Posts Tagged Blogging

My Portfolio of Mobile Devices – now with Google Nexus 7

I’ve recently added a Google Nexus 7 to the set of devices I use.  As a home based worker, I’m used to many aspects of remote working, and optimising the my use of the laptop and mobile phone (e.g. 2nd monitor, blue tooth headset).  However, this month my working location will be office based but away from home, which I thought was enough of a watershed moment to see how a Smart tablet format device would fit into my device mix.

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Device List:

Interface & UX:

All the devices have an touch enabled capability of some level.

The Blackberry has a touchpad control, but not a touch sensitive screen.  This is an improvement on the physical trackball device, and not an hindrance on the device of this size, and physical keyboard is  a more than adequate input option.  The only occasional inconvenience I experience on the blackberry is that the screen is now pretty small compared to many smart phones in the market, so coupled with many mobile enabled websites having been optimised for touch based navigation, the speed and mobility around some web sites can be a little cumbersome.

The Nexus 7 was a refreshing surprise to how easy and simple a completely touch and screen based device can be.  Also with Android Jelly bean 4.2, the touch screen keyboard is gesture | swipe enabled so that with a little practice I am get fairly adept at completely spelling a word with 1 touch and motion of the finger across the keyboard.  The swipe | gesture feature really is great, and with combination of the well designed device hardware and evolution of the Android OS, I don’t have any regrets about waiting until now before purchasing such a device.

I was also waiting for tablet OS which was able to support multiple user profiles, as my family will also have access to this device, so being able to separate use profiles for different individuals is very useful.  It’s often been said that Google Play doesn’t have app ecosystem or content breadth to compete with Apple or Amazon,  having had the device for a little over a week I don’t find either to hold any substance any longer.  Google Play is a well integrated content and application store and I have not been stuck in finding the applications to access my content  – in fact these 1st few days have been a little mind blowing as the sheer amount of content available through applications like Google Currents, Feedly, Flipboard and Pocket have given me a quandary about which application to use for what content or content category.

You will notice that there is also a Physical Keyboard dock (blue tooth connectivity) for Nexus 7 which also acts a hard case cover, and stand. I thought that this would be a useful addition in case I needed to do a lot content creation on the device.  Combined with the Kingsoft Office suite, I can use the Nexus 7 as a netbook format device as well.

The Lenovo Thinkpad has a resistive touch screen which responds to a stylus and has a flip and rotate function on the screen.  But I have never found that much more than a novel feature,  though the flip and rotate screen feature is useful in small face to face group meetings. 

It is my workhorse content input and creation device, and I need both a physical keyboard and mouse, as well as a large additional monitor to optimise my productivity on this device.  My activities in content creation and communication often requires the need for multiple applications and windows to be in operation.   The main laptop screen of 12.1 inches is too small to make multi window navigation and application use convenient. I frequently find the text size or content needs to be reduced in dimension to make that application window fit correctly to fit into the screen.

Integration of Content and Services:

Cloud  and Mobile enabled applications are so well established that this has been fairly straight forward.  Obviously the Blackberry has full enterprise service integration, and can also support a multitude of consumer email services etc.  In terms of Personal Knowledge Management (PKM) Evernote has been my application of choice for a long time, and that is always been a leading light in multi-platform support so it was simple to extend Evernote from the Laptop and Blackberry onto the Nexus 7.

I’ve also been a reasonably long time user of Synology NAS devices at home for home digital content (photos, movies, music etc.) The Audio and Photo playback application work without hitch, and I think it won’t be long until the video playback application is out of beta.  Certainly the download | file moving application made it easier to move content (music and movies) onto the Google Nexus.  I was also able to populate Google Play with my music library too.  So that means with Google Play Music, Synology Audio App, Spotify and Tunein Radio there is no shortage of music content on my mobile devices.  The Nexus 7 will come into its own as a content device when I purchase a good blue tooth speaker and use it to entertain the children when the family travels together.  Though, I must add as an aside – well done to United Airlines, who I flew with recently, for having a great on-demand music library – listened to Alison Strauss, Bon Iver, Robert Plant  and The Black Keys – many more were available too.

Conclusion:

I will be giving this combination of devices a good run in while working away so I will probably posting a lot more to the blog in the coming weeks.

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Minor Milestone – 100th Blog Post

This is the 100th post on the TACTICS blog!

The Journey so far…

I first entered the world of blogging on 18th of July 2006, with this post “Welcome” encouraged by the activities of friends and colleagues (their comments are there for all to see) and the growing use of RSS feed readers as a method of pulling in content of relevance and interest.  Gosh, looking back the Internet of 2006 seemed a lot less complex, a lot less frantic activity…. the days of silo’d discussion forums (good ol’ PHPbb) and following blogs and using feed readers.

Remember using bloglines!

(taken from “How to use Bloglines” circa Feb 2006)

Now in 2012 I’m writing the 100th post on this blog.  Things have changed considerably in these last 5 | 6 years.

Web 1.0 is gone, Web 2.0 is here in force and holding sway to such an extend that society, economies and the way people communicate and share has been all been impacted.

Not that so many things have “died a death”, but many stronger alternatives have arisen to take their place, and lead to a greater impact on society.

People will refer to MySpace, Nokia, RIM (Blackberry), Yahoo  no being longer the dominant force or the internet “Poster Child” they once were or “promised” to be.

Apple, Amazon, Facebook, hash tagGoogle and  Twitter are well understood household names and terms, and is supported by the various verbage or modern twists on common words has come into play to refer to participating in these new services.

This evolution has so transformed modern media, that icons for referencing or sharing via various social networks appears on every page, and across almost all TV programmes.

I have tried in some way documented my own journey and observations through this change via this blog.

Site Statistics so far…

So the 100th post can’t go by without some statistics!

To date the blog has clocked 22,650 (or so) views, the busiest day being 5th July 2011 with just under 100 page views mainly for the post –  My first thoughts on Google+ (Jul 2011)

Top 10 Posts :-

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Top Post Links :-

Keeping it in sync with Blackberry – Google Sync for Lotus Notes (Mar’ 2009)

Facebook an example in social and contextual networking  (Jul’ 2007)

Microsoft Windows 7 keynote Insight client event Manchester (Sep’ 2009)

I’m sure the use of “popular word or terms” in the titles has helped keep these posts popular.

Annual Publishing :-

(the most frequent publishing months highlighted)

Year

Posts

2006

7

2007

19 (January – 5)

2008

19 (January – 7)

2009

22

2010

17 (July – 6)

2011

12

2012

3 so far…

Averaging 16 posts per year (2006-2011)

What Next…

Well I am going to keep blogging,  the ideas are logged, the time to post will get made some how, some where.   So my thanks for dropping by and taking an interest, I hope you have benefited from this blog in some way.

Remember to Enjoy the Journey….keep thinking, dreaming, and planning! 

(a reference to the summary in the “WelcomeSmile )

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Make Reading on the Web that much Clearer!

EVERNOTE CLEARLY

Evernote recently launched a new Google Chrome Extension called “Clearly” to help clear away the clutter when reading web pages in the browser.

Get the extension for Chrome here

I think it works really well.

See how the previous article in this blog looks : (left tab = ordinary page | right tab = “clearly” page)

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It’s great for removing unwanted clutter (columns, ads, banners) and helping you concentrate on the text and content of the main article.

The interface allows you to clip into Evernote, but it’s not as functional as the main “Clip to Evernote” extension at the moment. (would expect that to improve).

I would recommend customizing the keyboard shortcut to activate in an easily remembered key stroke.  [esc] key returns you to the original page format.

FEEDLY

My other recommendation for consuming content in the web browser is to use Feedly  (as well as many mobile platforms)

Simply surfacing and syncing your content and from Google Reader in an amazingly streamlined and gorgeous magazine format.

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There’s no reason to complain about poorly formatted or over cluttered web pages that spoil your reading experience on the web, the tools are out there, just find one that suits you!

(other services are available)

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Tactics Blog : 2010 in review – courtesy of WordPress

This was an offer I couldn’t turn down.   The kind folks at WordPress assembled my blog stats for year 2010, something I’ve never made the effort to do before, and they even made it easy to post with a “click here” button.  🙂

I’m pleased to say the stats show it’s doing rather well.   It seems this blog is actually being read | viewed by folk –  it may even be useful.

So Thank You to WordPress for the review below and Thank You to those out there reading and viewing the content.  It means I’ll keep blogging.

So over to WordPress’s Review for 2010…

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads This blog is doing awesome!.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 6,800 times in 2010. That’s about 16 full 747s.

In 2010, there were 16 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 83 posts. There were 22 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 613kb. That’s about 2 pictures per month.

The busiest day of the year was July 26th with 83 views. The most popular post that day was Making use of Evernote, scanning and digitalization, the Trunk and changing PDF Reader .

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were twitter.com, chrome.blogspot.com, hdw.eweb4.com, digitaltrends.com, and google.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for windows 7 logo, blackberry maintenance, microsoft, microsoft logo, and facebook examples.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

Making use of Evernote, scanning and digitalization, the Trunk and changing PDF Reader July 2010

2

Keeping it in Sync with Blackberry & Google Sync (for Lotus Notes) March 2009
5 comments

3

Microsoft – Windows 7 Keynote – Insight Client Event – Manchester Sept 9th 2009 September 2009
1 comment

4

Facebook an example in Social and Contextual Networking July 2007

5

Blackberry Maintenance (wipe & restore) July 2009

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Test post to blog via posterous

From Evernote:

Test post to blog via posterous ((tag: blog, connectivity & integration, multiple services))

This is a test post from Evernote to email Posterous and post of a blog entry to 3 services.

Namely: evernoteposterous and wordpress
Lets see if this works. 🙂

Posted via email from Tactics

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Posts on Feeds & RSS – is it really time to say good bye?

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Alone Among the Crowd

 

TechCrunch blogger MG Seigler recently blogged on Google Reader:  “Google-reader-still-trying-to-figure-out-this-whole-social-thing-still-failing

I use Google Reader, but not as a social platform, purely as the back-end service that collects feeds that I subscribe to, and connects to various end-points I use to access the feeds.  In fact I don’t even use it as a the UI presentation layer to read the feeds.  For the web front-end I use Feedly as I’ve blogged here previously : – Blog post about Feedly  For my mobile interface I use Viigo, and therefore Google Reader provides the sync and glue between my primary end-points.

Again the author’s point about the lack of social features, isn’t incorrect. But the primarily function of ‘feed reader’ is to provide a good feed and feed management interface; not to become a social networking tool.

I just wonder if that is truly the direction that Google wants to take the product?  Not that the sharing isn’t valuable, but I think Google will want to be the primary RSS reader/aggregation service 1st and foremost because that will be of closest affinity to its search products – i.e. why they bought Feedburner.  Google will also be well aware of competitor social & real time products that do the ‘social’ part much more effectively; if they bought Feedburner, it makes sense they will acquire what they need when they think it’s time to do so.

Game Over Man! Game Over

This was followed up by another TechCrunch blogger Steve Gilmour blogging on the demise of RSS :  “Rest-in-peace-RSS“.  I think he’s over egging the cake here.

Fair point in the world of real time, RSS is a not in the race.  But that’s a function of search and speed not what RSS was designed or to meant to do.

However, it’s definitely not the time to  switch it off/or turn away from it completely.  Perhaps in Steve’s case it no longer satisfies the ‘speed and delivery’ stakes in comparison to  Twitter and the rest of the cohorts on the social media wave. But Steve’s role is out there at the very edge of it all and he needs his tools to stay in that position.

I think for most ‘ordinary Joe’s’ the eclipse of RSS by Twitter and real time search services is not a reason to move away from RSS, but rather to decide on what tools or functions provides a useful balance of both going forward.

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Why I like Twitter

A short post… this link to the Commoncraft show was brought to me via Twitter; and has been blogged many times already.

But I like what Commoncraft do, and I like Twitter; they explain it better than me.

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