Posts Tagged ‘iPad’

20 October, 2016

We live in a world of constant change, so it seems. We are no longer satisfied with owning something or receiving a service – we are all told that we need to have the latest and best versions. We need to upgrade. There is much evidence that many people succumb to these demands – look at the lines outside of Apple stores when a new iPhone or iPad is released. I feel that there are lots of reasons to resist or, at least, carefully consider, these apparently inevitable upgrades … Read the rest of this entry »

, , , ,

20 November, 2014

It is now four and a half years since I first got an iPad. With my first one, it was love at first swipe and I used the device for two years solid – all day, every day. The iPad 2 did not seem to offer enough to make me upgrade, but, the iPad 3 with significantly improved performance and the wonderful retina display won me over. My old iPad went to my mother-in-law (who never wanted computer, so we did not tell her that this is just what an iPad is!), who has been happily using it ever since … Read the rest of this entry »


18 September, 2014

This is the first in an occasional series of postings with the title “Six of the Best”. This phrase is probably meaningless to many people outside of the UK and Australia and it is quite old fashioned here. It referred to the practice of punishing children with six lashes of a cane – a practice that is, hopefully, now consigned to history. However, I am not going to talk about corporal punishment.

This series is about my six favorite things in various categories. This time, it is apps on my iPad … Read the rest of this entry »

, ,

13 February, 2014

Like most people nowadays, my life is littered with electronic devices. My iPad is special though, partly because I bought one without knowing why I wanted it [which is not my usual modus operandi], but also because it is my [almost] constant companion. I have written before analyzing how I use the device and like to revisit this topic from time to time.

I am currently in the horns of a dilemma, but more on that later. For the moment, I will look at how I use my iPad on a daily basis … Read the rest of this entry »

, ,

21 February, 2013

I figured out that I have been using an iPad for just about 1000 days. I do not just mean that it is around 3 years since I first bought one. I mean that I have used it every single day for the last 1000 days. As I described, when I wrote my my initial impressions, I was not sure what I wanted an iPad for when I made that initial purchase. I was just sure that tablets were the way forward. My usage of the device has evolved. In my interim report, I set some of the directions, but was still trying stuff. I also appraised how I felt about the iPad.

After six months, I felt that my usage of the device had settled somewhat and I documented what apps I used. It was 2 years later, after I had upgraded to an iPad 3 that I updated my description of the apps I used. Now I really do feel that the way the iPad fits in to my life has matured and stabilized … Read the rest of this entry »


5 September, 2012

It has been quite a while since I last reviewed how I use my iPad and what apps are important to me. Earlier this year, I upgraded my original iPad [which I bought when they were first on the market in April 2010]. My old device was passed on to my 80 year old mother-in-law, who is very happy with it [as nobody has yet told her that it is a computer, so she is not afraid of it]. I rationalized my decision to upgrade by considering the fact that I had used my original iPad many times every day since I first got it. Over two years, it had cost me $1 day to own. Good value, I thought.

I took the opportunity to review my portfolio of apps when I was setting up my iPad 3 … Read the rest of this entry »


9 January, 2012

When I was a kid, we had an example of the very latest high technology electronics in our kitchen: a transistor radio. This amazing device was light and portable, ran for ages on a set of batteries and would come to life instantly when switched on, offering a choice of sources of entertainment from around the world. I seem to recall that it used an incredible seven transistors to achieve this feat. The 1960s was a time when anything seemed possible.

My grandmother, on the other hand, did not have any time for such new-fangled gadgets, which she [quite rightly] thought sounded tinny and were not conducive to relaxed listening. She enjoyed the radio and, in the corner of her kitchen, was her pride an joy: 1940s technology at its best – her “wireless”. It is interesting to reflect that now, nearly 50 years on, we are still using this term … Read the rest of this entry »

, , , ,

5 January, 2012

New Year greetings!

As I mentioned in my last post, I am very much of a mind to look forward than back. What is ahead for 2012 and beyond? It is very dangerous to stare into a crystal ball and many people, who were far better informed than I, have looked foolish in hindsight. Having read that a supervolcano in Europe, which is overdue for an eruption, is stirring [which would be an interesting bit of divine lateral thinking to solve the Euro crisis], perhaps I am looking at the future primarily for Asia and the Americas, but I want to ponder how computers will be evolving … Read the rest of this entry »

, ,

17 November, 2011

Many years ago, I got a prolapsed disc – is means that one of the discs of cartilage between the bones of my spine popped out and back in again. This was rather scary, as I had a sharp pain and immediately lost the use of my legs. After a couple of hours, I could walk again and, within a few days, I was fine. It was only many years later that the cause was identified: the length of my legs differ by about 2cm. I always knew this, but nobody told me that it was abnormal and/or a problem, let alone treatable. The result of this incident is that I have chronic back problems. I am not in pain all the time, but I have to be careful – one careless lift and I am in pain for days. So, I tend to delegate any serious lifting and lighten my load whenever I can.

Help with this problem has come from a somewhat unexpected source … Read the rest of this entry »

, ,

6 October, 2011

I would like your help. I am trying to solve a problem and I need some intelligent input and I thought that this might be a good place to find some.

I quite like to get up early. I often fail to do so because I also like reclining in a nice warm bed. Apart from that, I often start my working day before getting up – just grab the iPad [RIP Steve Jobs] and deal with emails etc. However, I do not like to be woken up with a start. I rarely use an alarm clock, because I seem to be able to wake up naturally at a sensible time. However, there are sometimes external events beyond my control … Read the rest of this entry »

, ,

6 July, 2011

For just about all of my working life, I have needed to travel. That is OK, but i do get tired of carrying stuff and I have gradually honed the art of traveling light. I cannot get away from the obvious necessities – clothing and toiletries – just keep those down to a minimum. Many years ago, there was little else to carry, except possibly for a file of overhead projector slides. But, in recent years, there has always been the inevitable laptop … Read the rest of this entry »


19 May, 2011

I have written recently about e-books and on earlier occasions, but this topic is advancing fast enough that I felt moved to visit it yet again. As I have mentioned before, my first serious foray into e-reading has been using my much-loved iPad. This has served me very well and convinced me that e-books are now the way forward. I often meet people in social situations, who claim that their love for “real” books will never allow them to “defect”. However, I have observed that the smarter book lovers – of all ages, I might point out – are open minded enough to give the technology a chance and tend to become converts quite quickly.

My e-reading has moved on: I just bought a Kindle … Read the rest of this entry »

, ,

28 April, 2011

About a year ago, I was speculating on whether e-books would really catch on [with me and/or everyone else]. Things have moved on. I am still a very enthusiastic iPad user – even buying one for my partner earlier in the year – and use it every day for a variety of purposes. A significant use is reading e-books. To me, the benefits of having books so immediately to hand and being able to access a whole library when traveling have been a real boon.

But e-books and having a significant effect on wider society … Read the rest of this entry »

, ,

4 April, 2011

In all aspects of life, the use of energy is an increasingly important matter. A domestic electricity bill is enough to get the attention of most householders and initiate thoughts about using more efficient equipment. Filling a car’s fuel tank is an eye-watering experience. Even in the US, where fuel is still quite cheap, the costs have risen drastically in percentage terms over the last decade. Costs aside, there are increasing pressures on the world’s energy resources that will lead to a scarcity of convenient energy in just a few years if we do not take action.

What has this got to do with embedded software? The answer is that electronic systems control most of the consumption of energy and those systems are mostly driven by embedded software. So much of the responsibility for minimizing energy consumption is down to the embedded programmer … Read the rest of this entry »

, , ,

17 January, 2011

I was recently parking my car and, as I bought the ticket, observed that the machine was manufactured by a company very close to where I used to live; I knew some people who worked there. I mused upon the idea that, if I were programming the machine, I might include a “back door” access mechanism which would enable me [or anyone knowing the correct button pressing sequence] to get a ticket for free.

Of course, that would be unethical, as it could result in defrauding the company running the parking lot, but back door access to systems is not necessarily wholly bad … Read the rest of this entry »

, ,

6 January, 2011

I have always been interested in science and technology. My work and the stuff I write about in this blog bear testimony to that. This does not mean that I have to acquire all the newest, shiniest electronic devices as soon as they become available. Indeed, for instance, I never owned a game console of any description until last year, when I was persuaded to get a Wii. But, sometimes, my imagination is caught by something that I hope might improve my life. For example: I have a netbook computer with battery life that exceeds 8 hours; I have an Android phone; I have a very capable camera [although I fail to see the point of DSLRs and regard them as a clever scam by the camera manufacturers]; I rarely watch TV as it is broadcast, having used a hard disk recorder for many years; and, of course, I have an iPad.

I thought that it might be interesting to identify the best technology that I had come across in 2010. My first thought was the iPad. Although this is a remarkable [I have to avoid the use of the word “magical” as Apple have already over-used it] device, which has changed my life, I think that it has got quite enough publicity. So, I thought of something else … Read the rest of this entry »

, ,

28 October, 2010

I have been the proud owner of an iPad for nearly six months now. As I wrote at the time, I was not quite sure what I wanted one for. Later, I commented upon how my use of the device was progressing and, more recently, about my feelings for it. Now, with half a year’s experience behind me, I should be able to take a level headed look at the iPad’s place in my life and perhaps in society as a whole.

Although the initial furore may have died down, there is certainly much interest in iPads out there. During my recent travels, on seeing me “playing” with mine, two people struck up conversations with me about it, as did a plumber visiting my house this week. I believe both my daughters would like one [but I do not think my Christmas budget stretches that far!] and my Other Half is hoping I will move on to a better model soon so that she can inherit mine. The more I use mine, the more surprised I am that there is very little serious competition in the market yet, as I am convinced that “tablet” format computers will become ubiquitous. I think that, over the last six months, I have used my iPad for something or other every single day … Read the rest of this entry »


29 July, 2010

I recently wrote about how I was getting along with my iPad, having owned it for a couple of months. I talked about what I used it for and various plus points and a few negatives, commenting that a more complete report would need quite a few more months experience. Someone close to me made the observation that I had just written facts. My reaction was to agree. It is an electronic gadget and facts seem to be all that was needed. It would appear that I had neglected to say how I felt about the device.

Although this seemed [at risk of sounding like Mr Spock] illogical to me at first, there is some sense in the comment. When I first wrote about my acquisition of an iPad, I explained there was no rational reason to buy one and no problem to solve; I just wanted one. I think that rates as a feeling. I can trace my desire back to seeing a friend playing with his iPhone and having odd and surprising feelings of desire for a device that I did not need, which I wrote about at the time. So, what emotions does the iPad evoke for me? … Read the rest of this entry »


19 July, 2010

I have always for medical electronics interesting and I have blogged about it from time to time [here and here, for example]. Part of the reason for my interest stems from an occasional feeling that so much of the electronics around me is ultimately pointless. Many Mentor Embedded customers are making consumer devices, cell phones and other gadgets. Do we really need all of these? Aren’t they really just toys – harmless toys, but toys nevertheless? [Except for my iPad, of course, which is a positive influence on my productivity and overall wellbeing.] Worse still, some customers are actually making weapons and they are not harmless at all!

However, we have many customers who make medical devices. I only have to look at a medical instrument and I have a warm feeling inside that maybe electronics can do some real good. The other aspect of medical instrumentation, that I find intriguing, is the extent to which its implementation clearly tracks the latest trends in embedded system development … Read the rest of this entry »

, , , , , , , , , , ,

8 July, 2010

I have now lived with my iPad for a little over two months. Soon after I got it, I blogged about my initial impressions. Looking back at those comments, my feelings have not changed much. I now have access to the App Store [as my credit card bill will testify] and I am continuing to learn about what the thing can do. I use it every day; many times every day.

When I first bought my iPad, I did not know what use it would be – what place would it have in my life? I still do not have the definitive answer – that will take many more months – but I do have enough experience to report about my progress … Read the rest of this entry »

, ,

13 May, 2010

All my life I have loved books. I was surrounded by them as a child and cannot remember a time when reading was not part of my life. As a child, my ambition was to write a book. When I was 16 I started on a science fiction novel. I wrote about 30,000 words of drivel. I think I still have the MS in my attic. I finally achieved my ambition when I was about 30.

I own lots of books. They take up an inordinate amount of space and just a few in a box make it too heavy to lift. As I am planning to move house, this is an issue that is on my mind just now. In recent years, I have got better at letting them go. Now, once I have finished reading a book, if I am quite sure that I will not refer to it again, I get rid of it – either sell it or donate it to a charity shop. But maybe a better solution is coming along … Read the rest of this entry »

, , , ,

6 May, 2010

I am not an Apple fan. I do not mean that I have anything against the company. Far from it – I am incredibly impressed by their ability to create products and market them so that they really do have a “fan base”. I have used a PC for ever and, whenever I have tried a Mac, I feel that I do not know what is going on. I have never had a compelling reason to consider a switch. I have an iPod – a classic model which stores my entire music collection in my pocket. Even though there are a ton of other MP3 players around, I somehow feel that an iPod is the “real thing”. See: Apple’s marketing even works on me!

That is how things were. And then, along came iPad … Read the rest of this entry »

, , , ,

29 April, 2010

A while ago, I wrote about the applications that I use on my phone and I thought it might be interesting to perform a similar “audit” of the software I use on my PCs.

I use two computers. I have a “heavyweight” laptop, which Mentor provides. This is my main computer and runs XP. I also have a cute netbook, which I own personally and is great for traveling. It runs Windows 7 [which I like more and more] and can be used for nearly 7 hours on a battery charge, which is wonderful. I use much the same software on both of them … Read the rest of this entry »


5 March, 2010

I am always interested in new technology, but sometimes I hear about something which particularly catches my imagination and fires my enthusiasm. A recent example is Android, which I wrote about here and here. I have a feeling that the Apple iPad might be special too – watch this space in a few months. But there is a technology, that I find intriguing, which is not really anything to do with electronics, but all about cars and transportation. I am not a big fan of cars and, even though I liked the Morgan factory, just regard them as a way to get about. But, what about a car that runs on fresh air … Read the rest of this entry »

, , ,

@colin_walls tweets

Follow colin_walls