Chat with Phil McKinney

Bookmark and Share

I was lucky enough to yes, have an hour and a half of time with Phil McKinney.

Don’t know who he is?

He’s the CTO of the biggest technology “elephant”, HP. That’s pretty cool.

We talked about multiple things:
Innovation, what people want, and what happens at the HP labs. I learned a couple of cool things. During that conversation.

The innovation thing stuck with me.

I asked him if the level of innovation was the same at an elephant like HP as it was at a startup (which I found out he had run a couple of those). His answer was basically that at a giant, good ideas have more funding and therefore have more flexibility. The downside however is that it runs very slowly. Another thing that I learned about this by listening to his podcast (Creating Killer Innovations) is that at a larger company, you get a bunch of people together to brainstorm ideas, and someone writes them all down. After, they email it to everybody and what happens next? Nothing.

At a startup though, it’s different. They don’t have as much flexibility due to funding, but they can roll things out pretty fast because there are usually less people for the ideas to run through. Personally, I work at a startup Cooliris (cooliris.com) and I create ideas. I use gopogle docs to document them and it is shared with the CEO and the QA assurance. There see only a few engineers so it could be handed right to them in the office. Within a couple of months, those ideas are probably in the software.

I also learned that being the CTO is more than just about coding. You have to integrate the technology into everything else and find new ideas for products. Knowing how to code is handy, but knowing marketing and EVERYTHING else is also very important.

Another cool fact: The LED was invented at HP, and whenever someone uses them HP gets royalty. ironic, because my iPad and MacBook both use LED backlighting. LOL!

Also, one of his duties is to figure out what people want in a product. He told me about these best buy studies he does. He goes to a best buy and watches people and listens to their conversations while they are looking for a monitor or a computer to get (Id be a little creeped out, personally). When his “subject” finally goes to check out, he goes over to them, hands them his business cards, and asks them to go through his browsing process to see why he eventually purchased that product. I still find this a bit creepy, but hey, it’s for a good cause!

Another thing I asked him about was if I should learn any coding.

Yes, I don’t know how to code.

I’ve asked many people this question before, and what I usually get is that I should start with Java.

Phil had another idea. he recommended that I stared with HTML5, because that’s where everybody is moving to: The web. I know a tiny bit of HTML, which will help me in learning this. Also, if you have any recommendations for an HTML 5 book, all are welcome in the comments section!

Along with that, Tony Welch (or Richard Welch or Frosty Welch, whichever you choose) took me around a couple of floors in the building. I saw their equivalent to telepresence (which I was quite jealous of at first sight), and I saw some other cool stuff that I don’t think I should tell you about juuust yet (sadly, there were no slates :’-[ )…

Along with that, Tony showed me the Blackbird, which was made by VooDoo (which was recently acquired from HP). That thing is quite the computer, with liquid cooling and the whole chutzpah. he also gave me quite a nice handful of VooDoo schwag (free stuff) including a VooDoo Edition Razer Tarantula keyboard, three Blackbird USB keys (two of which I RAIDed, blog post on that coming soon!), a Blackbird T-shirt (like all other t-shirts i’ve gotten from companies 3 or so sizes too big), and a few VooDoo temporary tattoos (“CAUTION: may deliver a bad-ass appearance temporarily” was on the packages…). Expect a review on that keyboard soon!

I was walking to my car and Phil gave me his creating killer innovations CD. Thanks Phil!

Just wanted to thank all of you HP people including Tony, Ann Finnie (Phil’s PR gal), and of course, Phil. Had lots o fun! Here’s a picture:

iPad vs. MacBook

Bookmark and Share

Sure, the iPad does NOT replace a computer. Apple was not targeting this towards the laptop market at all (but don’t you think that it’s enough to carry around 3 different devices?). But even so, I find myself using my iPad more than my MacBook.

But why? Well, to find this out lets look at what my laptop does:
•Email
•Internet
•Flash
•Desktop Applications
•Word Processing

Lets look at what my iPad does:

•Email
•Internet
•Mobile Applications
•Word Processing
•eBooks

As you can tell, I can do most of the things with the iPad as I can my desktop. I can run apps, check Facebook, read email, and I have the word press app so I can post to Good Morning Geek. Thanks to the internet aspect I can do everything that I can do on my computer except flash (Which I don’t use very often anyways, YouTube doesn’t count because it is in HTML5!!). But what can’t I do? I don’t use that many special desktop apps on my MacBook, and many of them run on my iPad (such as MindNode, one of my favorites and Cooliris). Other than that, the only thing I can’t do is multi-task, which I don’t really need right now.

When I type blog posts on it (like this one!), I can connect a bluetooth keyboard to it so I don’t have to power up my computer to work on a post with a physical keyboard. I just take out my handy (not so) little iPad, connect my bluetooth keyboard, and start typing. I can also just use the case as a stand for the typing, or I can use the dock.

So because functionality isn’t an issue, why do I use my iPad instead of my MacBook?
•No time to startup
•I can use it anywhere I want without overheating
•Much lighter than my MacBook

Reasons I would use the MacBook instead of my iPad:
•Power
•Multitasking

Flash could be on that list, but I don’t use it often enough to make a difference.

So there you go. My MacBook has been away for a couple of days because I can do pretty much everything my MacBook could on the iPad. In fact, my mac is still in my laptop bag after 3 days. Cool!

Which would (and do) you use more? Comments welcome.

Written on my iPad

Web Browsing on iPad

Bookmark and Share

The iPad is a wonderful touchscreen device, and I would categorize as a tablet. As all tablets must be, it of course can connect to the internet (like all apple devices except for iPods, and why would you want an iPod to connect to the internet?). And I must say, that when I just want to look at a couple of websites, I would rather just take out this super-thin lightweight iPad then my powerful big Mac. Yes, I would use my MacBook for somethings instead of the iPad but for simple light internet browsing, the iPad is what I go for. I don’t have to worry about it overheating, which is quite important to me. So how is it?

First off, WiFi.
Many people have reported problems with WiFi and I’m among them. The WiFi range is not that large, so you need to move closer to the AP than in a laptop. But if you are close enough to the AP, then the internet is quite speedy.

Next, speed.
The internet browser is (of course) safari, which has been redesigned and given a speed boost. At the moment, I can’t give you any specific specs, but it definitely feels pretty speedy.

After that, design.
Apple has redesigned Safari just for the iPad. Now, it features a Bookmarks bar, so you can get easy access to all of your favorite sites with a single tap. Also, all of the controls were promote to the top toolbar, so you canto forward/back, add to home screen, bookmark, email, enter a URL, or do a google search all from the top toolbar.this allows for more space to view the webpage (although not much). You can keep up to 9 pages open, and to switch the pages you are shown a sleep thumbnail view (picture at bottom). To interact with webpages, i would be as expected. Doubletap a paragraph to zoom so it perfectly fits, pinch to zoom in/out, swipe to scroll around the page, and tap on a link to visit it.

The pictures look vibrant on the LED backlit display, even on a webpage.

Only catch: It doesn’t support flash. But really, is this much of a surprise? Has there ever been a single mobile apple device running iPhone OS that has supported flash? No, and i’m not guessing there will be. But not to worry, many sites have converted to HTML5 so you can view them on your treasured, beautiful iPad.

Oh, and just an FYI: I actually created this post using the free WordPress app on the iPad. If you have a wordpress site, then it is a must-have as it is great for moderating comments and adding and editing posts. I also used my Apple WirelessKeyboard through Bluetooth to type this, so I didn’t have to use the touchscreen keyboard. Another post on that soon… ;-)

Incase Neoprene Slip Sleeve Plus for iPad

Bookmark and Share

Looks just like the one for my laptop!

Yes, Apple did come out with a cool case for the iPad. It’s good for day to day use because you can use it without it being bare naked and exposed to the elements of dust and air. But it’s thin rubber construction will not help when you drop it. Also, when you put the iPad in the case it eels like the rubber is about to rip. Overall, it just seems like  crappy construction. It’s thin rubber and it’s NOT worth the $40.

So I returned one of the Apple cases and got the Incase Neoprene Slip sleeve Plus. Now that I think of it, it might have been better not to get the slip sleeve and instead have gotten the zippered one.

Like the Neoprene sleeve for my MacBook, it has a faux interior and side protection, but unlike the sleeve for my Macbook the Slip Sleeve has an opening close to the top where you can slip the iPad in, but then you have to pull the top part over the edge of the iPad which can become quite difficult. Here is a picture of the opening:

Put the iPad in where the slit is and then pull the top part over the edge.

The Neoprene is like a shock-absorbing gel, and I’m confident dropping it onto the ground from abut 6 inches. Past that, it’s not recommended. And just incase (pun intended) you drop it on it’s most vulnerable area (the sides), it has that extra protection.

I must say that this case covers the whole thing up. I still can’t figure out whether to put it in with the screen towards the front or back. Hmm…

Also, this sleeve is TSA airport security safe. HOWEVER, the iPad is not required to be removed from your bag at security because of it’s thin profile. I guess it is now posed as more of a traveler, now isn’t it?

When you are traveling, this is definitely what you might want to put your precious iPad in. Luckily, the back is NOT Chrome, it’s Aluminum so it’s much less vulnerable to scratches and fingerprints. Only problem is trying to get the thing into the case, but try to do it gently and you’ll be fine.

The Incase Neoprene Slip Sleeve Plus is sold for $39.95, and is available at your local Apple Retail Store. Click HERE to visit the Homepage. It is available in Silver and Black (I got black to match my laptop sleeve).

My thoughts in OS 4.0

Bookmark and Share

First, the iPad was released. And now, this? This has been quite the hectic week for apple.
iPhone OS 4.0 brings more features That everybody wanted. Now, there’s no reason not to get an iPhone (in fact apple has announced a CDMA phone, and you should’ve seen what happened to my stock!), but more people are going to find more features that they want.

So what does it do?

1. Multitasking
There was a cheer from the crowd when this was announced.
You can now multitask and run multiple apps at the same time, and voip apps can run in the background with a bar on top of the app you are running.

My thoughts:
It’s about time.

2. Change the wallpaper behind the home screen!

My thoughts: Okay, very nice…

3. New mail application
Now you can have multiple exchange accounts. You can also merge multiple accounts into a singe inbox.

My thoughts: Cool! Now I can merge my podcast, max, support, and everything else into one inbox.

So these are the things that some people might care about.

The OS will be out for second generation iPod touch and iPhone 3G in the summer, but multitasking won’t be supported. At the same time it will be resealed for the third generation iPod touch and iPhone 3GS and will support multitasking. The following fall it will be released for the iPad. Yay!

Comments are desired.

HD Video on iPad

Bookmark and Share

Well, I’ve had the iPad for a little while, and my first aspect for a review is HD video.

To test the HD video, I downloaded Star Trek from iTunes. Sadly, it was quite the whopping twenty bucks, but I suffered and bought it anyway.

The movie interface is great. The cover interface is quite pleasing. ADHD just like they said in the video, the movie saves your spot and starts playing instantly. Also, the LED backlit display is amazing. The colors are incredibly vibrant, and the IPS technology really makes a difference. For those who don’t know, IPS is a technology in a screen that allows the contrast to stay consistent through a 170 degrees viewing angle.

However: Star Trek from the iTunes store is formatted extremely wide screen (picture two at the bottom of the post), in fact almost panoramic. Also, many shots the main subject is off to one side. So you have to view the movie as a little strip across your screen or you have to miss a part of the action (or at least the parts on the edges of the movie, picture three at the bottom of the post). So, you always have to miss out on a part of it. I don’t know if it is the same story for other movies in the iTunes store, but this is the one I tested with.

Overall, this is an amazing movie watching experience. Attach bluetooth headphones or just lug em in, and you can watch about 7 hours of video (estimated that I’ve gotten ten hours doing general music listening, email, web surfing, etc.). The IPS makes it great to show the movie to the people crowding around you (after all, you ARE holding an iPad…). So if you have one of these, go get some moooovies!

The iPad experience

Bookmark and Share

The date is April third. 7:00 AM. Where’s am I? Of Course, at the Apple Store. There are about fifteen people in front of me, and one behind. The black screen is up, hiding everything in the apple store.

One hour and a half later, across the street from the store is the local high school jazz band warming up for some reason. There are now 20 people behind me.

Ten minutes later (8:40) there are about 80 people behind me. There are hands over the black screen and everybody in the apple store is coating down a from ten. Once at zero, the screen is dropped and the iPad signs are all up in the apple store.

Five minutes later the apple store employees are running down the line and giving high-fives.

Five minutes later the doors open and the local high school band starts to play. The first twenty or so people are let in going through a line of apple employees giving you high-fives. I am then greeted by the manager (who I happened to know) and we pick what we want: a 32GB iPad, an iPad case, an iPad dock, and some headphones. We check out and at the bottom of the post there is a picture I got.

I get home and unbox the thing. I sync and start exploring. I download some apps, hookup email and everything.

I put on the case and started playing some games.

Then, I open the word press app and I write this post.

There you go, the iPad experience. I caught most of it on HD video, which I will put up very soon.

There will be reviews of every aspect up over the next few weeks.

This thing rocks!