Tips, tricks, and apps for ALM iPad users

Archive for the ‘Productivity’ Category

Walt Beats Me to It

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The Wall Street Journal‘s Walt Mossberg does a terrific job of explaining how to do things to actual, nongeek humans. This week’s column is worth a read. He explains how to use the iPad to do some of the things you do on a “real” computer—word processing, reading PDFs, moving files to a Mac or PC, that kind of thing. The column and a demo video are online, in front of the pay wall, here. Thanks, Walt!


Written by almipad

March 17, 2011 at 11:26 am

Posted in Productivity

Typing and Other Annoyances

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I was in Toronto for a couple of days on a sales trip (pretty good one at that). Before leaving, I called my hotel, a not-so-hot one—there was a huge mining convention in town with 20,000 attendees—and the desk clerk assured me they had wi-fi for every room.

It didn’t work.

Each room did have an ethernet cable, which did me no good, because I took my iPad. In the course of my wanderings, I was tempted very briefly to buy a router (hey, are those expense-able? I mean, you do get reimbursed for pay-Internet reception, right?), but I decided I wasn’t going to be spending that much time there anyway.

There was a Second Cup cafe down the street, which is sort of like Starbucks, with better coffee. And, thank the Internet gods, free wi-fi. A login prompt came up, telling me that the hotspot was for “Rogers wireless customers with the iPhone 3GS, I agreed to the conditions (what, no curling or hockey jokes?), and I was in. I called up this blog page, logged in and tried to post. And….hmmm, no go. I started to type, but I couldn’t see what I was typing. Is it something to do with the Safari version on the iPad? I don’t know; stay tuned for further experimenting.

I was going to post something on typing, which many find vexing on the device. I don’t, I’ve had an iPhone for over three years, so I’m used to how it works. My advice: trust the autocorrect, 80 percent of the time. I use a modified touch-typing style, fewer fingers than I’m using now on a regular Mac keyboard, but more than two fingers. By the way, have y’all figured out accents? Hold the letter key down until you see the letter with various alternatives. Slide to the one you want and release.

Some people, however, want a physical keyboard. I’ve seen two recently. First off is the Apple one–check out their online store here. On that page, you’ll see the regular wireless (Bluetooth) keyboard and the somewhat clumsy dock.

One of our colleagues has been carrying his iPad around with this dashing setup. Brookstone sells it, and it’s a portfolio (in three colors) that contains a Bluetooth keyboard. You open the case, the iPad can sit up at a comfortable angle, and it looks for all the world like a neat little laptop.

Written by almipad

March 10, 2011 at 5:19 pm

Save It for Later

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Even if you have a 3G model iPad (I don’t), there are times where you can’t or won’t connect to the Internet. My iPhone, for instance, goes dead in the middle of New York Harbor, and flight attendants would treat me a little less delicately than they handled Arianna Huffington when she refused to shut down her BlackBerry while taxiing for takeoff. And you might want to just save stuff to read later, for the sake of it.

Download InstaPaper. It installs a “save for later” bookmark on your browser. Go to an article you want to save, tap save, and you’ve got it to read later. Just make sure, and open the app to make it load into the app. If you don’t, you’ll have the disappearing reading material problem I described in the book-reader apps post.



Written by almipad

February 15, 2011 at 1:59 pm

Posted in Apps, Productivity