Archive for April, 2011

iPad 2

// April 26th, 2011 // No Comments » // Advice, Events, Stress Donations

Just Another Tool

I travel a lot and give a lot of presentations.  I love photography and am always looking for better ways to share what I am able to capture.  Trying to merge these two pursuits into one lightweight device has been a challenge, one that I had hoped the iPad 2 could resolve.  New technology always captivates me and appeals to my lust for bright new shiny things – usually expensive, and often a let down.  The iPad 2 seems to be fitting right in.

I thought the iPad was a glorified iPhone – after using it for a week, I feel I was right.  The display is amazing, the battery-life incredible, the design is indeed sexy, however it leaves me wanting much more.  This device is not a replacement for a laptop – especially not today’s lightweight powerhouses.

If Apple would allow my iPhone to run Keynote and Pages, I would have no need for the iPad as my phone really seems to be just as capable and it makes phone calls (still my favorite app).  The iPad is great for email, so so for web browsing because it does not support flash (even though apps allow you to get around this), and terrific for displaying photos and videos though the worst part about this is that like most Apple products you must use iTunes and allow it to run your digital life.  The fact that the iPad can’t think for itself and act independently from a computer is a real letdown.  Speaking of letdowns – I have my own digital projector and when I tried to play a movie I purchased through iTunes, it would not allow it in fear that I would be showing it to hundreds of people and charging them each $8 I’m sure.  That’s like not allowing me to play music I purchase over the air in fear of others hearing.  I bought it Apple, let me do as I please.  My two year old girls are not a threat to your market share or copyrights.

In terms of presentations: I can run Keynote and an app I found called 2Screens.  Through the VGA adapter the pictures look great, the movie clips run smoothly, but the only way to advance slides in Keynote is to swipe the display or use a blutetooth keyboard.  Wireless networks are not always available or reliable and bluetooth maxes out at 30 feet or so.  2Screens allows for a connection to the iPhone for remote control of the slides but only in the 4:3 aspect ratio and does not allow for video playback at this time.  I thought an easy way around this would be my Apple remote using IR technology, but only the dock for the Iphone allows for IR.  AAARRGGHH!!!  (I can’t even charge it with my phone cable/ if Apple makes me buy one more adapter dohickey thingy… I swear…).  If this is the entertainment device Apple claims it to be, then make it more friendly, give it more goodies.  I would gladly sacrifice a little sleekness, weight, size for a little more  function and user friendliness.  My conclusion is this: for small casual audiences it can be a great presentation tool, but for a big room with a lot on the line a laptop is still going to allow a presenter to give a more professional delivery.

If you want to show pictures, facetime, tweet, blog, email and surf then the iPad and iPad2 will be good travel companions for you.  If your work and travel require more – go with a small laptop and save yourself the aggravation of trying to find work arounds for what seem to be design flaws, but are actually probably more purposeful engineering, giving the buyer just enough to get by, but not enough to get the job done.  Why?  So you will need to purchase one more big ticket item from the Apple store to get the job done right.

I will find ways to make the Ipad2 do what I want it to do over time.  Perhaps the best thing about these devices is the open source programming and apps that are available.  Soon I know I will find a way to use an RF remote to advance slides and be on my way to traveling lighter and giving professional presentations without hauling a beasty laptop or relying on someone else’s virus infected, balloon popping, slow running, underpowered, Microsoft bugged and bogged down machine.  Thanks for letting me rant, I do like the thing.

Survival

// April 19th, 2011 // No Comments » // Uncategorized

Standing on our shelter

Yesterday I led a trip into the woods to teach some winter survival skills to a group of local boys, also friends of ours.  We talked about proper clothing and equipment, and some of the skills needed to spend an unplanned night out in the worst conditions winter could possibly throw at us.

As we went over our plan for the day I realized how much the same principles of survival apply to our lives as a family, business, organization or team.  So here were the key elements:

Plan: Devise a plan and a strategy before stepping outside.  Spontaneity  in winter backcountry travel is not usually a good option.  In order to devise a plan there needs to be some research in terms of weather, routing, terrain, avalanche forecast etc.

Communicate the Plan: Once an appropriate plan has been established it need be clear with all members of the party as well as with someone at home.  This would include route, ETD and ETA.  Details from where the car will be, which trail or peak will be the goal, and the final destination especially if it varies from the point of departure.  If the plan changes communicate it back to the contact and then call that contact when the trip is over.  These details are often overlooked even for a simple day skiing at a resort and often lead to major worries and sometimes a night out under a tree.

Execute: Carry out the plan at the appropriate skill level.  Be realistic.  Biting off more than we can chew, getting in over our head – definitely cause a need to use those survival skills.  Keep it simple and build upon the skills you have slowly.  Stick to the plan as much as possible assuming it was a good plan to start with.
Otherwise scrap it, build a shelter, call 911, set off the rescue beacon, make a fire, huddle in close to each other, stay dry, eat drink and be merry.

Plan for the unplanned: In other words know what to do, have the skills, knowledge and mental fortitude to get out of a predicament should things not go according to plan.  

Commitment

// April 16th, 2011 // No Comments » // Interviews

I enjoyed watching this interview and thinking about the topics that came up in it.  Chase Jarvis is a well known photographer and Mike Horn a talented adventurer.  As they discussed a few ideas, the word that stuck out to me was commitment and begs the question: What are you committed to?  See the interview by clicking on this link –  http://podcast.chasejarvis.com/podcast/ipod/ipodfeed.xml or copy and paste it in your browser. (Once opened click on the Mike Horn Interview)

Super Powers

// April 15th, 2011 // No Comments » // Reflections

There are times when I believe that I have Super Powers.  Maybe not quite like the Superpowers that a Superhero has, but not really all that different either.  The problem with these powers is that it is a choice to use them and far too often I choose not to use them.  The thing that makes so many Superheroes super is that they always think of others first, they fight injustice, and they take up the cause of the less fortunate.  It really isn’t the flying, the bulletproofness, the x-ray vision or superspeed, but more the attitude and foresight.

There have been those times where I would race ahead of a pregnant lady pushing a stroller while she is hauling suitcases, so that I could get on an airport tram first.  It is the lack of awareness of my surroundings and of others that causes me to do this, not necessarily pure selfishness.

What I have learned however is that when I am engaged and am looking for opportunities around me to fight injustice and say help that lady with her stroller, I become like a Superhero to her for that moment.  While I may not have Superpowers I have the power to be super if I just look around for opportunities and take the focus off of myself for a second.  I am pretty sure I am not bulletproof, and I know I can’t fly, but I know I can fight injustice and stand up for others (when I turn on my sleep deprived brain) and emulate the coolest attributes of a Comic book legend.T