The iPod Touch as the Ultimate PDA

I’ve turned my iPod Touch into the ultimate PDA. It wasn’t hard, because it’s pretty good out of the box. But I had to adjust a few things:

Enable Calendar Sync. Karen and I keep our days coordinated through Google Calendar. When we make an appointment, we enter it on our iPod Touch’s calendar immediately and “invite” the other person so they’ll know what’s up.

The iPod Touch will stay current with your Google Calendar (or whatever calendar package you use on your PC) whenever it’s connected to a wireless network. I really like Google Calendar, but the iPod Touch will sync with Outlook Calendar and plenty of others. It works great. read more...

Avoid Disappointment: Get the 3G iPad

If you’re thinking about getting an iPad, don’t shoot yourself in the foot by getting the Wifi-only version. Get the 3G version, even if you aren’t convinced you’re willing to pay for 3G. Here’s why:

I’ve had an iPod Touch for a long time. An iPod Touch is basically an iPhone without the phone — and without 3G. It runs iPhone apps wonderfully, and I use it for everything: email, appointments, note taking, music, audiobooks, movies, Web browsing, games, shopping lists — you name it. read more...

Side-by-Side Testing: This is the Age of Science!

You have to make a choice: Do you want the truth or your comfortable illusions?

Frankly, I think most people prefer illusions, because of their comfort value, but there’s a lot to be said for truth, especially when the future is riding on it! One of the most useful ways of getting at the truth is the side-by-side test, which has lots of applications in everyday life. I’ll talk about farm-related ones here.

I frequently tell people that I have “the best eggs ever.” Is this true? Well, so far it is! But I don’t just rest on my laurels. Once in a while, I go out and buy other people’s eggs, then cook them up in exactly the same way and do a taste test. Ideally, this would be literally a blind taste test, since my eggs tend to have very dark yolks compared to other people’s. In a blind test, you don’t know whose eggs you’re tasting, so your preconceptions and wishful thinking are kept in check. read more...

Off to the Big City I go

I’m spending about a week in California, on a visit to my day job, Citrix Systems. At one point I was flying to California every week (which was exhausting!) but tight budgets have kept me at home for nearly two years!

That’s left me more disconnected than is good for my work — I write the user documentation and kibitz on improvements in our super-spiffy network accelerator, Branch Repeater (and if you were wondering, no, I didn’t write the product description the link points to). read more...

Got Windows 7 Installed, Finally

I upgraded my desktop PC to Windows 7, which I’m very happy with, but it gave me more grief than it should have. I’ve owned computers since 1980, when I got my first Apple II, and I’m a bona fide computer wizard, so it should have been easy, right?

Well, not quite. The first hurdle was dealing with Windows 7’s insistence on wiping out your “Documents and Settings” — the only indispensable things on most PCs! Do you have any idea how much data I’ve accumulated over the years? Messing around with backing it up and restoring it was Not Fun. It was just as hard as if I were transferring my stuff to a brand-new computer, which I wasn’t. read more...