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.

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New WiFi Router

I replaced my Linksys (Cisco) EA4500 Wi-Fi router at home with an Asus RT-AC68U. The Linksys had good signal strength. The problem was I needed to prioritize bandwidth for my VOIP phone which, from home, connects over VPN to my work network, so from home I’m a (virtual) extension of the work phone network. However, the QoS (quality of service) settings available on the Linksys to enable this prioritization were too general for this specific prioritization. The prioritization available in the ASUS was far more granular. Big improvement in the VOIP connection!

Changing Primary Microsoft Account on Windows 8.1

My wife is taking over my Lenovo X1 Carbon Touch laptop. She needs a laptop, and she really likes the X1 (which is still quite new).  I’m getting the Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet 10 in a few days, and the Surface Pro 3 in a couple of weeks (I sold the Surface Pro 2 to a co-worker), and how many tablet/laptops can I use in one day? (You’d be surprised, but that’s another story).

The OS on the X1 is Windows 8.1. You usually log in to that OS using your Microsoft account. I wanted to change the Microsoft account used for log in from mine to hers. This way she can access her OneDrive, her DropBox, etc. rather than mine. However, I did not want to have to reinstall all of the apps (Outlook, Adobe Acrobat, Visual Studio), as you used to have to do when changing user profiles in Windows 7 and earlier.

The process is generally described in the answer in this Microsoft Community forum thread. Basically, there are two steps:

  1. Switch the existing primary Microsoft account (mine in this case) to a local user account. The forum thread is a bit brief on how to do this, but Quick Tip: Change Microsoft live to a local account in Windows 8.1 illustrates (literally) how.
  2. After logging on under the newly-created local user account, switch that account to the new primary Microsoft account (my wife’s in this case) per the instructions in Step 2 of the forum thread. Then restart the computer, and login using the new primary Microsoft account.

Worked smoothly, and  I did not have to reinstall any apps. Of course, I have to change the email accounts in Outlook, but so far, that’s it.

Surface Pro 3’s 3:2 aspect ratio

SurfacePro3Primary_PrintI’ve pre-ordered the core i7 version of the Surface Pro 3; it’s supposed to arrive by August 1. However, the core i5 version is already available, so I was able to play with a demo unit at the local Beast Buy. My focus was whether the different aspect ratio of the SP3 — 3:2 rather than the usual 16:9 – was good, bad or indifferent.

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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.

Continue reading ‘Back to the Future’

iPad Mini 2 Ordered


Apple sneaked the order page early – but not by me. I ordered the 128 GB Verizon Cellular model. Supposed to ship 5-10 business days, with delivery between November 25 and December 3.

My wife is leaning towards the iPad Air, but will take a look at my new toy to see if the retina display compensates sufficiently for the smaller screen.

Excellent Surface Pro 2 Review

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAChuong Nguyen of GottaBeMobile has posted an excellent review of the Surface Pro 2.

As Chuong details, the Surface Pro 2 improves, mostly under the hood, on the OG Surface Pro.  To me, the most significant improvement of the ones Chuong lists is the Haswell processor. I own the OG Surface Pro. Often enough, I was in meetings where there were no convenient outlets. I worried whether the 3+ hours battery life would last. Battery life with a Haswell processor should be 6+ hours. If a meeting lasts that long, I’m outta there.

Will I replace my OG Surface Pro with the Surface Pro 2? Not sure about that. I doubt I would get too much for the Surface Pro on e-Bay, and the differential between that money and the cost of a new Surface Pro 2 likely would be enough to buy another device. That new device (can you say iPad mini 2?) would seem to get me more bang for my buck than the incremental improvements between the two Surface Pro versions.

Additionally, I’m thinking of maybe 13.3” screen UltraBook. Still portable, and the larger screen would be very helpful for document review.

Decisions, decisions. More to come.