible.

If if you are new to this website and my work, there is also an accompanying podcast that will go hand in hand with this work which will be combined into a final piece later on.  You can check it out and subscribe here.


Podcasting in March by John J K Morris

Damn, March has already gone, I can't believe I'm recapping the podcasts of that month already, ten in total! Let's have a look at what we've done. 

JPG Podcast Episodes - Subscribe here.

30 - Cool Story Bro. Only one Game of Thrones discussion themed episode this month. Here we cover episodes 3 and 4 of season 4.

31 - 'It's Wonderful that it's thin, Good For Them'. Myself and Adam cross international borders via the internet and get down to discussing Apple's latest announcements. (There is also an after show, in that I want to know how Adam is getting on with his 16GB iPhone 6+, we talk about the Joe Rogan Experience podcast, Stargate, rant about the Sci-Fi channel amongst other things).

Prick Me - Subscribe here.

14 + 15 'Dating with Jonathan', this is the start of a new series where I interview people about their dating habits and personal interests. It's only fair to start with myself if I subject others to the microphone.

16 - Price to Pay, in this episode, Charmaine and myself discuss Tinder's pricing structure and she shares a personal dating story.

Hong Kong People Podcast - Subscribe here.

I managed to fit in 5 episodes from five people for the month of March. They are all under an hour and of course everything is about Hong Kong. Interestingly, I've met people from Tinder who came on the show and I'm getting my first recommended guests coming on the show. From those that don't know, I'm making 50 episodes this year for this first season.

Other Podcasts - I've already discussed my recommendation for the Joe Rogan Experience, but I downloaded episode 601 after noticing Katy Bowman was his guest. I've spoken about Katy before here. I'm so glad she is vocalising her work via a podcast as it's fascinating stuff regarding the biomechanics of the human body and for healthy living. But now, I know she talks on her own podcast and I want to mention it here.

Other News - I have a dedicated 'studio' space for podcasting now. It's simply a fold down table from Ikea which I've drilled into the wall. It makes a huge difference from before wear most of the casts were done around the sofa or on my mattress! I've pictured it as my photo editing table though, but you get the idea.

Also if anybody reading this is in Hong Kong and would like to come on the Hong Kong People Podcast then please contact me via the contact page above.

I've also added a FAQ here.


Frequently Asked Questions - Podcasts by John J K Morris

What are your podcasts?

I manage and produce three podcasts. They are 'JPG', 'Prick Me' and 'Hong Kong People Podcast'. JPG is a podcast about geek and pop culture. We talk about movies, TV shows, technology and many other geeky topics that are related to the hosts. 'Prick Me' is a podcast about relationships, dating and the human experience. 

The 'Hong Kong People Podcast' is a weekly discussion podcast with a resident of HK about HK. Sometimes there will be specials made. The podcast is also part of a larger documentary about HK. 

Which show should I go on?

If you want to talk about issues relating to human sexuality, dating and the human experience then join me on 'Prick Me'. If you want to talk about Hong Kong then the 'HK People Podcast' is more appropriate. 'JPG' isn't accepting guests unless you can bring a topic that is 'geeky' enough for it. 

Where do you record the show?

The show is typically recorded in the Yau Ma Tei area of Kowloon. Sometimes the show can travel to you. This needs discussing on an individual basis with each guest. I now have a dedicated studio space however in my apartment.

How do I get on the show?

Contact me via the Contact Page at the top of the website.

Why isn't the HK people podcast in Chinese?

At the moment I only speak English because I am from the UK, my desire is to have some Chinese speaking guests and other special shows. I will be aiming to make bi-lingual episodes later on however.

How long is an episode. 

'JPG' is dictated by the discussion and energy of the hosts. There is no real limit. 'Prick Me' topics can be multiepisodic so they are split into parts. Each part shouldn't be longer than an hour. HK people podcast episodes are under an hour. 

Where can I subscribe to any of your podcasts.?

All my podcasts can be found on iTunes here - JPG, Prick Me, Hong Kong People Podcast.

This page will continually be updated as and when needed.

Simplify. by John J K Morris

Today because my patience was short, I removed as much of Mail's capability from my iPhone and iPad. The reason is that syncing just doesn't work from Mac to iOS. Using an iOS device to try and recall an email is pointless as so many emails just aren't carried over if I send a mail from my Mac. They are synced the other way around.

Then once that becomes a pointless task, I realised I don't actually need any email on my phone. I don't need to have something else to tend to once I buried the app and turned off its ability to grab email.

Should have simplified ages ago. This is much better.

Re: Becoming Steve Jobs by John J K Morris

This was an interesting read from the Verge, a reaction to the release of 'Becoming Steve Jobs - 'Steve Jobs didn't care if people thought he was an asshole. Why should we?'.

That last part, 'Why should we?', got me thinking, that if the first book had got it right (pity the cover image is so icon now), we wouldn't possibly need this second book, that's why we are still talking about it. Blame Walter Isaacson.

Fuji X100 ~ Review: A Love Returned, Nostalgia Reclaimed (Repost) by John J K Morris

Fuji X100 Review


I really only want to write once about the amazing Fuji X100. I will satisfy that intention by approaching it from two aspects:

  • As somebody who recently moved from an SLR system; replacing his setup with just the Fuji X100 (most of the technical comparisons are against my previous Canon equipment, some might consider this the wrong approach as the Fuji X100 isn’t an SLR replacement, but it is what it is).
  • As somebody who wanted to get back to the simplicity and joy of using a rangefinder camera (this was after having previously flirted with a number of them over the years, in particular a pair of Contax G2's).

So you're reading this, there is no doubt you're already well informed about the Fuji X100. Especially if you have been a regular reader of this blog. I've posted so much news, reviews and general information about the Fuji X100. I'll dispense with in-depth tests, image results, pixel peeping and weighty comparisons. You will have read them elsewhere. I’ll re-post some of the links if I feel I can’t add anything to what has already been published.

As we all know, the excitement started in September 2010 at the Photokina Trade show. When I first saw the X100, I thought it could give back to me a bit of my nostalgia for handling a film camera, while at the same time I also thought, finally this is what many photographers have been asking for; a digital sensor wrapped around the beauty and character of a rangefinder camera.

It didn't surprise me that it would be Fuji who were bringing a digital rangefinder to market. Fujifilm were always a little different with their innovations, releasing cameras now and again that were a bit odd; making us sit up and think for a moment. They did it with the GF670 (medium format film camera) and the Fuji W1 (a 3-D camera).

Read More

Oh Ireland by John J K Morris

By accident, due to a set of legalese I'm barely interested in, mushrooms are legal for the moment in Ireland. But... 

“They all have very significant health risks that outweigh any perceived recreational benefits.” - Mr Varadkar

Then I thought of this slightly older two part Kevin Smith smodcast podcast (titled - 'Rogan's Run') with Joe Rogan as guest, it made me think more about the double standards governments have when it comes to recreational drug use.

Why are the more destructive drugs like alcohol and cigarettes allowed to be sold and taxed, but drugs without significant health risks like weed (especially edible varieties) and mushrooms aren't. We live with these contradictions still, maddening how governments move so slowly. Anyway, you don't need to listen to the second part of 'Rogan's Run', everything that illuminates regarding this topic is in the first part.

Part One and Part Two of Rogan's Run.

Dear Aperture Customer by John J K Morris

I'd rather try Photos beta without the OS X beta thanks. I guess I'll have to see how this goes when its finally finished and released and not before.

Normally I'm up to date on my software titles and I'm normally the one that gets weirded out when I see people using older versions of software, more with apps on phones (why do people not update their phone apps?). I hope the 3rd party module that I've heard about boosts the capability of the Photos app for those who don't want Adobe Lightroom or feel insecure with 3rd party (depending on their ability to stick around).