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Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Codecademy: Learning Code in the Cloud

I have dabbled with coding before; I am OK with HTML, mediocre with CSS, and horrible with Javascript. All of this will hopefully change as I work through totally online and free courses through Codecademy.

Learning in Codecademy is done via basic instructions and an online editor

Besides those mentioned above, courses on jquery and python are also available; there are also lessons built around applying this newfound knowledge, and both courses and applied lessons are continually added. The UI works is very visually pleasing, and has worked 100% of the time during my sessions. 

If you have time and want to learn code, check out Codecademy. Its simple, free, and totally done in the cloud.

Sunday, 9 September 2012

A Simpler Life: Chromebook Edition

I recently came across this post on Lifehacker titled "10 Simple Things Every Computer User Should Know How To Do," and I realized that life with a Chromebook is so much simpler. Here are the things from the list (and their respective numbers) that Chromebook users don't have to do:

#10: Set Up a Dead Simple Backup System: 99% of Chromebook user's  is stored in the cloud, we simply let Google take care of things.

 #8: Protect Yourself From Viruses: Chrome = Virus free. No worries when you are surfing those free-TV streaming sites.

 #5: Access Your Home Computer From Anywhere: Again, we store most of our data in the cloud, as long as we are connected we have our files.

#4: Keep Your Computer in Tip Top Shape with Regular Maintenance: Chromebooks are constantly updated and termed the "always new" computer. I am on the Beta channel and receive updates weekly, free of charge. I own both generations of the Samsung Series 5, and both have actually gotten faster with time.

#3: Instantly Share a File Between Two Computers: All we have to do with a file is hit "share" and type in the address; simple!

These are five somewhat time consuming tasks that us Chromebook users don't have to do. We let the big G take care of everything and enjoy a much simpler computing life.

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Chromebook: Future of the Enterprise and Education Realms

     I have owned a Chromebook for the past 8 months and absolutely love it! Two of my favorite things are the lack of antivirus software and the easy update system.
     My Chromebook is currently on the beta channel and receives updates about every 2 weeks; this consists of clicking on "the wrench," waiting for the update to download, and then restarting, this last step takes less than 10 seconds. Overall it is a very simple and quick experience which can be easily applied to the enterprise/education realm.
     At a stark contrast to this are the enterprise and education models using traditional Windows PCs (I am not sure about the Mac updating process). Usually some kind of imaging program is used, which is much more complicated than it should be, and quite often crashes during the updating process. People get frustrated, they don't have hours to waste on updating computers, this results in computers not being updated and creating statistics like this; ~25% of IE users are using IE 6 or 7! IE6 was released in 2001!
     With the Chromebook model, everyone can easily have the latest and greatest browser version with ease. Say goodbye to the 11 year old operating systems and browsers.


Saturday, 25 February 2012

The Death of Point-and-Shoots

I love my Nexus S, I really do. It is running pure Android 2.3 (ICS on the way), it has a decent processor, the screen is 4" (0.5" bigger than the iPhone) and I love the camera...so much that I have hardly used my 14 MP Sony point-and-shoot in the past 4 months.

Why do I love the camera so much? Even though it is only 5 MP, it takes good photos and avoids a lot of the hassle with point-and-shoots:
  1. Geotagging: As long as the my phone's gps is turned on, photos are automatically geotagged, and the accuracy is pretty good. With the point-and-shoot, I have to manually add the gps information with software that often crashes.
  2. Uploading: Android allows easy uploading to major photo sharing sites. I am a diehard Picassa web album user, to upload I simply select the photos and the album to upload to. For the point-and-shoot, I have to transfer them to my computer via a usb cable, then upload them to Picasa web albums. I hate having to deal with wires.
  3. One Less Device: Back in the day I rocked a dumbphone and iPod Touch. Like a lot of people I have ditched the iPod Touch and dumbphone, and use just the smartphone. Using the smartphone as my primary camera is another step in the direction of using just one device. Before the smartphone age, people would whip out their point-and-shoot to grab a photo, take out the dumbphone to make a call; now they simply whip out their smartphone. Flickr numbers provide evidence for this, the iPhone is the most popular camera used (and yes, I admit that the iPhone does have a great camera) and I suspect other phones are playing catch-up. 
Photographers out there will never move in this direction, and most probably don't use a point-and-shoot, they will stick with their SLR or DSR or whatever it is called. The average user is ditching their point and shoot for their smartphone and I expect the rate of this will increase. Instead of users upgrading their camera, they will upgrade their phone (8 MP cameras and higher are very common in smarthphones these days). I know I will be doing this come October.

Finally, here is the same beautiful Newfoundland scene taken with my Sony point-and-shoot and my Nexus S, I am not sure which device took which photo, for me and the average user it doesn't matter.