First let’s talk about Mr. Hyde. You may have been listening to me ranting about Microsoft and the “Metro” interface for some time. I’ve blasted the little dumb rectangles that have become Windows 8. I complained bitterly about having to fork over $149 for a student version of Microsoft Office so my lovely spouse could continue doing her homework on her new Windows 8 laptop. Microsoft still sucks by making everyone fish around their silly extra layer of BS while trying to get any work done on their computers. Office 365 is simply another way for Microsoft to vacuum every bent penny out of your blue jeans. But there is the flip side of Microsoft, the Dr. Jekyll if you will.
Do you know you can use a version of Microsoft Office through Microsoft Live SkyDrive that is completely free that runs in you browser? Did you know that it will even run using the Google Chrome browser, and doesn’t care if you’re using Linux or MAC OSX as your operating system? Well it does, and it rocks!
I’m actually writing this right now using the Microsoft Word app on SkyDrive using Chrome, and running Xunbuntu Linux and it’s extremely nice. I’ve been using Google drive for some time now, and I do like using the free in the cloud office software that Google provides, but Google Docs seem rather Spartan when compared to the offerings on Microsoft’s SkyDrive. You can create Word, Excel, and PowerPoint presentations, and it can easily be accessed by the new Hotmail makeover called Outlook.com. Which is beautiful by the way, and really kicks Gmail and Yahoo mail in the place that makes them say “mama” in a very quiet voice.
While I’m fawning over Microsoft’s new toys I want to tell you about my cellphone experience at Best Buy yesterday. I went in for a few minutes to play around with the new smart phones. My contract is due to expire soon so I will be able to upgrade to something else if I want to sign in blood for another two year contract. I have some major issues with a lot of contracts with cellphone carriers but I won’t go down that moldy damp troll hole at the moment. My first stop was the Samsung Galaxy S 3 a top of the line Android phone that people just seem to love. I picked it up, then hit the email button to see if it had the same ole tired email program that my slowpoke and outdated Pantech has. Sure enough there were those Android onscreen buttons that I just hate. First off I don’t use most of the features on a smart phone, but the features I do use I want them to work well. I like to check my many email accounts, check my bank account, get directions, occasionally look up some information, and use the camera for when I don’t have my “real camera” around. In those respects the best of the best Android phone wasn’t impressing me, but I’m sure it would be OK.
Then I picked up the first Windows phone I saw that was powered on and let me play with it. My first goal was to see if I could maneuver around without having to find some instructions, if was anything like my Windows 8 experience I was going to give it the finger and walk away. But to my surprise it wasn’t bad at all. It wasn’t like Windows 8 on my wife’s laptop, The Nokia that I tried was actually intuitive and easy to get around on. The next thing I did was hit the email button, I was shocked that it was impressive and a lot like Outlook.com. The other feature that caught my eye was the fact that it had an Office app. Now you might be thinking “Why would he want Office on a phone!?” And I was thinking the same thing, but I’m addicted to writing and having a useful but small writing tool at my disposal is a very attractive idea. So bottom line is that a Windows phone has just become a finalist along with an iPhone, and I’m leaning more toward the Windows phone right now.
OK, so if you don’t think that giving Microsoft praise is not enough craziness for you, then what about the One Puck coffee cup powered cell phone charger? It’s actually kind of cool, one side will charge your cell phone with your hot coffee, the other side will charge it with your iced tea. Their goal is to use this technology to bring water and electricity to developing countries. Not it’s not so crazy when they explain the technology that way.
Now this IS Batshit crazy! Sergey Brin, Google’s co-founder says that smart phones are “Emasculating” and that real men should wear Google Glasses, and should stop socially isolating themselves by using smart phones. Google Glasses is essentially a computer stuck on your face. Does Sergey really think that nerds are stupid? Does he actually think that someone would believed that by putting on those geeky looking glasses that they will magically make you look manly, and NOT look like a bigger dork? He’s taking crazy pills, will someone please call 911 and get that man to Happy Acers where he can converse with other crazy people.
Now I will admit that having a little bit of crazy is where innovation comes from, but to pull of innovation while being crazy with style is a real talent. I will have to admit to being on the crazy side for riding the insane waves of the High Tech. industry. I’ve been trying to ride that right wave for some time now but every time I find some echo system that I think is going to work for me somebody has to make something new that I can’t resist. I now have email accounts on Google, Yahoo, and on Microsoft. I keep saying I’m going to dump my Yahoo account but don’t. I decided that I’m going to use Google docs so I can keep writing on whatever device that is in front of me that is connected to the internet, then Microsoft comes up with Office in SkyDrive. To top it off I keep changing my mind about my new cell phone. I think they’re trying to make my brain pop with too many variables to take into account.
One day I’ll wake up from this great technological dream, scratch my long beard, and wipe the sleep out of my eyes. The sound of Roosters crowing will travel into my brain, and I will realize that it’s all just been a dream in my Amish paradise. I’ll pull up my suspendered overalls and head out to milk the mooing cows that were parked in the barn last night…
Nah, scratch that last thing.
About the Author: Dan LaFollette
I would describe myself as a father first, and married to a wonderfully supportive spouse that works her butt off for the family. I'm also a writer, techno nerd, and humorist. I always have more things to do than I have time to do them, and have many interests. br> View My ProfileAs far as my writing goes I consider myself an observer of human nature, and a lifelong writing student.