Using Only An iPad For A Day

iPad

I think that I have tried this test before but to my defense, I was trying it for a week. During this test, I think I will scale this back a little. I will be going for one day.

Now everyone knows what I do for a living. I am a Technology Manager for a company with a World Wide reach. On my daily task list, I never know what will come up. I can be working on a server one minute and then have to work on a router in another country. So I will not only have to think about local connections I also have to consider dealing with remote connections to other parts of the World.

So you might ask why I am doing such a test? I want to be able to grab the iPad and toss it in a bag and know that I can be of use outside of the office and away from any so-called normal computers.

I am starting already this morning by posting this to the blog using the iPad. If you are wondering about the keyboard I am using it is just a Bluetooth keyboard I found on Amazon for about $10.00.

I will attempt again to connect this iPad to a larger monitor and see if I can get that to work? I will give you more updates as I run into issues during the day. Keep your fingers crossed.

Laravel and Linux

I have been spending some time working with Laravel on a Linux Machine. If you have never heard of Laravel it is a frame work that allows you to develop database driven web application. It really shines in that it allows for a more rapid production of your applications.

Once you install all of the needed Linux applications such as, “Apache2, MariaDB or MySQL, Json and PHP” you then install Laravel into it’s own web directory.

I am still in the early phases of learning this new way to write my web applications. But from the videos I have watched I know it will speed up development. I will give you more on this subject and maybe even show some test applications as I get them built. But for know I would suggest that you have a look. My last thought is that it is Open Source and FREE to use!

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CentOS and Nano Editor

CentOS

So what else is there to do on the weekend but learn new ways of doing things? I took time this morning and set up a CentOS Linux Virtual Machine. I wanted to do this to see how different it is from Ubuntu. I knew all I wanted to look at was this command line version. I really don’t need the desktop GUI on a server.

When I installed CentOS I choose to install the minimal installation. Little did I know this only installs the base kernel and just enough to get the system up and running.

I also update and upgrade my installs of Linux before I try to install any packages or applications. I tried (sudo apt-get update) I received a return that this is no apt-get? Then it hit me I seen somewhere with CentOS the installer is YUM. I then typed (yum update) I was off the races.

Next, I installed mariadb and httpd. Once the httpd was installed and started using systemctl I tested to see if I could bring it up the test site. There is none installed with the package. So I type (nano) no program found? Once again it was a simple (yum nano) after a quick install I had my editor.

I wrote the simple html page you see above and saved it under (var/html) as index.html and set up the firewall to allow the port 80 traffic and it worked like a charm.

Why am I doing all of this work? I believe in continuing my training with Linux. It is a powerful server. I also was blown away by how fast CentOS boots. I rebooted the server and it was up in seconds. I am sure I will have more on this in the near future. I will also be doing a write up of my install and will add it to the paid memberships to share with everyone. More to come soon!

Windows Insider Program

Insider Program

I signed up for the Windows Insider Program some time ago. Once I did it I really didn’t give it much thought until this morning. I made it to the office this morning and my computer said it was applying updates. Nothing out of the ordinary, RIGHT?

Well after the computer rebooted the above picture is what I am now seeing on my production laptop. How can I get a new build and it is an evaluation copy? I had a fully registered version of Windows 10 on my laptop before this was applied. Now I just hope that at some point it will be fully registered again?

Be sure that I will be keeping an eye on this. I also noticed that my HDMI monitor looks really bad. I will also be talking about this on the next show of Tips From The Server Room.

Learning By Doing Linux

Ubuntu Linux

I have been talking about Linux in the last few podcasts at Tips From The Server Room. Most of you who have been listening to me for awhile know that I don’t just talk about something I jump in with both hands and learn from the inside.

So the truth is I am running this in Virtual Box and I have it up on one of my monitors at work. But I am trying to do most of my daily work using this version of Ubuntu. I know it’s not the experts Linux but remember I am no expert.

I am writing this post using the Ubuntu VM and I am using Firefox. Really feels like using any other computer. I was even able to install a few extensions into the browser which makes it easier to work.

I feel pretty confident that the Libra Office programs will not keep up with our Excel spreadsheets? I am always one to test it out? I already install SubLime Text so PHP programming is the same as Windows and the Mac.

If you have never tried the desktop version of Linux I would suggest you give it a try. Remember we are all learning together to build our resumes. The more you know they more chances of getting hired or just getting advancements.

Microsoft Surface Fits Where?

Surface

I was handed a Microsoft Surface at work and asked to find out where or how it would fit into our daily workflow. We now have multiple devices for every employee. So where will this device fit in and just how good is it? I have been using an iPad as my tablet for years and I make it work with apps that I use day to day. I can say with the Surface being a Windows device it makes more sense in business that is a Microsoft shop such as we are. The screen size seems a little larger than the iPad which is nice. And the keyboard is attached even with a magnet that is better than the one I carry around with the iPad. It is also nice that I can connect the Surface to the same docking system we are using for our Windows laptops. I might have to give that more of a try and make sure everything works. I did just notice that I need to find a way to turn off the trackpad when using a mouse?

As you might have guessed I am writing this posting using the Surface and I find the keyboard is not bad. It has a little spring action on this model but I think this model is a few years older but still working well. I did upgrade it to Windows 1903 and everything seems to be working well. I think with a little practice I can get used to the keyboard. I just got the touchpad turned off when the mouse is connected. Progress is a good thing.

I will give you more updates as I become more aware of how this device works with our office workflows and do some more testing with this device.

Will Google and Chromebooks Replace PC’s

Chomebooks

I was walking through Wal-Mart the other day and seen this rather large display of Chromebooks. If you don’t know what a Chromebook is or how they work I will give you a little insight.

A Chromebook runs the lite version of a FREE operating system. When you open the Chromebook it will turn on and be ready in seconds. You log into the Chromebook with a Google account or just think of this as your Gmail account. So this is not Windows or an Apple Mac. It is a Chromebook. With the Chromebook, almost everything you do will be online. This means you will work on documents or spreadsheets on a browser.

I often get asked the question. Can you install Windows games on the Chromebook? The simple answer is NO! But you can play thousands of online games. The next question. Can you install any programs on the Chromebook? Well, the good news is YES! A few years ago Google opened up the Play Store on the Chromebook and now you can install Android Apps on the Chromebook.

So your last question would be why would I buy a Chromebook? This question is easy. If you don’t need large powerful Windows programs or some program that runs on a Mac then the Chromebook can be for you. If you never want your computer to slow down again and never get a virus or pay for anti-virus than the Chromebook is for you. If you would like to pay as little as $150.00 for a laptop that will last you for years then the Chromebook is for you!

My final thought is that you can even now use Microsoft Office Online. Of course, you need a paid subscription but it works well. I need to look into buying another Chromebook for myself. Since I am not working in schools at this point I don’t get to get my hands on them enough.

Reset Windows 10 Computers

You might ask why would I want to reset my computer? Or if you reset will you lose all of your files? Let’s first talk about why you would want to reset your computer or better yet Windows 10. From time to time many people say their computer is running slow. It must be getting too old? Well, the truth is that your computer is just getting bogged down with to much junk over time. If you do a full system reset you will find your computer will run like it came out of the box. The second question is will you lose all of your files? The answer is NO! When you go to do this system reset simply select the option that will save all of your files. The best way to do a system reset is to back all of your files up either on an external hard drive or a flash drive or better yet cloud storage. Next, perform a full system reset and remove all old files this will make for a cleaner running system.

So how can we do this you might be asking? It is very simple to perform a system reset. First, click on the Start Button and in the search box type Reset and click on the top result. It should look like this.

Search ResetOnce you open the System Reset select which one you wish to perform. You will get a couple warning messages just keep clicking OK. The system will begin to reset. This will install a fresh copy of Windows 10 onto the machine.

System ResetOnce your computer is done cleaning up files and removing anything it does not need the computer will reboot and you will see this screen. Just keep the computer plugged in and leave it until it returns to the setup screen. Resetting

The computer has been fully reset when you come up to this final window and begin the post set up phase.Post Setup

 

 

 

New Snip & Sketch Windows Tool

If you have been keeping up with your Windows updates then you have the new Snip & Sketch Tool. This tool replaces or for now sits with the on Snipping Tool in Windows 10. When I first started checking this new tool out I felt it was over blotted until I started using it. Now it is easy to make a new snip. Hold down the Windows Key, Shift and then hit S. A box will appear at the top of the screen. You will notice that your cursor will change to a crosshair. You just drag your mouse across what you want to snip.  Once you complete your snip you will see this box appear. Now, this is where the magic happens.

SnipandSketch

You can mark up your snip with the tools at the top of the program.

Marking Up

You can also click the pull-down menu on the RIGHT to share you snip in many different ways.

Sharing Snips

You can still just click on the menu bar for copy and paste the snip into an email or a web page. This new program is worth a look and once you start looking at it and using it you will do like I did make it your default.

Compare before you buy Audio Books

I have been receiving emails for a few weeks now with this great offer for low-cost audiobooks. I am sure I have been receiving these ads because I have been looking into finding some audiobooks to listen to during the day when I am working in the office. I received an ad for this great new low-cost audiobook service called “Chirp”. Once you sign up you will get many ads in your email with book deals of the day. I can say that most of them look really good from .99 up to $2.99. But when I went to look for authors I read I was LET DOWN! I see now how they offer low prices on books you never heard of it is because the books you want they double the price then try to make you believe it is 10% cheaper than other sites. BEWARE!

Here is one example and I have found more. This is an author I have been reading for years JA Jance. I searched and was happy to find her audiobook on their site. But then I jumped to Amazon to compare the prices and well you can see the results below. Shop around before you buy.

Chirps

Now have a look at Amazon’s price for the same audiobook.

Amazon

I still might use them to listen to authors I have never heard of? But when you want to read something or hear it from a known author shop around.