Feb
21

The Verge ran a story earlier about Canonical creating a docking station that provided Ubuntu desktop access for your smartphone.

I called this at least two years ago. Not the specific instance of Canonical releasing a desktop dock for Android device plug-in, but the idea of how this will change computing. If you discount some of the newest quad-core and 8-core systems out there, the latest mobile phones aren't too far behind laptops in their power. Certainly they don't have the graphics horsepower but I don't see that as an issue.

I imagine a new computing setup where your main - and perhaps only - device is your mobile device. Think Galaxy Note here. You're at the office and instead of using a desktop computer or laptop you use your mobile device alongside a docking station with dedicated horsepower and graphical capability. You essentially "side load" additional processors, RAM, and even disk storage (or you access cloud storage such as DropBox, Amazon S3/Cloud, or the newer Bitcasa). When connected to this system you're able to do most normal things you would do on your computer. And when you're done you disconnect, grab your device and head home.

The thing I haven't worked out is the software aspect. What if you're a huge Adobe Photoshop user. Are you going to have a version of this on Android or does your connection to the docking station bring about connections to typically laptop/desktop-only software? I think this will be worked out in the next 2-3 years and in 5 years we may all be using a setup like this.

Mar
15

Image of Amazon Kindle

I put off buying a Kindle for a long time as I wasn't sure I would like the device and I was worried about vendor lock in with Amazon. I regret that decision now. I should've bought my Kindle 2 sooner. Over the last few months I've been enjoying reading on my Kindle 2. I devoured Stephen King's Under the Dome, a massive book at 1,088 pages, as well as the free autobiography of Benjamin Franklin and the new release from the 37signals team, Rework. In addition to books I've loaded several PDFs onto my Kindle such as the definitive guide to Apache Hadoop and Google's paper on Bigtable. Since I've spent a fair amount of time with my Kindle I feel qualified to write about what I like and dislike. Continue reading after the break.

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Jan
20

I've been using Google Voice ever since it was Grand Central back in the day. I'm quite fond of the service as it lets me display a phone number on sites like Twitter and Facebook without giving out my mobile number. I also like the call me widget that sits in the right sidebar of this blog. If you'd like to try Google Voice I have three invites I can send out. Warning, I'm going to be a bit stingy with these invites. Since I don't have many I want to make sure the folks I sign up actually use the service. So please don't take it personal if I ask why you want to use the service. In fact, just make it easier on me and with your "sign me up" comment to this blog post tell me why you want in.

Jan
12

This so-called "quadricopter" is too cool! I recently purchased two small mini RC helicopters (here's one of them) and they pale in comparison to this puppy. If you're into remote control stuff - or just cool tech - check out this video. Did I mention the AR.Drone is built on a totally open platform? It's initially going to be controllable via iPhone (and probably iPod Touch) but developers can use an API to build a Blackberry, DROID, or other interface.

Dec
8

I've been following Michael Arrington's Crunchpad for the last several months thinking the device would be perfect for "couch browsing." This is the term I use when describing how I often will sit in front my TV watching a show I'm only halfway interested in while I read news in Google Reader or following the latest tweets on Twitter. This type of work is not overly involved and doesn't require a ton of machine power or things like a physical mouse and keyboard. But it's still important to me, to keep up with the world this way without creating a specific time of my day to do so.

For me, the Crunchpad would be that device. But, the dirty laundry between Arrington and Fusion Garage has been aired and the device now has a new name: JooJoo. I still REALLY want to like this device. I do hate the name, and when the developer/founder of Fusion Garage introduces the JooJoo in the below video I'm not ashamed to say I was certain he said "do-do."

Anyhow, check out the hands-on look at the JooJoo and see what you think. It looks pretty good to me, but for $499, I will almost certainly pass.

http://www.engadget.com/2009/12/08/joojoo-tablet-hands-on-video/

Nov
15

Yes, this is another one of those Google Wave posts. I have 20 invitations/nominations to give out. If you want one here's what you need to do:

  1. Follow me on Twitter
  2. Send me an @awest reply asking for one of the nominations

Sep
26

I posted on Twitter how I was digging my new Logitech Anywhere Mouse MX. I decided to take a few pics this morning showing comparisons between the superb Logitech VX Revolution and the Anywhere.

Let me start off by saying I'm a huge fan of Logitech mice. The first really good one that got me hooked was the MX Revolution (click here for the latest MX). It's not a notebook, go anywhere mouse, but it's rechargeable and it has a nice heavy weight to it that helps it glide along your mousepad. A year after getting the MX Revolution I decided to get the notebook version since I wanted to be able to use the same mouse at work and at home. I bought the VX Revolution and have been using it for nearly three years. It's hands down the best mouse I have ever owned. It's impeccably comfortable, well built, and has the hyper-scrolling feature that's made Logitech mice so successful.

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Jul
13

In case you were one of the folks sleeping while the rest of us stayed up to unveil public betas for ColdFusion 9 and ColdFusion Builder, it happened. You can read all about it here. And now that the cats out of the bag it should make today's presentation with Terry Ryan very interesting. Terry's talk was announced last week and was dubbed as an uncensored event on ColdFusion 9 and ColdFusion Builder. I suppose it's apparent what that means now. Terry will be able to discuss any and all of the features in the public betas so don't miss it!

The presentation is part of the Online ColdFusion Meetup group and promises to be a no holds barred event. Full details including who, what, where, how to RSVP, and how to join the meeting when it starts are available on the ColdFusion Meetup site. Here's a quick overview of the event from the user groups site.

Join us for this special one-time only event, on a special day: while Adobe has been doing Centaur/Bolt user group tour event over the past few weeks, at each meeting they've shared more and different things. This event will be the capstone tour event, revealing all the features shared to this point, and more. Adobe ColdFusion Evangelist Terry Ryan assures [Charlie Arehart] that nothing will be held back as he talks about both Centaur and Bolt.

Jul
12

Adobe has announced the public betas for ColdFusion 9 and ColdFusion Builder!! Over the last six months or so tidbits about ColdFusion 9 and ColdFusion Builder have been steadily released at conferences and via the global Adobe ColdFusion User Group tour (which is still going on).

Today, the general developer public can get their hands on both ColdFusion 9 and Adobe's new integrated development environment, ColdFusion Builder. Below is some really detailed information on new features in ColdFusion 9 as well as ColdFusion Builder. Following the product information are links you can use to download the public betas and try them out yourself!

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Mar
26

I upgraded my Grand Central account to Google Voice this week and I've been playing with the new features. Here are a few of my favorites.

The interface (not a favorite but thought I'd mention it)



The Google Voice interface will feel right at home if you're a Gmail user. There's an inbox, a history menu, trash, and a filter to show starred items, all of which are present in Gmail. The SMS view (more on this later) shows in threaded format which is one of the strongest features of Gmail. Overall, it's nice to see Google finally do something with the interface. The Grand Central UI was quite bad and while Google doesn't have the best user experience folks on staff they do a better job than most.

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Feb
3

I've been using GPS devices in one way or another for several years but I've never owned one. Most of the ones I've used have come with car rentals or have belonged to friends. I've been thinking of buying my own for at least a year or two but have always managed to talk myself out of it. This year though, my wife and I decided to get one. As always I did a ton of research weighing desired features against available units and there pricing. I decided to get the Garmin Nuvi 760. What follows is a short list of the features I really like after having used my Nuvi for over a month. This list is by no means a comprehensive list of features and is in no particular order.

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Mar
29

My Home Theatre

Posted by Aaron West at 10:40 PM in Personal, New Technology, Mac

It's done. Finally. Our home theatre is 100% installed and functional. The whole idea of building a home theatre started about two years ago. My wife and I are very much into music, movies, and TV and for nearly two years we have toyed with the idea of completely reinventing our living room experience. Until last week that experience included a 27" analog TV, DVD player, VCR, and two gaming systems (Wii and PlayStation 2). Today, the experience includes a complete lineup of high-definition video, high-fidelity audio, and a seamless integration of nearly everything digital in our lives. For the full story of how we created our home theatre - including pictures and the equipment we used - read on.

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Jul
24

If you're familiar with Microsoft's Surface this video will be very funny. Don't you want a big ass 10,000 dollar table?

May
30

There's a good bit of buzz in the blog-o-sphere about Microsoft's new Surface technology. I've watched the demo's on the site, read the background information and yes it is really cool stuff. I especially like the idea that I can put my smartphone on top of the table and drag content to the device. Whether it's music, spreadsheets, maps or directions, the idea just seems really compelling to me. But is any of it really new? Well over a year ago I was watching demo videos of very similar technology (see below) that included various usages of surface computing. I suppose the idea of surface computing is nothing new but Microsoft's implementation is. And as far as I know their technology will be the first to reach the market and be available for consumers in the winter of 2007.

View the videos below and see what you think.

Bumptop 3D Desktop Prototype

Multi-touch technology from Adobe TED

UPDATE: 07.24.2007 Check out this parody "Surface" video