Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

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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.

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Back to the Future

2014-03-29_17-00-54Some of my 20-something Computer Science students at the community college where I teach see me as a living fossil because of the several decades age difference between us. Their perception is reinforced when I tell them I use decades-old tools like batch files. However, sometimes an oldie can still be a goodie. If you’re interested, read on.

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Windows 8 Upgrade Purchase Nightmare (and Solution)

I decided to upgrade my Samsung Series 7 slate to Windows 8. I was a bit concerned about the upgrade process. However, I figured Microsoft would make it easy for me to give them my money. I was wrong.

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Ultrabook not MacBook Air

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I really like the MacBook Air’s lightweight form factor, powerful processor, beautiful screen and long battery life. If only there was a Windows laptop like that. Well there is, or soon will be – the Ultrabook.

If you’d like a definition of Ultrabook more precise than a Windows clone of a MacBook Air, you can read What’s an Ultrabook? on Ultrabook News, a site started by my friend Steve “Chippy” Paine. 

Chippy tweeted me the other day that the first Ultrabooks will be out in about a month. Will I get one? Do bears sleep in the woods?

Dante (2003 – 2011)

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My wife Devvie and I lost today our beloved Italian Greyhound Dante (fawn colored on the right). He seemed fine until yesterday. But yesterday he seemed listless, then limp. That evening Devvie took him to animal emergency (I was teaching). They diagnosed a bleeding mass by his spleen and liver.

Today we took him to the surgeon to have the mass removed. Unfortunately, the ultrasound showed a cancer that had spread throughout his liver. Nevertheless, we were willing to proceed with surgery if that would give him even some chance of prolonging his life by several comparatively healthy months. Therefore, we spent a lot of time with the surgeon exploring all possible options. Unfortunately, there really weren’t any. Even assuming Dante survived the surgery, he only had weeks to live, and these would be painful weeks. Nevertheless, it took us a long time to decide to let go. But in the end we decided we had to do the right thing by him than the selfish thing by us in having a little more time with him.

My wife and I were able to take Dante for a brief walk in the sunshine because the vet had given him blood and fluid transfusions. Still, the poor guy didn’t have a lot of energy. Nevertheless, he seemed to enjoy our walk together, and like his old self sniffed plants, “marked his territory” and barked at other dogs. When after about 10 to 15 minutes he started to tire and limp, I picked him up and we went back into the animal hospital. There, we held him for a while, and told him over and over that he was a good dog and we loved him. He got upset when I left the room briefly to get him some doggie treats, but on my quick return was back to normal and ate the treats. Finally, we held Dante again while he was put to sleep, and kissed him goodbye. He was happy, peaceful and comfortable.

We’re both broken-hearted. Yes, Dante was a dog. However, he also was a member of our family. He was beautiful physically, but even more so on the inside. He was a very gentle dog. He also was a gentleman to our three female dogs, outside the house acting protective, inside the house letting them eat first even though he was larger and stronger than any of them. I will miss him in many ways, including his puppy-like nature, his soulful eyes, and his cuddling up to me in bed. I especially will miss him this Sunday, which would have been his 8th birthday. Goodbye Dante, I miss you.

It never rains in Southern California

So the song goes. Not true of course. It rained and even hailed yesterday, and snowed at only a few thousand feet.

The picture was taken in the San Fernando Valley looking NE. The “flats” in the picture is just SE of Bob Hope airport in Burbank. The mountains are in the Angeles National Forest.

I’m not very good with the camera. However,  it’s easy to take a decent picture of natural beauty like this. But you have to do so quickly, as today it is bright and sunny, and all that snow is going to melt real soon.

Well, back to figuring out the Eden UI of the Notion Ink Adam, in between grading student assignments and other tasks.

Polar Bears Toxic to Environment?

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Apparently so. And this end of the year expose isn’t from Rush. Instead, it’s literally from tree huggers; Treehugger.com, in its Polar Bears Full of More Toxins Than Any Other Creature.

Chris Davies of Slashgear, whose tweet brought this to my attention, correctly asks what our governments are doing about this ursine environmental menace. Well?

College committee jargon explained

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I have sat through interminable committee meetings at the community college where I teach Computer Science. I’m often subjected to opaque edu-jargon such as: “We must be accountable, transparent and sensitive to the diverse needs of our underrepresented constituencies and stakeholders.” Zzzzzzzz. Sometimes I wonder if the speakers are paid by the buzzword.

Today’s Dilbert cartoon makes me feel better. I am not alone.

What’s coming?

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Tab over to next Monday and see Winking smile

Gadget Lust

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The title of Don’t Be Blinded By ‘Gadget Lust’ (picture source) is self-explanatory – and painfully applicable to me. Interesting reading and sensible advice. Though the article seems much like dating advice, with section titles including Bad Romance and Love the One You’re With. Though I wouldn’t take the dating analogy too far, with other section titles including Focus on Price per Feature.