In 1998, Bill Yonley released Captain Cookie and the Isle of Tongue to friends, family, and the congregation of New Life Christian Center in southeast Houston. I happened on the CD while browsing through my collection, looking for a CD for one of my sons, and posted a photo of the cover on Facebook. Several of my friends replied to my post asking for a copy.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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: