Reviews

BOX and Dell giving you 50GB of free storage space - FOREVER !!!

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Well, one thing that is beyond discussion nowadays: the computing world is moving to the cloud.

If you ask why, there are many reasons, beginning from the fact that we need sharing of documents between many devices and sharing with others. If in need for more reasons, the fact that tablets and phones are substituting computers and these devices come with less storage space is also a factor.

The problem: there are many different cloud storage services, and the main ones (Dropbox, Sugarsync, Skydrive, Google Drive) offer a very small ammount of free storage, charging real money for larger ammounts. Smaller providers don't even provide free storage.

The fact is that the requirement for money is fair. After all, storage costs money, and those are commercial companies trying to survive and profit. However, this has been a big obstacle for the growth in the popularity of these services.

Around a year ago, a new model has been put together: cloud storage providers joined forces with hardware makers and provided for the purchasers of the hardware a larger ammount - usually 50GB - for a specified period of time - usually 2 years. The idea is to get users adopting the service, getting used to it, and ready to pay for it after the period of time is over.

This is why I got surprised when I found an item in Talk Android telling about the following DELL + BOX promotion:

What? For life ??? It couldn't look better, a good reason to buy a Dell computer.

Well, it does look better. Read well:

Review: Cloud Printing from your device

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One of the subjects that has been a great problem for a long time, actually since the days of Windows Mobile, is the need one has from time to time to print directly from the device.

To tell you the truth, at some point in the past I got tired from trying to find a solution for this issue and just let it go. However, during my last trip to Latin America, I had the need to print a new version of a contract urgently, and then noticed that my hotel (The Hilton Reforma Mexico City) had a kind of a cloud service on place for printing, and the use of the service was simple and rewarding. That's right, I used my computer for that, but it gave me again the appetite to try to find a solution that will make me able to do the same from the phone or from the tablet.

So I went for a visit to the "print" search at Google Play. I've got a list which was at the same time inspiring and disappointing. Inspiring because there are many people working on this subject. Disappointing because most of the things I've found were either useless, not comfortable, or expensive.

You can find there three kinds of apps:

- Software from the different printer makers, which seem to work fine, but at most support their own printers in Wifi or Bluetooth, and require us to install ALL the packages from the different makers if we want to support (almost) all printers.

- Free software that doesn't really work or misses much of the functionality we need.

- Software that sells for $10 or more.

However, in the middle of this mess I was able to find a real gem: Cloud Print by the developer Paulo Fernandes.

At first sight, I loved the fact that the developer was ready to put his own name behind the app. This shows seriousness. Additionally, he was ready to give us a full free version, with only 3 small limitations, and charge around $3 (depending on exchange rates) for the full version - a very fair price comparing to all others that were offering similar functionality.

So I decided to test it, and my conclusions are here for you after the break.

Review: Asus Vivo TAB RT TF600T

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My daughter returned in the beginning of last week from a 2.5-month long trip to South America to find her computer dead as expected (it was dead when she left), so it was time to go with her to buy a new computer.

Still from South America, she had already told me she had one thing in mind: a computer that can also be used as a tablet whenever needed. According to that instruction, I went around the shops here in the Tel Aviv area to see what was available and lose less time with her at the moment she was here.

Then last Tuesday, among others, I took her to the Asus distributor here to take a look at the Asus Vivo Tab RT TF600T, and this was the chosen computer.

(all the pictures in this article can be enlarged by clicking on them)

As you see, it is a small and sleek device, which can easily compete in size and weight with any netbook we are used to see. But it is much more than that.

The special characteristics begin with the fact that it runs on an quad-core ARM processor clocked on 1.3GHz, and it runs Windows 8 RT.... yes, the same one running on the Surface RT.

It is the first time I touch a device using Windows 8, and as well regarding Windows 8 RT. I was quite amazed to see how fast I felt at home with this computer. You see, even considering that during 2 days of the last week it was far away from me in Eilat, in the following day I was ready to begin writing this review in its original Hebrew version and even demonstrate it in video. Actually I can say that in two days I managed to get acquainted to it, to learn it, to solve some initial usage problems which needed to be solved, and finally, to love it!

So please let me tell you the full story, show you a movie, and give you the full specs after the break.

Video: Izhar's cardboard bike


It is always a pleasure to see a story and be able to say "Hey, I know this guy!"....

In this case, it is a double pleasure, since I can say "Hey, I know these guys! " ... and refer both to the producer of the video and to the subject of the movie.

The movie I present below was done by Giora Kariv on the subject of one of his friends at Kibbutz Bror Hail that has created a great invention:

The guy: Izhar Gafni.

The invention: a cardboard bicycle.

I happen to know both, since I was a member of Bror Hail between 1983 and 1989, a time in which Izhar was a beginning electrician and Giora was, if I am not wrong, just coming back from the army to the farm.

It comes out that Izhar's hobby, riding bicycles, came out to lead him to this invention - a strong, resistant, and cheap bicycle all made of cardboard when he just heard a story of a cardboard canoe.

According to the video, Izhar has already registered a patent on the invention, and there are already some companies interested on serially manufacturing the bicycle.

See the video:

Please help me wish much success to Izhar in this enterprise.

Upgrading my HTC Desire to Android 2.3 Gingerbread


OK, I have been already for 6 months with my HTC Desire, have upgraded it to FroYo, which left it approximately the same way it was previously with Eclair, and was already beginning to get bored.

What was left? Trying an upgrade to newly released Gingerbread.

The picture above already gives you an idea of the result......

My two main concerns:

1. Finding a ROM version that was reliable - since the Desire is my primary device,
2. Having Hebrew in the device at the end of the process - since without Hebrew using the device in Israel will be impossible, even though my calendar and phonebook are kept in English.

More after the break.

Full link between computer and Android Phone


I have recently received this information from a member of my Hebrew website www.mobilityfreak.co.il and thought it would be nice to share it here as well.

Member of the site adunsky describes a way to create a link and transfer information OTA between a computer running the Chrome browser and an Android device. The whole functionality can be very interesting for people that are frequently busy moving information from one to the other.

So here it goes after the break.

Having my wallet everywhere I am


Well, having my wallet everywhere I am seems quite trivial when I am talking about my physical wallet - yes, that one that holds the bills - but it may not be so when I am talking about an electronic wallet that holds my passwords and personal data.

In the past, when I used my Windows Mobile device, I used to use eWallet from Ilium Software, a great wallet system which had a very good desktop companion and Windows Mobile Client for keeping the wallet updated everywhere. Every day I would connect my device to the PC and the wallets would sync.

Then I moved to Android, and all that Ilium could offer me in this platform was a viewer to my wallet, while all the editing was supposed to be done in the PC. Better than nothing, but not enough for me. I was out to find my new wallet software.

Luckilly, in the same days, SBSH announced their new Safewallet 2, and with it a version for Android to be released soon (meanwhile it has already been released). Knowing the quality of SBSH products, I decided I ought to try it. And so I did.

Upgrading my Samsung Omnia to WM6.5


Those who follow me at Twitter or Facebook have surely noticed that last week I have been quite busy updating my Samsung Omnia to WM6.5.

How did I do that? Everybody knows that there isn't an official WM6.5 ROM for the Samsung Omnia. Well, let me tell you that I did not invent or discover anything new. There are many good (and bad) cooked ROMs for the Omnia around…. The information is all around at the Internet. Now I will try to put some order in all that.

More details after the break.

Re-visiting Jajah


A lot of noise has been made during this week about the purchase of Jajah by O2 for the sum of USD 200M.

I am a customer of Jajah since their first days, but I have to admit I have never used too much their services. I have to admit that at the time that I was abroad, if I had already to go to the web to dial, I would prefer using Skype (since it would save me the price of the local incoming call, and when I was in my home country I never remembered their service when I needed it. Probably my mistake, but I believe many are in the same situation.

So I decided to re-visit their website and learn a little more of what is their offer today that makes it so interesting to O2.

You can see some of my conclusions after the break.

Software Review: GPSed


My last article here, dating of some weeks ago, was about Mobiscope from Shape Services. Curiously, some days after publishing that article, I was advised that the company has released an update for another of their best sellers, GPSed.

So I wrote to them and asked for a reviewer's license in order to try to figure out what they are talking about with GPSed, and what's all the fun with it.

The above pictures are from the developers' website. My findings, together with my own screenshots and a short video just after the break.

 

So what is it for?