A Tablet Review

So I have been getting questions from friends, who are looking for tablet recommendations, on what to buy. So on Sunday, I am taking a friend to Best Buy to compare the following tablets:

  • Apple iPad
  • Amazon Kindle Fire
  • Amazon Kindle
  • Samsung Galaxy

The idea being what is best for him. My hope is to come up with a detailed review of the likes and dislikes about each device, but I still have some general advice.

The first question I ask, is if you already have a computer and/or smart phone. Based on what you already own here is what I recommend:

  • If you have a iPhone and PC or Mac, then the answer is pretty easy go iPad. Why? You can already use the apps you have purchased for your phone. So you don’t have to re-buy everything.
  • If you have an Android Phone and Mac or PC, then you have quite a few choices. I would recommend going Android tablet. There you have quite a few options, the best known being the Kindle Fire and the Samsung Galaxy Tablet.
  • If you have a Windows Phone, I would recommend a Windows Tablet.

Hopefully after Sunday, I will be able to provide a bit more insight after I have had a chance to review a couple of different types of Android tablets and I can make an specific Android tablet recommendation.

Wish me luck!

Textbook Acknowledgments…

So my name found it’s way into a textbook acknowledgments sections. A colleague of mine at CCAC Professor Eileen Wrigley and her daughter Dr. Tebring Daly wrote a textbook under a National Science Foundation Grant. Dr. Daly and Professor Wrigley teach most of their classes online. I was one of a few people to adapt the book’s material for use in a face-to-face class setting, and to provide some feedback on how it worked and what changes needed made. It has now been published and will be available for purchase in time for the Fall 2013 Semester to start. I was kind of proud to be mentioned, especially since I don’t think I contributed that much.

I was able to get an early look at the PDF version of the book and I managed to grab a pic of the acknowledgements section:

Acknowledgement pic

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you are in the market for a good Java Programming Textbook then I highly recommend this book. It is called Learning Java Through Alice by Eileen Wrigley and Dr. Tebring Daly. I will post links for purchasing the book as soon as they are available.

Ugggg…. I hate Mondays!!

I have, for the past few months, been trying to get to the gym on a regular basis. When PT was in school, I would wake up at 5:30am go to the gym, then work, then get him off the bus. That was my daily routine for almost two months. But the summer through a giant monkey wrench in that whole schedule. So I have been going during the evening, three days a week. So I have been trying to easy back in to the swing of early mornings and I was determined that I was going to rise and shine at 5am to stretch and head to the gym. And, what time did I roll out of bed?? Any guess…. 7:30am!! Yep, so I am going to the gym tonight… Not a big deal but yeah, not quite what I wanted. I only have two weeks to get back on track before PT is back to school.

Keeping Things On Task

This evening, as I was getting ready to go to bed, an interesting item popped up in my Facebook feed. It was for David Seah’s US Compact Academic Calendar. This caught my attentions because I am about to start planning for my upcoming semester. As you may know I teach two classes at CCAC South Campus, and the Fall Semester will soon be upon us, and I will be updating my course outlines and assignments soon. But that isn’t the reason I am writing this post.

I have recently begun using some of David Seah’s productivity tools. This tools have really helped me keep things together. Here is my issue, I have ADHD, and I take medication for it. But if I don’t have something physical in front of me, it gets easy to forget what I need to do. I started a few months ago with David’s Task Project Tracker. This handy-dandy little worksheet allows me to document all of my major tasks (and even sub tasks) for a project and fill in the dots as you work towards completion. As I have been asked to track my hours for a few projects, I started coupling this with his Task Order Up slips. These slips have you write a deliverable or major task on the top and give you a place to list all of the sub tasks or steps and lets you log your total time for the slip and your time for each individual item. You can add project codes and mark if the items is overhead or billable. I use these slips for my day-to-day task management and reminders (and of course billing and time tracking), then I use the Task Project Tracker when I go to meetings to report on progress. These two items have really helped me keep my eye on what needs done.

Finally, at work, we are using a system to help document our time working creating new stuff (for research and development tax credits) vs. support and bug fixes. So while the task order up slips help me keep track of my coding time. I also do support and help customers with technical implementations (I help the customers IT staff install and configure some of our software), which means I don’t get set my schedule. I can’t count on having a block of time to do my work uninterrupted. That is where the Emergent Task Planner comes in. It allows me to list my goals for the day. Gives me a break down of the day’s schedule and helps me of how I spent my time during the day. This is really important when I am constantly being interrupted by computer problems, server problems, customers in need of assistance, and of course pre-scheduled meetings. So I list three or four things I have to accomplish in the day, then I start. I keep track of time spend on email, support, customer calls, and tasks. I loved this thing so much I order two tablets from Amazon.

Look, for all of my love of technology, electronic task management solutions just don’t work for me. I have to see it and touch it and have it in my face all the time so I don’t forget it. These are probably the best paper solutions I have come a crossed in my 10 years of working in software development. They may not be for everybody. But, they work for me. Check them out, they may work for you.

Note: I wasn’t paid to write this. I just love these tools. And I like to share what I love, in the hopes that it may help someone else.

 

Hi There

Wow. Welcome. This is my place to talk about technology, being a dad, and of course being a technology geek, and of course anything else that pops into my head.

Your welcome to come along for the ride, hopefully it won’t be a boring.