Monday, January 28, 2013

Your WiFi Connection Will Control Cloud Computing

And you better get used to it. If there is one thing that can deter Amazon, Apple, Google, Microsoft, and whoever else, from having a great Cloud computing experience it will be the Telecommunications Industry.

This more so than hardware and software. This includes both cost, availability, and speed. 

I would like to see Office 365 work, I would like Dropbox to be my next best friend, however the scoundrel in the middle, who could be mucking it up, is your not so friendly Internet connection company. If that connection is wireless it would have to be the purveyor of the signal. Hmm... AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile, etc., they control your business and your life today.

Control is a keyword here. Apple, Amazon, Google, Microsoft, as well as Sales Force and others who rely on their customer being connected best pay attention. The Telecom's want a piece of your pie.

Fact: In this day and age, your internet connection (and that of your employee or customer) may be more important than the fuel cost. And that importance is growing.

If Microsoft wants us to use Office 365 they best weigh in on our ability to connect.

Just sayin'..........

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Evernote and Issues

I started this blog to deal with technology and life as technology is applied. Back in 2003 (way back in the day) I discovered Microsoft’s OneNote. Fantastic product and as usual I promoted and convinced a number of people to jump on board. What a great product. Even taught classes for OneNote and turned on the lights.

I connected OneNote to Microsoft’s online Drive and began to sync across a couple of computers. I learned all this from listening to Windows Weekly and Paul Thurrott with Leo Laporte. Great show.

After sometime I discovered that the syncing was not always correct and if I missed something I would have multiple OneNote pages.. Now when I say I used OneNote, if could be said I abused OneNote. It was open all the time and I recorded everything. I was becoming digital. I am a prolific note taker. Sometimes I take so many notes I have trouble getting back to them – but I have them.

Evernote Logo AAs usual I read and listen and I learned about a new product, Evernote, while it was in Beta. I believe that it started as one product and grew into something different, my memory escapes me. Although Evernote list’s their beginning in 2008 I think I may have been playing with it earlier. I thought “OK this could be good”.

About the time I got into smartphones, Motorola Droid November 2009, I started getting fascinated with Evernote’s capabilities.  I was having serious issues with syncing between computers on OneNote and now I could use Evernote on my smartphone – WOW! I could also access my Evernote notes on the web.

So I convert to Evernote, become a premium user, and OneNote drop’s out of the picture.

Today I run Evernote on all computers, my smartphone, my iPad and my Nexus 7 tablet. Great product.

There is, however, one problem. Editing Evernote on the computer is great. Updating notes, adding pictures, moving things around. I am now a 98% digital user. On the tablet’s and the phone not so easy. I can add notes without issue however I cannot edit notes already there without problems. I realize the different platforms create problems however it is almost like Evernote thinks you only use it on your smartphone, or your computer, or your tablet. Evernote should be able to be edited on all devices easily.

One very big example is using bullets. Evernote on the smartphone or tablet does not make it easy to edit bullets. I have also gotten use to formatting on my computer – can’t do that on the other devices.

I believe, now that I am the user (a little ego here) Evernote should work on all platforms in the same fashion. I like easy. I believe this should be true for all apps from device to device.

For example: Where is Microsoft Word? Where is Microsoft Excel? Will they lose out also? You know Pages on the iPad is not bad but it’s not on the Nexus 7 or on my Windows computer. It is useless to say “Why don’t you switch to all Apple?” It  won’t happen. It won’t happen for me and for many, many, others.

Maybe there will be something new Like Evernote was to replace Word or Excel?

Just sayin’……..

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Monday, January 7, 2013

More Windows 8–Downloading is Not A Good Idea

OK very happy with Windows 8 on desktop so decided to purchase and download Windows 8 for my notebook.

Not the best idea I have had today.

I went through the process at the Microsoft web site and first I downloaded and ran the Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant. I am running Windows 7 Pro so I thought this was a good idea.

I received the report and of the number of items not compatible I was most concerned about the printer, an HP C4780 Photosmart multi function printer. The report showed a link for an upgrade available so I clicked on the link. Perhaps I should have waited until I had installed Windows 8 because at that point I could not print the report or the receipt. I am resourceful, I made a PDF of the report and emailed the receipt. There were other items however I felt we could overcome them and I made notes.

Next up the pay screen(s) and that was fairly normal so on to the download.

Now the fun(?) begins. I started the download at 10:50 AM (approx.) and right away I discover that the savings was not going be as significant as I had thought. By 11:30 AM only 10% of the file had downloaded, by 12:50 PM, 3 hours later, we were up to 30% downloaded. Cost of Windows 8 download (at the current sale at Microsoft) was $39.99 (lasts until Jan 31, 2013) or $69.99 at the Microsoft store if you want the disk.

I purchased Windows 8 locally for the desktop ($58 plus tx) and we were done in an hour. It looks like it is going to take almost 10 hrs. at the current speed of download to get the file and then install the upgrade. Hmm…

Question: What, if during the balance of the life of this notebook, I have to re-install Windows 8? I am not sure the $30 savings is going to be worth it. Actually I can purchase the disc locally for about $10 less.

OH, I am on a high speed Time Warner Cable internet connection which does very well. I do not think you could do much better in Redmond WA unless you were located on the Microsoft Campus.

Recommendation: BTD – Buy The Disc.

Just sayin…..

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Windows 8 and Missing Gadgets

One of the things I liked about Windows Vista was the sidebar. One of the things I did not like was the manner in which the sidebar was implemented, very little freedom. Windows 7 fixed that and when I installed Windows 8 I missed the gadgets.

Win7CalI really like the clock, the calendar, and the weather buds.

Yesterday I found 8GadgetPack, a FREE download that will give you back the gadgets. I downloaded and installed the Clock, the same blue neon clock that I had on Windows 7. I also added the calendar and two weather buds.

Be careful in  that there are two different calendar gadgets as well as two weather gadgets. At first I installed the wrong one (wrong one for me). Easily corrected.

I am really liking Windows 8 more and more. It is faster and I am getting used to the Start screen and have adjusted items so that I can get to what I want easier as well as removed items from the Start screen. All things still show up in All Apps so you don’t lose. Actually I think it is easier than using the Start Menu we have had for so long. I guess I don’t miss the Start menu. So a convert I am.

I think that people who pan Windows 8 really do not use a Windows computer. Perhaps they are not ready to advance with the future. Things change and some are unwilling to adapt and that includes older tech people. At one time they were on the cutting edge and they have suddenly gotten dull.

If there is anything it is that I miss it is the smaller sizes of Solitaire that we could run in the background. I think running those games, Solitaire (Spider and Free Cell) in the full screen is not necessary and this is Microsoft’s attempt at getting rid of those games. Playing those games is suddenly obnoxious. I do not see myself going with XBox, not a valuable tool for me. So I do pan the game feature. Hey the world is not perfect.

As Jim Rohn said; “Don’t get frustrated, get fascinated!” It’s all good.

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Saturday, January 5, 2013

My Saturday and My Connection To Technology

On the way to get coffee this morning I began to think of how technology is touching my life. I find it fascinating the changes in how I connect and what my daily processes are now.

mansitBefore 1993 email was not something that I was concerned with. And after 1993 it was a very seldom used tool. I did not have friends or business connections that even knew what email was. A very limited universe. The same was true from my first web page in 1994.

In the early days I always carried books, magazines, and a leather binder with yellow legal pads to write on. I have always been a prolific note taker and doodler. If I can’t write I feel imprisoned. It is my connection with myself. My car was my office and there was always something to read and something to write on.

How times have changed in just 20 of my 70 years. Actually 74 but who is counting.

This morning, after showering and dressing, before taking the morning medications or doing anything else, I picked up my phone to see if there were any important email or messages from all those out in the world, in different time zones, that I am connected to.  I first checked notifications and then went to email to see what was there. Quickly scanning subject matter and senders I thought “OK later” and then went on to what I needed to do personally. Time spent about 30 seconds at most (more likely 10 seconds).

After getting the newspaper for my wife I grabbed the computer bag and my coat (and after starting the coffee for my wife) I headed out to McDonald’s. All the while wondering why the computer bag? I have my iPad and my new Nexus 7 to read news on and clean up email.

After getting the coffee (and my Breakfast Burrito) I turned on my mobile hotspot (Samsung Galaxy S III via Verizon) and connected  the computer. I needed to update my Windows Essentials so I searched the correct link to verify my requirements and then went to the Windows Essentials page and downloaded the update.

While waiting for the update to download I opened the Nexus 7 and went to email, opened the NY Times newsletter to review today’s headlines and went to a specific article to read; The Line Between ‘Aggressive’ and ‘Evil’. Checked the rest of the news and by that time the download had processed and I am now back on the computer.

When it comes to reading I have the Kindle app on all my tablet’s, my notebook computer, and my desktop, as well as my phone. I can, and do,  read on all of them. I read more now than before, if that is possible. I just lent a Kindle book to someone for the first time; “What The Plus” by Guy Kawasaki.

It is said that technology is my hobby as well as reading, writing, photography and cutting glass. There are days when I wish I could just be a hobbyist all day long, in fact those are most days.

I have often said that I do not use paper and pencil as much as I used to (if at all) and recently I have stoppedphone pad stylus carrying a pen – only a stylus. I make all my notes on the phone or tablet and can access most via the computer. The only thing that I wish for on the tablet’s is a good word processing app and a Windows Live Writer app for blogging. But that is another post.

Have a Happy Saturday – it has warmed up outside to 33ยบ here in the Cincinnati area.

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Thursday, January 3, 2013

WOW! Upgrade to Windows 8 EASY!!!

OK last night I upgraded to Windows 8 on my desktop. I learned two important things.

  1. It was EASY
  2. Don’t do it at 9:30 PM

First it was very easy. I had been running Windows 8 Preview and I was told a “Clean Install” so when I upgraded I expected to lose it all and have to reload my data as well as software. I guess I didn’t read between the lines. All my data remained. I had made the appropriate backups (which I recommend anyway) but all my data was there when I finished.

It took about an hour and when I went to bed I could not sleep as there were so many things I wanted to do.

Today I got up and after some coffee and some reading (like to do that everyday) I got back at Windows 8 and started installing. I am really impressed with how easy things were. I use a lot of apps like Evernote, Kindle Reader, Skydrive, Dropbox, and Google Drive. Everything installed without issue – and cleanly.

Office 2010 with no issue, Adobe Creative Suite (older version), as well as my CorelDraw.

With Skydrive I recommend you install Windows Live Essentials, it is part of the install. You will also get Windows Live Mail, Windows Move Maker, and Windows Live Writer – what I am using to write this blog post. There are other features and well worth it. Windows Messenger for one. The Messenger tool with Windows 8 is more Social than I need.

I really wish Microsoft would release Windows Live Writer as an app for Android, and or the iPad. However in their infinite Kodak wisdom they are saving it for Windows users only. Sad!

All in all it has been a really great day and my desktop is back up and humming.