Monday, August 23, 2010

Getting use to the new tech

ideaLab netbook
As I mentioned last week, my netbook and iPad arrived over the last few days and both are quite phenomenal as far as technology improvements go in the office.

My desktop computer at work is a piece of tech fit for a museum - Windows 2000 Pro, 256 MB RAM, and continually over worked every day to the point of freezing or near-crashing.

With the new ideaLab netbook - a Verizon Wireless HP Mini - sporting Windows 7 Pro, 2 GB RAM and a 1.6 GHz processor - it's like night and day switching between machines.

I have to say that I'm surprised. I've used a few netbooks briefly in the past and felt that the experience was rather horrible. They were way too slow to start-up and would crawl when it came to normal tasks or navigating a media-heavy Internet session.

This little book is a workhorse. When it has a decent Internet connection, it flies like a decent-spec full size laptop should. This is great for me because I no longer have to bring my own, personal MacBook into work everyday to get much of my work done in an efficient manner.

Plus, one of the best things is that it has a built-in air card, so I can get online with it anywhere without an open Wi-Fi connection or having to keep track of a USB dongle wherever I go.

My recommendation to my editors and the company would be to get this netbook, or something very similar, for every reporter in JRC. Filing stories from the field would be a breeze, and although I haven't had the change to put FlipShare on it, I'm sure video editing will probably work just fine on it as well (if only a tad slow based on the specs).

-- -- --

The iPad -

Holy crap this thing is cool. The Flipboard app is gorgeous, news apps for the Huffington Post, NPR, and tons more are well-designed and easy to use.

Twitterific is simple, easy to use, and makes reading my Twitter feed much more enjoyable than trying to read a small mobile version on my non-app powered Verizon phone.

I think I'm going to get rather addicted to the Kindle app - for which I've already downloaded "What Would Google Do?" by Jeff Jarvis, a member of the JRC Advisory Board, and a newer version of the "Sams Teach Yourself HTML and CSS in 24 hours " book that I took out from the library before my vacation. The reading experience on the device is quite nice and I don't see any problems using it (other than my credit card bill after urges to read more and more).

the iPad using the Kindle app
WIRED magazine has taken the digital publication to the next level. So far, I only downloaded the free preview of what the content they offer, but with hi-res photos, embedded video clips, and TONs of info, this is a great example of what magazines should be doing for digital content.

This is the time to act for us in the news industry - we have to somehow get on board with providing quality digital content that readers will want to check as much as iPad and iPhone users want to use apps like WIRED.

Hopefully, we'll be able to get moving quickly at JRC with members of the ideaLab and all of the other talented members of the company who are thinking of ways to move us forward in the digital world on their own.

I'm hoping to post a few updates this week as tomorrow the ideaLab will gather in person for the first time and meet together at JRC corporate headquarters in Yardley, PA on Wednesday.

Check back to see what goes on!



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