My Thoughts On IT…

Brian Lewis's Thoughts on all things Information Technology related

big-viewer-WIFI-04-lrg__V188696053_I had to get a Kindle because it is a technical work of art. It weighs only 8.5 ounces and has an amazing display. After two months I have only needed to charge it about every four weeks! That isn’t marketing – that is real world usage. It has some very cool experimental features too. One is, “Read to me”, a text to speech feature that absolutely rocks. It reads the book to you! Another great experimental feature is a web browser based on webkit.

There are a few areas for improvement.  One disappointment is that the square mouse on the bottom right is clumsy. It is small and hard to get to do exactly what you want. Another big disappointment is that it lacks an RSS or blog reader. You can subscribe to a large list of blogs but they want you to pay for it. Bummer. I would also like to see more applications. There are a few games you can download but that is it.  An SDK for developers would also be nice. I am sure people could think of some great things to do with this device. Hopefully it will have it one day. This device has the potential to have iPad type success but they need to open things up just a little for that.

I have found it to be the best electronic device for reading that I have ever used. Even thought it is only black and white; the quality of the display makes you think it is one of those printed plastic screen protectors that you peel off when you first buy something. The clarity of the display is so fantastic that it often fools my eyes into thinking it is that printed plastic. The biggest benefit for long reading is that my eyes don’t get tired on this type of display. Unlike on an iPad or computer display.

You can pick these up for as low as $114 from amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/Kindle-Special-Offers-Wireless-Reader/dp/B004HFS6Z0/ref=amb_link_355949422_3?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-1&pf_rd_r=1STBVHZDF919TRS7YG5S&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=1293701242&pf_rd_i=507846

big-viewer-WIFI-04-lrg__V188696053_I had to get a Kindle because it is a technical work of art. It weighs only 8.5 ounces and has an amazing display. After two months I have only needed to charge it about every four weeks! That isn’t marketing – that is real world usage. It has some very cool experimental features too. One is, “Read to me”, a text to speech feature that absolutely rocks. It reads the book to you! Another great experimental feature is a web browser based on webkit.

There are a few areas for improvement.  One disappointment is that the square mouse on the bottom right is clumsy. It is small and hard to get to do exactly what you want. Another big disappointment is that it lacks an RSS or blog reader. You can subscribe to a large list of blogs but they want you to pay for it. Bummer. I would also like to see more applications. There are a few games you can download but that is it.  An SDK for developers would also be nice. I am sure people could think of some great things to do with this device. Hopefully it will have it one day. This device has the potential to have iPad type success but they need to open things up just a little for that.

I have found it to be the best electronic device for reading that I have ever used. Even thought it is only black and white; the quality of the display makes you think it is one of those printed plastic screen protectors that you peel off when you first buy something. The clarity of the display is so fantastic that it often fools my eyes into thinking it is that printed plastic. The biggest benefit for long reading is that my eyes don’t get tired on this type of display. Unlike on an iPad or computer display.

You can pick these up for as low as $114 from amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/Kindle-Special-Offers-Wireless-Reader/dp/B004HFS6Z0/ref=amb_link_355949422_3?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-1&pf_rd_r=1STBVHZDF919TRS7YG5S&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=1293701242&pf_rd_i=507846

Image1

This is my favorite graphic for helping explain the IAAS, PAAS, and SAAS paradigms and what it means to IT Pros. Here you can see what you need to manage in the different parts of the stack. As a side note today I have not seen a way for you to avoid managing the local workstations, local networks, and internet connections.

Image1

This is my favorite graphic for helping explain the IAAS, PAAS, and SAAS paradigms and what it means to IT Pros. Here you can see what you need to manage in the different parts of the stack. As a side note today I have not seen a way for you to avoid managing the local workstations, local networks, and internet connections.

image

Writing a phone applications has never been easier thanks to AppMaker! This is total coding for IT Pros! Appmaker is a website that enables you  to build a custom rss reader application for the iPhone, Android, and Windows Phone platforms. It is a web based wizard that you step through and have it create your application. I created an application for this blog site.

The first screenshot is of my application running in the Windows Phone emulator. The next screenshot is of the wizard that I used to create the application. Click on them for a larger view.

RSSreader (Mobile)appmakerwizard (Small)

I will be adding my application to the Windows Phone Market Place so if you have a Windows Phone you can use it! I will be adding a link to my main page once it is posted to the market place.

You can write your own custom RSS reader using AppMaker for free. All you need is this link to the AppMaker website: http://www.appmakr.com/

Enjoy!

image

Writing a phone applications has never been easier thanks to AppMaker! This is total coding for IT Pros! Appmaker is a website that enables you  to build a custom rss reader application for the iPhone, Android, and Windows Phone platforms. It is a web based wizard that you step through and have it create your application. I created an application for this blog site.

The first screenshot is of my application running in the Windows Phone emulator. The next screenshot is of the wizard that I used to create the application. Click on them for a larger view.

RSSreader (Mobile)appmakerwizard (Small)

I will be adding my application to the Windows Phone Market Place so if you have a Windows Phone you can use it! I will be adding a link to my main page once it is posted to the market place.

You can write your own custom RSS reader using AppMaker for free. All you need is this link to the AppMaker website: http://www.appmakr.com/

Enjoy!

office365Office 365 public beta sign up started this week. Office 365 includes SharePoint Online, Exchange Online, Lync Online, Office Web Apps and an optional Office 2010 Professional Plus software package, all available as via subscription.

I have been testing this in the pre-beta and I have been impressed. I expect that many small and medium business will benefit from this offering. It offers these services at a price point impossible to touch for a small company. For those of you who work the IT shop at a small organization you wear many IT hats. This removes some of the hassles from providing communication and collaboration services. Further; you get the economies of scale even though your business doesn’t have thousands of users yet. For those of you who work in IT at a small organization it is a welcome addition!

Sign up and test the Office 365 beta today. It is available in 38 markets and 17 languages. You can sign up at http://www.Office365.com.

The Office 365 Market Place is now open also. This is where you can list your program for sale or find programs from our partners that run on the Office 365 stack.
http://office365.pinpoint.microsoft.com/en-US/Default.aspx

KinectHave you ever wanted to control the TV but you had to search for the remote? Everyone has had that annoyance and wished that there was another way. With the new Netflix app it can respond to your voice or the wave of your hand to control your video playback. The Netflix app still has a way to go to give us total nirvana but it is a great first step and was released this month. If you have an Xbox with Kinect you can download the latest Netflix app and play with it today.  Enjoy!

mobile-venue-pro-design1Ok one of my favorite tech toys this year is my Windows Phone. This week I will blog about several Windows Phone related items including a simple way that none programmers can create an RSS reading applications using a simple web based wizard. I have written one for this blog and I will show you how. I will take a look at what it takes to get it in the app store.

Today I received a link to the Windows Phone channel on You Tube. I found a lot of cool videos and application preview videos. If you have a Windows Phone it shows you some applications you may be interested in using – like the eBay app. If you don’t have a Windows Phone you can evaluate it and see if it makes the short list for your next phone. I expect prices to be low on all smartphones with all the competition in the market.  Check it out: http://www.youtube.com/windowsphone

ivnualogoIt is that time again. The weather is getting warmer and the Illinois Valley Network Users Association spring conference is approaching. The conference is being held in Utica Illinois at Grizzly Jack’s Grand Bear Resort on May 4th and 5th.

They have added a group policy hands on training this year for an added fee. For costs and availability visit their website at: http://www.ivnua.org/

I have worked with the IVNUA folks for over 10 years and they always put on a good conference. I will be there presenting as will my partner in crime Kevin Remde. I hope to see you there!

Brian