Monthly Archives: February 2013

New England at its Best

This morning we saw a convergence of weather front,  the remnants of a wet snow covering everything and warm air and cold snow which brought the fog in. Sterling, Massachusetts and neighboring West Boylston are frequently picturesque, but this morning was special.  Gone like an eclipse, we were able to capture a few moments.

Posted in Nature, Uncategorized. Tagged with , .

iPad vs Microsoft Surface

Advantage iPad: The iPad with Apples iOS is much more intuitive, much more fun, much more friendly and always online. It has a much nicer acceptance of your finger as a pointer and selection tool. The iPad Store has more than 300,000 apps available compared to Microsoft Store under 20,000. The iPad is 4G compatible which means you don’t need to be near a hot spot to be connected. Lastly, the iPad is just plane fun!

Advantage Surface: The Surface has a wonderful wide screen display wonderful for HD Movies and Videos. It is a Windows device, so if you are a Windows user, all the software you have been using is available. It has a USB, so I can and do connect a wireless mouse. It can and will replace the need for me to carry my 17″ laptop around when I travel! The Surface has a Micro-HDMI port along with USB and Micro SD slot. The iPad requires an adapter. The entire bevy of Windows software is available for the Surface with Windows 8 Pro. Lastly, the Surface is a business tool with the familiarity and capability of your desktop at home or the office.
Bottom line? Winner? No clear winner! I need both!

Posted in Technology.

Windows 8 Pro

Windows 8 is the new OS from Microsoft replacing Windows 7 and giving it a new look and feel

20130217-135147.jpgdesigned for touch screens and especially tablets. It might be a natural for Xbox 360 users because that is the interface that you will first see.

So it takes a little getting used to begin using your new Windows 8 computer because there is no familiar desktop, no start button in the lower left hand corner. But on closer scrutiny, you will find a desktop and a task bar just like the good old days. But you will never find the start button. It is gone! However, there are now 3rd party applications which will bring it back to life in a big way.
With touch screen on a tablet, you can sweep your finger from the left to change applications or see a list of running applications. Sweep from the right and you will see the date and time along with start, search and settings options.

The Start option provides a ‘metro’ look at available programs in square or rectangle icons. The icons are dynamic, so your photos icon displays photos from your computer, Facebook, SkyDrive or Flickr online accounts. The People icon displays images from your social network like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google Connect, etc.

In summary, we will all get used to Windows 8 but Microsoft, in their infinite wisdom, continues to take two steps forward and one step back.

Posted in Technology.

Microsoft Surface

At first glance, the Surface is a sleek wide-screen (16:9) high resolution tablet with super crisp

20130217-134218.jpgdisplay. It has a magnesium stand (the entire device is magnesium clad) that clicks out from the back side and a sleek keyboard cover that snaps into place magnetically into place making it look more like a laptop than a tablet. It starts quickly and easily with Windows 8 Pro which I will talk about in the next section. IT has a USB port (awesome) and a Micro SD memory card slot. It also has an earphone jack and an interesting magnetic connector for power or pen. The USB port is wonderful because you can connect a mouse or normal keyboard or a USB Hub so you can connect multiple USB devices. Being able to use a mouse and full keyboard makes seem like a laptop or desktop.

Mine came with 64gb of disk solid-state space (because the 128gb model was out of stock). After I installed a full version of Office 2010, I was left with a mere 20gb of space. Not a lot of space! That said, with the use of cloud computing options like Microsoft Skydrive, Yahoo Flickr, Dropbox, Vimeo, Facebook, and others, most of my data is in the cloud so the space required is really used on programs.

There are two choices in keypads available. A touch and a type. The touch is a slim 3mm thick with embossed keys that are touch sensitive. The type keyboard is more like a normal keyboard. I like both very much although it takes a short time to get used to the touch version.

The Microsoft Surface has a Corning Gorilla Glass 2 screen which makes it nearly impervious to scratches or cracking.

All things considered, I love the design, clarity and Windows of the new Surface! I also love that it is a Windows device with all the features of my desktop. Things I use everyday like Outlook, OneNote, Excel, a Mouse and a keyboard!

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