Thursday, June 30, 2016

My Ride on a Ford Trimotor

I just realized I never mentioned the video I shot two years ago of my ride in a Ford Tri-motor when it came to the Manassas, Virginia airport.

I shot it entirely through Google Glass.

The aircraft is operated by the EAA and regularly tours the country offering rides.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Evernote Changes Pricing Plans

Evernote today announced changes it to various pricing plans.  

They maintain a free plan, and are now limiting use of Evernote to two devices.  Uploads are capped at 60 megabytes a month.  

The Evernote Plus level is $3.99/month or $34.99/year.

It offers a full gigabyte of uploads a month, and unlimited devices. And it supports offline use.

Evernote Premium is $7.99/month or $69.99/year and gives you all that, and indexes Word and PDF documents. Its photo capabilities includes turning business cards into contacts, and use their presentation abilities.  

Check out this page for comparison of the various plans.

Initial reactions at are leaning negative.  If the comments are truly representative, and not just the dissatisfied commenting first, Evernote might be in trouble.

Personally, I feel the Evernote Plus level is suitable for most, and the price is not unreasonable.  And the Basic level is suitable to introduce new users, and suitable for light weight users.

Most of the dissatisfied users are staying they will now move to Microsoft's OneNote, already a part of their Office subscriptions.

Microsoft does have a tool for importing Evernote notes into OneNote.

Another Reddit post from just yesterday reports a user who made the move from Evernote to OneNote, only to move back.

It will be interesting to see how this works out for Evernote.

Update:  Looking at Evernote Forums, it appears the web interface may not count towards the two device limit in the Basic plan.

Looking over comments on the web, the people maddest about this were Free plan users upset by the two device limit.  My only thought is when you use a product for free, you have to expect you are not a company's priority.  For me, $4 a month for the Plus plan is reasonable, $8 is worth it to me for the OCR (Optical Character Reading) of PDFs and Word Documents.

As a comparison, a free tier of service I use that costs $9 a month that has significantly less value to me than Evernote, so I will use the free service for now. Should they eliminate one day, that is their business decision to do so.

Some Premium users are upset at what is really a 40% price increase.

I'll mirror the thoughts of one user who said he would be interested to see in the next year what technology improvements Evernote will be adding.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Family Tech: Turn to the web for kids’ summer enrichment - June 24, 2016

Parents and teachers know kids lose scholarly momentum over the summer, and research backs them up.

Certain kinds of summer camps go a long way to keep the brain’s synapses firing. They are expensive and most parents can only afford a week or two, if they can afford it at all. And by now it may be too late to sign up for good camps anyway.

How can we keep young brains firing on all cylinders so students can hit the ground running when back in school in late August?

I recently came across a website listing 1,800 online courses. does not provide the courses but lists courses produced by universities like Harvard, Stanford and Princeton, and companies such as Google and Facebook.

High school students, maybe even some middle schoolers, can watch these videos to get a feel for subjects they are interested in. Even if they do not finish an entire course, it will get them thinking. And it is a wonderful way to dip their toes into subjects they may want to major in at college.

The courses are free, although there may be a cost for add-on benefits such as course credit, certificates and mentoring.

I’ve tried to learn the Java programming language a few times from books. I am having more success with an online course out of San Jose State University. I watch at least a few minutes a day. Today, I watched for an hour or two as I procrastinate writing this column.

I’m not looking for any kind of college credit or certificate. I just want to be able to write my own Android app some day, and that takes Java.

There are courses in history, science, mathematics, engineering, education, social sciences, personal management and others.

Think your kids won’t sit down for an online video course? Check their YouTube viewing history. Younger kids especially are inhaling Minecraft videos to learn how to better play Minecraft.

Read the rest at

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Google Keep is a great on-the-go note-taking app - June 10, 2016

For years I have used steno pads, filling them with notes of my day, phone numbers, lists, things to do and details of projects. 

When I was at work, or anytime I was away from my apartment, I tried to carry a pocket notebook. The notes I took in the smaller notebook did not always make it to the steno pad. And then there was the challenge of finding a specific note.

I suppose that is why I have been such a big fan of Evernote. It may surprise many to learn I actually use another app on my phone more than Evernote.

Google Keep and Evernote are the two most popular of a legion of smartphone, desktop and web apps for note taking.

I began using Evernote on my PC in 2008. Today, I have more than 23,000 notes in it. Evernote has been really good about making apps for Android and iPhones, as well as other portable devices.

Google Keep came out in 2013. It was almost toy-like to Evernote’s behemoth. It was colorful, fast and designed primarily for use on a phone, although there was also a great web client.

I find myself using Keep mostly when on my phone and Evernote on my PC. They do not compete with each other as much as complement each other.

Read the rest at

Monday, June 6, 2016

Microsoft Planner

For years I worked for a company competing against Microsoft Project. When I saw this announcement of Microsoft Planner, I thought perhaps it was a new version of Project.

The article I read said instead it was more along the lines of Trello.  It looks to me from watching the video below that is more akin to Slack, or at least what I understand Slack to be.

Updated 6/7/16 : correct video inserted

Saturday, June 4, 2016

A cuter moment in the life of Muhammad Ali

It is with sadness we note the passing last night of Muhammad Ali.  Definitely one of the best boxers of the Twentieth Century, but I'll always remember him for his wonderful self marketing.

He had a genius for promoting himself.  He stands with entertainers like Madonna who probably learned from him.

He had a huge personality, and let it shine through.  And underneath his competitiveness and the roughness necessary to his sport, he was a kind man.

Here is a wonderful moment from Allen Funt's Candid Camera program where they asked kids what they would do if they met The Champ.  What they didn't know was he was standing behind them.

The best of these begins a minute and 58 seconds in. You can watch the entire video below, or click the link to have it begin at that point.  As Funt says you'll see "Five seconds in a life of a kid he'll never forget".  I'll bet that man now probably in his 50s is remembering today.