HP Elite X3

This Windows 10 Mobile smartphone was just announced at the Mobile World Congress. Specs are impressive. But more impressive is that it can double as a laptop:

  • HP Workspace software enables running of x86 apps via virtualization. This appears to eliminate the need to bring or connect to a Windows computer.
  • Desk Dock is similar to Microsoft’s display dock, enabling you to connect your device to another display/keyboard/mouse using Continuum.
  • Or you can bring your own display and keyboard.  Mobile Extender is a “dumb” laptop through which you can run your X3 via Wifi or USB type C.

Ambitious, particularly HP Workspace. I would be interested in seeing videos of use cases. There will be time, as this bad boy won’t be available until this Summer.

Taking Attendance with Attendance2

attendance2

I teach computer science at a community college. I need to take attendance. I don’t use paper and pen; as my students say, “that’s so yesterday.” Instead, I use an iOS app, Attendance2.

Attendance2 enables me to use touch to record a student’s attendance status. In my implementation, that status toggles among Present, Absent, Excused and Late; you can customize status, order and color coding, and set a default status (which I optimistically set at Present). The app also tracks the totals of each status, and enables you to generate reports and perform backups.

Importing students is reasonably automated. My community college district enables me to export my roster to an Excel spreadsheet. I then use Excel save my roster to a comma separated values format, change a few headings, save the file to DropBox, and then use the app to import the csv file.

The app also supports a second status. You can use that additional status to record class participation, for example.

The cost of the app is a modest $4.99. For schools whose teachers are equipped with iPads, or use iPads or iPhones, Attendance2 is a good paperless solution. I also can see uses for Attendance2 in business scenarios, such as whether employees showed up for work.

ADR Mediation Tool

Compute_02-ADR-Mediation-ToolAttorneys among my readers who use iOS devices may find the ADR Mediation Tool of interest for their next mediation. I haven’t bought this app, much less used it, but iPhone J.D. has a thorough review.

The app appears designed for negotiations in which the offers and counter-offers are in absolute dollars. I’m not sure if the app may be too simplistic for complex negotiations, which involve percentages, sliding scales, etc.

Nevertheless, I probably will buy the app ($9.99) for my next mediation. Recording offers and counter-offers in the app is superior than my current method of writing them down on a pad. The app also has some interesting analytics, such as trends, and for the many smarter than me, Bollinger Bands and Linear Regression. Again, for $9.99, not much of a gamble.

Staad Attaché for iPad Pro or Surface Pro 4

staadThe Staad Attaché from WaterField Designs is my current go-to bag for transporting my iPad Pro or my Surface Pro 4 when I want to travel light.

Attorney David Sparks wrote this review.  My bag is black ballistic and leather rather than his waxed canvas and leather, but otherwise, my experience is similar to his.

The Staad Attaché looks very professional. I’ve carried it into the boardroom, the courtroom, and the classroom.

The Staad Attaché’s inner sleeve easily holds my iPad Pro with an attached Apple Smart Keyboard. The inner sleeve also is large enough to hold instead my Surface Pro 4 with an attached TypeCover and an Incipio sleeve cover.

In addition to the ineer sleeve, the inside has a couple of small pockets which I use for my MiFi, a portable battery and a presentation remote. There’s an area between the pockets and the inner sleeve which is large enough to store my small bag of cables and adapters and the like. This area also could hold some 8 1/2″ x 11″ files or pads, though usually I put those in a pocket at the rear of the bag.  Also in the rear is a handle slip which you can slide over the handle of a larger rolling bag and carry the attaché on top of the rolling bag. The two zippers in the front actually are two sides of one large area in which I stash my phone and keys. Finally, the buckle is convenient to use but secure.

In addition to the top handle, there also is a ballistic strap which attaches to the D-rings at the top. Even stuffed, the bag feels surprisingly light, whether using the strap or the handle.

The Staad Attaché is a great bag if you are traveling light. If you are carrying multiple laptops or otherwise a large load, you have other choices.

Like most stuff from WaterField, the build quality is excellent. Also like most stuff from WaterField, the Staad Attaché isn’t cheap. But you do get what you pay for.

iPad Air 3 – a mini-me iPad Pro?

To be announced March 15, and probably available soon thereafter.

My question is whether #3 will be a smaller iPad Pro. Rumors include a smart connector and Apple Pencil support.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see a smart connector. It’s an easy way to support accessories such as a keyboard.

However, a smart connector would not necessarily mean a mini-me iPad Pro. But Apple Pencil support probably would.

My guess is that the iPad Air 3 will not be a smaller iPad Pro because otherwise would cannabalize sales of the iPad Pro. It also would make the iPad Air 3 more expensive, and cloud the existing differentiation between the two products.

Predictions? Thoughts?

Using netsh to manage WiFi

netsh

Our laptops and tablets usually use WiFi for connectivity. You can manage WiFi via the Control Panel. But you can do more from the command prompt using netsh (network shell). How to manage wireless networks using Command Prompt in Windows 10 shows you how.

Why I’m not a Las Vegas Bookie

sportsbookI thought New England would win, the game being close for a while, but with the Pats pulling away in the 4th quarter, maybe the 3rd. Yes, maybe the Pats could have won had they gotten to OT. However, the Pats were dominated by the Orange Crush. Tom Brady had little time; his OL did not do the job. The game should not have been as close as it was.

I thought Arizona vs. Carolina would be very close, vacillating between who would win. The game had all the suspense of Christians vs. Lions. Carolina was the much better team.

The early odds on the Super Bowl is Carolina -4. My comment: At least. But then again, look how well I predicted the NFL Championship games.

One tech moment was when New England’s Surface tablets failed. Microsoft can’t catch a break.  Players and commentators either refer to their tablets as iPads, or say they wish they were iPads. Maybe the issue was network-related and had nothing to do with the Surfaces. Won’t matter, everyone will remember the Surface tablets didn’t work.

 

Why iPad Pro in addition to Surface?

I have an iPad Pro. Why, since I also have a Surface Book and a Surface Pro 4?

  • The iPad Pro is easier to hold as a tablet than the Surface Book or the Surface Pro 4 screen. Feels lighter and thinner.
  • The iPad Pro’s battery seems to last longer. So I don’t feel the need to add a charger/cable to my gadget bag. A portability advantage.
  • But if I am concerned about battery life, the iPad Pro’s charger is a small cube, not a power brick. This adds to its portability advantage.
  • Navigating the iPad Pro seems more fluid and less buggy. This is subjective but not surprising. Microsoft has made great strides, but Windows is still a keyboard + mouse OS, whereas iOS is optimized for touch.

Continue reading ‘Why iPad Pro in addition to Surface?’

Back among the living

This blog that is … I’ve been fine. This blog has been dormant for about a year and one-half. I’m going to start posting again.

Why has this blog been dormant? Yes, I’ve been busy with work, etc. However, I still am. But looking back, I think the problem was that I was posting long, complex articles which took a lot of time to write … time I did not (and still do not) have.

The solution is not to post short, superficial articles. Well, short is OK, just not superficial. I will be posting short … posts on topics that hopefully will be of interest to my readers.

ThinkPad 10 Tablet

ThinkPad 10 Tablet is the newest addition to my gadget harem. This Windows 8.1 (full, not RT) device has a 10.1” 1920 x 1280 IPS touch screen, but weighs a scant 1.3 lbs and is a svelte .35” thin. The TP10 has an advanced Bay Trail processor (Z3795) + long (> 7 hours) battery life. The piece de resistance, an active digitizer for note-taking. Here are my initial thoughts.

Continue reading ‘ThinkPad 10 Tablet’