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Gene Thomas
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I bought a Surface 3. A while back I posted a review of the Pro 2. Here's my review of the Surface 3 (I know, it's not the new hot item). I haven't gotten a hold of the Pro 3, 4 or Surface book. 

Surface 3 Review:
Surface 3 (128GB Storage with 4GB RAM) 
Great size, light, and because it came with the usb mini cable, I have no problems with power adapters like what's happening with the Pro models. Since I often use tablet mode, the 12inch pro seemed a bit big to me if you wanted to hold it while reading ebooks or on your lap for taking notes. The Surface 3 size for me was perfect. Slightly larger than an iPad but not by much. 

Performance wise, the star of the show is the pen! Using the pen with One Note for note taking has no equal in my opinion, even makes the Fresh Paint app very fun. If you know Sketchbook or use a tablet for creative work, you should check out the Surface line. Start up time is nice, tablet mode and desktop mode switching is very fast and the screen resolution is very excellent! The included year of Office 365 and no bloat ware is a nice bonus. Besides Office, I have few other apps from the Windows store and a few apps I installed into the full Windows OS. So far, the only time I notice a performance hit while multitasking is if I run Edge (surprise?) with anything else. So I stopped using Edge and went back to Firefox. I've had Firefox and office apps open and no noticeable performance issues. But I'm also not going to try to run a virtual machine, SQL server or other intensive applications. If you need horsepower that's what the "Pro" in the Pro line is about. 

My two complaints are the cost of the pen and keyboard (both a bit high when compared to other tablet accessories) and sometimes performance stability issues due to update downloads or restarts pending, that might be a setting change but I have it set to auto update, so not sure. Those aren't huge issues but just occasional annoyances.

I did get a pen btw. You can save a few dollars if you get the Pen made for the 3 only. I saved a few dollars buying a used cover type keyboard off of Amazon in like new condition. So for less than $600 I am all set. I'm very happy using the Surface 3 daily. Once I get the HDMI adapter I'll be using it with my 24 inch monitor and at that point, it will be my main laptop. I rarely touch my iPad now. 

I'd like some feedback on this position description. Without putting a title on this, what position would you say this person does? Is it clear or too broad? 

This position is essential in managing and supporting the agencies technical infrastructure that will both empower staff to accomplish daily work efficiently, and to create and provide external services to the state of Washington through service delivery. Will oversee, direct and implement a state wide standalone network infrastructure to support all agency offices located across the state of Washington. Ensure security best practices are followed and applied to all enterprise services. This will include procurement planning, documentation, staffing, implementation, and project management at all levels. Will provide large scale solutions to problems, and deliver plans of action to streamline or increase future productivity and/or service delivery. Manage, Maintain, and trouble shoot Enterprise network architecture and infrastructure. This is to include but not limited to, Servers, server applications, layer2 and layer3 connectivity devices, and various peripheral devices. This position will supervise the four desktop support technicians that work on the help desk and one system administrator. 

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Gotta try these out :-)
Introducing the Intel powered HP #Chromebox.

A pretty little #PC you can hook up to almost ANY screen in your house

Surface Review Part two. And Nokia 2520 :-)

So I finally got a hold of a Verizon Nokia 2520 with Windows 8.1 and there is a lot to like here. The 8.1 update added a lot of nice functionality to the Surface experience and the 2520 is a nice device to handle. I wont get into a lot of detail but what I came away with two unique conclusions from using the 2520 and then going back to the Surface Pro. 

The 2520 is nice and thin, easy to hold. It slid nice and easy into my backpack and I enjoyed having the nice 4G connection so I could keep up on the news or sports reading while commuting to work. A lot easier to read on than my phone. This demo didn't come with a keyboard cover so I didn't get that experience, but with the improved portability I did find myself much more engaged with figuring out the different swipe gestures and settings of the device. Once I got the swipe settings, I had to admit that it was a more fluid experience switching between apps than on my iPad. I have an Outlook email account and the native mail client was a better experience than through the browser. My main disappointment was that the type of stylus that comes with the Surface Pro (pen like) which I liked, did not work on the 2520. And I could not take full page notes in OneNote like I did on the pro, you had to open the input panel and send your writing to the OneNote page. But it still has one of the best hand writing recognitions. I guess I could deal with it, but I'd still one the full ability to just write on he tablet in OneNote. Maybe theres an app for that? 

This brings me back to the Surface Pro. I received the Keyboard Type cover and that made a huge difference. And then I did something I think all IT Pros do at some point....I handed it to my wife and said, use it. :-)

I showed her quickly that you can touch the screen open an app and then begin typing and she was on it. She even said she would rather have that than her laptop. Next day at work, my workstation was acting up, and after several minutes of fussing with it, I decided to pull out the Surface Pro and get to work. And for that brief moment until I got my main machine back, it did the job. I could see myself using it say on a plane seat tray or on a desk doing some light remote work. In short, the Pro did feel like a laptop replacement with the Keyboard cover. Since I work in a Windows environment, I'd be much more keen to use it at a meeting instead of hulling around a laptop (even over my HP Folio 9470). 

So there you have it from a regular guys perspective. I can see myself using the Nokia 2520 as an iPad replacement (or the Dell or Lenovo 8 inch devices) It would be nice if MS had a dedicated epub app (like Google and Apple), so you have to do some trial and error to find one that works. The Surface Pro, if you give it a try and with 8.1 especially, is a nice Laptop replacement, even an UltraBook replacement for a regular information worker, but as a full tablet, not so much. If you get a keyboard cover for the 2520, i'm sure it would suffice also, as the App catalog for Windows 8 continues to grow. If you can get the 2520 with keyboard cover, & 4g (if you connect to wifi, it automatically doesn't use your 4g data, a nice feature but a complaint for some), then at least to me, I think I could get the best of both worlds in terms of using it as a true tablet (it's light, easy to hold) and a laptop (basic browsing, email and office document use). 

I had the chance to demo a MS Surface Pro a couple weeks ago for two full day meetings. This is my rant on my experience. Forgive me if it's a little long. 

Overall, I don't like the form factor. It's heavy, bulky, probably stuff you've already heard, and honestly you can look at it and tell its bulky and heavy. I don't like the screen proportions either. I own an iPad and I've liked it's display dimensions. A friend has a Nexus 7 and same there as with the iPad mini, excellent on the length and width. The surface.... not so much. It's as long, almost two inches past my ipad if I sit them side by side. 

The majority of what I did was take notes via this is what I was impressed with. Hand writing recognition was very good, not perfect (because how easy can you read a man's handwriting anyway) but very good, much better than the apps and stylus' that I've tried on the iPad. The drawing apps are also very good with the Surface stylus. I do like the stylus compared to the rubbery iPad stylus', except for the Adonit Jot Flip. That's my favorite when I use my iPad. 

Back to the screen..... I like that I could zoom in, but I didn't like the way you either had to scroll or just start writing on the next line. Almost as if One Note was designed to scale to an attached monitor but yet it doesn't scale down to the Surface screen. And the Windows button...its in a very bad spot. Several times when writing, if my wrist or shirt brushed it, I was taken back out to the Live Tiles. 

Its a good thing I was able to put it on a table or my lap because this thing is heavy. At work, we have an HP Revolve and it's lighter than the Surface Pro, and it has an attached keyboard, HDD and battery. The Revolve also had  Display Port and Ethernet ports...something that could be on the Surface Pro given it's thickness. I never did use the kickstand, but it's convenient if you're at a table. I do like that the stylus magnetically attaches to the side. And, given that it's the full version of Windows, get out the oven mitts cause this thing gets hot!! I had to put a notepad or book between my lap and the Surface. You can feel hot air coming out of the thin vent that runs around the bottom edge. I don't have a keyboard cover for this as they didn't provide it for the demo. But I can say it has come in handy for writing notes at meetings.

I'm anxious to try the Nokia tablet. I am already a Windows phone user (Nokia 920) and the Nokia tablet looks to be a litter more squarish rather than like a monolith. I'd also like to try the 1520, but I was hoping it would be a little bigger, sort of like an iPad mini /Nexus 7. 

In my opinion, since Office is already on Windows Phone, MS should put the Windows phone OS on the tablet (Surface or the 2520) and leave the full Windows on the desktop or laptop. 

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Vote for Jumyo as one of Seattle's hottest Startups!

Help my friend +Joe Egan and his new company/app Jumyo become Seattle's hottest startup. Jumyo is a iOS app that allows us to tell the stories that make up our lives.

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Here's a cool view of the Eiffel Tower that people don't normally get to see!  

And we are releasing a new iiPhone/Pad app today... (yes Android works too) - Sneak Preview at 

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