Tag Archive: Gadget Glee

Gadget Glee – My Newest Favorite iPad App

It’s the simple things in life that can really make a difference.

I, like many people, can sit at my computer for hours on end. I sometimes need a reminder to get up and do something else, even for just a few minutes.

I, like many people, don’t like to file papers or clean up clutter.

I decided I needed a timer. I could set the timer for a large chunk of time to sit at the computer, and then set it for a small chunk of time to get away and do something else, even if it’s just filing for 15 minutes.

I quickly searched for a free timer app on the iPad and found this one.

For a free simple little app, it’s fantastic. You can create different timer things (*technical term) and the app keeps them. So rather than having to set 45 minutes of computer time and then set 15 minutes of other time, I have them both and just start whichever one I choose. You can select from a few different sounds. AND you can have more than one timer running at once, which is FANTASTIC for cooking.

Gadget Glee – iPad Apps

It’s almost time for Lotusphere and it sounds like many of us are planning on bringing our iPads. In fact, it sounds like many are attempting to use ONLY iPads for much of the time. I am in that camp. Except for my presentation (during which I’ll be using BOTH my Mac Book Pro and my iPad), I am hoping to just use my iPad.

So, to that end, I wanted to share a few of my favorite iPad apps.

Netflix – I know. This has no conference-related purpose, but it’s probably the app I use the most. I don’t really watch cable TV anymore, I use the streaming from Netflix to watch all the “old” series that I’ve missed like Battlestar Galactica and Firefly. Catching up on nerdy goodness! The streaming works great. The fact that I can view it on my laptop, Wii and iPad is awesome. Only catch was that I found on the iPad, I had to be sure and hit the “Done” button before exiting, if I wanted Netflix to know where I’d left off.

Evernote. Lots of people love this one and have used it long before iPads. I tried it a while ago, and just didn’t get into it. I just tried it again on the iPad and now I’m loving it! The iPad interface is excellent and provides yet another multi-device interface. I love an app that can be used on my laptop, Blackberry and iPad!

Dropbox. Dropbox. Dropbox. I can’t say enough AWESOME things about Dropbox. And Dropbox on the iPad is just awesomer. (Note, that’s another multi-device app. I want to be able to get my “stuff” anywhere and everywhere, be it files, notes or movies!) (if you haven’t already signed up, use this link, we’ll both get extra space for free.

Goodreader. Did you want to read an attachment that you received in email? Did you want to read it in airplane mode? Get Goodreader. Want to read that PDF or Word doc? Get Goodreader.

Twitter. I can’t leave it out, although I find it to be just meh. I wish it had typeahead for twitter IDs and a better retweet functionality. However, I’ve been told Tweetdeck on iPad is crashy and bad, so I stick with the regular Twitter for iPad app.

Tripit. I love Tipit and this is another multi-device app. Browser for the laptop, apps for the Blackberry and the iPad. Fantastic way to track all of my travel details and share them with others when appropriate.

IM+ PRO . This is my new favorite app for the iPad. Mostly because I can access Skype on there and it kicks the regular Skype client’s a$$. The chats load WAY faster and the regular Skype client (on my Mac) seems to pick up where I left off with IM+ Pro, something the Skype app can’t seem to do.

Those are my must-haves on the iPad, what are yours?

Gadget Glee – Mobile Device Charger

I recently purchased a portable USB power supply. This one in fact.

According to the description, it holds a charge up to three months. It’s really small, which is great, it drops right into my bag without noticeable bulk or weight. I was out one evening and noticed my Blackberry battery was nearly depleted. I plugged it into my newly purchased and charged portable power supply. In about an hour, it was fully charged. All while I relaxed in the bar and didn’t miss a tweet.

Inexpensive, small and it does exactly what it says. You can’t ask for more!

Gadget Glee – How a PC Girl Turned Into a Mac Fanboi

My first computer was a Commodore VIC 20. My second computer was a Commodore 64, of course. Somewhere along the way, we had one of these, but I digress.

I’m a PC Girl. I always have been. A friend had a Mac in college. I tried it, but was completely befuddled. I certainly wasn’t going to run out and get one. Throughout the years, I’ve heard the fanbois go on and on about how fabulous macs are. I just didn’t get it.

Throughout the years, I’ve been lucky enough to skip the worst of the Microsoft operating systems (Millenium and Vista, anyone?). My most recent laptop is an HP running Windows 7/64 bit. I loved it enough to jokingly call it my “shiny precious”. But…

I’ve had a couple of problems with it lately. Nothing huge, but still annoying. And I feel like I always need to replace my PCs every year or so. I find myself tweaking a lot to get things to work. But my mac friends were often heard saying “it just works”. So I started having mac-envy a few months ago. It started small, but has steadily grown.

Then my PC battery life was getting so short as to be worthless. I bought an external hard drive that the Windows 7 machine didn’t like, despite supposedly being compatible. The laptop won’t shut down if the external drive is connected to my network. And if it goes to sleep, it won’t come back, but won’t shut off. I need to manually shut it off. REALLY annoying. So I’ve had to disconnect the external hard drive, which is pretty lame.

Cut to the holiday season. I bought myself a little present.

notebook_macbookpro15_20101103.jpg

A 15″ Mac Book Pro

I must admit I was completely befuddled when I first got it. I really struggled to get anything done. However, after a few hours I was up and running. I *LOVE* the trackpad. I’ve quickly become addicted to two-finger scrolling. So much so that when I use my corporate PC’s trackpad, I keep trying to do the two-finger scroll. Installing applications has been a breeze. Connecting to my wireless printer was stupid simple. I get it, fanbois, I get it!

I still have Skype and Tweetdeck, my “must-have” apps. I polled people via Twitter and Skype (of course) and came up with a pretty consistent list of apps I needed to have:

Skype
Tweetdeck
Keynote
VM Fusion
iLife
Lotus Notes (of course)
Dropbox

I am really loving it. It’s a breeze to use once you get over the learning curve. And it’s pretty much the same screen size as my PC, but it has to be close to half the weight. Height and width are similar, but it’s half the depth. And it’s prettier.

And you know what? It just works.

Gadget Glee – iPad

Okay, so I may be one of the last people to get and review an iPad. I’m going to point out what *I* think is great about it and how *I* use it. Also, in the future, I’ll be posting useful apps that I use on my iPad.

I will fully admit when I first saw the iPad, I questioned why I would ever want one. Probably the usual thoughts, “Why would I want something that’s just a big phone?” or “it’s too small to be useful as a laptop” or “I’ll hate typing on it”. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.

The iPad has become indispensible for me. I have it with me nearly everywhere I go. Oddly enough, and even though Traveler works perfectly on it, I don’t really use it for email. I think I’ve become too accustomed to checking and responding to email on my Blackberry. However, my iPad has definitely become my replacement for quick internet searches. Got a question? No more waiting for my laptop to “wake up”, just turn on the iPad and surf.

The iPad has also become the world’s largest GPS driving navigation device for me. No, I don’t have turn by turn audio, but it still works really great getting directions and displaying them on the map.

The iPad definitely wins out on family entertainment. A few low cost or no cost games and I’ve got a great device for entertaining my kids while we wait, at a restaurant, at the doctor’s office, in the car, etc. I’ve also got a terrific device for distracting myself while I wait at the doctor’s office, in the car, etc. Book readers, feed readers and streaming TV round out the entertainment category (more on all of these in future posts).

I also use the iPad for quick checks of social networks like Facebook and Twitter. As well as world’s largest iPod. No, I’m not carrying the iPad with me jogging or anything, but it’s great to prop up and play some music while I’m cooking. Of course, cooking a recipe that I’ve got displayed on my iPad.

So, clearly, it’s way more than a phone.

“Too small to be useful as a laptop” – this is true and false. I definitely couldn’t use this in my day to day work. I’m too much of a PC-girl and need to right-click a mouse. However, with a few key apps, you can easily access your work. With the iPad, I’ve been able to easily fix problems from the parking lot of a doctor’s office without having to carry around my laptop (which is a monster of a laptop) or try to find a wireless network (I’ve got 3G for the iPad). That’s great news for me, as I could go on a short vacation, bring my iPad and know I could still help out at work if necessary without taking my laptop with me.

“I’ll hate typing on it” – this one is a tiny bit true, but mostly false. I quickly adapted to typing on the iPad. Some applications that have only an iPhone interface are a bit difficult as the “keyboard” is very small, but for the most part typing is quite easy. I don’t have a lot of love for iPad’s now infamous autocorrect as it almost never corrects to what I intended. However, I did find out that after you “deny” the autocorrect a few times, it will stop autocorrecting. For example, I frequently have to type in an email address, which includes “runningnotes”. Now because those are both words, the iPad kept “correcting” it by adding a space. After a couple of times where I rejected the “correction” and the iPad now lets “runningnotes” stand as is.

How quickly I went from doubter to fan girl. It’s only a matter of time before I want a Mac Book Pro, isn’t it?

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