Chris J Powell

Upgrading Krispy's Tech

Here we are into April already and I sit here plotting the upgrades in my life as I always seem to do this time of the year.  So far this year I have done a couple upgrades already with a new phone (upgraded my LG G3 to the new Huawei Nova Plus) and a new Tablet.  The phone upgrade was really because it was time, I did an early upgrade as the battery on my G3 was more than a little flakey.  The tablet though…may seem like a strange choice in a world that is constantly looking to be bigger and better as I got myself a diminutive Acer Iconia One Android Tablet that is not much bigger than my phone…but acts primarily as a ebook reader. In the coming weeks and months though, I am really looking at doing a monster upgrade of the tech and services that I am connected to. The first upgrade will be happening in a couple of weeks with a massive step up to a new ISP (Internet Service Provider) with some monster upgrades … Read more

WebApp Wednesday – Markdown

During my evaluation of Content Management Solutions for the relaunch of this site I looked at a lot of Flat File CMS’s that not only supported the Markdown Language but were built directly around it.  Despite returning to the site’s roots as a WordPress based website, I fell in love with the idea of being able to not only write the posts and pages in a language that was easy to understand where the code was coming from, but would also enable me to port the information over to PDF in real time without loosing any formatting or needing to rebuild things with the wonderful world of Copy & Paste. I live and breath with the Chrome Browser and as nice as it is to be able to leverage a native application, I found myself needing the option to be able to move from my Desktop, to my Chromebook to my Tablet and to my phone with a single application that I could save my .md files directly to my Google Drive that is enabled across all of the devices…and … Read more

Free App Friday – Where Oh Where Can I Find Just One More???

Rather than always look at an individual app for my Phone, Tablet, Desktop or even my Chromebook I thought that I would take a moment to look to some of the amazing places that Free Software lives its life just waiting to be found.  As an Ode to the Past I will start with the places I have been going for years to satisfy my “cheapness” and then work my way forward to some amazing new(er) sites that I have recently found. In the early days of the Interwebz I used to get my free software fix from a couple of sources.  One was Tucows.  Around since 1994, “The Ultimate Collection Of Winsock Software” has long been a go to for me when I am looking to fill a void in my needs for a free solution that could be resolved by a multi hundred dollar solution.  For a time, it was also one of my primary sources to find Linux Distros as well but I have since moved on to bigger and better sources for that. A mixture of Free … Read more

Office Just got Personal!

Like it or hate it Microsoft Office has been the defacto king of the hill when it comes to business productivity apps since the mid to late 90s when they pushed its way past WordPerfect of Document Editing and Lotus 123 for the world of Spreadsheets.  The competitors are now all but gone, with IBM having rebranded and reformated the concept of Office Productivity before finally all but moving on (although I must say the Symphony version of OpenOffice was really good) and WordPerfect well what can we say about the little Canadian Company that tried but failed miserably…it still exists but I am just not sure if there is any relevance out there anymore. The latest version of Microsoft Office though is brilliant and now with the Microsoft Office Personal Edition by using the perpetual licensing of the Office 365 product.  For just $70 per year you get the full weight of Office Productivity where and when you need it.  Or for $7 per month if you fear commitment (like many of us do) you can have access to your … Read more

Free App Friday – The Quest for a Zite Replacement

Earlier this week I made a bold statement that I am lost without Zite the News App that has been my trusty companion for almost 4 years, guiding me through the news of the day and letting me interact with the information in a way that I really enjoyed and was able to share with others quite effectively.  Sure there are alternatives but with the purchase of Zite by Flipboard, I was still in shock from losing what I thought was as good as it gets.  And then… I started down a quest of trying to find a real replacement for Zite and while there are dozens of Apps that claim to do what it did for me…most were a quick install, use once and uninstall.  The Interfaces were clunky, there was no social sharing component and worst of all…I had to either use just blog and news site RSS or I could only pull from my Social Media Channels and that was just not enough for me…so after several hours of deliberation…I sucked up my pride and narrowed the … Read more

OS Sunday – A Mobile Renaissance Pt 1

In many ways I feel that the Mobile OS World has started to stagnate a bit.  You have Android which is good but each new version seems to be just a rehash of the old, iOS which lets face it, is starting to fade into irrelevancy because Apple continues to live in the world that “it is our handset or nothing” mindset, Blackberry well…we will morn for you and the Windows Phone OS…which really has potential but came to the party too late.  But now there is a resurgence in building of a “new and better mobile”.  With the likes of Tizen, Sailfish, Firefox OS and Ubuntu Touch the Mobile Market has become an interesting place…that is for sure. In Part 1 of this Mobile Renaissance I figured I would take a closer look at the Sailfish OS that is starting to gain some traction and interest…and has a pretty solid SDK available.  Unlike the world of Desktop OS reviews, I am having to download the SDK for each of the up and coming Mobile OS and some functionality will … Read more

Free App Friday – Pushing the Envelope…Digitally

Every once in a while an application comes along that crosses over and connects all the devices that have become essential to our lives.  Earlier this week I stumbled across what I think is one of those apps.  In my day to day life I find myself switching from Desktop to Chromebook to Phone to Tablet depending on what it is that I am doing at that moment.  I actively have up to 5 screens in play at any given moment…but information on each of those devices is unique to that device and try as I may…I don’t store everything in a central “Cloud” mainly because of a problem with the Chromebook being able to access them effectively…so when PushBullet came to the front for me…well lets just say I fell in love. Looking at the top down of PushBullet it is simply a file transfer app that works as an extension with Chrome but is an Android App as well…but it can be so much more as well.  You can not only connect your own devices to each other, … Read more

Free App Friday – An eBook Reader for All

For anyone who knows me, I am a voracious reader.  I have more than 500 printed books and just over 2 TB of eBooks scattered across multiple devices.  One of the challenge that I have faced since moving away from my iPad has been to find an equivalent ePUB reader and while I have tried many…none fit the bill until just last week when I stumbled across the Universal Book Reader in the Android Play Store. One of the first features that I really liked was the fact that it displays nicely on both my 4.5″ Nexus 4 and my 7″ Acer Iconia B1 and this is a good thing because I tend to switch from device to device on a fairly regular basis.  The Universal Book Reader works with both ePUB and PDF which takes care of all of my eBooks that I have and again this is a great selling feature for this robust FREE App. The “Library” that is the home screen reminds me of my days with the iPad and its integrated iBooks, and I can … Read more

And Now For Something Different – Tech Pet Peeves

I truly love all things that plug-in and go “whiz-bang”.  Computers, Cameras, Phones…they all intrigue me and make me so glad that I am a part of this time in the history of man kind…but at the same time.  Technology does cause my hair line to recede faster than having a Teenage Daughter!   Not all of the things that technology has to offer is about things going wrong though, some are just observations about how Technology is being used by people who should not have access to it…so here goes, my 2014 list of Tech Pet Peeves: Using an iPad to Take Pictures: When I was in Las Vegas in January I noticed that the idea of using an iPad (not an iPad mini or another 7″ Tablet but a full on 10″ iPad to take pictures.  The number one question is why are you carrying this around with you when you are out and about…I truly believe that mobile computing through the use of Tablets is a great thing, heck I have 4 tablets and an eReader myself…but … Read more

Free App Friday – The DVR for your Meetings

As a Sales Professional I am faced with meetings and the need at times very long drives so when I was listening to the All About Android podcast on TWiT last night I was intrigued by one of their suggestions from the AAA Arena.  So what is this Cogi they spoke of? It is a Pure Productivity App that could mean the difference between success and failure.  Capturing the “moments” that are most important and functional could mean the difference between “inference” and “understanding”.  Right now it is available for Android but an iOS version is said to be coming soon so check back if you are unfortunate enough to use an iPhone. From their site, there is a tag line that I think really leverages the core concept of what they hope to achieve with this app: Writing or typing takes your attention away from what’s going on around you. Cogi lets you take down what was just said with a single finger tap, so your attention can stay with the room. The act of taking down notes … Read more