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February 10, 2011#

5 years ago I happened across this little video that got my heart going pitter-pat.  It was a ‘concept’ video from Microsoft highlighting a product called “Origami”.  It may be hard to imagine in the age of Android and iPhones, but it used to be that computers were big and bulky and the idea of carrying something so small and powerful in your pocket was a pipe dream.  In the video (you can view it below), there were a handful of people interacting with this small hand-held computer.  It was different than what was currently going on in the PC world not because it had unique features, but because the product was seen as a part of life…not in an office or at a desk…it’s with you wherever you go, useful for whatever you do.  I saw this video and I thought, “could this really happen?  is this real?”.  It turned out that the video was more or less a teaser and there was little information at the time about an actual product existing.  About a year later though, products called UMPC’s (ultra mobile personal computer) began trickling out from a handful of manufacturers…but the early reviews were less than stellar.  So it seemed that the dream was better than reality.

While all of this was happening though…I have the distinct feeling that someone at Apple watched the concept video and thought to themselves “We can do that.”  And they did and they called it the iPad.

So, I guess the moral of the story is…if you have an idea and you want to inspire people, make sure you can follow through with it.  Otherwise, you may just inspire your competition.

August 13, 2010#

QR Codes – Technobabble

Much like life, I’m not sure where this is headed, but I’ve been prompted a few times lately that I should start blogging more. Even if it’s short or possibly irrelevant to my readers. How can I expect people to be faithful readers/followers if I’m not a faithful poster/writer. So…with that said…

I just discovered QR Codes. Maybe I’m late to the party, I know I’ve seen them around for a long time, but with the purchase of an iPhone 4 there are a lot of old things that are new again. I won’t bore you too much with all of the technical details of what QR codes are…for that you can head over to wikipedia. This is the simple version- QR codes are basically like barcodes only a lot more complex. They can contain text, URL’s, contact information, geographic locations, and so on. The appeal is that you can grab a large amount of info in the blink of an eye…and that the information is somewhat encrypted without a reader. So, it’s kind of like the old days of invisible ink and decoder pens only a much higher tech version. Of course some of it is somewhat redundant since you could just use bump to transfer contact/facebook info or take a photo of a billboard or product and just google it later…but there’s also a bit of a game attached to QR Codes. We’ll see where it goes, but it could be an interesting technology to use in the future…just as long as there’s no tattooing it on my hand or forehead!

September 4, 2008#

My Five [Tech]

My boss/pastor asked me to send out a little survey to find out some information about leaders in our denomination. They were fairly simple questions like “What are the top 5 books you’ve read in the past 3 years”. I think it will be interesting to hear what comes back in the results.

That led me to a question of my own- What are the top 5 pieces of technology that make my job easier/better? Well, without further due, here they are:

5. Amazon Prime – I’ve mentioned this a time or two before, but I just love this service. Amazon as we all know has pretty much everything under the sun. Add to that the idea of getting it shipped to you in two days for free or overnight for just $4 and you have a winning combination. With gas prices and time being as tight as they are, this service just makes it easier for me to get what I need quickly and cheaply.

4. Scansnap Sheetfed Scanner – from the moment I plugged this thing in I was in awe. Scanning documents used to be a big pain in the neck, but the scansnap is…well…a snap! Drop in your document, hit the big green button, and within seconds it scans and drops everything into a PDF. No more flipping through file folders looking for certain documents…all it takes is a keyword search and I have the document on my screen.

3. Dropbox/Mozy – until I actually had a job I didn’t really see the value in online storage solutions, but within the first few weeks my eyes were opened. I used a flash drive to transfer files back and forth between home and work, but I would forget it or forget to save it on the drive and it quickly became a pain. So, dropbox allows me to sync files between home and work so I don’t have to worry about what is here or there. Mozy backs up my documents to an offsite location which is particularly handy when I’m using the scansnap to scan documents and I no longer have hard copies.

2. Adobe Illustrator – oh wow, what can I say about this program…I would be lost without it! Everything from brainstorming, to print graphics, to powerpoint presentations are worked out in illustrator. At first I didn’t get it and I still have trouble jumping from Illustrator to Photoshop, but Illustrator definitely makes sense to me and I can make it do just about whatever I want. My only complaint is that I wish Adobe would make something for presentations so I could avoid dealing with Powerpoint!

1. THE iPhone. – it’s no secret that I’m a fan of this little piece of genius. It’s one of those devices that you wonder how you did life before you had it! It’s essentially a computer in my pocket, constantly within reach of the web, my photos, my music, and of course the phone and texting isn’t bad either.

So that’s it. What would be on your list?

July 9, 2008#

iPhone Day.

After a year of waiting, I’m finally going to become an iPhone owner this week…but not like you might think. When the iPhone came out I debated getting one, but at the time I didn’t need a new phone, Jen did. So she got one and I was forced to envy hers. Christmas rolled around and she decided to splurge and get one for me, but after some careful consideration I decided to hold off and see what was around the corner. Sure enough, just a few days later information started to surface about the 3G version…

Fast forward to a couple weeks ago when the iPhone 3G was announced. I was overall happy about the announcement and especially the price, but it was short lived when the new plans from AT&T were announced. It may be $200 cheaper than the first generation…but over the period of 2 years it ends out costing $160 more…and continues to be more every month. I would rather pay more upfront and not over a long period of time (and that’s true of anything).

So, I debated and crunched the numbers over and over but just couldn’t justify the extra cost for GPS & 3G. Especially when 3G doesn’t yet cover my area. So, I hit up craigslist and ebay and eventually found an unopened first gen iPhone and bought it yesterday. It should be in Thursday or Friday and while everyone else is waiting in line and signing the next two years of their life away, I’ll quietly activate my phone from home and be happy with the upgrade.

a year of patiently, patiently waiting…and while I could have bought one long ago, I think it was a valuable lesson to be learned and I’m proud of myself for waiting so long.

February 26, 2008#

k2 + cssedit = design bliss

So, this site has undergone minor surgery. I modified my k2 theme and worked on some customization. It’s a far cry from what I have in my mind, but it’s a change and change is good. I also took the liberty of giving Jen’s site a revamp. I used this little program called CSSEdit, which is Mac only (unfortunately). I can say beyond doubt that it is the best and easiest CSS editor I’ve ever come across. Dreamweaver is nice but cumbersome, the webdev toolbar is handy but lacks some intuitiveness, and everything is just falls short.

It’s really been fun working things out and solving little issues…I’m looking forward to my next site already…

January 22, 2008#

3 things I’m excited about addicted to.

1. Amazon Prime – right before the holidays I read a post from some guy saying that he didn’t shop at any B&M (brick & mortar) stores, but did all of his shopping on “Amazon Prime”. Prime? Never heard of it. So I did a little digging and basically Amazon Prime is a subscription to free shipping. You pay $80 a year and for it you get unlimited free TWO DAY shipping on any item that comes directly from Amazon.com ($4 gets you overnight service). The only downside of this is that not all of the stuff on Amazon is actually from Amazon. They have partnerships with hundreds of companies and a lot of the stuff isn’t eligible. But there are still plenty of things and I’m pretty sure that I’ve already got my $80 worth and it’s not even February yet. The added bonus- I get to say that I’m an “Amazon Prime” member which makes me sound special.

2. Vimeo.com – For a while I’ve been looking into an upgrade on my church’s video camera (and partially curious for personal use as well). I did a search for some high def sample footage and ended out at this site called Vimeo. Essentially Vimeo is a youtube like site, only with a much smaller community and a much stronger focus on the artistry of film making. The real bonus from the site and what sets it apart from many others is that there are hundreds if not thousands of HD clips. I have a pretty big pipe to get this stuff, but I’m still amazed at how fast it buffers and plays at such incredible quality.

3. 24″ iMac – Yes, it’s true I’ve finally decided to switch and as we speak my new 24″ iMac is on it’s way here. I will admit that there is some hesitation and wonder as to how I’m going to like working in OS X all the time, but I have a feeling it’s going to be all good. The added bonus- the ability to watch and record true HD.

December 14, 2007#

Vista that which I hate, despise, loath, etc

No exageration, I have spent probably 20-30 hours this week fighting with my stupid computer in an effort to get connected to the local wireless connection. Jen’s Macbook on the other hand has had no problems.

So…let’s work through this…
wireless adapter #1 – incompatible with Vista, crashes the system upon boot.
adapter #2 – works for 4-5 days before giving “local only” errors.
adapter #3 – works for 2 days and gives the same “local only” error.

Scouring the internet for solutions brought me back to find out there is no solution. Service Pack 1 Release…no help.

My current setup consist of a cat5 cable running from my computer into jen’s macbook and her sharing her wireless connection with me.

Anyone care to donate to the “Dave need’s a Mac Fund”? The moment I get a few extra bucks or get a job lined up after Radio City, I’m buying a Mac. I’m done with Vista.

September 15, 2007#

selling some stuff.

Hey, I doubt that this will do much good considering the very limited audience that reads my blog, but I thought I would post a few things that I’m about to sell, just in case there is any interest-

Guitar- 1974 Guild Starfire IV, $1200 Pics here.
PDA – Dell Axim x51v + extra battery, $200
DVDs – CSI Season’s 1-5, $50

Also, I might be selling these two items:

iMac G4 (1ghz, 768mb RAM, 80GB HD), $500
Nikon F100, $250

if you’re interested, comment to this post or email me silentfool [at] gmail.com

September 6, 2007#

techno babble

So, I’m feeling a little tech talk coming on. Be warned, all you non-techie types.

First, the iPhone. No, I don’t have one…but, my wife does, which is almost as good. Let me just say, this thing is amazing. All the naysayers that have complaints are frankly, just big babies. It truly is life-changing-amazing. We’ve already had several experiences where it saved us a ton of time, not to mention a few bucks. Google maps is worth the price of admission alone!

Have you got the picture yet? I really like it.

Is it perfect? no.

You can’t replace the battery, EDGE isn’t as fast as it could be, the audio jack is annoying, and it’s pricey. But when you put it up next to every other phone on the market…it kicks major tail. So, pending there aren’t any big announcements from Google or Apple in the next 4-5 months, I’ll probably be getting one too.

*I started this post before the price drop and was ticked for a good 24 hours, but they just announced a $100 kick back for the “early adopters”. more on this later*

That brings me to the second topic, which is related, this site called seeqpod.com. I found this site through a iPhone app search. I was pretty impressed with it and just realized today that it’s even better when you have a full pc and not just the iPhone. I won’t spoil it and tell you too much since it’s fairly self explanatory…but here’s the basic gist – you search for a song, any song…you find it, you add it to a playlist…you play the song…instantly. INSTANTLY. Sure, you’re not going to find every song known to man, but there’s a lot out there…and it’s quick and easy and just cool. So check it out before it gets shut down by the RIAA.

So back to Apple…I am truthfully nearing the fan-boy neighborhood (meaning, i really, really like apple). This $100 rebate is just unheard of in the tech world…and the fact that they’re doing it, makes me want to keep coming back to them, and that is just plain old good business. I keep working with their systems and learning how their stuff works…and with each new line of products I am just amazed. Truthfully, the only thing holding me back from going full out Mac is #1 Price, #2 MS Office is not pretty and #3 no Media Center. Sure I could boot into windows or do parallels and run my MS stuff, but media center won’t really work with TV recordings.

So anyway, I’m really babbling now. I should probably draw this post to a close before I allow you to find out how big of a geek I really am…or maybe it’s too late.

June 6, 2007#

my workspace

Inspired by this competition on Lifehacker, I thought I might take a few shots of my workspace and post them for all to see. Follow links to Flickr for notes on the equipment (embedded in pictures)

Workspace Overview
Workspace Overview audio Power cables Rearview, no pictures workhorse Printers/scanner Workspace backside Cable managment The view from my desk iMac