Well, not really… but I did buy a new bag and did some tweaks and additions to the gear I drag around all day long. Time to check out the pic and run down the list.
Laptop : 11.6 Macbook Air 4 gig Ram, I5 , 128 SSD. : This is my mobile base of operations. Although I have a 13 inch Macbook Pro at home, the 11.6 goes with me on the road most of the time. Its small, light, pretty powerful, and versatile. The Snow Leopard install is ideal for the podcast production process, but most of the time I run Ubuntu on it. (I dualboot) After the upgrade from 12.04 to 12.10 the Macbook air runs very smoothly under Ubuntu, except for the hypersensitive touch pad so that explains the extra mouse.
Cables : For those places that only have wired internet (Believe me, I know some of those) I drag around my Usb to Ethernet adapter. I also have a small 5 port USB hub for to expand the two onboard usb ports on the Macbook. The 16 gigabyte USB stick makes sure that I can store some additional data, but is equipped with at least 5 different live versions of Linux like Ubuntu, Backtrack, Clonezilla, Mint and Crunchbang linux. With this stick, “All your computers are now belong to me” The micro usb charger also makes sure I can just plug my phone into any usb port to charge or exchange files.
Phone : Not in the picture : My trusty Galaxy Nexus phone running Android 4.2.1. I just pimped it with a 3800 Mah ‘fat battery’ for extended battery life.
Tablet : Yes : that is a 64 gigabyte Wifi only iPad mini. I still use the Nexus 7 at home a lot, but because I need the storage, I switched to a bigger tablet on the road. The iPad mini houses my books, a lot of music, all of my audio and video podcasts and a ton of pdf files. In short its my digital portfolio for everything. In the car I hook it up via Bluetooth to my car stereo to play podcasts and music. At work I plug in my Apple ear buds (or ‘earpods’) to zone out and knuckle down.
Bag : Samsonite V7609007 : Not a very exciting name but a pretty cool bag. Slung in ‘portrait’ mode instead of landscape mode its a lot lighter to carry the setup. There is not a LOT of room for extra cables and cruft, so I’m forced to keep the setup lean and mean.
So .. whats YOUR setup for the road ? Share it with us in the comments.
We have previously talked about the ZOOGUE range of iPad and iPhone cases on Knightwise.com, so when Tim and his crew came out with a new version of their ZOOGUE Smartcase for iPad we were tempted to give the new case a try. This time we decided to give Knightwise.com Lab rat “Fiddler” a crack at their new toy.
Fiddler is an avid user of his iPad3 and has used Apple’s standard magnetic cover in combination with a hard-shell transparent cover for the back of his iPad. A couple of coffee-spills and a near catastrophic drop later, Fiddler was ready to try a new case.
The new edition of the Smartcase has “The edge”. And I mean that in a literal way. The one flaw of the pervious version of the Smartcase was that there was an insufficient “edge protection” of the iPad. When the Zoogue Case would have an unscheduled appointment with gravity, there was a risk that the iPad’s “unprotected” corner would take the brunt of the fall. After hearing the suggestions from their users (and the sounds of breaking glass) Zoogue redesigned their new Smartcase. The new case now boasts a wider edge, allowing the iPad to “Sag” a little during an accidental fall, without hitting the pavement right away. The upside is that this gives the iPad some extra protection, the downside is that it makes the case even wider.
In all the new Smartcase is a welcome upgrade to the previous design and adds an “edge of security” to the otherwise versatile product Zoogue has to offer. At 49.99 it is not the cheapest nor the thinnest case on the market but it does bring the same high quality and ease of use to your tablet experience.
With the holidays coming up, some of you might have had their first or second IOS device snuggled in under the tree. Aside from making the Apple shareholders hilariously happy with the overpriced profit margin, you might ALSO enjoy your new purchase of an iPad or an iPhone. If you have a device thats any newer then the last iPhone4S (This includes the iPad mini and the ‘not the latest-but-the-one-before-that-one ipad and the new ipad) it will come with Siri. This ‘personal assistant’ that you can talk to and ask things. In the beginning Siri is a gimmick. Something you use (like Google Now) to try out a couple of times, but chances are, unless you really make an effort, you will probably not use Siri to its full potential. This has to do with the way human behaviour has a hard time keeping up with changing technology. So to get you beyond the ‘Gimmick’ factor we have found a great tutorial on how to make SIRI work for you.
In “The ultimate Siri Guide” Rene Richie explains you in a couple of pointers how to use Siri in your daily life. Remembering the different commands is one thing, reminding yourself to start USING them is another thing. Its going to take a little brain and behaviour hacking to start ‘talking’ to your phone instead of typing on it. Although the former is more natural then the latter, we still find it hard because we have been texting on a numerical keyboard far longer then we have been talking to machines. Give it a try, but remember Siri uses your data connection to analyse your voice. (Unlike Android, where the processing of your voice commands also works offline)
As you hear Siri talk, you might be surprised that this is the voice of a Belgian woman. According to voice technology expert and inventer Jo Lernaut (who was the chairman of the Belgian company Lernaut & Hauspie ) their voice technology has been licenced by both Apple and Microsoft and the SIRI voicefiles where recorded in Belgium by one of their employees. You can find out more about that little detail HERE and watch the (Flemish) interview with Jo Lernaut here.
Meanwhile at the big bang theory .. Raj meets a “different” Siri.
So : Do YOU talk to your phone or do you still think its awkward ? Tell us in the comments section.
The upside of being a Slider is the fact that you can choose. You can choose between different products and it is never a question of “OR”, it is always a matter of “And”. But sometimes that freedom of choice comes at a perilous risk : The risk of choice. While in some countries people are starving, It is a horrible first world problem to have, I know. But perhaps it will bring some solace to you on the crossroads of what tablet to get for the upcoming year.
For the last three months I have been a privileged owner of a Nexus 7 and I must say, I enjoy the device very much. Being trendy and virtually unknown by the general public here in Belgium, the Nexus 7 (Currently the 32 gigabyte version) is available at 245 euro’s. But sightings of the device are rare since most consumers either slip into the Samsung universe and go for the low end Galaxy Tab 2 instead OR go towards the Apple universe and pick up an iPad mini instead.
Since I got the Nexus 7 way before the iPad mini was launched, I was never faced with the peril of choice. Deciding between the excellent quality, high end specs and low price of the Nexus and the virtually non-existent competition was a doozie to say the least. Samsung tablets at that time were overpriced and their ‘brighter colors’ where (and are ) nothing more then pumped up contrast and saturation levels that make a everything look like something from a holiday catalog Using my tablet to read eBooks rather then play games or watch nude supermodels, I was very happy with both the form factor AND the subdued enthusiasm of the Nexus 7’s color scheme.
A couple of weeks later my wife sold her iPad2 just in time to get her hands on a new iPad mini. I remember being disappointed at Apple when they announced the pricing schemes of the new iPad mini’s, pointing out that they where a 100 dollars above a competitive market price and that they had brought zero innovation to the market (and it would be downhill for Apple from now on). I still stand by the latter statement, but the empty shelves in the stores do point out that , even at a high price point, apple’s iPad mini IS a raging success.
As a slider I have the privilege of switching between my 64 gig iPad 3 (the not-the-new-but-the-one-before-that-one ipad) and can only say that when it comes to screen quality. While using my wifes iPad Mini I found a similar quality in brightness and crispness of images. Sure, it is no retina display, but on a 7 inch screen I don’t think you notice. The single handed grip I have around the back of my Nexus 7 could however not be acquired, I need the hands of a stone mason for that. But the iPad mini does have something to offer too. As the low growls of my better half started to turn into angry snarls, it was time to give her back her beloved device and go back to my Nexus. And then I was struck by doubt… Would I perhaps ALSO like an iPad mini ?
Like a man torn between two lovers, I started to doubt my initial fondness of the Google Nexus 7 and wonder what life would be like with an iPad Mini. This was the dawn of an internal struggle I have been wrestling with for the last few weeks. Would I like to have an iPad mini instead. When it comes to size and form factor : Nothing can beat the Nexus 7. Its a little thicker then the “Kate Moss” iPad Mini, but the fact you can just “grab it” with one hand, or set down your thumb on the bezel while reading is a big plus. The screen however is not as high in quality then the iPad mini when it comes to color quality and contrast. The 1280X800 resolution on the Nexus 7 is higher then the iPad mini, offering up a higher PPI (pixels per inch) that DOES help when you are reading books. The downside of my current Nexus is however that it is a 8 gigabyte version, and something in my brain keeps telling me that’s a bad thing. When lustfully ogling the iPad Mini’s in the store I do lick my lips at the 32 gigabyte version because, (in my mind) it would be able to hold down my book and movie collection for those rare moments that i’m offline. It WOULD flawlessly sync with our massive iTunes collection so I also would have music on the go. It WOULD be able to give me access to some online magazines in the “newsstand” app. .. and then it hit me : My longing was not for the device per se, it was for the content.
And that is where I stand today. A little torn between the iPad mini and my Google Nexus. My geek brain telling me that both have their ups and downs, that neither is the winner in this fight. One offers the flexibility of Android (Being able to arrange your home screen into something that does not resemble an icon-concentration camp) The other ties in with the Apple content eco-sphere (Who am I kidding, it ties in with my locked in iTunes music collection) One has storage, the other has a great form factor .. I am slowly losing it out here. My credit card angrily points at my iPad 3 on the kitchen table and tells me I cannot seriously consider buying ANOTHER device just like it (only smaller). The little kid inside me yells “ I want it mommy .. i want it ! ! ! “
As I listen to myself argue I find that it is becoming more and more about the types of content you can consume on your device. About the freedoms you have and the ones you need to give up. About what you do with your device and not about what device you have. The only solution I can currently think of requires both devices and a roll of double sided duck-tape so I can stick them together. Ipad Mini on one side, Nexus on the other.. A true sliders tablet. Because if your philosophy is “ Its not about this OR that” .. it means its gonna be “This AND that”
In a household where both the iPad mini and a Google Nexus snuggle up alongside each other at the charging station, we regularly get the question : “What is the best one to buy”. The question is the same as asking Darth Vader which of his children was his favorite ? The one with the worst hairdresser in the universe, or the one that chopped off his hand. You can’t choose between your children. Personally I’m also struggling with that very question ? Which is the better tablet. The anser is ” It all depends on a certain point of view” (Thank you Obi-one Kenobi, you’ve been no help at all !) So we have a nice review online we found from Pocketnowvideo who do the hard work of putting both tablets side by side … and letting you decide.
So whats YOUR opinion ? Which is the better tablet ? What should you buy ? What have YOU chosen to be your 7 inch companion .. and why ? Share it with us in the Comments Section.