Saturday, 25 June 2011

Better Late than Never

At last it's strawberry season after a cold and wet spring delay.  I'd rather pick them in the wild but using a U-pick is still a favorite family activity for me.

Despite the late season, the berries are sweet and plentiful.

Since we are leaving on vacation in less than a week, we decided to only pick a couple pails full.  It was still six pounds worth!

The rewards were well worth the effort!  My wife's strawberry shortcake is one of my favorite deserts and I even made some freckled strawberry lemonade.

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Oh no, another gadget!

Recently I entered the growing tablet community.  Already owning a netbook and in my ignorance, I used to scoff at the lack of utility for tablets...."they're just smartphones on steroids", I used to say.  I had similar views on smartphones until I bought an Apple iPhone 4 this past winter.  Now the iPhone is an indispensable tool for me.  So what can a tablet do for me that a Netbook can't?...very little however, it's significantly lighter, faster, and lasts three times longer on a battery charge.  Granted most tablets are really nothing more than platforms that allow people to browse the internet, get caught up on social media, and play games, there are a few that can do much more...Mine in fact.

Before purchasing my tablet, I researched very carefully.  An Android model or Apple iPad2?  I leaned heavily in favor of the iPad because I was already familiar with using the Apple iOS (thanks to my iPhone) and I had invested hundreds of hours into my playlists and soundtracks on iTunes.  I really wanted something to bridge the gap between my netbook, and Acer Aspire One, and my iPhone.

The iPad just seemed to lack the productiveness I was used to when traveling with the netbook.   I eventually chose an Asus Eee Pad Transformer with it's optional Keyboard docking station.  

Although I had some misgivings with using Android Honeycomb 3.1 operating system, an unkown to me, the Transformer had the tools I wanted.  They keyboard docking station holds a second battery which can charge the tablet and extend it's time from 8 to 16 hours, usb ports to run peripherals, and SD card slots for additional memory.  The keyboard would also come in handy when I had serious typing to do. 

Asus also comes Polaris Office app which allows you to create and modify the same work you can with Microsoft's Office. 

Of course my favorite feature on my Transformer has got to be the mini HDMI connection  It is fun playing games and HD movies through my device and onto one of my bigger flat screen TVs.

Not being familiar with Android, I was pleased that the learning curve was steep.  Navigating the file system was very different from Windows.  The widgets were a new concept for me but I really like how they can transform a simple app icon into something more visually appealing and usefull.  Honeycomb makes iOS look like nothing more than a warehouse for app icons.  The 3d graphics rendering using Nvidia's Tegra 2 duo core processors is stunning.  Videos play smoothly without stuttering encountered on other media platforms.

I believe I have come close to finding that one device which bridges the gap between phones and netbooks.  In the process I have learned a new operating system.