Jean Louis Gassee's spot on analysis of how Intel's culture and short sightedness caused a miss in the mobile phone market. Read his take on the error here.
Jean Louis Gassee's spot on analysis of how Intel's culture and short sightedness caused a miss in the mobile phone market. Read his take on the error here.
the Fugo Tough is rugged, easy to use, has extraordinary battery life and tonal quality.
The audio experience of my portable computers and more recently my cell phone have always been important parts of my user experience.
Until recently however, if I wanted to listen to music while I yank weeds or buried seedlings in my garden or putted around town on my three wheel Piaggio MP3 scooter, I had to use earbuds, which, for me, is a less than satisfactory experience.I’ve gone through countless sets of earbuds in the last 18 months, So I jumped at the chance to review Fugoo’s Tough bluetooth speaker.
TO set the stage: I've used four sets of Bluetooth speakers but come away feeling that their manufacturers spent too much time and effort focusing on bass notes and not enough time and effort on delivering mid tone audio, battery life.or the second most common use of an external Bluetooth speaker; a desktop or home teleconferencing tool.
At one point last month I was so annoyed with a Bluetooth speaker that I turned it into a looping fastball headed down my the road up my mountain.
I've been amazed by everything about this new six- speaker audio appliance. beginning with its stellar audio quality and happily becoming the beneficiary of its amazing battery life.
And that’s just for starters. I've used and discarded several Bluetooth speakers because they were hard to use or had an anemic battery life.but most commonly I've discarded those speakers because the manufacturers confuse boom box bass with or more more important audio fidelity .
There’s no shortage of mass market bluetooth external speakers but the Fugoo Tough is way different. Although it lives up to its Tough name, it has a heart of gold, can roar like a lion but has a user interface that’s tame as a kitten.
The Fugo Tough isn't a featherweight audio appliance. it’s a hefty trapezoid that stays put, no matter how loud you pump up the volume. Most of this systems weight comes from its multiple omni directional speakers. Rather than use off the shelf foreign circuits, Fugoo speakers use high efficiency custom circuits and this speakers’ power comes from a single 16550 Lithium ion battery, which is about the same size as a conventional AAA battery.
After charging overnight. Setup was a snap, i turned it on and it quickly sought out and paired with my ZMax ZTX phablet which runs Android 4.4. I've had some difficulty pairing and maintaining connectivity on other Bluetooth external speakers with previous smartphones running earlier versions of Android. But what I really like about the Fugoo Tough is how easy it was to pair it and begin playing my 1.5 GB of music, while I worked in my just watered garden or while I was zipping around town on my somewhat whimsical three-wheel Piaggio 500cc motor scooter.
I do have one very small criticism with this Fugoo speaker:, the power switch is recessed in the top left side corner of the speaker case, and I have large hands ( I wear a size 16 ring) so it took me a couple of seconds to make tactile contact with power switch. SinceI seem to have incorporated music into my gardening hobby, the waterproof Fugoo Tough goes out to the garden with me.
And what about using the Fugo Tough for hands free phone calls? the audio is crisp and clean, there’s enough volume to fill small conference room or home office and its microphone is sensitive enough to make my shouting unneeded.
What about its battery life? So far, it’s been playing for 21-plus hours without needing to be recharged.
Supplied to me for this review by its manufacturer the Fugoo Tough costs $229, the which is higher than most Bluetooth speakers. but if you want a portable speaker than can stand up to the sun,surf, sand, or water, the Fugoo Tough is the Bluetooth speaker you should rush out and buy.
I’d say more, but the road and my music are in harmony now, so I’m going to fire up my scooter and head out to the coast, listenin’ to John Stewart, Allman and Doobie Brothers and smilin’--Jim Forbes on March 28, 2015
I recently switched cell service providers. celebrating the occasion by treating myself to my first large screen Android smart phone-- aka, my first “phablet.”
Wow, was I ever wrong.
Some of the reasons I left my previous carrier included my desire to lower my monthly comm bills and because they really didn’t offer a true” phablet.” in my price range
Which is why I found myself at a local T-Mobile store looking at an approximate $225 (out the door)ZTE Zmax house brand Android smartphone with a six-inch (measured diagonally) screen.
My phablet has changed how I use a smartphone. First, I send a lot more text messages than I ever did on previous phones.Second: I’m much more likely to use my phone to connect to the Internet.
A big reason why I didn’t use my previous phone’s Internet capabilities is simple: Displayed information on itsf ive-inch-inch screen taxed my middle-age eyesight.
With a bigger screen, I immediately found myself installing and using more applications. but I still don’t like using my phone for email, except for cursory glances.
I have a simple rule for my family and close friends, ‘if you need to reach me, text me.”
I can always call them later and most often I can answer their questions by texting.
I loved the increased memory of phablets;My Zmax has 11. 64GB of storage versus 8GB on my previous phone.More system memory means I can install and use more applications.
Some of the applications I use are pretty obscure. I love a fishing app that uses my phone’s GPs reporting capability to provide me with tide and solumnar (moon and sun phases) data.I don’t consider myself a “technical fisherman”“ but i’m approaching that rubicon because of my smart phone.
Agrivi is nother go-to app that makes managing my fsll things agricultural more enjoyable and productive.i I was first heard of Agrivi while visiting Cal Poly Pomona ( an ag and engineering college here in Southern California.)
Agrivi lets its users tap into “best agricultural practices” this app lets me track my plants and trees crops on the go.I really like a feature in Agrivi that works with three and seven day weather forecasts and multi-year weather records.
Weather and field monitoring are critical to growing avocados and peaches here in San Diego County and until I encountered this app i’d never seen or used a smartphone program that has Agrivis capabilities.
Most of the other applications on my phablet are pedestrian customer loyalty or shopping apps. the most important of these is the What’s App messaging platform
User messaging apps could force smartphone makers -- or Google-- to offer larger screen data input keyboards. Their absence as a native feature in Android Kit Kat is a serious shortcoming.
Mandatory disclosure: I have large hands, wear a size 16 man’s’ ring. and am handicapped because of a stroke that wiped out the fine motor control on my left side-- I am “deeply embedded” left handed so I can not switch my dominant handedness.
I do have a major criticism of today’s smartphones that carries over specifically to phablets, Despite better battery life and oversized cases the “VIbrate on ring” feature is too anemic. Manufacturers,I believe absolutely have to make this feature more powerful, and thus more useful.
Until this feature is improved,I’m resorting to a wearable $30 bluetooth wearable dongle called “Ditto” that vibrates when my phone rings, or when I get out of range of my phone’s bluetooth transceiver.
Although my ZTE Zmax is built like a Panzer, , I opted for the $10 a month replacement insurance.
I have been very surprised by the battery life of this phablet. I’m able to go three days without recharging, despite more internet use than “I've ever experienced on a a smartphone. the battery life of the ZTX phablet is, much longer than other smart phones I’ve owned by a long shot and Adroid Kit Kat’s power management software is a big reason why I no longer worry about battery life, or carry a fully charged power pack in my book bag..
The Phablet form factor has changed how I use and rely on a cell phone, which I’ll circle back on in a future post. For now, I’m a true believer in phablet computing, a dream I thought I wouldn’t live to become mainstream in my life. More on phun phablet computing in subsequent posts. Jim Forbes on 02/23/2015
Like a lot of Southern California fishermen, I bookmark web sites that post ocean temperatures and tide information. In particular I look at ocean temps for the Coronado Islands off Tijuana \, the La Jolla Pier and other beaches. When the water temp gets above 65 degrees I go shopping for new fishing line, terminal gear and the various totems I think I need in my sun damaged tackle box to ensure productive fishing trips.
Growing up here, I came to associate San Diego ocean fishing with two specific species of tasty tuna family members; Yellowtail and yellowfin.
I’ve chased yellow tail schools from the Coronado Islands, north to Catalina.But most frequently, I’ve caught them using live bait near any of the many kelp forests that dot the Southern California coastline. When I think of yellowtail, I automatically imagine the thrum of a tight line coming off my beloved Penn reel and my rod tip bent as a 15-pound fish starts to run.
Yellowtail hang out in schools, so if you get hit once you stand an excellent chance of another hook up as soon as you can get a fresh bait in the water.
I have a ritual for yellowtail fishing that begins with honing a razor sharp point on my hook and carefully selecting fat active anchovies for bait..laggardly bait get a trip to the seabed where I hope they’re gobbled up by sweet meat cabazon, the infrequent lingcod or my one of my two other favorite California game fish; sanddabs and California halibut.
Going out tuna fishing on a long range boat I something I try to do once or twice a year, particularly in late summer when the albacore schools arrive.
Boatless yellowtail fishermen can get to the yellowtail schools for about $100 on party boats such as the Malhini which is based at SeaForth Landing in the San Diego bay. All of the San Diego based boats offer rod and reel rentals. A California fishing license is required for all trips in California waters. one-day licenses are offered on the boats.
Overnight and two-day Tuna fishing trips are also available on boats out of San Diego harbor. the cost of an overnight steam to the tuna grounds and back is begins at about $300 and all of the long range boats offer troopship-like berths for up to 50 passengers.
Unless you own fishing gear capable of fighting and bringing a 50-100 pound yellowfin alongside the boat, it’s best to rent your gear on the boat. Most all of the boats have experienced deck hands who will help you land your fish and make sure you have a good time on the water.
All of the offshore fishing boats have fully stocked galleys and if you go out of San Diego don’t hesitate to order a tasty barracuda burger.
You don’t need to take an eight-hour or longer boat ride to catch dinner from the Southern California shoreline. In fact, there are numerous spots where you can spend as much time as you want alone with your fishing rod and your dreams.high on my list are the entrances to the several lagoons here in north San Diego County, plus Las Pulgas Beach, which adjoins Camp Pendleton on the west side of the I-5 freeway. I regularly fish several of these spots and often come home with mixed catches of sweet tasting surfperch, California halibut and yummy sand dabs.
If you want to fish the lagoons in San Diego County you need to fish from designated areas since most of the lagoons are now protected wetlands. If you have questions about where to fish the lagoons, you can call the California Department of Fish Game’s San Diego office, or ask any of the volunteers you see leading hikes.When in doubt, ask!
A valid California fishing license is required for surf fishing and bring your own bait.--Tight lines! Jim Forbes on 06/01/2014.
Every year about this time, my mind wanders as waiting for schools of tasty yellowtail to swim north from the warm coast of Baja California.
If the fish won’t come to me, I think about going to the fish. And one of the best fisheries in North America isn’t very far from me, it’s just south of the Border with Mexico in Loreto, Baja Sur, Mexico. It’s hard not to have grown up in Southern California and not know about the fishing in Baja and the sleepy Mission village of Loreto on the Sea of Cortez.
Loreto isn’t Cabo San Luis or Mazatlan, it’s a nice safe little town that in my lifetime has developed a reputation as the place to go for limits of yellowtail, pargo nd other snappers, ‘cudas, trigger fish or mackerel family members that will spool or fry your reel. Yes the fishing in Baja’s Sea of Cortez is really that good.
The first time I ever lost a reel full of expensive line and fried a reel was in Loreto. It was a life-altering experience that forged my bond with this town. I was young and didn’t understand that there are times when a used $25 fishing reel and cheap hooks are sometimes completely inadequate. I know better now
A big yellowtail inshore at Loreto taught me that lesson.
Getting to Loreto is now as easy a booking a flight on Alaska Airlines out of Los Angeles International. Alaska now offers two 737 flights a day to Loreto. It’s a short 90 minute hop down Baja from LAX to this fishing paradise. Hotel accommodations range anywhere from about $(US)55 a night for a basic room in a nice hotel to $(US) 100 a night for an upscale establishment. Don’t fret catching El Tourista in Loreto. The food is fresh and tasty.
Every hotel in Loreto is capable of getting you on a panga from the beach out to the fishing grounds. Panga fishing is synonymous with the Loreto experience. Pangasfa are open boats so be sure to bring your sunscreen and a hat. In all the years I’ve fished Loreto; I’ve never been skunked or come back to the beach with fewer than four nice fish.
But while Loreto has a well-deserved reputation as a fishing destination, it’s also flat out beautiful and the site of marine ecological preserve and one of the oldest and prettiest California missions, Mision de Nuestra Senora de Loreto Concho.
Loreto is full of surprises, one of which I made hiking up a stream coming down from the brown hills to the west of the town. My mellow was harshed when I saw two foot-long trout jump from a pool chasing an afternoon hatch. Trout in Baja? Si, all things are possible here.
If you go to Loreto and stay more than three days you need a visa, which is available for $24 from any Republic of Mexico consulate or embassy. In addition, a valid US passport is required for travel in an out of Mexico.
If you’re nervous about airline baggage fees, fishing tackle and gear can be rented in Mexico. More information on traveling to Loreto can be found at http://www.mexinsider.com/loreto-tourist-information.html.
Don’t forget to bring your camera, sketch pad and embrace your inner Steinbeck on the Sea of Cortez. Tight lines. Jim Forbes on April 1, 2012.
be still my heart, a nice loreto tasty fish
A new program for the venerable technology launch show,Demo, adds an ocean of new entrepreneurial talent and could give long legs to the event.
Quietly unveiled by the show’s executive producer last year, Matt Marshall of VentureBeat, the new program includes three types of scholarships which can be used by any domestic and International technology company.
Universities are the target of Demo’s entry-level College Alpha Pitch Program which is underwritten by Microsoft Corp, according to Neal Silverman the IDG Senior Vice President who is Demo’s General Manager. The Student Alpha Pitch Program includes two full admissions to Demo and 90-second stage demonstrator slots as well as stations in Demo’s Demonstrator Pavilion. Ten College Pitch Scholarships will be available at Demo, Silverman says.
Demo is offering two other categories of scholarships; 20 full scholarships for young companies which launch their products at Demo but which have received less than $500,000 in funding and 10 partial scholarships for companies that have received limited angel funding but raised less than $1.5 million overall.
Funding for the new Demo Scholarship programs is coming from Demo’s Platinum Partners which includes AARP, Porter Novelli, Microsoft and other companies, according to Demo’s General Manager.
Demo Spring 2012 is April 17-19 and its location is the Hyatt Regency, Silicon Valley in Santa Clara, CA. the deadline to apply for College Alpha Pitch Scholarships is February 17.Additional information on Demo’s Scholarship program including applications is at http://demo.com/ehome/DEMO/launch/scholarships.
in the past, many startups operated on budgets that precluded their participation in the show, the new scholarships open up Demo to more new companies,” Silverman notes. Demo does not accept equity positions or warrants in any company that are part of its scholarship programs, Silverman reports.
In addition to Demo Spring and Demo Fall, Demo also has events in Asia, China and Brazil.—Jim Forbes on 02/14/2012.
Disclosure: I was the founding producer of Demo Mobile, now known as Demo Fall. I have no fiduciary relationships with Demo, IDG or any of its contract executive producers.
I’m a ham handed typist whose efforts result in the wanton slaughter of as many as three keyboards a year. Unfortunately, the stroke I had several years ago has increased my keyboard fatality rate.
So, when fellow keyboard murders –especially the small handful who are also recovering from strokes-- suggest I try a product, I listen intently. And that’s a big reason why there’s a new Microsoft Natural keyboard and high definition laser mouse pointer in my office.
The top level takeaway: I honestly have no idea why it’s taken me so long to move to an ergonomic keyboard. The current incarnation of this Microsoft wireless peripheral is easy to use, incredibly rugged and miserly sips power from its batteries. I recommend it whole heartedly—particularly to anyone struggling to relearn typing after a stroke that affects their handedness.
What I really like about Microsoft’s Natural Ergonomic 7000 Keyboard is that it has enough assigned, function and special purpose keys and buttons to keep my attention focused on screen. I like its use of keys that allow me to jump to Internet favorite places without using a mouse and the two switches just below the space bar for jumping to “next” or “previous” Internet sites. I also really like this keyboard’s zoom slider key that lets me magnify displayed text.
Now that I’ve used it for several weeks I appreciate how its design—which includes a comfy padded palm rest-- makes it easier to for me to write for hours without undue hand fatigue. Moreover—because of the limited mobility in my left hand, this keyboard’s design helps me position my hands correctly, which reduces the number of typos I make compared to conventional keyboards.
I was initially put off by curvy/humpy ergonomic keyboards, but have become a fan of the form factor as my hours of experience clock up.
But what really impresses me about Microsoft’s ergonomic design is its underlying ruggedness. Its keys have enough resistance to let you know you’ve punched them and its space bar is strong enough to with stand hours of brutal attacks by my thumbs on its left and right outer edges
The mouse that’s included in the Microsoft Natural Ergonomic 7000 Desktop is chunkier than most mouse pointers but it has much more functionality than other devices. It supports scrolling and magnification but the position of control buttons on its upper left side initially seemed unfamiliar.
Microsoft claims the double A batteries used in its Natural Desktop 7000 keyboard and mouse should last up to 90 days. One month into this combo’s use, I’ve seen no reason not to dispute this claim.
I like and recommend Microsoft’s natural 7000 desktop. I was very pleasantly surprised by the improvement in typing its ergonomic design had on my typing—despite my obvious physical handicap. If you know someone who has had a stroke and is struggling with their typing, the Microsoft Natural Ergonomic 7000 desktop would make a great birthday or holiday gift. It’s easy to use, a snap to unpack and connect, and most of all its rugged enough to withstand heavy handed typing. With a suggested retail price in excess of $150 it’s not inexpensive but it can be purchased for considerably less with minimal judicious shopping.—Jim Forbes 07/26/2010.
Rebtel Brings International VOIP to Android phones
Rebtel, a VOIP mobile voice carrier based in Sweden, pioneered a simple concept when it started in2006. They the only VOIP in the mobile space let its users make international calls by dialing a local number, While the technology initially required that people change the way they made phone calls, Rebel has steadily grown. It now has 4 million users and is growing by 250,000 users a month. What Rebtel launched at Demo is the availability of its service for Android phones. On Android phones with the Rebtel app installed, users just turn the application on, select the international number they want to call and initiate the connection. Market researchers report the international calling market is worth more than $(US)1.6 trillion. Rebtel currently serves 50 countries.
EverLoop Launches branding and Social Media for Tweeners
There’s a big problem in Internet connected north American families who have children between the ages of 8 and 13 years old (demographically identified as “tweeners”). The problem such families face is that if their “tweeners” have a Facebook account, it’s illegal. EverLoop is a social networking platform for tweens and brand focused products for those markets. Nationwide, the size of the market is estimated to be about 28 million. At Demo 10 Spring, EverLoop launched its private label business, which allows all tween-facing branding companies. Its social networking site for tweens will go live in June. EverLoop overcomes the classic dichotomy of private branded social networking; closed loop environments. Tweeners are likely to outgrow interest in limited focus sites and will instinctively. EverLoop is a direct outgrowth of its CEO’s interest in tweener online safety and on-line branding. Currently Ever Loop is angel and self-funded. It recently signed a deal with MadScience, the largest kid’s science site.
Democrasoft’s Collaboraize Introduces Robust hosted Community App.
If there’s one type of application that really gets me excited; it’s hosted software that lets me create communities where every member has the opportunity to freely discuss, propose or test ideas. And Collaborize from Democrasoft which was launched companies at Demo 10 Spring had me thinking of its potential uses all the way home from Palm Desert. Collaborize redefines community discussion software. It’s not the first product in this category and my first reaction to it was: GrassRoots.com, (one of my favorite products and start-ups from my career at Demo wold have succeeded wildly if it had all gthe features of Collaborize and had not had a top-down orientation. What really sets Democrasoft Collaborize apart from other hosted apps in this space is the ease of which it can be used to create ad hoc, formal or other groups and features that let group members post and rate ideas or comments. My first reaction to this product is based on a view of working with community-based non-profits, where funds are always an issue. I can easily see where two pricing models could be offered: a discounted version usd by non-profits ( whixh would allow Democrasoft to write off the discount as a charitable contribution, while gaining both community support and brand familiarity; and it’s the posted four-tier commercial pricing model. As someone who’s involved in my local humane society, I’m use to dealing with volunteers, paid staff and board members, each of which has unique collaborative needs. The basic feature set of Collaborize facilitates multipath communication between people who are in different places at different times. This hosted application provides a rock solid solution to problems faced by many non-profits and commercial organization: facilitating communications between people who are infrequently in the same physical location. Another potential market for Collaborize is education, where it’s easy to envision teachers in Internet-connected class rooms using it to create and manage conversations.
Phone Halo, using Bluetooth to Secure, Protect and Locate Valuables.
I sometimes forget where I’ve put my mobile phone, or car keys and get flustered. The longer it takes me to sort through my clothes or the stuff on the top of my desk, the more frustrated I become. Phone Halo Protect, Bluetooth hardware and smart phone application is a solution to this problem. Up front, I have to note that there are already locater fobs that I can use to find my sometimes invisible car keys. Also, I’m not above calling my cell phone to use its ringer to locate that pesky device. But what I really like about Phone Halo is that it uses Bluetooth and has controls that let me control how far my treasured device and I can be separated before a preset alarms goes off. I liked Phone Halo’s application because it works with most bestselling smartphones and because it offers a number of innovative notification strategies. I particularly liked the technology’s ability to send GPS location of any device or person protected by Phone Halo. But most of all, I liked Halo Phone’s demonstration and the fact that this technology resulted from a college student’s senior project. Oh, the blue tooth transceiver used in Phone Halo Protect is innocuous enough to attach to your basic adolescent on trips to amusement parks and other venues. After seeing this product for the first time, I’m convinced we’ll see more of this company’s chief technology officer, Chris Herbert in the years to come. Watching this demonstratin I was immediately reminded of two successful past Demo alums, Palm’s Jeff Hawkins and Kerbango’s James Gabel.
MEDL Technologie—A fast Simple Way to add a Second Monitor to Your Portable
As the price of LED panels and portables computers has dropped, it’s become desirous and practical to attach multiple monitors to the ubiquitous portable computer. MEDL Technologies, 13-inch screen is an inexpensive way to attach a second monitor to a portable through a USB connection. I like the idea of more screen real estate on my notebook, since I often have a word processor and live data stream running simultaneously. The software supplied with MEDL Technologies’ LCD screen makes setting up and running a second screen on your notebook a simple task.
My mind has been taken up recently by a book idea that’s been building since I first became a reporter more than four decades ago.
I’ve always questioned whether or not I could turn out a non-fiction book on this specific subject and without realizing it, I’ve come to the decision that it’s time to start in earnest. I’m not going to give the title away in my blog, but this topic is something most of my friends and family have watched me immerse myself in since childhood.
Sitting to my left are three mid-sized boxes of research material including a lot of quantitative data on the subject. Pouring over the data I’ve come to realize that the topic for this book may be as viable today as it was over 150 years ago. Making sense of the numbers behind this subject hasn’t been easy, but watching the totals accumulate reinforces my growing belief that there’s a good book in this topic.
Crunching numbers has never been one of my strengths, but now I’ve reached the point where it’s time to connect faces and stories and tales of explorations succeeded and failed to the numbers. It’s this part of the project that’s exciting to me. The next phase is field research and proof of my preparation for this phase sits in a corner of my garage.
To wit: out in a corner of my garage sit several boxes loaded with an insulated sleeping bag, an inflatable mattress, portable battery operated air pump, a new Sherpa stove, several old blackened by years of camping pots and pans, a small tent,, tarps and collapsible table chairs and my aged Coleman lantern. In a much sturdier wooden box are a mini CD recorder, cameras, a portable printer, and sundry electronic paraphernalia needed to use my computers, cell phones and GPS systems for days on end away from an electrical outlet. Oh and in an old briefcase that’s part of my pile I have an annotated collection of quarter sectional maps for drainages and geographic features that feed the mineral rich districts of northern California.
I’m not packing for a six week hump through the wilds of California, but I recognize the need to be prepared for things that might pop up unexpectedly—such as the need to pull a couple of big trout from Fuller Lake or to punch holes in a tin can from 100 feet away or so with my ancient Ruger .22 or the even older Tokarev semi-automatic pistol I brought home from Vietnam as a war trophy. I also have four volumes of Kevin Starr’s California historical works to keep my engaged while I do my field research.
I have my route all laid out on a Auto Club map of California, and my notepads, pens and pencils are packed in my briefcase with my annotated maps.
I’m using technology to reduce the amount of paper I need to take into the field. High on this list is ClickFree’s back up appliance, which contains much of my text-based research and contact info, then comes my beloved Lenovo X60 ultra-portable with its integrated Verizon data networking card. And just in case there’s I’ve forgotten a file, I’m using a second backup solution that I can access from anywhere I have an Internet connection. I’ve been using Seagate technology’s Free Agent USB-based Free Agent backup device for several months in addition to ClickFree’s device. I love them both but it’s the addition of the networkable FreeAgent DockStar networking adapter that’s let me focus more on research and forget worrying that I left something behind when I start my research up in the northern part of the state on both sides of highway 49/
There are two things that are foregone conclusions as I move my research away from academic and commercial sources and into the field: The first is that my needing to access something back on my home network is a given; Secondly, that piece of information invariably will be in the one folder I didn’t copy to the backup device I take into the field. That’s where Seagate’s DockStar networking adapter saves my bacon.
I’m trying to keep the amount of stuff I haul up to Northern California on this trip manageable.
But what really excites me is meeting 21st Century Argonauts tramping California’s riverbeds, mountains and hills in search of presumed fortunes.
I’ve waited all my life to research and write this. At last, the boy from Azusa now in the autumn of his years has come full circle but has the skills and material to put the story to paper.
And the story has been there in plain sight all these years, just waiting for me to begin tromping the Hills of Placerville, where the winds and the tales of hopeful fortunes waft free. At long last I’m almost ready to write my first book. Jim Forbes on 2/23/2010.
February 24, 2010 in backup devices, Books, California Dreamin', Fun Things, General Weirdness, Life Post Stroke, Mobile Internet, My Life, New books, Portable Computing, wireless | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
Lenovo’s recipe for Skylight ensures persistent connectivity experience with cloud-based productivity and social networking applications.
Approaching Skylight for the first time I had a brief “oh no” moment when I saw what I thought were giant Chiclet style keys. My peanut aversion quickly passed however, when I began using the keyboard to compose something on Twitter. Skylight uses a new type of keyboard that’s based on “island keys”. The keyboard on this portable powerhouse is laid out well enough to eliminate or forestall serious criticism and I like its island style keys.
Another feature of Skylight I like is a hinged USB connector in the space between the top of the keyboard and the screen case. So far that slot has been shown occupied by an external solid state memory stick, but I can see no reason why it couldn’t also be used for a USB-based GPS device or wireless phone for services such as Skype.
Lenovo and its CPU partner for the Skylight platform, Qualcomm, both claim the new machine will have more than 10 hours of battery life. I can find no reason to disbelieve their claim, even when Starlight is used by chatty posters on sites such as Twitter or Facebook.
Seeing and briefly using Lenovo’s Starlight was one of the genuine jaw-dropping moments I’ve experienced in the last several decades. My reaction to it is stronger than the feelings I had when I saw the one sub-compact that’s been my standard setter for the last 20 years, the original HP Omnibook 300.
After using Skylight in Lenovo’s demonstration room at the Venetian Resort and Casino I came away hoping corporations with large number of sales or technicians deployed in the field see this new platform. Most of all, I hope SalesForce.com, or any other company that uses a similar business model recognizes the value of a machine designed for cloud-based computing.
There will be some people who view the monthly connection charges to cell data networks as a real impediment to this machine. I don’t agree, given the success of Apple’s iPhone and the Google Android architecture. I believe Lenovo has taken a bold step with a new design that could become an iconic machine for the early 21st Century. And I’m planning on purchasing one expressly for a project I hope to begin this summer—a book on contemporary gold mining that will see me in the field, researching the story for up to six weeks at a time. With a battery life of 10 hours and the ability to connect to WiFi and cell based networks, I’ll be that person you see hunched over a small smartbook at a public campground in the California motherlode, beyond the hills of Placerville, where the wind that powers my jury-rigged windmill/bicycle headlight generator and gold can still be found.—Jim Forbes on 13 January 2010.
January 13, 2010 in broadband wireless networking, Cloud Computing, Mobile Computer Design, Mobile Internet, netbooks, New Computers, Portable Computing, wireless | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)