Tools, Tricks and Technology

Okay, okay, I’m a self-confessed geek.  I totally enjoy technology for simply technology sake.  I actually read most of the manuals when fifty pounds of printed manuals came with every software purchase.  I even have been accused of reading those 65 page ‘agreements’ that no one ever reads when installing or buying new toys.

In all fairness, I also read cereal boxes and shampoo bottles for fun when I was younger and had more time and more brain cells available to me.

So it is no wonder that when the shiny new iPhone came out with its new gizmos and gadgets, I thought it was neat.  I liked the 8 mega pixel camera and the fact that it is now dual core (something to make my geeky little heart go pitter patter) and faster.  I didn’t think it was nifty enough to spend a crap ton of money on it when I had a perfectly good smart phone that I really liked and that I was sure was going to go to waste if I got a different toy.  And totally no technology (even for a geek like me) is worth standing in a line next to four armed guards for several hours.

But, while paroosing the offerings of the local ATT store (we are up for renewal on our cable/phone/internet and we are looking for alternatives to our current company) bear decided that because I was looking at them and thought they were cool (he looked at the specs and all the really cool features before we got there… i just said they looked cool) he decided that, since I was up for renewal, iPhone would be wonderful.  So he got me the 64 gig iPhone 4g.

I was right.  The camera is cool.
streaming Disney music from all day at work is wicked cool (okay… it keeps me from going crazy or postal).
I didn’t really see a lot of practicality in Siri… then.  Okay, it will find a Mexican restaurant for you… but I live in the capital of there is a Mexican place (decent or dive) on almost every freaking street corner so that feature didn’t stand out as a major selling point.

Until this morning.

I was driving in this morning to work and traffic was light but it was still traffic.  I was thinking of all of these wonderful things that I want to write about and didn’t want to wreck (so writing them down or texting them to myself or my email or whatever ‘normal’ things was out).  I remembered the video I saw on Siri and what all it can do.  It can do notes… its voice recognition does notes… hmmmmm… one push of the big depressed circle button at the bottom, a swipe of the screen to unlock it and another longer press of the depressed button and there she was… the Siri automated voice asking me what I wanted.

Grin… nice

So I told the headsets that I had in my ears (mic included) note.

and she said note… what-cha want me to write chicky (not literally but in my head that is what she said).

I told her.
she wrote it in a note
saved it
and poof, I had my note without having to take my eyes off the road and without causing any accidents.

Got to thinking… this is really great.

My fingers aren’t always happy… but I can use almost anything to push the button and any part of my hand to unlock the screen… even when I’m in less than great shape, RA wise, I can take notes, set reminders and (oh yeah) find that handy-dandy Mexican Restaurant.

Wicked cool!

got to work, started my 57 open windows to doing the work I needed them to do for me, and started digging.  There are Android alternatives to the Siri thing (can’t actually call it an app really).

This page gave me food for thought for the Andoid operating system (my now pocket-sized computer that won’t connect to the ATT network, but it WILL connect to any WIFI that is available to me).  I need to try out these alternatives and let you know what I think.  Reading through the article, I think Speaktoit might fit my personality pretty well as long as I remember it isn’t necessarily for everyone.  Edwin apparently uses the same source as Siri does but since I don’t really care about some of the things that this is “supposed” to be for, only what I can have it help me do, I’m not sure I care what the nearest… well… you get the idea.

It is worth looking in to if only to see how I can make my technology work for me better and more effectively.

Happy Happy Geek!


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