Like a few others, despite my early adopter gene calling out to me, I will not be buying a 1st gen Apple watch. Not because it is ridiculous (Insert Google glass joke here) but probably because of battery life. The notion of having to plug it in every night is not appealing. Plus it just has to be buggy. HAS TO BE.

It seems like I might not be the only one with reports of sales tailing off significantly after that initial pop, via.

As with all new technology I am sure there is a maturation phase. There are a host of write-ups that the apps will need to mature before they are really usable. That being said …. this golf app is really, really cool, and as we just moved back to a golf course and reopened our membership …. tempting.


I will ignore the fact that most GPSs are only accurate to 3 meters as a 2 year golf hiatus while in Tokyo will make 3 meters one way or the other irrelevant to my score.


I have been wondering when I would upgrade to a new version of Office but never felt compelled. Of interest, I would go to the MS site every 6 month – wanting to upgrade, ultimately being disappointed. Why would I when the current version of Office for Mac is still 2011?

While on the beach this holiday, it finally became worthwhile for 3 reasons:

  • If you buy Office Home you get it across 5 machines, 5 iPads and 5 iPhones.
  • You get a new version of Outlook for Mac that actually works with GMAIL. Why Microsoft is not marketing this far and wide is beyond me? I had to dig to find that information. It should be front and center on their marketing.
  • The clincher – 1TB of online storage PER USER. No more backing up any machine at that level.
    How Dropbox, Box or the others will compete is beyond me? At that size I can put my entire finished photo library into the cloud and still have lots of room.

I am impressed. This is the first Microsoft product I have bought in 3 years as our XBOXs have been relegated to the archives – replaced by Steam and a PC lives on, in the basement, fighting off viruses with good old reliable Windows 7.

Microsoft is fortunate that Windows (7) is the best platform for Steam or that basement PC would be lonely. Although those days are numbered, IF (big IF) the Linux based Steam OS matures.


I type this as a public service announcement to others – so you do not have to spend 3 hours on Apple technical support for something that should take 10 minutes.

If your Finder stops seeing the network devices, it is probably a simple issue – the firewall. And yes .. before you say it … I should have thought of that way earlier into the process instead of blindly following the Apple level 1, then level 2, then level 3 technical support who never thought to try such an incredibly obvious element.

In my case, all of our devices are using McAfee All Access. Somehow (either by a router firmware upgrade or a McAfee upgrade), the firewall swapped the network from home/work to public, thereby blocking the local network.

Under preferences of the McAfee All Access console – simply change it back – under Type (right side).


Hopefully that saves someone else 3 hours.


The New Yorker article Goodbye, Camera is a thought provoking article suggesting that the era of the networked device will displace the need for a camera:

One of the great joys of that walk was the ability to immediately share with family and friends the images as they were captured in the mountains: the golden, early-morning light as it filtered through the cedar forest; a sudden valley vista after a long, upward climb. Each time, I pulled out my iPhone, not the GX1, then shot, edited, and broadcasted the photo within minutes. As I’ve become a more network-focused photographer, I’ve come to love using the smartphone as an editing surface; touch is perfect for photo manipulation. There’s a tactility that is lost when you edit with a mouse on a desktop computer. Perhaps touch feels natural because it’s a return to the chemical-filled days of manually poking and massaging liquid and paper to form an image I had seen in my head. Yet if the advent of digital photography compressed the core processes of the medium, smartphones further squish the full spectrum of photographic storytelling: capture, edit, collate, share, and respond. I saw more and shot more, and returned from the forest with a record of both the small details—light and texture and snippets of life—and the conversations that floated around them on my social networks.

Reading through this quote I was left with a question – is the networked device destroying the camera .. or is it destroying the moment? He spent his time slogging through the mountains, shooting his photos, editing, instagramming and texting instead of .. enjoying the mountain path and the moment. I can just see him doing what I see so often in beautiful travel destinations .. this fellow tripping along, distracted, glancing up from his phone while he types and Facebooks … Seen it 100 times.

Does it enhance the moment? Personally, I don’t think so.

When I am shooting with a camera I am in the moment, observing, enjoying – not thinking about who I am going to share the picture with. That doesn’t mean there isn’t a time for the camera phone, but for me there will always be a time for a camera.

It would be interesting to hear what others think.

2013 11 18 San Francisco_-35

(San Francisco, China Town)


For many years I have wanted the tablet to deliver on one promise – paperless.

Starting with Microsoft’s digital ink (2002) which was rumored to cost hundreds of millions, but due to battery life and screen issues – never took off. Then the iPad came along and whilst it is a good multi-purpose device, the note taking element remains substandard. I have written on this topic a few times.

When I am in a meeting and someone is typing notes into their tablet or laptop, it is distracting – creates a barrier and ultimately, inefficient. Type the note on your phone and you run the risk of looking like you are checking email creating irritation or suspicion.

So, I keep using my Moleskine with the Evernote function (I never sync to Evernote) hoping that one day, someone will invent the capability to properly take notes electronically. Why notes? I like to write notes – it helps me remember, comprehend, think – digest – or something along those lines. Plus, when I am taking notes I am focused, and if I am with a client – that sends a message.

Yes, I have tried different pens on different devices .. Android, iPad with a Wacom pen, but everything is middling and I end up back to pen and paper.

Perhaps the day has finally come and this company has figured out the trick. The solution is like the Kindle, a single purpose, low cost device .. the BoogieBoard 9.7. Bluetooth sync and transfer, $100 price tag, Evernote integration, the right size – light and big enough to write on. Looks like it will go “live” at CES 2014.


Signed up for the notice of when it finally goes GA. Hopefully it will come in a color other than orange trim.


Moving from my Windows laptop to a Mac laptop means that I also need to find blogging software as I like blogging offline.

Unfortunately, it seems like no ones has designed one that can work as well as Microsoft’s Windows Live Writer, the best blogging software out there.

I have tried a few different Mac options over the last week, read a ton of Top 10 lists (all are basically the same) and finally landed on MarsEdit. But even then it is with a resigned "if I have to" versus a happy transition. It amazes me that no blogging software has caught up to Live Writer, a 5 year old piece of software that hasn’t changed and is free. After a few minutes of work, my view:

  • The ability to set a publishing date is very cumbersome. You have to do it through menus, versus Live Writer where it is on the main screen and a simple “click” and “pick”.
  • The information and selection bar on Live Writer is very robust covering insertions, and changing as you put pictures into the WYSIWYG interface (crop, set default picture size etc.)
  • Live Writer goes against your blog and pulls down you last 50 posts and gives you the option of choices to pull down all of your posts (if you want).
  • Live Writer has a simple interface to allow for multiple blog support.
    After only an hour of playing with MarsEdit I was left with the opinion that this product is a 5 at best and definitely not worth $40. I have no problem paying, but it has to be at least as good as Microsoft’s free product and it is not.So I installed Parallels, Windows 7 and Live Writer. Problem solved in a cumbersome manner and Windows lives on.


Well, my personal travel laptop (Windows 7) just bit the dust. After spending a night thinking about it I replaced it with a MacBook Air. I use an Air at work and it will result in me traveling with one less charger.

The other deciding factor was Time Machine. It works so well, especially if you are traveling like me ..  you can never backup enough.

But the Apple vs Windows war isn’t over. My sons have become PC gamers again, the XBOX is gathering dust. In fact when discussing the hype of the XBOX One, the boys concluded they are no longer interested, which surprised me. When I was at Microsoft I remember hearing stories about Robbie Bach fighting the internal MS machine to keep the XBOX a gaming focused device (The Windows team wanted it to run Windows). Now that he is gone, it seems that the device is slowly starting to lose focus and get lost in MS’s confusing consumer strategy. Too bad, it is a truly great platform.

According to our in-house experts, gaming PCs using Steam offer better games, better graphics, these insane "sales" where they can pick up new games for almost nothing (75 percent off is not uncommon) and instant access via high speed download.

The PC isn’t dead in our house after all.