Technology

Why We Don’t Use Video On Our Meeting Calls

From the NY Times article Why Zoom is Terrible: The problem is that the way the video images are digitally encoded and decoded, altered and adjusted, patched and synthesized introduces all kinds of artifacts: blocking, freezing, blurring, jerkiness and out-of-sync audio. These disruptions, some below our conscious awareness, confound perception and scramble subtle social cues. Our brains strain to fill in the gaps and make sense of the disorder, which makes us feel vaguely disturbed, uneasy and tired without quite knowing why. In the race… Continue reading

7/21/20

Surface Pro Update: My First Real Test and Improving “Lappability”

A few updates on the Surface Pro 7 that I purchased in November as a Chromebook replacement: Downtime While Traveling Earlier in March, when travel was still allowed, my family and I were out of town for a wedding. Friday morning, I woke up to a barrage of downtime alerts on my phone. I grabbed my Surface Pro out of my luggage, booted up, and starting digging in. It was perplexing because our server was up and looked fine, but Detailed Image wasn’t loading. I… Continue reading

3/30/20

The Privacy Landscape Has Actually Changed

Over the past six months I’ve been working on something new. It’s a software project, and privacy is one of the key selling points. I’m planning on revealing more soon. We should have a beta launch in the middle of the year if all goes well. As I’ve been working on a marketing plan, I’ve been reflecting a lot on privacy and how the landscape has changed in just a few short years. When I did my blog updates in the fall – removing 3rd… Continue reading

2/7/20

Why I Replaced My Chromebook with the New Entry-Level Surface Pro 7

A few months ago I read an article about how Chromebooks are only guaranteed to receive updates for five years from the release date (not the date of purchase), a fact that I don’t think I was previously aware of. Since Chromebooks are cloud machines that require those updates to be effective and secure, the device is more or less useless (although there are options). I looked up my Toshiba Chromebook 2 and sure enough the updates will cease in June of 2021. My first… Continue reading

11/26/19

Why I’ve Started Upgrading My Phone and Laptop Warranties

I mentioned in my last post that one of the reasons that I chose the Lenovo X1 Carbon over my preferred choice of a MacBook was the 3-year next-day onsite service. Here’s what that warranty provides that’s key for me: If an issue cannot be resolved by phone, Lenovo will dispatch a certified technician to attempt repair of your machine at your location with no shipping involved. This service provides parts and labor repair coverage where labor is provided onsite at your place of business…. Continue reading

11/6/18

We Really Have Reached Peak Computer: My Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Review

My first laptop was an IBM ThinkPad T20. I purchased it in the Fall of 2000 because it was a requirement for all incoming freshman at RPI to have that specific laptop. Amazingly, that page from 2000 is still online, so I’m able to tell you that I paid $2,700 for a 700 MHz processor, 128 MB of RAM, and a 12 GB hard drive. It was absolutely life changing. You could literally work anywhere (there were ethernet plugs all throughout campus, this was pre-wifi)…. Continue reading

10/29/18

Now Running On Our New Server Cluster!

Two Saturday’s ago, after a lot of preparation, we migrated Detailed Image to a much-improved server configuration. Thankfully, this wasn’t prompted by any sort of major issue. Rather, in the process of disaster planning we identified a few spots where our redundancy wasn’t as strong as we’d like, the most glaring of which was our server. Since the total chaos of our move in 2008, we’ve been on a dedicated server. We upgraded once in 2011, and that machine lasted us right through this migration…. Continue reading

9/25/18

Android Messages for the Web Is a Game Changer

A few weeks ago when I opened Messages, the text messaging app on my Pixel 2 XL, I was prompted to visit messages.android.com to set up text messaging from my browser. I had missed their announcement, so this came as a pleasant surprise to me. I scanned in a QR code on my phone to set it up and within a minute I had sent my first text message from the web. This is a feature I’ve REALLY wanted for years. Most of the day… Continue reading

7/20/18

My Garmin Vivoactive 3 Review

After reviewing my Pixel 2 XL and the free Google Home Mini that came with it, I figured I’d wrap up my new tech reviews with the piece of technology that I researched more than anything else – my Garmin Vivoactive 3 watch. I bought the better-looking “Black with Slate Hardware” model, which typically retails for $30 more at $329.99, but I picked up mine on Amazon during Black Friday for $274.99. Smartwatches haven’t exactly taken the world by storm. Fitness trackers aren’t necessarily the… Continue reading

12/28/17

Google Home Mini Review

When I pre-ordered my Pixel 2 XL Google threw in a free Google Home Mini. I’ve resisted buying an Amazon Echo not because I thought they were creepy or invasive, but because I just couldn’t think of a good use case. I’d hear over and over again that “you just need to have one” and then it will make sense. So I was kind of curious to see if the light bulb would go off once I received my Mini. The short answer is, it… Continue reading

12/21/17