Month: September 2012

A Moment of Quiet Victory

Well, folks, I had one of those moments that I like to claim a minor life victory. One of those times when things just seem to layer against you; just one thing after another. Claim those moments, own them and hold them as banners of triumph when you’re feeling vanquished. Anyway, this one, simple it may be, involves my glasses. My dear, sweet son decided it would be gloriously amusing to color my left lens…with a Sharpie. After a bit of research, which turned up all kinds of horrifying suggestions (rubbing alcohol, hairspray, WD40…on my glasses???), I finally turned to my creativity. A dab of dishwashing liquid, rubbed gently upon the lens, the left to soak during the day. When I removed the glasses from the water…viola! No ink at all! So, I’m quite pleased with myself. So, no, no, NO to the other solutions; they will damage your lenses. Gentleness, along with the universal solvent and time, saved the day. Cheers!

iOS & Gmail : Failing Flags

After I upgraded my iPhone 4S to iOS 6, one of the big issues I was faced with was flagging emails in my personal domain (which is hosted by google apps). This is set-up via Exchange. Turns out the problem is manically simple: the optional domain setting. Under Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars > “account name” > Account, after “Email” (which is how you name this guy) & “Server” is “Domain”. After changing this from blank to “google”, the ability to flag in this account came right back.

iPhone on good health! I’ll add more about my iOS 6 update journey soon.

Some additional thoughts on tablets…what about Microsoft?

This week’s news about the Kindle updates has me wondering about MSFT. Something not talked about much, but strikes me as critical:  Amazon’s line-up and array of price-points. Allow people of “lesser means” get into this ecosystem. People will iterate up.

Google Android and Kindle understand this. Get us in, get us great content (which we happily (?) buy), let folks iteratively (I guess that is a word) upgrade; long-term, sustainable growth. Looking back at Microsoft, I worry they won’t get this. They didn’t with the Zune. Every Zune came with premium pricing. Perhaps now with tablets?

Plenty of MSFT devices are coming down the pike (here’s a big run-down of different MSFT Windows 8 tablets & the Surface) and that gives me some hope. Right now, though, there are several Android-eque tablets out there for < $100…(really) and even more for < $200. Without something in this price range, I worry that MSFT will not even be close to relevant.

Well, reckoning time comes soon. Apple’s announcement next week might well add to this. Answers arrive soon, ready or not.

The Kindle Fire, Tablets and Reading’s Future

Watched the Amazon press conference today. Well, more apt, I watched the CNet life coverage. The CNet crew are awfully fun. Most importantly, I came away longing for a new Kindle Fire. I don’t need or really want the HD features, and $150 is a comfortable price point for me.

But them I wonder: is the main attraction price point? Trying to cheap-out has always backfired on me. Well, perhaps price is what makes the Kindle attractive. I still like the Nexus. And, really, the iPad. If I was rolling in dough, I’d have one of each! I guess cash is a significant consideration.

So i should really start by considering my wants & needs. Primarily comes Google integration. Mostly email & calendar, but I’m pretty invested in Google stuff; so the more the better. But I’m also an Apple guy. Thus I have music, some video, and several apps from iTunes/iOS. However, not too much. Much of that came free, and/or with Android versions. I also need a solid web browser and Evernote. With those tools in place, I’m able to work with a device. Would I have all that with a Kindle Fire? The only piece I’m not sure about is the web browser. Would I be able to access key sites I use for work? I think I can check out Kindles at Staples, etc. Easy enough question to answer.

Beyond all that, I have a major concern with the whole ereader thing: my corner bookshop. Ereaders have their various ecosystems, and many are available on multiple platforms. However, there’s no place in that world for the local bookseller. Is this shop doomed? Or is there someplace for the printed page? And does resisting ereaders help prevent, or even slow this coming change?

So, I’m sure to make the tablet leap soon. Exactly which device isn’t exactly clear. Several good choices now, a few more coming (iPad mini next week? I’m disappointed there’s no low-cost Windows tablet right now). I guess I will see shortly.

Fund A Triathalete

Hey gang,

A good friend of mine, Daniel Flahiff, has qualified for the World Triathlon Grand Final Auckland this October. As you can imagine, raising the ~$4,000 for travel is out of reach. However, through the power of the internet, all of us have the opportunity to lend a hand. Via his Go Fund Me site, we all have the chance to share in funding this dream.

Besides have the vested interest in seeing a chum do something great and once-in-a-lifetime, I’m also pleased that the internet offers up ways to crowdsource solutions like this. Perhaps, pre-internet, a bunch of us would hold a car-wash, maybe engage a local tv or radio station, and have a small scale crowdsource through a local bank.

So, yay to for offering up such tools, the internet (Twitter, Facebook, et al) to broadcast this sort of thing out, and, of course, the generosity of strangers…which is, ultimately, what makes these sorts of things work.

Here’s a video about the event: