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Showing posts from January, 2010

Geeks Man the Barricades over the Apple Tablet

Boy, the internet is awash with geeks vehemently opposed to the recently announced Apple iPad.

The consensus of critical geeks is "It's a not a real computer."

To that, I say "Exactly."

And that's why its going to be a huge success.  Not just the iPad, but some of the other tablets coming to market.

Update 2-1-2010 : iPads were also the subject of this week's Family Tech column.

Haven't those critics ever watched someone who is not enthralled with the very idea of technology try and use a computer?  They laugh at the stupid things people ask tech support, with out understanding everyone of those people is earnestly trying to benefit from their computer.  They just do not have the same desire to learn and experiment and play with technology like a geek does.  They just want the expensive device they bought with their hard earned money to work.  Over the years, their call has become rather plaintive and angry.

The tech industry has sadly failed those f…

Send multiple text messages from Google Voice

Apparently Google Voice added a feature overnight allowing you to send the same text message to several people.  That's handy; I oven want to send the same one to wife and son.

When I click the SMS button on the main screen, and type a person's name, and select it, I then get a comma at the end of their phone number and the phone number field retains the focus so I an enter in another name or number.

Per messages I see on Twitter, you can up to five recipients.

Google Voice Sweetness in Chrome

As I've said many times before, I am smitten with Google Voice.  In the last job, as an Account Representative, I used Chad Smith's excellent Google Voice Add-On for Firebox.  It allowed me to click on a phone number, say in Salesforce.com, the CRM system, and that number would automatically call my Gizmo5 client and I could speak with my client using my computer headset.  It was an awesome part of my workflow.

That Add-On is the one of two things that keep me using Firefox.  The other is Firebug that I only need when doing Javascript programming; something I have not done much of recently.

Since being laid off I haven't really needed the click-to-dial capability so I've used Chrome almost 100% of the time.

Today, via TechMeme, I was alerted to an Official Chrome Google Voice Extension that gives me the click-to-dial capability in the Chrome Dev version Chrome.  (Update 1/25/2010 : Today's new release of the stable release of Chrome supports extensions that previou…

Two hours of Questions and Answers on Evernote

Yesterday, Phil Libin, Evernote's CEO, pledged to answer all questions submitted on Twitter about Evernote, over a two hour period.

I made a PDF file of all the answers, stored of course, in an Evernote Public Notebook.

Evernote 3.5 Officially Released

Big news for my favorite tool.  Evernote 3.5 is now officially released.  I've been using the beta, but I'm anxious to see if there are any changes from the latest beta.  Downloading now.

Overall, lots of changes from 3.1.  See the full list at the Evernote blog post.

This will make it easier for them to add features, they have said in podcasts, so I think we'll see a lot of changes/improvements to Evernote in 2010.

Update: Seems zippier then my last beta.  And a couple new features.  Viewing Note info for one.

Syncing Documents to Google Docs

Yesterday, Google reached me in their roll out of being able to upload any kind of documents to Google Docs.  I posted previously about how their 25 cents per gigabyte per year was a potential game changer in this area.

CloudBerry Labs has told me they hope to build a tool to backup files to the Google space.  Today, PC World's David Coursey reviewsMemeo Connect, a tool for syncing documents between your desktop and Google Docs.

Alas, you have to have a Google Apps Premier Edition for it to work.  That costs $50 annually, and Memeo is $9 per year per user.


I hope Google loosens up and allows these kind of programs to move files into my Google Space without the Premier version.  That $50 a year eliminates the primary advantage of using Google Docs--the free cost.  That would let someone bild a Dropbox type product to sync files to the Google space.  


I've wondered before why Google does not acquire Evernote.  And for that matter, Dropbox.  Both share Google's vision of storing…

Wi-Fi Flying more Grounded then not

Gizmodo's review of wi-fi by airlines is depressing.  Basically, fly Virgin, AirTran or Delta if you want to be connected.

Personally, I think flying is a good time to be disconnected.  I use the time to read, or to listen to podcasts or watch TV programs on my phone.

I've haven't flown much, so I am a season and half behind on Eureka.

Recent Interesting Links

If you like the topics I generally cover in this blog, then you should know I often find Web pages about these topics that I do not necessarily blog about.

I do save them to my Public bookmarks page, an Evernote public notebook.

The entries are tagged, so you can easily find the ones of interest to you.  There is also an RSS feed for the page, so you can subscribe to it with your favorite blog reader.

There are tags for Evernote, Google Wave,  Android,  and many more.

Some recent links I've saved are :

A comparison of different online Google Voice iPhone/iPod push solutions - VoiceGrowl

Cell Phone Plans: The Ultimate Comparison

7 Ways Real Estate Appraisers Can Use Evernote

On how Google Wave surprisingly changed my life - This is so Meta

CES 2010: AR Drone from Parrot is a helicopter you can control with your iPhone : Shiny Shiny

CloudBerry Tools for Managing Online Data Storage

While researching my previous post, I discovered CloudBerry Lab's great set of tools for managing your own Amazon S3 data storage.  What's really exciting, is Cloud Lab has pledged to support Google's file storage soon.
Google recently announced file storage at 25 cents per gigabyte per year, seriously undermining Amazon S3's pricing.
Their CloudBerry Backup tool backups your data to your S3 Account.  Their CloudBerry Explorer acts like a File Manager for your S3 account, letting you see you see your files, move them, delete etc.  What's also nice is they have versions of Explorer for data storage services beyond S3 such as Sun, Nirvanix,  Azure Blob, and Diomede.
There is a free version of Explorer while a Pro version adding encryption, compression and other advantages is just $39.99.  Backup is only $29.99.  
I haven't tried it yet since I do not have an S3 account, but when they get their new version for Google, I'll give it a whirl.  They offer free version…

Online Storage should take off in 2010

I mentioned in a recent post I was making note of the applications I currently use, the hardware my family uses, and various other things that I expect will improve or change in the next ten years.  It's been an interesting exercise and made me think about what will be changing, and how.

One inescapable reality I think is that online storage should really take off this year.
I am already a big user and advocate of Dropbox.  Basically Dropbox synchronizes a folder on my hard drive with on line storage.  Anytime I change or add a file to the folder (or a sub folder of it), the file moves up to the Cloud.  I can get the file from another computer, share folders with others, and see past versions of the file.  It is in one tool, storage, backup, synchronization, and sharing. 
So far the free 2 gigs it comes with is very useful, but it also comes with 50 and 100 gigabyte options for $10 and $20 a month respectively.
Services like Carbonite and Mozy let you backup your files automatically t…

Keyboards for Phones

I'm surprised things like this are not more common.

As there are a growing number of people foregoing a land line for owning just a cell phone, I expect we will start seeing people who do not bother owning a desktop or laptop PC, but just use their phones.

Unless you are  doing serious processor stuff like editing videos, a cell phone could do a lot of what people want, only if it were not for the tiny keyboard.

Put your iPhone into a keyboard like this, and you can seriously generate e-mails,and write notes.  You could even produce documents and store them on the cloud and later print them out at the library, work, school or Fedex Office.

Pictured is the Ion iType (via RegHardware)

If rumors are true and Apple announces its iSlate Tablet computer later this month, and it is priced about $1000, would you buy one if you already owned a high end phone and a laptop?  It might be difficult to cost justify it if you already have a good laptop.

What if, there was a good keyboard for it,…

Ready for 2020

I've read so many blogs, and listened to a couple of podcasts recently talking about the tech progress of the last ten years.  All I can keep thinking, "What was it like tech wise in January 2000 for us?"  I can recall some things, like no wi-fi yet in the house.  I remember keeping surfaces free in my home office and internet connections handy for my wife & son to come down and plug in their laptops.  Beyond that my memory is imperfect.

So I just wrote a long entry in Evernote summarizing our current living situation,and then going heavily into the tech we are using.  What computers we have now, what Operating Systems we are using, our hard drive capacity, our cell phones, and the apps we are using (Evernote, Dropbox, Adobe Production Studio, Google Docs) etc.

Should make it interesting to look back in 2020.

Update: Minutes after posting, I was thinking that while I fully expect to be using Evernote in ten years, I've learned you cannot anticipate these things. …

Recent Evernote News

Our friends at Evernote keep coming up with new things.  They have now released new versions of their Palm Pre, iPhone, and Android clients.

I had my first chance to play with any smartphone Evernote clients recently.  First was the Android version, and it didn't help quell my major Android lust.  The Mobile Web client I use on my Instinct is useful, but the user interface and audio notes in the Android client is wonderful.

There is also an iPod Touch hanging out at our house.  I'm eager to spend some time with the iPhone client on it.

Earlier today, Evernote via their Twitter account asked folks for their favorite Evernote tips.  As I write this they are flowing in all marked with the hashmark #evernotetips.  Or you can see only the ones Evernote has chosen to re-tweet.

Copy your Cloud

More and more we live in the Clouds.  As we do more of our work with Cloud applications like Gmail, Google Docs, Zoho and socialize via Facebook and Twitter, we stand the real risk of losing data should one of those apps close down unexpectedly, or somehow crash.

Some of these services have their own ability to backup your data to your PC.  Google Docs has been very good about that with their one-click ability to download all your documents in one ZIP file.  Through their Data Liberation Front they have been very good about letting you have your data.

For those few that let you download your own data, it is only as reliable as your discipline of actually backing up your data.  For me, my intentions are better then my actions in that respect.  And for those that do not offer you your own data, you are just out of luck.

A new service will backup many of your Cloud Apps data for you, on regular intervals.  Many of our Apps have an API (a programming interface) available to developers.  T…

Android Growing

I've written in Family Tech that I want an Android phone as my next Smartphone.  For many reasons, I think it is the smart choice, and will be smarter still when my current contract expires in December 2010.

It's nice to see others are believing in Android.  A new survey says that 21% of those planning a smartphone purchase in the next 90 days, want an Android phone.

While 32% of those planned purchasers want an iPhone that is a fewer then before, while Android is growing.

And that's before today's Android announcement coming from Google today.