My technology tool bag | TechToys

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My technology tool bag

This is my first blog and in this post I will discuss the devices that I use daily and how they benefit or hold me back.  Knowing what I use and how I use it will hopefully help you to understand the mission behind the man.  I love gadgets and having the latest technology helps me be a better business owner and better technician.  With that said let’s dive right in.

Mobile Phone

The device I use every day for both talking and some emailing is the mobile phone.  My current mobile device is the Motorola Droid.

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First off let me say that I am not a fan of Verizon, however their network is superior to AT&T when it comes to doing the one thing all mobile phones should do well, talking.  I do not experience dropped calls nor frequent disconnects that I did when I was using my iPhone.  OK enough soap box.  The Droid has great battery life, good keyboard, 5 megapixel camera, and a really loud speaker phone.

I am also an owner of the iPhone, a great device that is just on the wrong network.  I traded up for it when I found that I needed to be able to make calls and I was looking for a faster and more responsive mobile device.  Sorry Apple fans but waiting even 3-4 seconds for an app to open or respond is too long.  Now I use it primarily to make Skype calls (yes it does work fine with no SIM chip).  I also take it overseas and use with no issues in my second home of Vietnam.

Mobile Internet

Being able to surf the Internet is key to the success of my business and my sanity.  So the guys over at Novatel made the MiFi 220 just for me.  Well, OK, they made it for Verizon – and you know what a fan of Verizon I am.

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So this little buddy goes with me and allows me to connect up to 5 devices wireless to the Internet using Verizon’s data network.  I can drive and stay connected, stop in a parking lot, or even be in the woods camping – wait that just too much connectivity.  Only catch is that it needs to be in the Verizon coverage area for data (is there a Map for that?)

Ultra Mobile PC (UMPC)

As the name implies this is a device that I can carry with me but still use as a full computer.  The UMPC is becoming more crowded as manufacturers rush to “one up” the competition either in size, weight, or battery life.  Click here to check out one of my favorite websites where Chippy reviews with great detail the latest UMPC’s.  A similar category of mobile computers is the Mobile Internet Devices or MID.  Both the UMPC and the MID offer mobile flexibility while allowing the user to work in an environment similar to their desktop.  But wait can’t my smart phone do that?  The answer is yes but the UMPC and MID devices do it better and allows me to run Windows based applications.  Here is a break down of the 2 types of devices.

UMPC

  • Business-class device for enterprise users
  • Runs a “heavy” OS like Vista
  • Optimized for office-use applications like Excel, Word, etc.

MID

  • Consumer-class lifestyle device
  • Runs a ‘lightweight” OS with quick startup like Linux
  • Optimized for things like media playback and web surfing
  • In 2009 (or so) Moorestown-based devices will be classed as MIDs only

Thanks to Engadget.com for this information.

The UMPC I am currently using is the Vilv X70.It has the a 7” WSVGA touch LCD, 30 GB hard drive, 1 GB RAM (not upgradeable), and it all runs on a Intel Atom 1.33Ghz CPU.  It also has WI-FI, Bluetooth, audio port, and lasts about 5 hours of video play back.  I used this on my recent trip to Vietnam and enjoyed several recorded TV shows.  I removed Windows XP and installed Windows 7 Ultimate.  The touch screen is better then most I have used in this class of UMPC

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A good look at the size of the 3 smallest devices I use.

Netbook

The next device I use frequently is my laptop, or these days, my Netbook.  I have several, but don’t most geeks?  (The one I tend to use the most these days is my Netbook.)  The Netbook is my personal choice these days.

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I am using the Toshiba NB205-N330BN.  It has a 10.1” screen running the Atom 1.6 Ghz processor and 2 GB RAM (I replaced the 1 GB factory with a Crucial 2GB chip).  Mine has the 250 GB hard drive and not an SSD.  It also has a convenient SD card slot in the front, which is helpful to more pictures from my camera to my computer.  So far battery life has been between 7-8 hours of usable time (using WI-FI and surfing the Internet).  Great keyboard for those with big fingers.  Each key is spaced apart (chiclet style) and that makes it easier to type.  My netbook is very light and fits easily in my bag or even to carry.  It runs Windows 7 Starter and for all my trying, there is nothing that this version of Windows cannot do for me.  I loaded Office 2007 full Enterprise version and have had no problems running any of the office software.

Full Laptop

Yes I did go over to the “dark side” (sorry Jason).  Although I have been an Apple owner for many years I just did not incorporate its use into my daily life.  Recently and thanks to a $200 discount I purchased an Apple Macbook.  Great laptop and thanks to Sun for developing the free virtual PC software, VirtualBox.  Now I can have the best of both the ease and less virus attacked Mac OS X and still run my favorite Microsoft programs.  A good example is Windows Live Writer.  Without that “gem” from Microsoft this blog would be a lot harder to write.  Check out what Microsoft gives away (yes I did say FREE), http://download.live.com/

Well that is my gear for now.  As I find, buy, barter, borrow new devices I will post and look forward to your comments.

Here are 2 final pictures that just did not need much text.

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My testing work space.
(showing off a little)

The CUI supercharged mobile service center.


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