Can you get a Fujitsu ScanSnap S510M to work with Windows?

Fujitsu-scansnap-s510mThe short answer is "Yes."

I was able to get a S510M that is marketed towards to Apple Mac users to work on Windows 7 by loading the latest ScanSnap software for Fujitsu for the S510.  Once loaded and patched to the latest version, hook up via USB to the Windows 7 computer.

When I did this I got an error that no driver was available, but I went to Computer > Manage > System Tools > Device Manager and right mouse clicked on the Unknown device for the scanner. Choose Properties and then the Driver tab.  Click Update Driver ... and then manually select the Fujitsu S510 driver to apply to this device.  You should get a warning message saying it might not work but say OK.

Once that drive was applied to the Device the S510M (with S510 driver) showed up in the Imaging device area and scanning worked without any issues.


Google Nexus 7 (2013) Review

I have decided to upgrade my Google Nexus 7 (2012) to the new version (2013) that was released at the end of July 2013.  Here is a link to my previous review of the 2012 version.

Nexus_7_2013_Blog_Post_Diagram

The main reasons I think this new version (2013) in the base model configuration (WIFI only with 16-GBs)  is a big improvement over the last base model version (2012):

  • Form factor: the width is less so it is easier to hold in one hand
  • Upgraded internal specs (processor, sensors, etc)
  • Front and back facing cameras
  • Improved speakers
  • Improved screen
  • Also comes with Android v4.3 (the 2012 edition is also supported)

That being said, one of the reasons that it took me more than six weeks (I'm writing this on 9/2/2013) to feel comfortable recommending this version was that the GPS interface had a bad hardware bug that made it pretty much useless for navigation.  Since this is a critical feature for me I wanted to make sure there was a fix (released late in August) that addressed the problem. The fixes to v4.3 list below from Google did solve my issues.  These fixes were also suppose to fix some touch screen issues but I never had those.

2013-11-24 22.07.05

One of the reasons that I decided to not get the 1st generation of the Apple iPad Mini (released in November 2012) and try out the Google Nexus 7 (2012) was mostly: form factor (pretty wide to hold in one hand), cost ($299), no integrated GPS on the WIFI model, and non-Retina display. Plus I was able to get my Nexus 7 (2012) for $150 used via Craigslist (see review).

The one thing that I'm still not 100% happy about is that the camera on the back for "standard pictures" (5-MB) is not that great except in ideal lighting situations.  But that is pretty much my only complaint.

So, with all things considered, I do recommend the Google Nexus 7 (2013) tablet if you are in the market for a 7" tablet.  I use it everyday effectively for: email; personal productivity; social media; consuming media (news, podcasts, blogs, RSS, video, etc); navigation; games; and tracking stuff (notes, references, health, etc). 

UPDATE (11/24/2013): Now that there is a 2nd generation Apple iPad Mini with Retina display I did consider purchasing it, but decided that since I use the GPS everyday for navigation that I'm staying with the Google Nexus 7 (2013).  Plus the price difference is something to consider.  There are rumors that the 2013 edition will get a new list price of $199 which will mean there is a $100 price difference.


Google Nexus 7 (2012) Review

I've noticed recently that since I carry my iPad around with me everywhere that I've been getting a lot more questions from people I know and meet about what type of tablet they should get.  While I follow the mobile market as close as possible, all my current experiences are with an iPad.

I am a huge fan of the iPad for me (see previous posts), but recently I've been really curious if all the buzz around the Nexus 7 and the latest Andriod OS 4.1.2 and future 4.2 (Jelly Bean) were true.

Related to this topic, is my ongoing evaluation of Windows 8 on a touch screen enabled HP laptop, the release of Microsoft Surface/Windows RT (no experience), and the new Apple iPad Mini (no experience).

So, I decided to expand my experiences and look for a used Google Nexus 7.  I was able to pick one up locally here in San Diego for $150 (25% off list) so that sealed the deal.

Google-nexus-7-blog-graphic

So here is my first impression after opening the box.  Nice hardware -- the rubber back feels great in my hands, and the smaller form factor (~7-inch) is excellent. To be honest it really brings back memories of the Apple Newton.  In fact, one of the cases I had for my Apple Newton, that I was using for my Marantz recorder, easily holds the Nexus 7, so that is my case at the moment.

After using the device pretty much full time this past weekend, the current Andriod OS (4.1.2) is suprisingly easy to use, and I haven't found too many issues or problems I couldn't solve on the device.  It is defintiely more technical than Apple iOS, but that shouldn't cause any real issues, even for a novice.  The comments from others in the mobile analysis arena that there is now parity between this version of Andriod and iOS. I think this is a pretty accurate assessment from my short testing.

I find the integration with Google very tight, and if you are a heavy Google user (Gmail, Docs, Reader, Maps, Play, etc) than the Nexus 7 is an excellent tablet.  The new Google Now is a very good tool that floats up information that is pretty meaningful to me (weather, calendar items, sports scores, traffic, etc).  I also think the Widgets on the home/main screen are very power for getting quick updates to key information.

Some things that are working against me with the Nexus 7: no rear-facing camera (I use my iPad camera daily); trying to not purchase any software that I've already paid for iOS; screen seems to get dirtier than the new iPad (about has bad as the original iPad); and missing some core applications that I have on iOS (some games, native Toodledo app, iThoughtsHD, etc).

Some useful Nexus 7 features: integrated GPS and NFS; micro USB charger; Google Wallet; integrated speaker is similar to the iPad (maybe not as loud but good enough); and software buttons on the front for back, home screen, and running applications (ie. scrolling app switcher).

While I had some application gaps, there was a relatively high parity in standard applications that I use regularly on iOS: Amazon shopping, Bible, Camera+ alternatives, Drive, Evernote, Hulu Plus, LastPass, Dropbox, Netflix, PocketBible (alpha), RedBox, and Stitcher.  It is also good to know that there are really two main application stores: one from Google (Play) and one from Amazon (AppStore).  I recommend checking both to see if there is a possible deal between the two.

So, am I going to keep the Nexus 7 in my toolkit? I think so, but it might not be my main tablet. I'm going to keep using it as my main tablet for the next week or so and then re-evaluate my options.  

That would also include trying out the iPad Mini.  And I think another option is one tablet for home (aka the iPad) and one for being out-and-about (the Nexus).


"New" Things I Did Turn On Apple iOS 6

I was able to successfully upgrade to Apple iOS 6 (Apple's What's New Page) on my iPad without any issues.  Here are the "new" things I enabled:

  • Siri
  • No Not Disturb: 9 pm to 6 am
  • Limit Ad Tracking
  • Reviewed all my Privacy Settings
  • Clock (setup a bunch of cities)

I also had no problems updating Conrad's iPad 2.  Conrad is very happy with the new iOS 6, but when I asked him what specifically made him happy he wasn't able to pin any one thing down. ;-)

I am kinda bummed that Passbook isn't for the iPad yet. And the Panorama feature for the Camera that is in the iPhone/iPod isn't available on the iPad.

I also agree that Maps are in the need of work.  Here is a picture of downtown San Diego where the Star of India is at: just an outline of the Star of India (ghost ship?) and there is a monster of some sort coming out of the water at the pier to the north of where the Start of India is at.

UPDATE (3/23/2012): I was also able to update Christy's iPhone without any problems. 


Simple AppleScript to Open A URL From A List In Text File

One of the reasons I've always liked using an Apple Macintosh is AppleScript.  I know there is PowerShell on Windows but I don't find it as easy to just solve a problem as seamlessly with AppleScript.  

Here is an example ...

I have been subscribed to an email feed from DefenseLink that gives you pictures taken by DOD photographers.  However, the links get messed up (BLOCKED) by the anti-malware software on the mail servers at work.

So I take the messed up URLs and save them to a text file.   Then I run this script when I want to review the pictures:

property myURL : ""

tell application "TextWrangler"

activate

select line 1 of window 1

set myURL to contents of selection

delete line 1 of window 1

end tell

tell application "Google Chrome"

activate

set myTab to make new tab at end of tabs of window 1

set URL of myTab to myURL

end tell

Pretty easy.  Meets my needs. Solves a problem.  Good deal.


Analysis Of "New" iPad Application Size Increase Claims

As a "new" iPad owner, one of issues outlined as a possible negative impact of having a Retina display was that application memory storage was going to be much bigger.  Since my plan was to move from iPad 2 with 16-GB to the new iPad with 16-GB, I was a little concerned since I seemed to have between 500-MBs to 1-GB free.

So, after a couple of recent updates where I noticed "Retina display' updates listed in the new feature list, I decided to try and track file sizes as updates were happening.  Here is the first sample of applications updated:

Recent-ipad-updates

And this is the summary of increases for these apps:

  • Stitcher v4.8.1 (13.9-MB) went to v4.8.2 (14.1-MB)
  • Wikipanion v1.7.5.4 (2.5-MB) went v1.7.6 (4.9-MB)
  • Khan Academy v1.01 (1.8-MB) went to v1.1.1 (1.9-MB)
  • iThoughtsHD v3.3 (7.1-MB) went to v3.4 (12.7-MB) 
  • The Weather Channel (TWC ) v2.3.2 (8.2-MB) went to v3.2.0 (97.7-MB) 

1st-ipad-app-analysis

My second sampling included (less than a week ago):

Ipad-app2-update

With the following analysis:

2nd-ipad-app-analysis

So, it does appears that in general 'new' iPad applications are larger, and based on my sampling it looks like about 1.5x larger on average.  Most of the applications I tracked are all new Retina-savvy applications, but they also have other upgraded capabilities, new features, fixes, etc.  As the saying goes "correlation does not mean causation."

It was interesting that the iThoughtsHD most recent update went down in size (but did increase when it added "Retina display" feature).  Also the Google+ application is not Retina-savvy  per the application notes but it did have a small increase between versions.

The impact to my own iPad seems relatively minor since I seem to have between one to two GBs free (mostly changing based on music or video uploads) since moving from iPad 2 to new iPad.  I'll keep monitoring and will do an update post if something significant turns up.

Thoughts?!?

 


My New iPad Review

There are a lot of reviews on the new 3rd generation iPad.  Here are some of my thoughts after 48+ hours of use:

  • The screen is amazing. The Retina-display is probably worth the upgrade all on its own. One thing that is very noticeable is that iPhone 2x applications are much clearer and crisp than on the iPad 2. 
  • The dictation software with iOS 5.1 for iPad is surprisingly good. I have used it a bunch of times vice typing for both emails and web searches.  It has been 99% accurate for me.
  • The camera is a great upgrade from the iPad 2.  I used the camera a lot with the iPad 2 and was pretty disappointed with the quality.  This was one area that I wanted to see some improvement in.  I'm pretty happy with the ~20 pictures I've taken so far (inside & outside).  I do need to play more with it, but for now I'm very satisfied.

New_ipad

A couple of other things to mention:

  • Upgrading from the iPad 2 to the new iPad was pretty successful.  One issue I've had pretty consistently is that you do need to delete all network settings after an upgrade to get the iPad to work consistently on my Wi-Fi network.  I had this problem going from the original iPad to the iPad 2 last year, and again this year when I upgraded my son's iPad to my old iPad 2.
  • It is also kinda interesting that some applications move over with no new user/password logon issues but then others require re-entry of user name/password.  I guess re-entry is probably better from a security perspective, but it does slow you down if you are using a bunch of complex passwords like I am across many different services/applications.

Bottom line: As someone who has used the original iPad (16-GB, Wi-Fi) , and then the iPad 2 (16-GB, Wi-Fi), I definitely think that the new iPad (16-GB, Wi-Fi) is an excellent upgrade for me. I'm very happy with the purchase. 


Increase in Tablet & eBook Print Advertising?!?

Tablets-may-2011

I noticed this morning in the Sunday Union-Tribune (5/1/2011) what seemed to me to be an increased number of  tablet and ebook advertisements:

  • Best Buy: Kindle with Special Offers ($114); Acer Iconia Tab A500 ($450); NOOKColor ($350)
  • Office Depot: ViewSonic 10.1" Tablet ($300)
  • Staples: Dell Steak 7 ($400); BlackBerry PlayBook ($499); Motorola Xoom ($600); Amazon Kindle ($189 plus $25 gift card); NOOKColor ($249)
  • Target: Kindle with Special Offers ($114)

I do think both the Kindle and the Nook are great ebook readers based on what I've heard from others about them.  I am still very happy with the new Apple iPad 2, so I don't think I'd seriously consider any of the other tablets at this time.  And since I like my iPad 2 for reading books, adding an ebook reader to my technology toolkit probably won't happen.

My usuage pattern for the iPad 2 are still pretty much the same since I purchase the original iPad: ebooks/PDF reading, email, web browsing, personal GTD, casual gaming, and consuming podcasts/music/video.  

Are you using a tablet?  If so, which one, and what are you using it for?


Will The Motorola Zoom Replace My Apple iPad?

I got a question from a friend asking if I was considering replacing my Apple iPad with a Motorola Zoom now that Best Buy is running ads for them.

The short answer is no.  I am still very happy with my iPad and use it every day as my primary personal "knowledge navigator."

Motorla-zoomAfter reviewing the Best Buy ad (the Zoom is expected to be released Feb. 24), I think the things that are attractive about this device:

  • 10.1" screen
  • 32-GB memory
  • Adobe Flash support
  • Front (2-MP) & rear (5-MP) camera for pictures & video capture
  • Andriod OS
  • 3G upgradeable to 4G LTE

Some things that are big negatives for me:

  • $800 price range
  • WI-FI can only be used after paying for a 1 month data subscription with Verizon

The other thing that is going to be hard for iPad users who are comfortable with using iTunes as their primary media sync tool (podcasts, music, movies, etc) is finding that same experience in the Android/Zoom eccosystem.  There are some good alternatives like doubletwist, but they are different.

The other big negative is going to be people's investment in iPad applications.  I know that is going to be something I'd have to consider because I do have some key applications I've purchased and use everyday that paying for them over again isn't very appealing.