Chris J Powell

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

Memory Lane – My First Cell Phone

I have been carrying a Cell Phone on a daily basis since the fall of 1995. I remember the day that I got my phone quite well as I went to the International Plowing Match with my Father (an annual event for us growing up) when it was first in Roseville, ON. It was my Graduation Present from my dad at a time when I really needed personal communications as I was working as a Security Guard in Toronto and more than once had run into situations that a Cell Phone was a matter of life and death. At the time, there was no Smart Phones and the selection was not only limited…it was still fairly rare to see a phone that was not tethered to a vehicle. The Nokia 636 was and is a solid phone. It did not need a Sim Card as it was on the pre-PCS network provided by Bell Mobility. I went looking through the web for specs and well to compare this venerable phone to what is available today is just not possible as … Read more

Infographic – Is the Cloud Really Safe?

Over the past couple of years there has been a mass migration of information and data that is no longer “here” which by all definitions really is what the Cloud is.  But is it really the right way or are we just getting lazy about how we are managing our Data and collectively wanting to just Consume rather than create? Thanks to Sage, an interesting Infographic on the State of Accounting Solutions in the Cloud is now upon us. This means that we are porting our Customer Data to companies like Salesforce.com and SAP but now there is move to put company financials into the cloud??? This infographic was produced by Sage Accountants’ Division UK Cheers, Krispy

OS Sunday – Aussie, Aussie, Aussie…Oi, Oi, Oi

This is my first return to the wonderful world of OS Sunday and in looking around the realms of www.distrowatch.com for a suitable candidate to install and review I stumbled across an Australian Linux Distro called Korora.  Usually I am not a big fan of Fedora based distros but this one looked intriguing as it enabled me to choose between several different desktops (Gnome, MATE, KDE, Cinnamon and XFCE) so I figured I would give MATE a whirl in a Virtual Desktop environment provided by a 20 GB HDD and 4GB Memory Virtual Machine leveraging the free power of Oracle’s VirtualBox Solution. The 1.66 GB download seemed a bit heavy but as it was downloading via Torrent at a pretty good clip I took a spin around the Korora Website. The layout and form and function of the Project Site very responsive and provided a great deal of high level project details.  Instead of replicating the Support Functions of the Fedora site (99% of the Project is a fork of Fedora) they have chosen to only include how to’s for … Read more

The Great Time Suck

I am sure that I am not alone when I say, my Smart Phone has become a drain on my “free time”.  It has superceded Facebook as my greatest distraction by a large sum and currently the addiction that is Flappy Bird is the culprit.   I took to Blogging as a way to get away from games on Facebook in the morning that was more constructive, but I just found myself loosing a full hour of my morning today because I wanted to drive my average score up on this annoying, frustrating but wildly interesting game. So what is it about this simple tap, tap game that has caused the world to download it in droves and earn its developers more than $50,000 per day (according to CNet)? I don’t know…no really I have no idea what the appeal is.  It is not like there are levels to beat or bosses to destroy.  There are no power ups and it doesn’t get harder as you play on.  It just plods away at a predictable and steady speed and causes … Read more

Social Media in 2014

For me, Social Media has been about the conversation and the connections that are made with those that I follow but also with those who follow me.  When it comes to the Brand Ambassador’s of 2014 in the world of Social Media, there is a storm coming and the real question is…are you ready for it? I did some digging around the fabulous Interwebz and there are several interesting predictions for the future of Social Media in 2014 but my favorite comes from the folks over at Entrepreneur.com.  To “Krispify” these predictions I will look to their top 5 predictions and add my own insights. 1. Look for a shift toward visual storytelling through short-form video. I have personally avoided the concept of Youtube and Video Podcasting for some time, but I have started to look at the opportunity to share some insights through short broadcasts.  Expect to see some Video Posts in the near future as I become more proficient with tools like SnagIt and Jing from TechSmith. 2.  Businesses will embrace the ‘fandom’. Is your business embracing the … Read more

Disruptive Technology is like…

Ok so we have to keep this on the down low, I don’t want Tyler Durden to find out that I am doing this.  I stumbled across a great article over at Information Week that describes Disruptive Technology like being a participant in Fight Club but as intrigued as I was with Peter Waterhouse’s look at Disruptive Technology…I thought that I would take it one step further…yep time for a new feature.  Saturday Krispification! There are many truths about working in IT or around Technology for that matter.  I for one have been engaging in “Shadow IT” for years because I not only understand the Tech but can separate business needs from personal needs quite well because the reality is…for the most part for me they are the same thing.  In the Information Week Article, Peter describes 5 Rules of the DT Fight Club…and while I liked what he had to say…the point of a “Krispification” is to put my spin on what an industry writer has put out there for the world to read. Rule #1: You do not … Read more

Da Email, Da Email…You had NO IDEA Strongbad!

For those who are not familiar with the works of the beloved Internet Luchador, Strong Bad the long ago internet sensation (before the time of YouTube and Vine) there was a weekly flash video produced from far away in Strongbadia that would answer fans questions in…well a pretty unique way (SB Email) but even as the computer that Strong Bad uses in the videos so too has Email evolved and despite rumors of its imminent demise…it is likely to remain around for a  very long time. (heck I even wanted to believe with posts like I am not the only one confronted by the email pollution and Inbox Zero – Lofty Goal or Easy Fix? but with this venerable web tool (yes the only thing on the internet older than me is email) it keeps reinventing itself. While Friday’s are typically my Free App Reviews, I could not resist taking a gander at the future of email with “Inky” a relatively new take on the 42 year old medium that we all love to hate. With as many email addresses as I have … Read more

Knowing When to Walk Away

Some things look good on paper, and sometimes it is just hope that has them look good but when when the chips are down and there is only one person who can atone for the sins of the man…it is time to walk away.  The past two weeks I went on an experiment, looking to see if the world of call centres had changed in the 5 years that I was away from them…I can attest…they have not. Having come from a job that I loved the clients and many of my co-workers but suffered through much of the rest of the grind…I am not sure why I took on the role that I did, knowing it was a Call Centre.  They billed it as a Sales Professional’s dream gig, with great rewards and easy product to sell…well the reality is, I was nothing more than a glorified Telemarketer in Sales Professional’s clothing. In all the Sales Training that I have had in the past 5 years, the core rules of success have always included: Believe in Yourself (yep I … Read more

Who or What or How is Hadoop being used?

I got curious today, mainly because I looked at how my current employer is harvesting potential “customers” and feeding them to us and realized that Big Data needs to be brought to the forefront for every company and understanding that it does not need to be a massive 1100 Node Cluster with 12 PB of raw Data like Facebook to be effective.  I took a swing by the Apache Hadoop page and took a quick look around. So what is Hadoop? Apache Hadoop is an open-source software framework that supports data-intensive distributed applications licensed under the Apache v2 license. It supports running applications on large clusters of commodity hardware. Hadoop derives from Google’s MapReduce and Google File System (GFS) papers. Ok so Wikipedia in its opening salvo just throws a lot of technical jargon out there and really does not get to the point that everyone can understand…so it is time for a quick Krispification of the term. What is Hadoop According to Krispy? Apache Hadoop is an open-source Big Data Framework that supports a variety of high volume data intensive connections to external applications.  It supports this by running the applications common hardware … Read more