Got a new Microsoft Surface Go

I stopped in the Atlanta Microsoft Store on Saturday just to look at the Surface Go and satisfy my curiosity. I had absolutely no intention of buying anything. But I walked out of the store with a Surface Go 128/8 with a Cobalt Blue Alcantara Type Cover and Pen.

I played with the Surface Go in the store for about an hour and couldn’t leave without having one. I have a main computer for heavy lifting but the niche that needed filling was having a small one pound tablet that runs full Windows 10. Before I left the store I set everything up and did the upgrade from Windows S mode to full Windows 10. Its the perfect size for Kindle reading and doing my morning email at the breakfast table. This blog entry was done with my new Surface Go. I love this little thing. Its just so dang cute!

Edit:
Now that I’ve had the Surface Go for a few days, here are some thoughts. As an addition to my computer arsenal I really do like it. Being able to just grab something this small and weighing only a pound is a breath of fresh air.  I brought it along and used it while waiting at the Dentist yesterday and was able to do a few emails and catch up on some forums I frequent.  I wouldn’t have packed up my large laptop for this excursion, but the Surface Go was absolutely perfect. 

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A Blog post made with my cell phone!

What do you know? WordPress has a rather full featured Android App for working on a WordPress website! I’ve been stuck in the hospital for the last 5 days and while looking for something new to do with my Android phone decided to give it a try!

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Google Project Fi

Google Project Fi is Google’s own ISP service. Kate and I had been on Sprint for 20 years and we were paying about $140 a month for Sprint’s unlimited family plan.

Our average monthly cost for Google Fi for getting the same service has averaged about $42 a month. That’s a savings of about $100 a month for a total of $1200 a year. That’s a significant savings for the same service we had with Sprint. There’s no contract and you can terminate at any time you want. We couldn’t be more pleased.

With Fi the cost is $20 for the first phone and $15 for each additional phone. In addition you pay a prorated $10 per Gigabyte for actual data used. If you are like us, your data use is almost entirely on WiFi so there is, of course, very little cost for data. We have a very fast Comcast WiFi data connection at home and there is WiFi available literally everywhere we go in the Atlanta area. So Kate and I use very little cellular data.

Google Fi uses the towers of Sprint, T-Mobile, and US Cellular. Fi automatically chooses whichever tower has the best signal strength. Our service is actually better than Sprint ever was. I watch my phone to see what towers I’m connected to and where we go I’m usually alternating between Sprint and T-Mobile, depending on which one has the best signal. Transfers between towers are totally transparent when on a phone call.

We’ve been on Fi for over 6 months now and everything has been flawless. We’d make the change again in a heart beat!

And there’s no contract ever. Quit any time you want.

If you’d like to give Google Fi a try, use this referral link to get a $20 discount.

https://g.co/fi/r/V3U4RX

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Google Pixel 2 XL

I’ve updated my Smart phone with yet another Google phone.  This time I’ve gone with the Google Pixel 2 XL. 

There are several reasons for choosing this phone.

  1. It has one of the best cell phone cameras available on any phone.
  2. Since it is a Google phone, it is the first to get security and operating system updates.
  3. And very importantly it works with Google Project Fi.
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Dell XPS 15 9560

I’ve added a Dell XPS 15 9560 laptop. The additional horsepower was needed for the video editing that I do now. I have a DJI Mavic Pro drone that I’ve been using for video photography. The Dell XPS 15 9560 has the following specifications…

i7-7700HQ

32 GB RAM

NVIDIA GTX 1050 4 GB DDR5

1 Terabyte PCIe NVMe SSD

 

 

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Going Paperless

“Going Paperless” buzzwords have been around for quite a while now and I really never gave much thought to how “paperless” I really was.

I have 2 two drawer file cabinets and a one drawer file cabinet in my home office. I recently realized how few times they have actually been opened in the past couple of years.

Everything I used to write down on paper in notebooks is now kept on Microsoft OneNote. OneNote data is kept in Microsoft OneDrive and is available on any device from anywhere. Everything is kept in folders just like a physical file cabinet and better yet is immediately searchable. You talk about convenient!

Years ago, after buying several eBooks for my Kindle, I found it was very convenient having my reference books immediately available to me on my smart phone, tablet or computer, complete with bookmarks and annotations, wherever I went. Over the past few years literally all my reference books are now on my Kindle and, of course, automatically on the Kindle apps on all my devices. I find this absolutely invaluable. Sadly for Barnes and Noble I will go in to the store to browse and then order the Kindle version of what I want for a fraction of the store list price and have the book in a much more useable format. The days of Brick and Mortar book stores are unfortunately numbered.

I’ve done my taxes using Turbo Tax on-line for many years and have no need to keep paper copies. All my forms are available on-line from all the companies with which I do business.   I even file my taxes on-line. My taxes have been totally paperless for many years.

Whenever I buy a new device, whether it is a tech device or a home appliance, the up-to-date manual is always on-line in PDF format. When I open a device box, I look at the “getting started” paper while setting it up and then I download the PDF manual on-line and save it in my PDF folder on Microsoft OneDrive. Then I throw the box and all the paperwork away. (Actually Kate flattens it all and uses it as compost in her garden.)  If I’m ever having a problem with any device I have, I simply take out my smart phone and look at the PDF manual.  Paper manuals are totally obsolete.

I used to print out information I found on the Internet and then file it in my filing cabinets, but I realized that all I really needed was a link to what I needed. There was no reason to waste paper and time on printed paper. When I want someone else to read something I’ve found, all I need to do is email them a link to it.

I have a printer on my printer stand, but all I use it for is an occasional photo print. And even at that, almost all photos are expected to be on-line. They days of having photos in a wallet are all but gone, now your photos are on your smart phone. You don’t reach for your wallet to display photos of your grandchildren, you reach for your smart phone!

There’s no question about it, I have become, for all practical purposes, “paperless”.

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Sony RX10 Camera

pSNYNA-DSCRX10~B_main_v217On February 23rd, after much research, I purchased a Sony RX10 camera .

This camera has an absolutely amazing Carl Zeiss 24 – 200 constant f/2.8 lens.  My DSLR system requires two bulky, heavy lenses to equal what this one lens can do.  And carrying and changing two heavy lenses for my DSLR system is a real pain.  It had gotten so that I seldom ever used the DSLR system unless I was planning an actual photo expedition and even then it was a pain to carry and use.  The smaller, lighter and much easier to carry RX10 has been used every day since purchase and I see no end to the fun.  Technology has apparently passed by my 12 year old DSLR and lenses.  The Sony RX10 makes sharper, higher resolution images. My aging Canon 40D is only capable of resolving 1,700 to 1,800 lines on a standard camera test chart whereas the Sony RX10 is capable of resolving 2,200 to 2,300 lines.

So far I’m very impressed with what I can do with this camera.  I purchased the Think Tank Mirrorless Mover 20 camera bag.  The camera, lens hood, filters, charger and two extra batteries take up just a fraction of the space and weight of my large, heavy DSLR system.   I’m absolutely amazed that the sharpness and image quality easily beat the old heavy DSLR system.  So far this is the most fun to use camera I’ve ever owned.  Combined with the diminutive Sony RX100M3, the two make an ideal pair.  I really do love these two cameras!

I should comment on image stabilization in the RX10.  Image stabilization is a system of highly compliant gyros built in to the lens that compensates for hand-held camera shake movement.  With my old DSLR, the 24-70 lens didn’t have any image stabilization and when using that lens you had to put it on a tripod if you wanted really sharp shots.  The RX10 has a very advanced 5-point image stabilization system that, for me, eliminates the need to carry a tripod around.  The hand-held images I’ve been getting are phenomenally sharp.

I have made a Sony RX10 Gallery Page under the Photo Gallery menu item.  Go take a look and tell me what you think.

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My Sony RX100M3

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For our wedding Anniversary this year, since both Kate and I are avid photographers, we decided to each get a camera that was both portable and made high quality images.  I’ve been a member of the dpReview.com photo website for many years and I’m constantly checking out the camera reviews and I follow several forums where cameras are discussed.   For a couple of years I’ve seen the Sony compact RX100 series of cameras get top reviews and the images were very high quality.  I’ve been using the RX100M3 for over two weeks and I can tell you that all the hype about the camera is true.  To have a camera of this quality small enough to fit in your pocket is nothing short of amazing.  Its really like having a miniature DSLR in your pocket.

Since the RX100M3 has a 1″ high quality BSI (Back Side Illuminated) sensor and a very high quality fast f1.8 Zeiss lens it is capable of making some portrait photos of people, pets, and plants that rival my Canon DSLR gear with professional L-series lenses.

Look at some of my first images under my Photo Gallery menu item RX100M3.

 

Posted in Sony RX100M3

First Entry

This will count as my first entry on my newly configured WordPress site.  Its been quite an adventure the past few weeks deciding on what I would be using to work with my site going forward.  My old site had been dormant for a number of years and my web programming skills had also grown stagnant.  So it was time to do something about it.  The something ended up being a quick read of “WordPress: The Missing Manual”, and deciding that I had found exactly what site development software I wanted to use going forward.  I’ll be adding some of my better photos to the gallery page.  Some of my better photos are on the home page.  Maybe somebody will even stop by my page some day and leave me a comment.  Who knows?  Stranger things have happened!

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