Still Reviewing The 7″ Tablet Form Factor

I connected a blue tooth keyboard up to the Toshiba 7″ Encore Tablet and I must say it is a lot easier to type this post. Since this is the second post about this little tablet let’s talk a minute about some of the trade offs you might want to consider when buying a smaller tablet compared to the 10″ models.

  1. First is the screen size itself. You will either need good eye sight or reading glasses when you work with this or any 7″ tablet.
  2.  The touch keyboards. They are good for taking quick notes but if you really want to type you will want a blue tooth keyboard.

Let’s table about some of the selling points or positive points.

  1. The 7″ tablet is very light! You can carry it all day and feel like you have nothing in your bag.
  2. Full Windows Pro operating system. This makes it nice in that you can install all of your favorite apps that you are use to running on your computer.
  3. Your apps will load but you have to understand that you don’t have a lot of hard drive space. I installed the full version of Office 2013 and had to remove it to make room for other apps.

At the end of the day the 7″ will find it’s place in your work flow. But looking at the smaller screen for a long time will make you want something larger. But for catching up on your online world and reading some news this device will find it’s way into your heart. And if you are looking for something for your kids for Christmas then the 7″ form factor will fit the bill.

New Toshiba Encore 7″Mini

I am writing this post on my new 7″ tablet. If anything looks weird its because of this touch screen. The touch keyboard is not bad. The down side if writing with two fingers! I ordered a mouse and keyboard for this device I will report on those items when I get them. So far for $109.00 this little unit works well and is very light to carry. More to come later.

Young Students and Computers

I had the great opportunity to assist with a group of second graders. The teacher was working with the kids to create Photo Stories.

Photo Stories are short video slide shows using still pictures and music to create their videos. Now if that is not amazing enough to see these very young groups creating videos. They also had to open and save their videos to their server drive.

I was working with one youngster and I would ask to have them log onto the server. I watched with amazement as the youngster entered their user name and their password. Open up My Computer and then open their server drive. Then the child opened their saved Photo Story into the application.

You can never have a great player until you have a great coach. This teacher working with these kids showed great patients and guidance with these young children.

Kids today are learning younger and younger to use computers and iPads in their daily education. I really hope that our colleges don’t crush this as they get to their secondary education years? I have seen many colleges on recent visits living in the stone ages. I think in the coming years the students will show the demand for the colleges to move forward or be left holding empty sacks of cash.

Kids ComputersImage from Google Images

Books On Paper

I know I have talked about e-readers in the past and I could tell you a million reasons to have one. But today I am going old school and I am going to tell you why it is also nice to have a paper book.

On Tuesday I had the great pleasure of meeting and hearing a author in person. I have been reading her books for years and always waiting for the next book in the series to be released.

After the talk there was a book signing. Now if I had my handy dandy e-reader where would she have signed it. What happens one day when I buy a new e-reader? What happens if my e-reader breaks? These are all the thoughts that ran through my head as I was buying two of her books. The author by the way is J.A. Jance.

My hard back books are like treasures to me. I keep them all of them on book shelfs even though I will most likely never re-read them. Now I have one with a autograph.

I still love my kindle and I read it everyday. It is nice to travel with such a collection of books. It even allows me to sometimes read two books at once. I will have a good fiction going the same time I have a important non-fiction going to learn something new.

At the end of the day, Kindle, E-Readers or Books as long as you have something in your hands and you are pouring knowledge or just enjoyment into your brain then you are doing well. I feel if we don’t excise it then it may just stop working to soon. Reading this blog each day also helps. At least I hope to get the mind churning.

Kindle Books

 

DVD’s Are Dying

In this world we live in media is for ever changing. We talked once about how music has changed over the years and now we are seeing a shift in videos. From DVD to streaming content over the Internet.

I think just like the cassette tapes of year gone by we will also see the DVD slowly move into history. I know I used to sell a lot of training DVD’s and they have been on a decline over the past few years. I now offer my content as online streaming media.

Soon you will no long find a DVD player. Just try looking for a VHS player, they are becoming very hard to find. I know we had boxes of old tapes that we gave away because we no longer have a VHS player.

So what if tomorrow there were no more DVD players? How many movies do you have in boxes or under your TV that you still enjoy watching once in awhile? There is hope and it works really well.

Using your computer and it’s DVD drive you can use a process called ripping. This is where you take the DVD and turn it into a streaming file and then using your home network stream it to your TV set. It is also nice because you can build a library of videos to watch when you want.

First download a FREE program MKV MAKER. This program is easy to use. You put the DVD in your drive and with a few mouse clicks you will have your movie file. Make one folder on your computer called videos and store them all in one place.

Once you are done ripping download a program called PLEX SERVER. Another FREE program that you run on your computer that will host all of your titles.

Last buy either a ROKU box or a Google Chrome Cast and connect it to your TV. Open up the PLEX APP and it will find your PLEX server on your computer and you will see all of your titles and be able to watch them when you want to and time. You can also stream your videos to your tablets.

Plex

Creating On The IPad

I hear that Microsoft will be releasing a version of office for the IPad? They are doing this at the expense of their very own Windows tablets because they don’t have a full version of office yet for their own platform.

I wanted to write this today again not to give you the tech news that has already been reported. But to tell you we have been creating on the IPad ever since they have been released into the wild. There has to be ways to create on the IPad they have been and are used in schools since they were first put on the market. I want to give you a few programs that already work very well on the IPad.

DocsToGo: I have been using this app ever since I was using a Blackberry. The app allows you to create slide shows, write documents, and create spread sheets. Not only that it allows you to open all forms on Microsoft documents.

Google Docs: Install the app Google Drive and have access to all of your Google Docs on your IPad. You can even create new documents while on the go. And best yet they since up with your Google Drive on all of your devices.

Key Note, Numbers and Pages: These are native apps written for the IPad from the creator of the IPad. Yes Apple and if you have a Mac you can open these documents anytime on the Mac from the Apple Cloud service.

So should we really be excited because now much like every time in history Microsoft is jumping on the moving band wagon? Here is the real kicker that set me on fire. This is going to be a subscription based service. Which means folks that you have to pay a monthly or a yearly fee to use office on your IPad! Stick with the one time paid or FREE apps. You will be happier at the end of the day.

If you have any other ideas for creating documents, spread sheet and slide shows on the IPad please comment and let me know what you are using.

Apps

 

Laptop Or Desktop?

I wish I had a nickel for every time I am asked this question. Jack I am buying a new computer, should I buy a laptop or a desktop? Also will I be able to work the laptop is it harder then my old desktop?

First should you buy a laptop or a desktop? My first response to this question is what will you be doing with the computer? If you always find yourself sitting at a desk and working over the keyboard, then the desktop will save you some money. On the other hand if you find yourself sitting on your couch with your desktop in your lap, then it is a laptop you are crying out for.

Just think of how many times you were or wished you could be portable. Laptops often get confused with being only for business. This is not true. I find many people just enjoying not being tied to their desks. In our house you will always find one of our family members with the laptop on their lap looking up things as they are watching TV. I enjoy using the laptop on the deck in the summer, enjoying the warm nights with a cold beer and a little web surfing.

Next is it hard to use a laptop. You might be laughing right now. Really don’t laugh, I have a good friend that has been working with computers for as long as I have. He still does not like the feel of the laptop keyboard. Some people really like the feel of the desktop keyboard, because the keys are spaced a part and have a little more travel room as you hit them. In the end all computers work the same way. And if you don’t like using the track pad, pick up a USB mouse and plug it into your laptop.

At the end of the day I really can’t tell you which computer would be the best for what you do. You have to make that choice. I use both desktop and a laptop and an IPad in my daily computing life. Of course I am in this crazy business so all three just fit. Once you make a choice don’t turn back. If you buy a laptop, allow yourself time to get use to the keyboard; if you buy a desktop then be happy with your choice. In the end as long as you are computing then you will be a happier person.

DekstopLaptop

Is Paper Print Dying Off?

This is a question we get everyday on the job. With all of the digital content floating around and with all of the access to cloud based storage drives, there is a decrease in paper being used. If you want to lower the paper use in your business you need to follow a few simple steps.

  1. Provide all of your office workers with a sharing solution. This will allow them to share, read and edit documents without printing them.
  2. Remove any desktop printers that you have. If you ask your office workers to walk to the printer, you will see a drop in the printing.
  3. Create a central monitored printing area. This could be one office worker that see all of the print jobs.

I really didn’t want this to turn into a lesson on creating a printing plan. I wanted to point out that print on paper is dying off. I have noticed over the years in education there is a lot less printing happening.

The last thought is that we consume the written word in a different way. I know I read my Kindle and IPad more then I ever have a paper, book or even magazines. It is sad I have been reading book for the better part of 47 years, I enjoy them but I don’t get hung up on the smell or the feel of the book. If we hold back we should go back? Remember the wringer washing machine, no one said a word when those went away?

Magazines

Creating Content with your Tablet

Most people if not all will tell you that they use their tablet for reading or watching videos. If you watch the commercials you will notice that everyone is using the tablet to consume information and content.

Apple’s new commercial is showing the IPad and way’s that you can use to create content. I have been carrying my IPad to meetings and conferences for years. I have always use it for keeping notes. I have also used it for writing books, creating short videos, and recording audio. You can also use it to broadcast your audio online with a simple app. So yes you can create content.

The tablets have been out selling laptops and the laptops have been out selling desktops. Why? Because people want to be mobile, or at least not attached to a desk. Make you wonder why computing in schools are still taught at desks? Or why for that matter office workers are still made to sit at a desk and look at a monitor. Maybe allow your office staff to roam around the office space and create on their tablets?

A few applications or apps I use on the IPad are. DocsToGo: for creating slide shows, documents, and spread sheets, Numbers: Another Spread Sheet Program, Keynote: Another slide show creator, Pages: Another app to create documents. I use Garage Band to create audio files or for podcasts. And one of my favorite programs of all is EverNote, it allows me to sync my note over all of my devices.

So yes you can create content on your tablet. We have one staff member using her IPad on a daily bases to create all of her content. Talking to her yesterday was proof that this can be done. Now put that laptop down and get to work on your tablet!

Full Tablets

New Media and New Gadgets

I would like to invite you to enjoy some new media that I have been working on for this blog. Sometime ago I created a podcast for this blog called, “This Week In The Blog”. Each Saturday I give you a audio recap on my weekly blog postings and now I added five tech news items. This week I did the podcast LIVE and recorder it. Let me know what you think of the podcast and the LIVE session. Here are links to both the podcast and the recorded live show. If you would like to subscribe to the podcast check it out on ITunes,

ITunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/jacks-tech-corner-podcast/id770207488?mt=2

Podcast Page: http://podcast.jackstechcorner.com/

Video: http://www.youtube.com/jackstechcorner

NEW GADGETS

And so I begins, CES which is the Consumer Electronics Show. The show is held in Las Vegas each year. It allows all of the electronic makers to show their newest gadgets. For the past few years it has been a TV fest. From what I have been reading it looks like we will be seeing more ultra books. And yes more tablets. Acer is set to release a new tablet for $149.00. If I find anything this week from the show floor I will be sure to share it with all of you.