Computer Aces

Tech for the Rest of Us

July 1st, 2015

Dear Microsoft,

Comments Off on Dear Microsoft,, Hardware, Microsoft, Products, Surface, Surface Pro, Technology, by JCBaker.

You don’t know me though I have been one of your earliest and most avid users, from MS-BASIC on the original Radio Shack TRS-80s to being one of the original Surface Pro users (I have bought two Surface Pros and two Surface Pro 2s). In fact, it was the TRS-80 and MS-BASIC that got me into the computer industry, but that’s a story of its own and too long for this letter. More

June 21st, 2012

You Can Experience Microsoft Surface Now… Well, Almost.

Comments Off on You Can Experience Microsoft Surface Now… Well, Almost., Uncategorized, by CmputrAce.

I’ve seen a lot of hoopla about the Microsoft Surface and I am a bit surprised at all the speculation about what it will be like.  To me the Surface seems like nothing more than a good tablet with a keyboard and a dock all put together.  The hardware specs that Microsoft has published aren’t very different than the Samsung Series 7 Slate, but with a higher resolution display.  Sure it’s similar to that the ASUS Transformer in that it docks to the keyboard and turns into a notebook, but that’s all “gimmickry” and shouldn’t impact performance. More

June 21st, 2012

The “Perfect Tablet” – Samsung Series 7 Slate

Comments Off on The “Perfect Tablet” – Samsung Series 7 Slate, Hardware, Mobile Devices, Products, Review, Technology, by JCBaker.

Over a year ago I published an article about the Gateway C140XL Tablet PC, and how it was almost the perfect laptop / tablet for me. It was also the last Microsoft Windows-based PC that I used personally, having since switched to using an Apple MacBook Pro and an iPad to go along with my iPhone. I made a complete switch to OS X and iOS and only used Windows for work and work-related documents. Nevertheless, I kept looking for the perfect tablet, be it Windows, OS X, Linux, or Android. More

February 28th, 2012

Seagate GoFlex Satellite + Hack Seagate Satellite

Comments Off on Seagate GoFlex Satellite + Hack Seagate Satellite, Hardware, iPhone / iPad, Mobile Devices, Products, Review, Software, Technology, by JCBaker.

For years I have been looking for portable, battery-powered external hard drive. I do a lot of consulting and always keep backups of my work, so I keep a portable external hard drive with me. I also have an extensive music library that I want to have readily available to access from my laptop and portable devices, but I hate constantly moving music files to my “iDevices” just to keep the selection fresh, and all too often, I’ll want to hear some songs in my collection that I didn’t think to move.

Wait, I could do all of that on iCloud (or any other cloud service), right? Sure, if I want to wait for files to upload / download, and I want to pay for all the bandwidth to move the data – I’m usually on the road or at a client site when I want to move data and I don’t jailbreak my devices anymore – it’s just too much of a hassle for limited benefit and extra instability. More

February 5th, 2012


Comments Off on n-Dimensional, Uncategorized, by JCBaker.
OK, I’m strange. I spent about half the drive to work this morning considering dimensions. Came up with a few insights that I’m sure I could have read somewhere…

“People” living in an n-dimensional universe can only fully perceive n-1 dimensions unless they (or other things in the universe) move.

The only way to know that your n-dimensional universe exists in n+1(or more) space is to move. You have to be able to measure distance accurately to determine how your universe “curves” around the extra dimension(s). (picture a 2-dimensional closed universe wrapped around a sphere{3 dimensions}).

There’s more, but I don’t want your heads to explode.

Kevin Sherman Your post reminded me of a book I started reading about a year ago called “Quantum Glory” by Phil Mason. I’m usually a fast reader, but I’m only halfway through it because my head explodes after 2 or 3 paragraphs.

Thursday at 9:03am ·

Mandy Baker Kablooey

Thursday at 9:21am
James Baker The recognition of n dimensions instead of n-1 only requires motion if viewed from a single point of reference.
Humans and most other creatures on this planet have two, and our brains can extrapolate by comparing the two points of reference.Unless you’re referring to time as a dimension (which I’m sure you’re not), in which case, yes, we cannot understand time without motion. The two are irrevocably intertwined.

Thursday at 9:27am ·

James Baker A flat display is a common example of a single point of reference for n-1 observation, where movement within the system being projected on the display is required to observe the simulated depth.

Thursday at 9:29am
Jim Baker James, I stand by my use of the words “fully perceive”. Yes, a two-dimensional being will have some indication of 2-dness with parallax vision, but it has limitations. If you imagine standing still in an environment in which nothing is moving, parallax perception alone is not very good at perceiving the “fullness” of the dimensions. It’s only through movement of ourselves or the objects that our interpretation of parallax vision is confirmed (or denied).And if you really think about it, parallax vision substitutes for movement, anyway. If I could set up “parallax” viewing stations throughout any n-dimensional universe, I could interpret all n dimensions – but that requires movement as well.

Therefore, since parallax vision is a substitute for movement, I could with some confidence restate my original postulate: Only n-1 dimensions of any n-dimensional universe can be visually perceived without motion of the observer or the observed.
Thursday at 9:37am

Jim Baker As if this knowledge will somehow make a difference in my income or better the world as we know it…But I obsess about such things sometimes. I think somehow it’s a driving force in me to be able to use pure logic to solve problems in an otherwise non-logical world (people).

Thursday at 9:41am ·

Candace Henson Ahahahahaha. I didn’t even bother to read below the word “dimensions”. Too big for my brain! You haven’t changed a bit. Love you Bakers!

Thursday at 9:57am ·
Joseph A Mills Well, you can think about these things while driving, or you can listen to NPR…
Thursday at 10:31am ·
Julie Baker Too late! I’m with Mandy…KABLOOEY!!!
Thursday at 10:32am ·

Candace Henson Love NPR.

Thursday at 10:41am ·

James Baker I listen to audiobooks. Keeps my mind off traffic.

Thursday at 10:48am

Joseph A Mills I ponder form and the way it is perceived; and why.

Thursday at 11:04am ·

Karen Prescott All that while driving?

Thursday at 12:17pm ·

February 4th, 2012

Microsoft Excel – A Developer’s View

Comments Off on Microsoft Excel – A Developer’s View, Development, Excel, Products, Software, VBA, by JCBaker.

I have this love/hate relationship with Excel, especially Excel 2007. I haven’t played with Excel 2010 yet, so this may extend to it as well.

I won’t go into a lot of history here, but I had Visicalc a gazillion years ago, then Lotus 1-2-3 (the text version). In fact in Enron’s early days, I automated some of the curve calculations one of the VPs had built in a version of 1-2-3 running on a Sun workstation using Lotus’ macro language they had extended from the original Visicalc.  More

October 11th, 2011

Apple Developer Support – WTF?

Comments Off on Apple Developer Support – WTF?, iPhone / iPad, Mobile Devices, Technology, by JCBaker.

OK, I know that some people expect Apple to go to pot with the loss of their main visionary, Steve Jobs, but SO SOON?

I recently submitted an app to the App Store and requested promo codes to enable me to give free copies to reviewers. Every time I tried, I would get an error message telling me to email support, so I did: More

April 4th, 2011

Three Rules in Houston…

Comments Off on Three Rules in Houston…, Management, by JCBaker.

Several years ago, I joined a software company who wanted to open a branch office in Houston as a base to cover the energy industry. They already had made some sales to energy companies, but wanted someone who knew the industry better to lead the effort. I happened to be tiring of constantly travelling for my partnership, so this seemed like a perfect match.


March 14th, 2011

PM Gone Wrong – The “Offsite”

Comments Off on PM Gone Wrong – The “Offsite”, Management, Project Management, Technology, by CmputrAce.

I got this note from a friend who was on a project that was out of control. This is one example.

I’m really torn about this… There are over 250 hourly contractors on this IT project of about 450 people that are being required to attend three-day offsite meeting by the contracting company. This wouldn’t be a problem except that:


March 9th, 2011

On Being a Manager

Comments Off on On Being a Manager, Management, by CmputrAce.

or, How to Really Motivate Your Employees
or, The Best People Manager Doesn’t Even Manage People

They once called me Colonel Kurtz. Mind you, I’ve never seen “Apocalypse Now”, so someone had to explain to me why that should be derogatory. I guess I can see why some people considered me dangerous… I upset the ox cart. I changed the rules and I won. Mind you, I didn’t break the law or even do anything immoral. What I did was my job and that bothered them. I just didn’t do my job their way. More