I spend a lot of time reading about new technology products. Most of the time, the new products I read about are simply upgrades or new versions of old products. Yawn. But every so often I see something that makes me wonder why I didn't think of it first. This month, I came across a concept product that I hope will make it to production soon. I think you'll think the Infinite USB Plug is a good idea too.
As with most good technology products, the design is simple and obvious. Just look at the picture. Each USB cable has a pass-through USB port so you can stack a few USB devices into one port. Simple and convenient! This idea is great for laptops that have limited USB ports as has become the trend with many very small laptops. In one of the pictures on this page, it appears that they show a MacBook Air which does actually have only one USB port.
Unfortunately, the Infinite USB Plug is only a concept at this time, so don't run out looking to purchase this product. But hopefully enough people will think it is a good idea and we will see this product out for sale sooner than later.
If there is a new technology device that you would like more information about, please contact me today!
A: I always feel it is better to control your technology than to let it control you. I preach to my clients to plan for technology upgrades on their terms. This is much more preferable than to suddenly be forced into an unprepared upgrade because of an unexpected failure. And failures do not always mean that something has crashed. It can also mean that a piece of technology became outdated and it no longer works as it did before. With this in mind, my recommendation is not to wait until your current computer fails you, but to start planning and budgeting now. Not only is it better for your budget, but you also get to prepare for the downtime and transition of data from the old computer to the new.
First off, there are a few exceptions where you may want to stick with Windows XP. Mostly, these cases would be in business environments, but if you really think you need to stick with Windows XP, please contact me and we can discuss your details. I think for most individuals and many small businesses, the best option is to purchase a new computer. The question of which computer to purchase is well beyond the scope of this article but let me leave you with two thoughts.
First, in today's day and age, do not assume you must purchase another Windows-based computer. More and more people everyday are purchasing Macintosh computers and are by and large very happy with them. Certainly the fact that Macintosh computers do not get viruses is a huge benefit, but users are also very appreciate of their ease of use and compatibility with the data they used on their Windows machines. One fact that many people do not realize is that modern Mac computers can actually run Windows operating systems as well. This makes a Mac the only type of the computer in the world that can run all Mac and Windows software. It is very much like purchasing two computers in one.
Second, if you do decide to purchase a Windows computer do not purchase one with Windows Vista (or do not install Windows Vista on a Mac). Most new computers sold today now come with Windows 7 but a few inexpensive models still remain pre-loaded with Vista. Just double-check before you commit to the purchase that you are in fact getting Windows 7 and not Windows Vista.
Again, the bottom line to to start planning now. You do not need to run out and buy a new computer today, but do be prepared to move away from Windows XP before you are forced into making a decision.
If you have a technology question, please let me know and it will be featured in a future newsletter!
Years after the introduction of Windows Vista and now Windows 7, Windows XP still runs on more computers than any other operating system in the world. Certainly the Windows Vista debacle scared many users away from upgrading their computers. Also many people simply did not need to purchase new computers so they've stuck with their Windows XP computers. I myself have recommended many people to not upgrade to Vista or to purchase XP if possible on new computers. But now I believe it is time for many users to start to move on from Windows XP. If you still use Windows XP, please read on to find out if you should start planning a move away from XP and what your next computer should be.
I'm going to go over a few quick points. However, the most important is simply the fact that if you have a computer that is running Windows XP, it is likely at a minimum 3 years old, if not a few years older. Older computers are more likely to start having problems and there's always been a fine line between fixing an old computer or investing in a new one. At this point, if your computer runs Windows XP, the line has shifted towards purchasing a new one.
The second point is also important in that newer operating systems have much better built-in data backup options. With Windows XP, you must purchase 3rd party backup software, which most people never bother with. As well, if your computer is older, it may backup much more slowly, which inclines people to put off backing up if it is slow. Newer Windows and Mac operating systems have built-in backup software and newer computers can back up more quickly. These two things make it much easier to backup, so it becomes more likely that people will actually backup their data. But of course, you already back up your data, right?
The final point is that Microsoft has announced that the next version of their web browser, Internet Explorer 9, will not run on Windows XP. Internet Explorer 9 will feature support for many important new web technologies, for example HTML5. As such, it will be an important upgrade for those users who want to ensure that they can continue to visit web sites without problems. In the near future, Windows XP users will begin to have problems visiting certain web sites and they will need to decide to install a different browser (which most people will have no clue how to do) or upgrade to a newer computer.
Obviously the follow-up question is if I have Windows XP what should I do now? This question is answered in this month's Q & A article. But I want to make sure that you understand that I'm not saying that you should immediately upgrade from Windows XP. So don't start freaking out just yet. Just know that the curtain is coming down for Windows XP and you should start preparing for your computing future now.
If you have any questions about any technology topic, feel free to contact me today!
It is a commonly known phenomenon among Star Trek fans that many of the futuristic devices featured on the original series have now come to fruition. Space.com took it upon themselves to make a top-10 list of such devices to help the rest of us catch up on this nugget of trekkie lore. But seriously, it is an amusing read, so take a break from your mundane existence and boldly go where no man has gone before ...
I know that I had the iPad as the January Tech Toy of the Month, but this is such a groundbreaking piece of technology that I felt it deserved another mention. Since the iPad was just released this month and I've had some time to review it, there is no better time to talk about the iPad than now. For those of you that are thinking that this will be a boring dissertation on the technical details of a tech gadget, fear not! Because what is important about the iPad is not the tech details, but what the device empowers users to do.
Many people have commented that the iPad is nothing more than a big iPod Touch. The people that say this mostly have not used the device or have only given it cursory usage. Regardless, to those that think this I say "exactly ... but that's what makes it different." Of course, my response is designed to draw them into a conversation, but the thought behind the statement is spot-on. In other words, the iPad on the surface is really very much like a big iPod Touch (or iPhone). However, the simple fact that the device has a bigger screen opens up a whole new world of possibilities.
The fact that the iPad is like an iPod Touch or iPhone is good because many people already know how to use these devices. This means that for many people there will be no learning curve for the iPad. But regardless if a user has previously used an iPod Touch or iPhone, the Touch OS is extremely easy to learn. So basically using an iPad is just like using the aforementioned devices. It's all touchscreen with a single home button, along with power and volume buttons.
But with a 9.7 inch display, the iPad is a much more functional device. Things like web browsing suddenly take on a whole new experience. It's very hard to describe, but the iPad just feels natural to use. Sitting on the couch web browsing with the iPad is so comfortable that I now find it awkward to sit with my laptop anymore. The touchscreen interface, at least for tasks like web browsing, feels more intuitive to me than a keyboard and mouse. And the fact that you can hold the iPad fairly close to your face makes the screen feel a lot bigger than it actually is.
Reading on the iPad is very pleasant. This is crucial because the iPad has the potential to revolutionize the publishing industry. The long awaited promise of technology to reduce the amount of paper we use may finally become a reality. It is entirely conceivable the iPad and future devices like it will become the dominant method people use to read books, magazines, and newspapers. Given that people will be reading on an interactive touchscreen device, indeed the entire concept of what books, magazines, and newspapers are could even change. Imagine students carrying one iPad instead of a backpack full of textbooks. The electronic book aspect of the iPad alone could change the world.
However, where I think the iPad will really make an impact is in the way we use computers in the home. I have been calling the iPad the first "coffee table" computer. For as far as personal computers have come along, they are still basically tied down to desks. Even laptops are not as portable as most people would like. The iPad changes all this. The device is so small and light and its battery life is so long, that I predict the iPad will be entirely more accessible to family members in a home. As many things in a home, it will find a place on the living room coffee table and it will migrate around the house as necessary. Because the price is so low, I also predict that many homes will own multiple iPads. This will go very far in meeting the ever increasing demand of computing in homes. For the price of a single good laptop or desktop, a family could purchase 2 or 3 iPads which will likely fit the needs of most family members and give them all their own iPad to use.
Because this device could change so much in the computer industry, I recommend that you test drive an iPad as soon as you can, especially if you are considering a new computer purchase in the near future. For all that you can read about the iPad, there is no substitute for actually getting your hands on one. If you know someone that owns an iPad, try using it while lounging on a couch or recliner. I promise it will change the way you think about interacting with computers.
If you'd like to test drive an iPad, visit the MacXprts store in Edwardsville, IL. There are 3 models on display so you should be able to spend as much time as you'd like with one.