phone swapping, a great hobby

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I am swapping between phones for the next couple of weeks. Windows phone 7 was a disappointment, but 7.5 (mango) is much better and actually usable. The Android phone is usable but sucks batteries like there is no tomorrow – you have to charge it two or three times a day. So for the next couple of weeks I am swapping back and forth. It only takes me a minute to remember which goes where and what applications to be used but once I make the swap things roll.

Both phones have value adds – the Samsung screen is simply amazing and the android application store is well beyond description. I am always a little afraid of the free application metaphor (as there really isn’t anyone responsible for the application) but overall my experience has been pretty good.

What I would really like to see is a simple and easy way to use the different phones for their different strengths but I don’t see that happening in the near term. Oh well.

Strengths of each (so far)


  • Apps
  • Screen

Windows Phone 7

  • email client (which is really amazing)
  • battery life (much improved)

will post more about this personal shoot out when I get ahold of an iphone.


Snow days, snow days the kids are home to bug me days

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Battleship on an airplane

10 years ago I got a windows CE device at work. It was good for keeping your appointments, and we found you could play the battleship game over IR. We played that on an airplane once from Chicago to Seattle. My eyes were blurry when we landed and frankly I was pretty tired as well, but it was a blast.

Now you can play Xbox Live games on your Windows phone 7 device. I had a blast building up my high score on bejeweled live. It was really cool that my offline achievements and high score went right on my live profile. That was the most cool I’ve had in a long time. Well, since I played battleship on an airplane with a co-worker over IR.

Today is the first day since returning from London that jet lag didn’t drag me down. I also didn’t fall asleep at 8 pm last night. Today of course, my first full well rested day, I am slammed all day but that is the way things work. The middle of the US is preparing for a huge blizzard. We had a ice storm last night so they cancelled school across the board for our school system. The kids get a day off which means they will be in my office every ten minutes asking if they can play video games. I think I am going to build an board that has a button – press here if you want to play video games. Then simply digitize four or five different answers:

  1. sure if your room is clean
  2. can you?
  3. May you?
  4. Why do you want to play video games, go outside and play

Then just randomly play one when they hit the button.


Updating Windows Phone 7 review and ASUS MT101

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A couple of review updates:

Just updating a couple of my past reviews with my current views. Everyone has the honeymoon phase with new hardware, the real question is what do you think when you have used that device for 4 months. There is nothing like a device gathering dust on your shelf because, you didn’t really ever need it or use it.


Windows Phone 7:

I’ve now played with the HD7 and the Dell Venue Pro from T-Mobile both featuring Windows Phone 7. Below are my top things that I like and don’t like as of today (now roughly 10 weeks into using them)


  • Amazon Kindle Application
  • Streaming music from the Zune system to my phone on the fly
  • Tiles interface is nice
  • Integration with Windows Live is very useful
  • Integrated calendar (family and work) rocks!!!!
  • Application library is growing
  • I like the update metaphor for applications – it’s the easiest I’ve ever found
    • I choose when to update
    • I can automatically update and am not prompted for my ID
  • YOMOMedia – I loved the application on Windows Phone 6.5, but it is even better on Windows Phone 7
  • screen size is very nice on both
  • Keyboard is a nice add on the Dell Venue Pro



  • Still no turn by turn navigation
  • Still no audible application
  • No HID stack for external keyboards
  • No driver for the Celio Redfly


Asus MT101

The device is now my primary star gazing (connects to my telescope via USB) and weather station (connects to the weather station via USB). This is a fully functional pc, small enough size that you can take it anywhere. I did a presentation the other day using my Logitech presenter and the Asus – no problems running complex PowerPoint presentations. The Netbook remains a great addition to the arsenal. I wish windows 7 supported touch a little better, but hopefully that is something that is coming down the line.

I now have two ASUS PC’s and I love both of them!



Just another shameless review

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Windows SkyDrive, OneNote and now the IPod Touch

My rule of thumb is the best device for what you need. As such I’ve stated on this blog a number of times that I have an IPod touch for consuming Audible books. I use my Zune for Music, video and podcasts (with a backup copy of most of my Audible books on my Zune). I think the Zune is a much better device for leveraging and playing music and videos. Until today my Windows Phone 7 was also the only device I synced my various OneNote “Notebooks” to. I am a huge user of OneNote from taking notes in meetings to thinking about problems I see.

The advantage of the IPod touch right now is that it has a microphone and camera making it highly useful for taking notes. The Zune of course connects to the Zune pass which makes it a much better music deal for me. But now, you can connect your IPod touch to your SkyDrive using the new OneNote application.

And its free…

Review Part 1:


25 gigs of storage in the cloud. (my first six computers combined didn’t have 25 gigs of storage, in total). You can start off my connecting to your SkyDrive and uploading the things you find you need. I put my library of OneNote Notebooks up so that I could use them on my IPod and on my Windows Phone 7 (it also allows me to share notebooks between 3 computers). The interface is web driven (I suspect Silverlight) and easy to use. I created a new folder and then dragged the OneNote books into that folder. It uploaded them (over 110 meg so it took a bit of time).

I created a second folder for streamed music to the Zune player on my Windows Phone 7.

Review Part 2:

OneNote is an awesome tool that allows you to integrate content (dragging and dropping) form virtually any source. You can then share that Notebook (and set it to auto-update) or keep it on your local machine. You can also update it on SkyDrive and share it between multiple devices. On my Asus Netbook, I can use it as a notepad (the netbook being much smaller) and it functions very nicely. There is also a Windows Phone 7 and a Windows Phone 6.5 version of the application in the Office folder and both work very nicely.

You can also mix in audio recordings with your hand written notes, and convert the handwriting to machine readable text (OCR).

Review Part 3:

The IPod touch version of OneNote connects you right to your windows live id and your SkyDrive. It opens itself and starts searching for Note books right away. It loads them and you can leverage them quickly. The interface on the IPod is not as nice as on the Windows Phone 7, or for that matter on your laptop – but still it was a fun experience!


Now IPods can take notes “in the cloud” Smile



The Kindle has entered the building (Windows Phone 7 review) (my amazon author’s page)

The new kindle application just hit the Windows Phone 7 market place which makes me happy. I’ve already installed it, and started downloading the two books I am reading right now. Really a simple and easy process and the application looks and feels like a Windows Phone 7 application. Good job Amazon!

So without further ado:

Best Things about Windows Phone 7 after two months:

  • Kindle Application (it is very nice)
  • Netflix
  • T-Mobile TV
  • Marketplace
  • Decibel Meter (ever wonder how loud it really is someplace?)
  • Xbox Live Integration
  • Skydrive integration (truly a cloud connection)
  • Facebook integration
  • Windows Live Integration

Marketplace hit 5000 applications sometime last week – very cool. Being able to play games and still use my gamer profile – awesome. Being able to protect my Avatar from my kids – priceless!

Missing Applications:

  • Turn by Turn other than Telenav (which is expensive)
  • No OCS or Lync client yet

Things are improving on a daily basis. There are new applications and new opportunities every day. I find myself checking the Windows Phone 7 marketplace more often than I used to check the ITunes application library so that has to say something. Additionally the phone is great – I haven’t lost a call yet. If only Tmobile’s billing was working everything would be perfect.


Another Shameless review Windows Phone 7 (my amazon author’s page)

Review, Windows Phone 7

Dell Venue Pro

I got a chance to try out (for a few days) a second Windows Phone 7 device, this one being the Dell Venue Pro.


Five nice things Dell Venue Pro

  • Keyboard is a nice touch
  • The device has “weight”
  • The screen is very responsive to finger touch
  • pogo sketch works with the Windows Phone 7 (which is nice for some things)
  • Device seems to have a larger antenna than the HD7, gets better overall phone reception in the basement than the HD7 (which was about the same as the HD2 – and that was a huge improvement over both WM6 and WM5 so things are moving in the right direction)

So far the device is nice. Its kind of cool that some of your applications are tied to your account, not your specific device. Some of my marketplace stuff moved over to the new phone automatically. I don’t plan on using this phone forever but it was a nice thing. Finding a case is a little harder, but I have two cases that work for all three phones I have right now so that is cool.

So far I have to say the Windows Phone 7 devices are great!!!!!


Things I like more about Zune than ITunes

  • updates are easier with Zune
  • I love having all my music easily accessed
  • Finding podcasts is easier
  • Applications are easier

Still weaker for Audible books and I don’t have my Windows Phone 7 Kindle reader but things are still moving forward!

Continuing a family tradition and windows 7 phone stuff (my amazon author’s page)

Lukas, my family chef want to be, decided that this morning he wanted to help with the family tradition of making Ebel Skivers. Ebel is Danish for apple, and skiver is a “pancake” although the traditional form is round rather than the flat or German pancake. It takes s special pan to make them, and they aren’t the easiest thing to do. We decided to make them with applesauce and with frozen cherries as a “different”thing this year. We’ve been making Ebel Skivers since before the boys were born, and before I made them my dad always made them on Christmas day (I do Christmas Eve – that way I get them two days in a row every year!!!) (I may be spelling Ebel Skivers wrong by the way).

He did a great job and it really made me proud! Nick rolled the Ebel Skivers in powdered sugar and of course the dogs helped! (Fran got the first one, some strange Labrador rule about I help you cook, you feed me!)

Windows Phone 7 update

1 month in and still in love

I love the texting conversation thread!!!!
Application Market continues to grow
You can sign up to be notified for the Kindle App so that is coming soon!
Love connecting to Xbox live more and more – so much fun to carry an infinite library of games.
Kids haven’t used their DS’ since they got the Windows Phone 7 – amazing!
I love being able to let them fill the Netflix instant queue – and not bother me constantly!
The screen rocks (I watched part of star trek off Netflix while waiting at the mall)
simply amazing device and the battery is over a day!!!!!

The integration with my various calendars (family hotmail – work exchange) is a huge value add. Now I can actually figure out where I am supposed to be!