Technology Ramblins… (my amazon author’s page)

HD, HD and 3D

So I was looking at one of the 3d tv’s (they are quite impressive) and thinking about the various standards that are floating around right now. I’ve been a dish subscriber since the mid 1990’s and have enjoyed all digital television that entire time. I’ve owned the digital radio service (XM and now Sirius XM) for more than 8 years. I have two HD radio’s in the house, and you can tell a difference. The reality is for me its simple – I love technology and adding new technologies to my wheelhouse is of value. The other side of this is I love to listen to music while I am writing/working. So it seems a simple solution for me.

But when I think back over the past ten years – the change is pretty big.

It really goes back to a concept that is near and dear to my other blog, the Syncverse. The data lives over our heads almost every minute of every day. Each breath we take is filled with the digital embers of the technology fire. We breath the air of technology each and every minute. But somehow there are people that are not allowed to connect to that information.

  • They are not adept and struggle to assimilate the components of technology
  • They are not allowed by law or other intervention

The first one scares me. Only because it means that there are a number of people who struggle with what technology is. Its not something new – its simply speeding up something you’ve always done. Of course then I look at my universal remote of 12 years ago (the windows CE based Miracle) and realize that in fact, it isn’t that simple. I have the Logitech now – that is only three buttons but it isn’t as easy as it should be and you have to program and manage the button’s “activities” which brings me back to my original question of what do we need to do to help everyone become more adept?

All three of my kids seem to have gotten the technology gene (they pick stuff up quickly) but I wonder if in fact it is genetic rather than learned behavior. You see based on the Syncverse thinking I have been doing I am being to think that in fact it is simply learned behavior supported by an environment where the technology is prevalent and therefore present.

Learning would allow for teaching.





5 tools, one job and a Thursday afternoon (windows phone 7)

Sometime in the mid 1970’s my father attended an NSTA conference somewhere in the US. He brought me back a circular slide rule, that was my go to device for nearly 5 years. I have sought a replacement for that device for more than 30 years. I still haven’t found it (it had an insert with a star chart, periodic table of the elements on the back and a slide rule on the front. The insert had all sorts of interesting additions and it acted as both a ruler and a protractor. Somewhere or sometime after I moved out of my parents house I lost it.

Yes I know there are devices that do so much more than that device did. I also realize that as a human I was the input, energy and battery solution for that device which in reality was more of a tool than a device. But it is that device that created my love of gadgets. It seems funny now that a tool has drive my desire to have a single device that gets me what I need.

Which brings up the device that most intrigues me right now. Windows phone 7 which launches here in the US in about 12 days. Shortly after the launch of Kinect (which is the other technology I am watching right now). It seems to me that technology is catching up with the vision we all had more than 30 years ago (personal productivity tools) from the phone to the game system. I have a laptop (netbook) that is small enough to carry with me pretty much everywhere and it allows me (affords me) the luxury of long battery life, tablet computer and touch screen device. But the phone remains the device that most will drive change.

I watched the iPhone folks scurry to their devices (and heard them complain about horrible phone service) talking about everything you could do on an iPhone (or for that matter the newer entity the Android phone. I wanted to tell each and every one of them about my circular slide rule and what that meant, but they wouldn’t listen. They had the shiny new rock that would change the world. They had poor service and dropped calls, but they changed the world. Ask AT&T about the Iphone (and now Ipad) impact on their network. It increased the traffic (data) on their cellular network a lot!

Windows mobile 6.5 was a step in the right direction. It gave me a lot of the things I was looking for.

Windows phone 7 will be the game changer. Out of the box I will be able to connect to my Zune Pass and use the phone for streaming music. I will be able to use the phone to play on Xbox live and will have access to all the games on a real gaming platform (Xbox). I will be able to being the process of integrating my life with my internet life (see my blog here, for thoughts on syncing everything). It (the Windows Phone 7) gets me close to one device that will keep me synced between where I am and the virtual me that lives on the internet.

5 killer Windows phone 7 features

  • Mix and match calendars (works and Hotmail) so you can always have family and work events side by side
  • Facebook integration
  • Voicemail visible on launch screen if you have one
  • emails visible on launch screen if you have some
  • tiles

I have the launch countdown timer on my desktop (I haven’t had that since the countdown timer for Windows XP). The world is about to change, and I am excited to be in the mix!


Carrying a library…(Saturday noodling on perfection)

I was thinking about this yesterday after I wrote my 3rd Kindle review. Between the kindle and my Zune I carry more than 400 books every where I go. My dream as a child was to be a writer so I have a love of reading (my children inherited that from my wife and I, she loves to read as well). That got me thinking about what I would like to carry going forward when I get on the airplane (and yes, I am hoping Windows Phone 7 covers the remaining missing pieces).

  • A device that combines the screen of the Archos internet tablet and the storage capacity of that device (500 gig)
  • A device that easily plays Audible books
  • A device that let’s me read my Kindle books
  • A device that automatically syncs the office documents I am working on, right now (see my other blog for more on the Syncverse concept)
  • A device with a battery that last at least 6 hours and either a second battery that can be put into the device while it is one or, a way to easily connect to airplane chargers
  • BluRay slot for movies
  • HD screen rather than simply LCD
  • Touch Screen
  • not incredibly hot when on your lap


I don’t need to have lots of computing power, I can connect to my HyperV server at home if I need more horsepower than I am carrying. My Asus MT101 is pretty close to all of these specs except for the CD/DVD/BluRay addition. And frankly the USB connection drives (DVD etc) suck a huge amount of power. There has to be a way to build a device like this and make it highly functional.

In the past month I have posted eight or maybe nine iterations of this, the perfect device blog. We are so much closer today than we were five years ago. But realistically, not as close as we will be in five years.