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Microsoft Paid NFL $400 Million To Use Surface, But Announcers Call Them iPads

bigman2003 Re:football can cause brain damage (401 comments)

Surface Pro. I do like it.

The keyboard is nice. As you said, not ground-breaking. But as opposed to a lot of iPad keyboards, "it just works." Snap it on, snap it off. Is it Bluetooth? Honestly, I don't even know. I just know it works well. I assumed the connection was hardware based due to the 5 pins used for the connection.

Not specifically to you, but to many other commenters on this thread:

YES, there are other devices that can do THIS, or THAT. And YES, you can outfit an iPad with a whole bunch of different things to make it similar...but that is not the point. The point is that this is a very convenient device with the connectivity that I need/want. I can kludge together a super-duper tablet but that's not my aim. I much prefer the simplicity of buying something that's fully functional on day 1 and doesn't need anything else to be useful. (Insert comments about the keyboard not being included...)

I can pick up my Surface, with the keyboard as the cover, and go out into the world knowing that I am fully equipped to deal with whatever comes at me. A laptop would serve the same purpose, but it would probably be bigger (My Dell XPS 15 is great...but too big!). Most tablets are missing out on half of the features I need.

Also- I'm now a small** fan of Miracast, which is fully baked into Windows 8.1. There are still a lot of problems with it, but I've walked into a couple of situations with Miracast enabled monitors that I used and was happy with. It's nice that I don't need to add anything to make it work. And it's odd that my Surface is the 'it just works' machine, while iDevices need add-ons and software to make things happen.

**I wish my wireless displays would automatically re-connect, but I can imagine a lot of security based reasons not to do this.

3 days ago

Microsoft Paid NFL $400 Million To Use Surface, But Announcers Call Them iPads

bigman2003 Re:football can cause brain damage (401 comments)

I don't think you understand my 'ingesting photos' item. I connect my camera to my Surface via USB. Shots are immediately on my Surface. In fact, I don't even save them to the SD card, they are saved directly on the tablet. I have have 'Live View' on, to see exactly what the camera sees. This is NOT something that can be done over a network right now. Additionally, most of what I do isn't within range of a network...even cell.

I really am a 'mobile worker'. I go out an do stuff...away from networks and people. I carry as little crap with me as possible. Camera, Surface and USB cable are pretty standard.

Possibly when vineyards are networked I'll be able to work differently.

Example of what I do: (I am not a pro photographer- just an IT guy who knows how to use a camera well enough to document things.)

4 days ago

Microsoft Paid NFL $400 Million To Use Surface, But Announcers Call Them iPads

bigman2003 Re:football can cause brain damage (401 comments)

Glad you mentioned HVAC.

I can plug into our greenhouse climate control system (like HVAC * 10). USB only...

USB isn't dead.

4 days ago

Microsoft Paid NFL $400 Million To Use Surface, But Announcers Call Them iPads

bigman2003 Re:football can cause brain damage (401 comments)

USB is important for a few reasons:

#1- ingesting photos. OR even better, tethered shooting. Cameras use USB ports for data transfer and control of the camera. The time to preview pictures is while you are taking them, not when you return to the office. Not saying you can't do this with other platforms, but you can do this with EVERY camera using Surface/USB.

#2- Printers. Sure, wireless printing is great...sometimes. Again, most every printer works with USB. I've been visiting other locations, need to print something and the IT guy rolls his eyes when he sees I need to print a document from a tablet. Once he sees Surface/USB it's like, "Oh..okay, no problem, plug in here." Nobody wants to install some stupid app to let me print.

#3- Wired networking. Again, wireless is great- but sometimes it is not an option. A wired network dongle has saved me a few times.

#4- odd peripherals. Just last Friday I had to provide a butt-ton of files to a lawyer for 'discovery'. They provided an external hard-drive (Aegis Padlock Drive). USB...sure, plug that sucker in and I'll give you all the files you need.

In a professional environment I don't always have control over what I need to connect to. USB has been the most ubiquitous port over the last 10 years. Not having it on your computer locks out out of a LOT of stuff.

My Surface Pro 2 runs Photoshop just fine. Admittedly I don't use it as my primary editing machine (screen size) but when I need it, it is there. Not sure why you say the Surface is underpowered, I would say it is 'run of the mill' in performance. In 2013/2014 that means, "It is an absolute breeze to do photo editing." Also, the fact that the Surface Pro is an awesome digitizer, with a pen, is icing on the cake.

I'm not saying the Surface is the be-all and end-all, but it has features that are fantastic. Most of the detractors obviously haven't used one in a professional environment...where an Android tablet or iPad just don't do what I need them to do. Including having a USB port.

**Someone felt that I was trolling. I'm not a troll, just a person who enjoys using their Surface Pro for work and entertainment. Also, my previous job had me purchasing a LOT of equipment (1,800 users) and I spent soooo much money on iPads it was amazing. Most of those were deemed totally useless once the novelty wore off. I'm just trying to steer people toward what I feel is a very good solution to the mobile computer question.

4 days ago

Microsoft Paid NFL $400 Million To Use Surface, But Announcers Call Them iPads

bigman2003 Re:football can cause brain damage (401 comments)

Surface user here to respectfully disagree. The Surface is an awesome device that can be used for all sorts of good.

When people see me using my Surface as a tablet, they are then amazed when I show them the USB port (so simple...but why not on iPad?) and keyboard. Yes, the keyboard seems strange at first, but I really do use my Surface about 50/50 keyboard on/off. I've been popping that thing on and off for a few years and I really like it.

When people see me using it as a laptop, they are then surprised when I take off the keyboard, pop out the kickstand, and use it as a movie viewing tablet. OR, when I am out in the field and pop open Photoshop express to do some quick photo editing with my fingers. In about 6 seconds (really) I can have a photo cropped and 'shared'.

You are right, it is a tablet that wants to be a laptop, and a laptop that wants to be a tablet. Not cheap by any means but worth it for me.

I can tell you that from my perspective, this is the best device in either the tablet or laptop class for my use. Previously my Surface was also my desktop- but a new job brought on a ridiculously over-powered desktop that I would be crazy not to use. Now my Surface spends the day as my music player until I need to go out, then it is my usual note-taker.

***All that being said, we have a few other SP2's floating around in my organization that are barely used because people have no idea what they can/should be doing with them. Some were purchased after they saw my 'success' and I really want to say, "hmm...maybe you should have gotten an ipad..."

4 days ago

Microsoft Paid NFL $400 Million To Use Surface, But Announcers Call Them iPads

bigman2003 Re:Hahahaha (401 comments)

Going along with the story...

I use a Surface Pro to connect to my Canon camera for macro shots. Super cool, full control of the camera, tethered shooting (straight to Surface) which is then automagically uploaded to SkyDrive. Full screen preview, editing on the Surface, etc.

I can do tons of work directly on the Surface, really works out nice.

Every day I swear that I will "Strangle the next person that calls this an iPad", but that hasn't happened yet. But each time someone does that, I take the time to point out the USB port, the fact that it can run full Photoshop, etc. etc.

iPads were a cruel joke played upon people who thought they were getting a device that could actually DO something. iPads are great for consumption, but once you move beyond NetFlix, they are not good for much.

4 days ago

With Microsoft Office on Android, Has Linus Torvalds Won?

bigman2003 Does it matter? (365 comments)

The whole idea of 'winning' or 'losing' is misguided. The whole idea of marketshare being an indicator of quality is also misguided. I am an admitted Microsoftie. I'm on a Surface tablet right now. My Windows phone is sitting next to me. I've got an Xbox, subscription to Office 365, etc. I'm all in. The phone market has really taught me a lot. I used to carry an iPhone, but I was never really impressed with it. Eventually I switched to Windows and I was much happier (with my phone). A lot of people look at my phone as a lesser product. They'll send me links to articles predicting the demise of Windows Phone, or articles describing the horrible marketshare. But guess what? None of those articles...or the low marketshare...or the possible impending demise make me think less of my phone. Not at all. They have no impact on how I feel about the technology in my pocket. So the point is- I feel that others should do the same. Ignore the marketshare (unless you are an investor or developer) ignore the articles written by the hacks (Motley Fool is determined to bash Microsoft 30 times per day) and just use the technology in the way it was intended. Don't get emotionally invested in someone else's business. Microsoft put (a decidedly strange version of) Office on Android because they want the money. It has nothing to do with either satisfying, or challenging the fanboys. It has to do with money. That is what companies do. Apple had a horrible marketshare in the desktop OS market. It didn't mean they had an inferior product, just a less popular one. Getting emotional about this is silly.

about a year ago

What Is Holding Back the Paperless Office?

bigman2003 Re:Simple, it can be cloned (511 comments)

My wife signs all kinds of documents for me.

I accept documents that are signed, but I've never met the person, and I probably won't. I don't have any sort of official signature to compare against. For all I know, someone else other than the 'human authorized' signed the document.

Physical signatures are not perfectly secure. The expectation that digital signatures must be perfectly secure is naive.

I think that society is looking for a 99.9% solution- knowing that there will always be a way to cheat the system. The amount of effort to make ANY system perfect is just not worth the trouble.

more than 4 years ago

How Do You Get Users To Read Error Messages?

bigman2003 Re:Electric Shock (951 comments)

I disagree with your comments about the puppy picture. It is not an apology at all, it is a VERY effective means of communicating with your users.

I *do* use this method. I have pictures of cake, a cartoon alien, a dumpster, etc. throughout my systems with different pictures having very specific meanings (to me).

Every error gets emailed to the developers, and also logged, so there is a lot of 'professional' stuff going on behind the scenes.

But here is a scenario I've been in are sitting in a meeting, and the conversation turns to your newest creation, when one of the people says, "I was using the system this morning, and I got an error." Which could be a show-stopper as far as an positive discussion is concerned.

But then they add, "It was a piece of chocolate cake." To which I respond, "Okay, thanks for letting me know about that- I'll get it fixed ASAP."

The conversation moves forward, because confidence was restored in the system. The user did not have to talk about, "I don't know what it said- some computer gobbley-gook," which I would respond with "I will look into it."

With the cake picture, the user tells me everything I need to know, in a very simple and easy to understand way.

more than 4 years ago

YouTube To Kill IE6 Support On March 13

bigman2003 Re:I think I'll cut support too. (282 comments)

Well, that makes sense...since IE6, IE7 AND IE8 have more market share than Firefox, Safari, Opera and Chrome combined.

Not saying it is right, just saying it makes sense.

more than 4 years ago

Should Gaming Worlds Join the Workplace?

bigman2003 Re:Geek Sociologists Replacing Jock Sociologists (68 comments)

Just a guess (being that this is Slashdot, it is a fairly educated guess) you spent high school playing computer games, NOT being the captain of the football team. (So did I, so I don't have any problem with it.)

But the point is...the recruiters are going to tell you ANYTHING to get you to join the military.

It's a sales job, and flattering you is part of the job. I wouldn't believe anything a recruiter says. In fact, if you had signed up, you'd know that the entire military jokes about it constantly. "What? Did you believe your recruiter?"

I'm not even disputing the information you are putting out, just pointing out that your source is notoriously bad.

more than 4 years ago

Moving Away From the IT Field?

bigman2003 Re:half the jobs in IT are cleaning up (783 comments)

Not quite the same, but...

I work for part of a University that has a name that sounds like a telemarketing firm.

Frequently, one of my high level clients will call me in a panic and leave a message. I call back, but 50% of the time I get screened by a receptionist who just assumes I am trying to sell something.

If the client is a jerk, I don't even bother to explain. I'll wait until they call back and then tell them I got screened.

This happened to one client 5 or 6 times. Finally I explained to the secretary who I was, so the call would go through. The secretary said, "Oh, I know who you are...but she gave me a list of words to use to screen calls with. And your unit has two of those words in the name. Besides, it's fun to watch her get mad when she doesn't get the call."

I don't blame the secretary at all. But then again, you could only get away with that in the public sector.

more than 4 years ago

Has the Glory Gone Out of Working In IT?

bigman2003 Re:Glory? (623 comments)

For a while, when people found out I am a 'computer programmer' their reaction would be, "Ooooohhhhhh." (Like it meant *something*)

Today when people ask what I do, I say, "computer programmer" quietly, almost apologetically...because I know that nobody really cares.

more than 4 years ago

Ballmer Admits, "We Screwed Up Windows Mobile"

bigman2003 Re:Microsoft and Innovation (275 comments)

Somehow you are mistaking me for someone who used the word, 'Innovation.'

I didn't.

I said that their handwriting recognition was, 'Good.'

more than 4 years ago

Ballmer Admits, "We Screwed Up Windows Mobile"

bigman2003 Re:Microsoft and Innovation (275 comments)


In my rush to beat you at being an insufferable jerk, I forgot to make a good point.

When I said that their tablets and pdas do have good handwriting recognition, I mean exactly that. I mean, it is good. I've used it, it works. It understands what I am trying to write.

I'm not sure why it needs to be relative to anything, but if you NEED a comparison, how about: "It is very good compared to not having handwriting recognition."

Kinda like how 'light' is good...I guess you could say relative to 'dark', but sometimes dark is good too. But I still stand behind the statement that 'light is good.'

more than 4 years ago

Ballmer Admits, "We Screwed Up Windows Mobile"

bigman2003 Re:Microsoft and Innovation (275 comments)

Sorry you aren't very good at using the Internet.

But if you 'Google' the term, "handwriting recognition" you will find many other devices/products/software packages that allow for handwriting recognition that are NOT produced by Microsoft.

But if your contribution to the conversation starts and ends with, "Good relative to what?" then I am guessing that the whole purpose of looking up information is lost on you.

more than 4 years ago

Ballmer Admits, "We Screwed Up Windows Mobile"

bigman2003 Re:Title (275 comments)

You say Windows Mobile Bluetooth stack is lobotomized.

I've been playing full-stereo music on my bluetooth headphones for quite a while on my Windows phone- but they've just added that feature to iPhones. Previously you needed to use a dongle.

So the Bluetooth stack is lobotomized in comparison to what?

more than 4 years ago

Ballmer Admits, "We Screwed Up Windows Mobile"

bigman2003 Re:Microsoft and Innovation (275 comments)

Their tablets and pda's do have good handwriting recognition. Use one- they're good.

But for real input, handwriting recognition is eclipsed by having a keyboard, so it's not that big of a deal really.

more than 4 years ago

FSF Attacks Windows 7's "Sins" In New Campaign

bigman2003 Re:FUD FUD FUD and more FUD (926 comments)

Wow...if you would "Rather do it in a slower way (pen, paper and a calculator)" then one of two things must be true:

1- the calculations you are doing are extremely simplistic.

2- you don't understand how a program like Excel can help.

If the reason is #1- great. Go for it.

I'm guessing though that the reason is the latter. You actually think a pen, paper and calculator are better.

It's like people who think that counting on their fingers is better. Or people who think typing with one finger is better.

Either way, you are not a very valuable asset.

about 5 years ago



Bad Business with Google

bigman2003 bigman2003 writes  |  more than 6 years ago

bigman2003 writes "Google is the 'Do No Evil' company, but many of their business practices are consumer un-friendly. Here is a story about attempting to upgrade a Google Mini search appliance, but being told that Google will not sell the $3,000 upgrade and the only option is to pay $7,000 for a whole new system.

Are Google's days of being a 'good company' over? Is there such thing as a 'good company'? And better yet, does anyone have an idea of a Google Mini replacement without the ridiculous licensing?"


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