Monday, August 30, 2010

The iSpot becomes MySpot

As a geek, I have to be connected to the Internet. It's part of my DNA. All geeks understand and can relate to this. With my iPhone, I can grab my region's 3G connection, which, despite the national media and some of my friends' experiences, is not too shabby. Sure, it's not like the WiFi in my house or place of business, or even most coffee shops, but it'll do until I can get to a place that has better service.

Well, recently, Clearwire has released a device that has made my connected wandering the stuff of dreams. The iSpot is a small, white device the size of a bar of bath soap (4" x 2.25" x .5"), and it connects to Clear's 4G WiMax network to offer a hotspot for my iPhone, iPad, and any other iOS device I choose to allow have the password.

During an introductory offer, I saw it was only $25 or so, and the service is $25/month for unlimited data, month to month with no contract. It can serve as the access point for as many as eight iOS devices. From my understanding, it filters the devices out by MAC address, only allowing those that fall within the range of the handhelds. I've not seen any slowdown or delay as I've connected to indicate anything else is happening behind the scenes.

Connecting to the hotspot has clean and easy, and managing the unit via the free software I downloaded from iTunes is simple as well. Getting a signal has sometimes been a bit of trouble, however. In our area, we have quite a bit of coverage, but in some buildings and low-lying areas (such as my neighborhood!), the signal strength drops off to zero. I tried it out in some other, mostly outside areas, however, and the results were nothing short of amazing. Having the Internet in my pocket while on a bike ride means I can stop and edit or write using my server accounts or Evernote, without using my AT&T data minutes. I've biked out to places before and wanted to spend some time there, but had online things that needed attention, so had to leave. Packing this and my iPad will mean I can work online from anywhere - at least within the Clear coverage area.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Testing a new publication medium

I've not been posting a lot lately, mostly because I've not been near my computer except late at night while at home. Since early April, my iPad has been my mobile device of choice, and the web interface to Blogger is less than friendly to log into. (1password notwithstanding)

Today, while reading a friend's blog, I noted several entries with signatures similar to the one below, so thought I'd spend the two bucks to give it a try. Set up has been relatively painless, so maybe I'll be able to share more of my thoughts on life and technology with you lucky souls.

I can hear the silent anticipation of millions of souls holding their breaths in excitement all ready.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Washington St,Cary,United States

Saturday, April 3, 2010

I have seen the future, and I like it!

I remember longing after those AT&T commercials back in the '80s - "Ever attended a meeting in your bare feet? You will." "Ever sent a fax from the beach? You will." I recently reviewed them on YouTube, and chuckled at how much was wrong, and what was spot on. No one calls home from phone booths any more, they all call from the plane as soon as it's off the active runway. And attending meetings in bare feet may actually happen in an office building, due to cultural changes as the Boomers aged up into management and brought their jeans and sandals along to the executive suite.

But the most far-reaching change, which will affect computing for the next decade or two, launched in early April 2010. Holding an iPad, using the same Internet we've been using for the past 15-20 years, you know you'll never be happy surfing with a limited phone browser or a netbook again. And that mouse is really looking long in the tooth!

In the few months that I have been using it, my iPad has become my Internet tool of choice. I'm irritated if a place doesn't have wifi so that I can surf with it. I take it to lunch and read, email, and catch up on writing articles in progress. With or without my Bluetooth keyboard, it's a great typing experience, but, then, I'm not a touch typist. The iOS which started powering the iPhone and now powers all manner of portables (iPhones, iPod Touches, and iPads) is head and shoulders above the rest in user-friendliness and real-world usability. There are those who prefer tweaking things themselves, and, for them, the openness of Android and WebOS will be better, but for the majority of humans, the iOS experience is bringing us the future we've been promised since Uhurrah first handed a PADD to Captain Kirk in 1969.

Next up, flying cars!

from dusty archives - Largo Lodge

[ed. This piece was written some time ago, but I found it recently while moving hard drives on a computer. I thought some folks may find it ...