So this post might seem a bit late, and maybe it is if you have been following the social media wave. But I was just thinking about it again today whilst still waiting for mine. And after I saw a tweet from someone returning his already.
What I’m talking about is this really small and excitingly interesting little gadget called the LeapMotion. The LeapMotion is basically an input device for your computer. And that means it allows you to interact with your computer in a new and exciting way. Up until today you were able to use a keyboard for typing, mouse for interacting, Track balls, touch pads, gamepads, Kinect and some of you might still remember the big fad with VR (Virtual Reality) some time ago. Now the LeapMotion is just such a device. But it creates a 3D space around it and using your hands in mid air, you interact with your computer.
As soon as I got wind of this great new toy I had to place an order and I still remember rushing to the site and making sure I get my details in as quickly as possible. And Monday was the official, delayed, launch day. although I saw loads of tweets about people already receiving their pre-orders over the weekend.
So here I am, anxiously awaiting the delivery of my LeapMotion so I can have some fun with it. This has definitely been one of my most anticipated devices in years and I know it wont disappoint. Once I have my grubby little fingers on it I’ll post some more stuff around it.
While I was going through my twitter timeline on Thursday night I suddenly remember that Windows 8.1 Preview is supposed to be available any day now. Quick check on the Microsoft website and I found the link. And off course, I had to install it. And in true Henry style, I skimmed over any text and tried to find the download link, and click… Well, maybe I should not have clicked to eagerly…
A fast 14mb download and a few updates later and I was redirected to the new Marketplace. Looked good and in front of me was Windows 8.1 Preview, with some weird squiggles where the install button should be. Not really worried I clicked it and some time later my Acer Icona rebooted and I had to again choose a few settings. And there it was… Windows 8.1 Preview.
At first glance, nothing really special, except the glaringly obvious start button. Seriously, who missed that. Not me. Already used to not having it and really just taking up space now.
First of all, some irritations so far from using it for a few days.
1. Swiping is not as precise and smooth as before. And this makes my tablet feel very clunky and slow.
2. After every reboot I get an error dialog on my desktop. Something about BVTSTACK. Seems to be related to the Acer software and after checking could find anything.
3. Even though it picks up the built in Bluetooth chip, I cannot pair any devices or even see them. So I’ve resorted to buying a very small USB Bluetooth device
4. A few of my not so important is crashes for no reason
Now I fully understand this is a preview. And I was a bit silly not to create a rollback “disc”, but I did expect all hardware devices to still function correctly, as this is a smallish upgrade to Windows 8.
1. On the main start screen, swiping up now lists all the installed apps. That’s a nice and quick way to get to them and I love it
2. Music app is more user friendly and seems to perform a little better
3. Quick and seem less install. Did not have to completely rebuild the tablet
4. Enjoying the additional options for changing the tile sizes and also customising the home screen is now the same as my Windows Phone 8 and I love the consistency
Subsequent to this “upgrade”, I have also downloaded the Visual Studio 2013 Preview and will also be playing with that over the next week or so. I’m glad I did the preview install and will start getting used to the changes and will be anxiously await updates to this. Next week I’ll post some more details about Windows 8.1 Preview and also how living solely with the tablet is shaping up.
Chat soon. :)
Just thought I would write a quick update after my first few days with my Acer Icona as a primary device at work.
So as it stands today. I have installed 95% of the apps I usually need and I have moved a fair amount of the data I need on the tablet across. And today I did not even take my laptop out of my bag. I was happily working on my tablet. Initially I was struggling a bit with the keyboard, but that has now passed and I am working well with it. I do enjoy having my Microsoft Wedge mouse handy, but really only use it in desktop mode when working with Office 2013.
I have tested Visual Studio 2012 and it works really well. That was the only real concern I had. But all is good. Getting more and more used to the standard mail app. It is actually very nice and have not yet configured Outlook 2013. Hopefully I would not need to. I still just need to move a lot of mail from my archives to my main mailbox.
I added a picture password today because my password is about 15 characters long, and that just takes too long to type on the screen. So now its nice and easy to log into my tablet.
Performance has been great. Space is still not great, but I getting used to relying on other systems for storage. Which is good, since I really don’t need the space. Still a bit disappointed in some of the Marketplace Apps. It just seems like the developers are not understanding the performance issues users will experience and they are not making use of the “loading” animations to inform their users when the apps are updating etc.
Since I have not joined our domain at the office, I do have the odd occasion where my printers are not working, but a quick browse to the print server to reconnect and all is good again.
So after a few days I am still happy with my choice. Hopefully tomorrow I can load the rest of the apps and finalise my data transfer over the weekend. But all in all I am very happy with my Icona. Will post some more next week.
If you had a look at my posts last week you would have noticed that I mentioned that I will be replacing my main work laptop with an Acer Icona W700, in line with a new way of working. Also because my role has changed a bit and I believe that I do not really need such a powerful laptop anymore.
Well, this morning I was informed that my tablet had arrived. And off course I was super excited, but also very ware that there is now no turning back. I have committed to this journey and will see it through.
Due to a very meeting intensive day, again, the box remained unopened until late afternoon. So a quick unboxing occurred and that was it. Everything was stuffed into my bag so I can work on it tonight.
The device is very nice and also a bit bulky compared to the Samsung Ativ I have been using. But then it is much more powerful than the Ativ. It comes with a very nice leather case with a built in keyboard, which I am still trying to get used to. Have already had to fix several spelling mistakes trying to get used to the pressure of the buttons. With my Ativ I used the Microsoft Wedge keyboard, and might revert back to it, but I do like the leather cover. I have already ensured that my Microsoft Wedge mouse is connected and it works well.
So as of a few minutes ago I have done all of the standard windows update and also the Marketplace App updates that I have installed so far. Email has been configured in the built in mail app, and even though I already have Microsoft Office 2013 running, and have not yet configured Outlook and might not do so.
Performance so far is great and all the apps are running a little smoother than my Ativ. Tomorrow I will attempt to go through the whole day only using the tablet, except where I still have some files on my laptop. The rest of the week I will spend either moving them across or onto our corporate intranet, where they belong. I also have some LOB apps I need to install this week and then I need to get Visual Studio 2012 installed as well.
As the days or week goes by I will post some of the challenges I am facing and how I have overcome them, or not. But for now I am very happy and excited. Lets hope it lasts…
As always time flies by so quickly and before you know it you forgot to post to your blog. So here is a very quick one…
As I mentioned in my last quick update, I am now ready to go full tablet and discard my laptop to embrace a new way of working. And the time for this has come. So starting next week I will be full time on an Acer Icona W700 as my full time work device.
The first week I will be transferring what need across and then I will be looking at other technologies and platforms to facilitate the way I work. I have decided to load Microsoft office, but leave outlook and use the built in mail client.
I’ll have a development environment on the tablet, but my main and current development environment will be cloud based as a VM in Azure. Especially with some of the new pricing models that will be available soon.
All and all I am excited for the new experience. I’ll definitely try and post something every week on my experience with solely working on a tablet, where my usual needs are that of a high powered laptop.
So I haven’t really posted anything since Tech Ed, so here is a quick update.
Things have been a bit busy at work since my last post, but ill be having a bit of a break starting next week. So the plan is to re-up at least once more in Gears of War Judgment. I also want to spend some time in the Microsoft Virtual Academy and rack up some points there. I am looking at some certifications and might spend some time towards that. And hopefully get cracking on some Windows 8 apps that I have been planning for a while.
Other than that, I am still enjoying the Samsung Ativ Tab, and are still considering swopping my laptop for a little more powerful Windows 8 tablet. It just makes sense to me. All my devices are already so integrated and I m always connected anyway, so why not.
Looking forward to posting some stuff while I am on my break, so watch this space.