Friday, February 28, 2014

iPad vs. HP Omni 10 vs. Nexus 7 vs. Laptop

I find this conundrum quite interesting. I have always tried to stay on the leading edge of that which I ‘think’ I understand. Having purchased my first PC in 1981 (IBM – not a clone) I have continually tried to discover what’s it all about for the user. What can I do with this? How can we make our lives better through this technology? And it has been exciting.

Admittedly technology has been in all of my life as I have said many times. Sometimes the technology is for fun, it’s being adventurous, the excitement of stepping into the future and seeing what you can make it do. I do have a tendency to push some things too far and sometimes not far enough. There is also the ego rush when you know something and can show others. I do enjoy showing others “how to” and that is most rewarding to me.

Today I have an iPad (version 3), a Nexus 7, and the new HP Omni 10. What is going to happen to all these devices?

Well the iPad has become my new Kindle replacement. It is great to read on and to work with PDF’s. I say that because I am currently trying to get through a Coursera class on statistics and the book is a PDF which I can highlight, underline, annotate, and make notes. I can’t do that as easily on any other device. The screen is beautiful and I have no problem with reading on the device. I have my Kindle subscription on it and get to do most of my reading that way. The Kindle app is on everything else including the phone but I still want to go back to the iPad to read.

The app’s at Apple and on the Android are really great. You do not need a million app’s however you do need ones that are really aimed at productivity and these devices do have the apps – at least for the time being.

As for cloud storage my files can be uploaded from my laptop (or desktop) via Dropbox, OneDrive, or Google Drive. I personally seem to get better traction with Dropbox (if you sign up for Dropbox use me as a reference as I can use the additional free space). Dropbox has been faster and without errors. I use the other cloud storage however I do get occasional sync corruption with OneDrive (the old SkyDrive). Had that happen today and that can be frustrating and I do not believe in frustration*.

I had planned to use the iPad as a kitchen tool for recipes, news and weather in the morning, and a general all purpose household device. After reading “Rethinking the iPad: A formula to make it useful if you’re already savvy on a laptop and smartphone” by Jason Hiner over at TechRepublic I completely concur. I immediately took off all the email and turned off notification and began to look at the iPad a little differently. Perhaps I will even believe that it is an entertainment device.

On the iPad I use Documents (by Readdle) to read and update my PDF’s. With the recent upgrades to i0S 7 Documents 5 has added (for a fee) a some really cool additions to annotating PDF’s Very nice app but not available on Windows. I might say I do not mind paying for apps that will make life easier. Like the ones that start my wife’s car or turn off an on the security at the house.

As for the HP Omni 10 I have full access to all of Microsoft 2013 through my subscription. I can watch the class video’s on the HP Omni 10 and switch between that and MS Word to make notes. I can have the book open on the iPad and stay up with the reading. Again using Dropbox for all my collection of information while working.

After reading Molly Wood’s Phone, Meet Tablet, That’s Phabulous, (you could hit a paywall it’s the NY Times) my next phone will most likely be a Phablet. I had preciously looked at the Galaxy Note 3 that she discusses and, unless something happens on the way to the forum, I will wind up getting that phone when my contract is up for renewal this year. I say “unless something happens” because I had planned to buy a Galaxy Note tablet and fell into the HP Omni 10. If it wasn’t for the Verizon contract I would that Galaxy Note 3 phone now. 

As I have written many times previously the HP OMNI 10 running Windows 8.1 is my work tool of choice I still have an HP Pavilion dv6 for web work and heavy duty Excel spreadsheets, and this time to write this blog. I do have a desktop but it will be the last one of those. I like watching TED Talks on the 23” HD Monitor.

* See Jim Rohn – “Don’t get frustrated, get fascinated” it’s been a mantra of mine ever since I heard Jim Rohn speak it.

Monday, February 24, 2014

An interesting talk with Eric Schmidt on Technology and Democracy

I am very fascinated with the connection between technology and it’s effect on global politics. I have always found Eric Schmidt valuable to listen to. He is a thinker and makes what he has to say easy to grasp.

In this case he brings to light the thought that;

The way you are going to solve most of the world’s problems is by educating people and education means understanding things, learning things, learning how to be curious, learning hot to read.

Warning this is almost an hour long.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Google Offers a Guide to Not Being a 'Creepy' Google Glass Owner -

Having had the abilty to try the Google Glass on (and get envious) I can understand why Google's Guide makes sense. My wife and I have recently seen two people wearing Google Glasses while shopping. They were into what they were doing and not paying any attention to any one around them - or appearing to be taking pictures.

Thanks to Tom Webster I have no problem with these glasses and the term "Glassholes" is somewhat obnoxious and I actually think less of the individual using that term than I do the wearer of the glasses.

Google Offers a Guide to Not Being a 'Creepy' Google Glass Owner -

'via Blog this'

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

A Winter Reminder

I am keeping this for summer when people start complaining that it is too warm. I call this my Currier and Ives Moment, or maybe a Kodak Moment, better yet, Walter & Samsung Galaxy S3 Moment.

2014-02-15 09.43.51

I am absolutely astounded what you can do with a camera that has been placed in a phone as an add-on. Not to many years ago your Instamatic could not take this picture.  The only thing missing is the horse and carriage.

Thoughts on Microsoft Office on the iPad

In the last week or so there have been a number of posts regarding Microsoft Office needs to be on the iPad and I would agree 

I have an iPad however I recently purchased a HP Omni 10 tablet, with Microsoft Office 365. Now I think having it on the iPad would be of great interest for those who have iPad’s. I know not having Office on the iPad was something that missing for me.

Office 365 logo 001To have the power of Microsoft Word and Excel on the iPad could do a great deal to make the  iPad a more acceptableipad office productivity device. With all the BYOD being talked about I am sure this would encourage people to bring that iPad to work and to put it to the test.

The following writings have other thoughts.

In Computerworld last Friday (2/14/2014) was this: Failing Microsoft must bring Office to iPad. Really? Failing Microsoft? The name of the blog in which this appeared is “AppleHolic”. I actually thought the author was trying to be funny, satire, until I read the complete post.

I had quite a laugh at the author’s “Apple driven post PC”. He also said that Microsoft could save itself if it would put Microsoft Office on the iPad. I think his opinion is that Apple will soon rule the enterprise and it could lend Microsoft a hand. I wonder what Android thinks of this?

Again I agree it would be nice on the iPad however to say that it is needed to keep Microsoft from failing is a big bizarre. Just sayin’…..


There was another post at Computerworld on the same day (different author); “Microsoft backs off on Office for iPad. Is this the revenge of the company's old guard?”. This writing led me to thinking regarding an apparent assumption that most (or a large percentage) who have an iPad will install Microsoft Office – not sure that will pan out.

There were numbers thrown about by investors who know a great deal about technology and the markets (?). These are the same people that want Microsoft to sell off X-Box, and to stop making the Widows Phone as well as the Surface Pro.

As I see it a great number of iPad’s sold were as entertainment devices and only high powered users will want or need Microsoft Office. Actually Microsoft Office 365 is available in the Lite version now and I wonder how many have taken advantage of this.

I think from Microsoft’s position, Microsoft Office on the iPad will not have the same feel and presence it has on a Windows OS device. Prior versions of Office, created for Apple, were much different and that could have negative consequences for Microsoft.

Microsoft has said that the future holds (for Microsoft) that app’s on all Windows OS platforms will function the same. Wouldn’t it be nice if that were true across ALL devices, Apple, Google, and Microsoft?

I do think that if Microsoft Office becomes available for the iPad that it will also be available on Android. I am not sure that is what Apple wants but a big chunk of the world would. 

For now I will stay with my HP Omni 10.

Friday, February 7, 2014

What must the new CEO at Microsoft do?

It would appear that everyone has a thought about what Microsoft's new CEO, Satya Nadella, must do and I don't want to be left out.

ms logoI hear and read so many people claiming that he must shore up, or cater to, the Enterprise segment of their business. One writer even went so far as to suggest that they sell off the Xbox segment of your business.

My thoughts begin with the following: Look at the mindset of those that are giving you, Microsoft, a problem. Try to see where, and how, the competition is getting into your pocket? What is behind their thinking? What can we do to once again excel (pun not intended)?

What we hear is that Apple and Google are interested in the consumer, the end user experience. They innovate and build for the user, the consumer. When it comes to Microsoft their focus is the Enterprise.

My personal opinion (and that is what, in the end, any one has to offer when it comes to projecting) is that focusing on the CONSUMER will return greater value and continued growth.

Initially (or in the beginning) the enterprise was needed to put the computer in front of everyone. Today no one needs the enterprise to tell them the necessity of this technology. Today people are gravitating to that technology that pleases them and becoming more efficient and productive while enjoying the technology.

Today the ENTERPRISE is made up of CONSUMER'S. This is not rocket science. Some special users even buy servers. In the long run everyone is a consumer and end user at work, at home, and at play.

I believe this is really important. Focusing on the consumer and the user experience is what has brought about one Fortune 500 company, that I am personally aware of, giving it's employee's the option of moving from their Blackberry to an iPhone. When I asked about an Android or Windows phone I was told "no", only iPhone.

Where do you think that decree came from? The IT department? Not to likely. Someone, a 'consumer', with a point of influence, pushed the issue.

Your consumer, or end user, is also the person that will be buying your operating system as well as your software. With the advent of BYOD and BYOS (Bring Your Own Software - which I promote because your Office 2013 is the best) you can make the future bright for Microsoft.

We use this technology for work, but now we work from everywhere. We use this technology for play, and we can play wherever we want. This technology has become part of the everyday life of many people. It is our communication tool. How many people on Facebook? How do they get there?

In my mind it's not what Microsoft wants that is important, it is what the consumer, the end user, wants. They make up the enterprise. They want to succeed, they want to grow.

“You can have everything in life that you want if you just give enough other people what they want.” - Zig Ziglar

Mr. Natdella, CEO, you have a lot of leverage in the Enterprise, add to that the fact that you can innovate, design, and build products that the 'consumer' wants and you will be there forever - including your phone. I do believe that your focus should be, needs to be, the consumer. 

To quote from history; "Damn the torpedoes, go ahead". YOU can drive the change needed to return the glory. Not to worry about the 'elite', worry about the users, if what you bring to the table works they will buy it.


On a more personal side Mr. Natdella, speaking of end-user experience, I have an HP Omni 10 tablet that I purchased from your store and I love it. However it desperately need a 'touch - swype' like keyboard to be more proficient. One that works. Something that all Android phones and tablets have. Now the iPad does not have anything like it either at the moment. You could win over a lot of hearts with an app that would do this. It should be one approved my Microsoft and available through the app store. I am bringing out my Android phone to take notes, I sure would like to use this tablet.

Just sayin'.....

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Windows Live Writer 2012

I have installed Windows Live Writer 2012 on this HP Omni 10 to see how well it functions. I have had to use the online Blogger app to write blog posts however there are a few things it does not do well and Windows Live Writer does.

If you want to install Windows Live Writer 2012 search for Windows Essentials. If you search for Windows Live Writer Microsoft will download an earlier version from 2009 – be careful.

One thing that Windows Live Writer does well is in handling graphics. You get many different options on the Format tab. Windows Live Writer also remembers links that you add so that your are not always looking for the same links.

I do wish it would work well with Zemanta as that is a really nice tool for blogging. I believe that part of my pontificating at Curious Voyager should, on occasion, be followed with what others might be saying about the same subject, Zemanata does that quite well.

OK now to publish and compete the setup.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Office 365 One Year Anniversary

This week I was reading an article at Computerworld; "Office 365 turns one, but success is tough to tally" and since I am a user (and have been for some time) I thought I might respond.

Although I can't talk about the overall success of Office 365, I can talk about mine and those I have pushed toward it; it's  a great deal and bargain. For the $100 ($99.99) a year (or $9.99/month) cost you get the complete Office 2013 Professional Suite and you can download that onto 5 computers - this I have done.

That in and of itself is interesting because you get Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Access, and Publisher, not to mention 20 GB of free storage on OneDrive (the recently old SkyDrive) plus some free time on Skype. 

The single user cost of the Office Professional 2013 Office Suite $400. Hmmm....4 years at $99.99 a year means that I have; 1) an interest free purchase, and 2) it will get updated before that 4 years is up to whatever the next Office Suite will be. It is being updated as we go and there have already been updates. 

The BIG benefit is that I have the current best software (think Excel in many ways) in my hands for work benefit and I will stay up-to-date for as long as I keep the subscription going. 
With today's constant change in technology and software, in order to stay current, this is the best of all worlds. Keeping up-to-date in software for analysis and productivity is essential.  
I push this in all my classes. The business world is changing and we all need to stay ahead of the game.

I grew up the son of a Tool and Die Maker and have always believed in having my own tools so that I could do the best work. I did learn that from my Dad. If you know a GOOD mechanic you will find that most buy their own tools. Why? So they can do the best work. Today the office environment is the same. You want to be the best at your job? Don't wait for the company to fund your tools, you will always be behind the rest of the world. 

Take Excel; In today's world of data each version of Excel from 2007 on has added features to allow you do better analysis of the data you have. Excel 2013 is no different. I can do things in Excel 2013 that you either cannot do in prior version and if you can it is generally more difficult. 

So now it is not just BYOD it is also BYOS - Bring Your Own Software (or BYOS - Bring Your Own Stuff to cover it all).

You will be able to stay ahead of the curve and, in some cases, produce better results. Being the best at what you do is important to you and your future. At $9.99 a month all you have to do is cut out two Latte's or one glass of wine - I know the wine is important. 

Oh yes, by all means use it at home.