Archive | June, 2011

iPad Keyboard Shortcuts (via iPad Notebook)

Nice few tips for iPad users thought it was worth sharing. This blog actually has a nice list of useful pieces relating to Apple hardware and software….

iPad Keyboard Shortcuts Keyboard shortcuts make typing even quicker on the iPad. Interestingly, depending where your cursor is when you are typing effects which short cuts may be available. UPDATE (I have posted a more complete list.) For example, if you are typing an email and the cursor is in the to or from name field, certain domain names become available when you hold down the "." Accented Characters If you are writing someone or about something and need to use a fo … Read More

via iPad Notebook

Technical expectations! It’s a generational thing

Have held a number of conversations the last few weeks about where tech is going. Partly with work and partly out of a personal interest. I shared a story of something I learnt from my daughter a few weeks ago and some other comments on tech in general from an older generation. The first comment I heard a couple of times was people had been reading my ‘essays’ during a recent trip to Thailand. I had to think for a second. Essays? Oh the blog. I suppose what else would you call them? It makes sense for a different generation not consumed with all the latest hype. Then there were a few comments on the power of phones and the ability to share things with the whole world via the Internet without ever sitting in front of your computer. When you stop and think that is pretty damn amazing. Stuck in the mountains beside a lake and 30 secs after something happens I can have a picture up for the world to see. (obviously assuming connection!) I am a big smart phone user sharing things all the time but seldom take the time to think about it. I just expect it.

The other story was from a recent car journey I took with my wife and kids. I was driving and my wife was picking songs from her iphone and playing them as per the kids requests. The iphone is connected by bluetooth to the Parrot car system so the music quite seamlessly without the need for cables plays over the car stereo speakers. Not anything new in the this day. However my daughter proceeded to ask for a Justin Bieber song that my wife did not have on her iphone. My daughter said to play it off Youtube. We tried to explain that we were in the car and that youtube wouldnt work and couldnt play over the car speakers. My daughter disagreed and simply asked why not? I said well I didnt think the connection would be good enough and streaming music onto your iphone to the car stereo from Youtube couldnt work as you drove along small country roads in the south east of Ireland.

My daughter asked could she at least try. My wife handed the iphone to her and within about 30 secs she had the song she wanted blaring out of the car stereo and she was watching the video on the iphone. I was more than a little shocked. There I was the technical ‘specialist’ having been taught a serious lesson in tech by my 7 year old daughter.

It’s amazing what we expect from tech. For those that grew up without it being around it’s all wonder. For my generation that witnessed the start we expect a lot but build in our limitations. For those now growing up with it like my daughter ‘They just expect it to work’ as a colleague said.

I love tech and where its going. I would like to look at tech every day with the eyes of the best from the generations. The wonder at this weird science so I don’t take it for granted, the understanding of the limitations so I am not foolish in it’s use but I want the expectation of my daughter that it will just work when we try things as then the possibilities are endless…….

Going paperless

I had a tablet for a little while. Lenovo. Really liked it. And once I got used to using it with the pen and hand writing it was actually very accurate at converting it to type. For a little while I tried to use it for hand written notes to replace my notepads but undocking and carrying the tablet was a pain and obviously caused a few stares and raised eyebrows. So it was abandoned and I fell back to using notepads. I mean the using it as a notepad was abandoned but I obviously continued using it as a laptop! It just wasn’t suitable to replace the trusty notepad and pen on a permanent basis.

I have to admit I am not good at writing notes in meetings or during my work day. Actually quite poor as once I get caught up in the conversation or work I forget to write. However I do like to reflect on the meeting, the day or the weeks happenings during a journey, when at home or generally anywhere outside of the office once I get some quite time. Most plans and tasks generally start out on paper before getting converted into some type of electronic format. That is not exactly mind blowing stuff and I am sure there are lots of people with similar habits but paper remained a big part of my process in planning my days and reflecting on work.

Being paperless is obviously more than losing just a notepad in your bag. In work as a team we have put the majority of paper items that exist in our day to day work into some type of electronic system somewhere such as task and project lists, reports, contracts, invoices, etc. So most things are accessed in electronic format only. Sure you can never go truly paperless but you can try to eliminate what makes sense. The other paper in normal life such as books, newspapers and magazines I already get on the iPad. So paper was all but gone.

The only paper left was my A4 notepad for hand written notes. I carried it always. For a while i carried it with my laptop and iPad. Once I got comfortable with the iPad I carried my notepad and iPad only. The laptop stayed mostly in it’s docking station. This week however the iPad has been alone and unaccompanied in my bag. The paper notepad is gone. Replaced by an app called Penultimate and a writing pen called Pogo sketch. There are more complex apps for writing i tried like notes plus but I like this one as it’s very simple (queue the smart comments). It’s very quick and easy to use. OK so the writing experience on the iPad is not quite the same as using a nice pen and paper and because of the touch requirements of the iPad it’s hard to be super accurate but so far it has worked for me. It means the journeys now to and from work with the once heavily laden bag with newspaper, magazine(s), book, notepad, laptop, charger, broadband dongle, iphone and misc cables has been reduced to simply ear phones, charger cable, iphone and iPad. A very nice change over a very short period of time. If this works out the iPad will have succeeded in helping me go completely paperless. It will have all my paper – books, newspaper, magazines, photos and finally my hand written notes contained within it’s wonderful little interior.

Below is a sample of the app and a written page using the Pogo. So it’s not the nicest handwriting but it’s a more honest image compared to the beautiful complex drawing in the apps own sample. Which I am sure is possible just not by me! However as you can see it is very very usable and I do like it. Please note: the bad writing is not necessarily the fault of the app ;-)

Note that I don’t mention anything about saving trees or other green reasons for this. The primary reason is a bag with one small device that has everything I need compared to a very heavy bag with 8 bulky things is my driving motivation. I can’t say that I know a combination of paper items is less green than an iPad as an iPad has rare earth elements that I know are hard to get due to the required extraction processes via mining operations that are often not ‘earth friendly’. Maybe over it’s life the iPad is the better option and the greener option but I don’t know. You can always plant a new tree. You can’t plant a new piece of Lanthanum or Europium. However I do know that I like my new light bag and accessing everything on 1 item. And I can hope that it’s greener and the better option for the planet.