3 of My Favorite Productivity Apps for Smartphones

I am guilty of this. I am a very busy person, and I am a very good juggler. I juggle my time between work, as a software and systems engineer, and at the same time feeding my passion as a techie geek that I am. Yes, I love to watch Sci Fi shows and believe that the world cannot exist without them. How do I still manage my time and be productive? Still thanks to technology, I was able to come across 3 of my favorite productivity apps for my smartphone.

 

Apps For Smartphones

Every app you need for productivity…

I would love to share this list of productivity apps with you, my readers. Here are they:

  1.  CloudMagic, running on iOS and Android. All I wanted was not just one email server/provider. I have multiple accounts and wanted to incorporate them into just a single account. This mobile email app does not only cover the email services that I have, but it also provides power features. It supports iCloud, Gmail, IMAP, and Exchange accounts, among many more others. It introduces a ‘contextual cards’ feature which allows me to send email contents to different tools such as OneNote, Salesforce and ZenDesk. As I also do mobile work, I find this app extremely useful.
  1. Evernote, running on iOS and Android. This cross-platform note-taking service app allows me to take and upload notes, audio, pictures, and video snippets, organizing them to cloud notebooks which may be synced in different devices. I agree that it is loaded with an extra level of organization, which is perfect for sharing and formatting. Even with its competitors, such as Google Keep and OneNote, I still favor Evernote because of its options. I started using the free version which allowed me to upload about 600MB worth of monthly content, then I upgraded to the paid account which gave me more capabilities.
  1. And of course, I wouldn’t want to leave without saying the magic word ‘Dropbox’. This cloud storage service of Google serves as a perfect productivity assistant because of its timely integration with the other services in the Google ecosystem. File sharing, as well as features for collaboration allows users to work easily on projects that are shared. Its absorption of Google Docs into the drive gives users an excellent app and web based office suite which can be used for viewing, editing and sharing documents, slideshows, spreadsheets, and other files. Plus, what I like about it the most is that I have the control of who I can share the documents with, and the level of access that they can have over the files. As a matter of fact, I have been using this app for quite some time now and I find it very useful, especially when I work with a team.

Then again, these are my favorites. You may have yours too. New ones might still be in development, and some are on the way. As exciting as it can be, I am looking forward to these new apps.

My 5 Favorite Technological Innovations from Star Trek

Even in my adult life, I still find myself shouting ‘Beam me up, Scotty!’ everytime I end up solving a complicated systems issue at work. Yes, as software and systems engineer, I still enjoy the nostalgia of being a Star Trek fan. There were days when I wondered whether it was possible to have the technological innovations presented in my favorite show exist in this modern civilization that I currently exist in.

Live long and prosper!

Live long and prosper!

Out of curiosity, I sat down one night, rummaged through my old computer files, and retrieved my long kept Star Trek reserves. I scrutinized each scene, trying to see a resemblance of a technology that is currently existing. At the end of my backtrack journey, I ended up listing my 5 favorite technological innovations from Star Trek.

Here they are:

  1. One of the most visible instruments used in the entire show is the tricorder, which is used in measuring everything, such as oxygen levels, and identifying diseases. Of course, we do not see a tricorder these days, but scientists have come up with an even better version. For instance, NASA uses LOCAD, a handheld device that measures unwanted microorganisms during their space missions. Two other medical devices are being developed to help doctors examine infection.
  1. Back in the old days, in the set of Star Trek, telepresence was considered as a futuristic method of communicating despite being separated through void space. Well, telepresence is video conferencing at its best. The illusion of being there, despite the distance, is what video conferencing means. As a matter of fact, video conferencing works in the concept of telepresence – being there without being there.
  1. Captain Kirk had his universal translator back then, which helps him in communicating wherever his feet would take him. They used a small device which has the capability of translating words into English. For the real world? The device may still be in development, but the technology is already present. Voice recognition has made it possible for a computer to gather information and then spit back a phrase in a specified language. Thus, the only difference it has with the show is that it only works with predetermined languages.
  1. Remember the phasers? Phasers were used in the show as a fictitious weapon to kill or stun their enemies, rendering them incapacitated. Its modern day counterpart? Well, we have the stun guns! Electricity gives the stunning effect. The only difference is that, stun guns need to be in close contact to the target to see its results.
  1. Captain Kirk seemed to be the most equipped technologically in the show. He had his communicators to make a very important call to his contacts. After more than 30 years, what do we have? We simply call them cell phones.

Interesting, right? Who would have imagined having these technologies from the show come to life in our very modern world? Who knows, more of the so-called futuristic technologies will come to surface soon to feed our amazement! I am most definitely looking forward to that! There’s so much creative Sci Fi technology that we can probably handle.

5 Reasons the Surface Pro 3 Will Replace My Current Laptop and Tablet

Surface_Pro_3_
My name is Coby Pamus and I love everything about technology. As a techie geek that I am, I actually prefer tinkering with the gadgets in my room than going out and spending worthless time watching people fool around. Ever since my eyes have been opened to the wonders of IT, I have loved it. For that reason, I have chosen the field that I consider my passion. I work as a software and systems engineer, but for me, it’s not just work, it’s my life.

Whenever there is something new that technology offers, I take the time to scrutinize it carefully, checking if it’s worth purchasing. I have at least 3 working desktops at home, 2 laptops, and a tablet. When it comes to tablet, I don’t just settle for anything less, which explains why I only have one.

Recently, Microsoft introduced Surface Pro 3. They came up with the tagline ‘the tablet that will replace your laptop’. So, I said, really? I never imagined replacing my laptop. I ended up researching everything about it, asking my fellow techies around, opening forums and thread to gather opinions from all over the world. I managed to pull 5 reasons why this gadget will replace my current laptop and tablet:

  1. It has the looks. Surface Pro 3 is both lighter and thinner compared to its previous models. It has an official dimension of 9.1 mm in thickness, and 800g in weight. It has also has an enhanced screen resolution, 3.2 aspect ratio, and 2160 x 1440 resolution.
  1. The tablet incorporates the latest Core i7 processors, thus enabling it to multitask as it runs two programs and apps simultaneously, and at the same time demoing Photoshop’s latest version, running Windows 8.1 Pro.
  1. True, Microsoft offers great support for other models too, and this Surface Pro 3 also comes with multi-position kickstand, as well as optional keyboards. However, it is expected that in just a few months, the company will launch a docking station, allowing Surface Pro 3 to a valid workstation.
  1. Working with Intel means a cutting edge in the working of this Windows ecosystem. I expect that the gadget is set to support Android devices which can possibly fight ARM.
  1. This Surface Pro 3 is a killer to the Macbook Air, judging by the number of times that Microsoft has compared this gadget to the Macbook Air. It just seems to fit that Microsoft is really targeting Air’s capability, eyeing to be better.

With these things said, I am pretty sure that the Surface Pro 3 is an extremely interesting device. I can still do what I love to do in my other gadgets, such as watching my favorite Sci-fi shows, among others. Plus, I get to enjoy what this new technology has to offer. I should say hats off to Microsoft for putting up a mid-cycle updates, as well as to Intel who demonstrated their invaluable commitment to producing high quality tablets.

 

I’d Like To Work From Home, Part Time

I love my work and wouldn’t want to give it up for anything. I’m dedicated to my job. However of late I have wondered whether I would be able to convince my boss to allow me to spend a couple of days a week working at home.

As a software engineer I do all my work on a computer, as you would expect. I can work from home just as effectively, if not more effectively, than I can at work. I’ve been reading about working from home and I can see so many advantages for me.

There’s several advantages for me working from home

The major advantage is time. I spend a lot of my time commuting now and if I could apply that time spent commuting to my work I’m sure I could get so much more done. I waste over 2 hours a day commuting, and that is completely dead time as far as I am concerned. I could work an extra 1 hour per day, and keep 1 hour for myself, and I’m still doing 1 hours extra work.

Another reason for working at home is to reduce the cost. I’m finding that as the cost of fuel increases the cost of commuting is getting higher and higher. The cost of getting to and from work is now a major issue, and even if I was able to work for 2 days a week at home that would reduce my travelling expenses by 40%.

Another reason is distractions. If I work at home I am in a distraction free environment. However at work I find that people are constantly talking to me and the interruptions reduce my capacity to concentrate on the job at hand and get the work done as fast as possible.

Of course I can’t tell everybody to leave me alone, that would just make me look rude. But the reality is that I’m producing less work than I could produce at home in a quiet, distraction free environment.

Of course the downside of working at home is that I won’t have the social contact with all my workmates, however I’m only planning to ask my boss if I can work at home for 2 days a week, so I’ll be able to talk to my friends at work the rest of the week.

Another reason I’d like to work at home is for my family. My children will be attending school soon and my wife won’t be able to pick them up from school. Unfortunately childcare is really expensive, and if we required after school childcare then the cost would be very significant.

If I was available to pick up my kids from school and bring them home then that would be a significant reduction in expenses for us and one which would make a big difference to our finances.

 But can I convince my boss to allow me to work at home?

However of course I have to convince my boss to allow me to work from home. I’ve thought about it carefully and think I’ll manage to convince him.

I’ve been through all of the arguments in my head and I think I’ve got a strong case. I’m not asking to work at home for the entire week, I’m only asking for 2 days per week.

If he allows me to do that I intend to prove that I will be even more productive working at home than I was at work. If I can produce more work in my 2 days at home than I could in the same amount of time at work, and if I can demonstrate to my boss that I am more effective working at home and that I’m producing more work then I think he should be convinced.

So really all I need to do is to convince him to give me a trial. I plan to ask for a 1 month trial, working 2 days per week at home. I’ll send all my work to him as I do it, and I’m pretty sure that I can demonstrate the advantages, to him, of allowing me to work at home.

I’ll let you know how it goes.