Posts filed under ‘Technology’

The Livescribe Pulse Pen — is it really worth it?

First off — two posts in seven days! Huzzah!

Secondly, to answer the question above – YES, YES & YES! And let me tell you why…

You can find a lot of information about the pen on their wesbite. A ton of great examples are given there. I was turned onto the pen by pharmacy technology guru Bill Felkey (even though he has a degree from IU, I still like him) through an article he wrote for one of the pharmacy journals. He has a couple of links about the Livescribe here and here.

The reasons why I LOVE this product:

– The pen transcribes what you write into your computer where you can save your notes as an image file. This really is not that impressive, since there are a bunch of pens on the market that do this. And, you have to buy the “special paper” since the pen uses IR (I think?) technolgy to capture your writing. However, Livescribe now gives you the option of being able to print out your own paper, if you want. Also, the paper is not that expensive. Obviously, this is NOT why I love this product over the other ones on the market.

– While you are taking notes, you have the option of recording what you are hearing while jotting down the notes. OK, so now we are getting into the awesomeness of this product. When you sync the pen to the computer, it matches up the recording session to the notes. Cool, huh? Wait, there’s more!

– Once you have synced the notes and the recording, you can now click on your notes on your computer and the software automatically syncs up the time of when you were writing something down to what you heard when you wrote that note down. Now that’s awesome! So, if you are going over your notes and don’t understand why you wrote what you did, you simply click on that area of the text and the recording starts playing at the time of when you wrote that note. If that was it, that would be awesome, right?

– So, let’s say you are not at your computer and you are reviewing your notes on paper. Say you got 5 pages of notes. About half way through, you forget why you wrote down that particular note. You remember that this was talked about somewhere in hours 5 to 7 of your meeting/seminar/class/whatever. That’s bad, right? Now you are going to have to listen to the whole recording on the pen to find that part of the talk. WRONG! You activate a program called “paper replay” ON THE PEN, tap on your PAPER notes, and the recording begins at the point of where you wrote the note down. COOL! You even have controls on the paper that let you fast forward, rewind and bookmark the recording.

– Lastly, there has been software developed to transcribe your written notes into a type-written document. As expected, the transcription is not perfect, but it gets about 75-80% of my terrible handwriting correct. What’s neat about the program is that it brings up two “panes” – one on the left showing your handwritten notes and one on the right showing the software’s transcribed notes. This allows you to edit your document on the fly, without even having the hard copy in front of you. The software is an additional charge (around $30), but I was in Target yesterday (yes, you can get this item and accessories at Target) and the boxes had labels offering the transcription software for free!

Cruise on over to the livescribe web site for more info. Outside of my computer(s) and iPhone, this is easily the most useful piece of technology I have picked up in quite a while. I picked up the 2 GB version ($299) and I think it is worth every penny. Target had a small price reduction on the pens yesterday (for 2 GB, down to $279 and for the 1 GB, down from $199 to $179). I don’t know how long that sale will last.

Till next time!


January 19, 2009 at 6:11 pm 1 comment

Computers – iPhone Cut & Paste on the way? And other apps…

According to cNet’s iPhone AppRoll, the developer Proximi has developed MagicPad, which they tout as the first rich text editor for the iPhone. It will have, among other things, multiple fonts, different font sizes, underlining and CUT & PASTE! However, the pour some rain on this project, projecting that Apple may not approve the App. 

If Apple does not approve the App, then they need to get off their high horse and get it added to the new 2.1 OS. 

In other App related thoughts,  I have downloaded some new content & will start rating them using the Apple Store 5 star format.

– Labyrinth LE — a good little game. LE stands for Lite Edition and it is free. The full version ($6.99) I have not bought yet, but I am seriously thinking about it. The LE makes very good use of the accelerometer and is very fun. 4 Stars

– More Cowbell – FREE – cute app, complete with what sounds like Christopher Walken’s voice. It does not do much besides playing a cowbell — if you like the SNL skit, download it. 4 stars.

– BubbleWrap – FREE again, but not really worth the download. It is fun for about 2 minutes and then I ahve never used it again. 3 stars.

– PageOnce — FREE again — stores all your important information in a cloud so you can access it at any time. I have installed it and played around with it a little, but have not used it to its full extent. Security worrywarts need not apply. A provisional 4 stars.

– reQall — Free again, and again, security worrywarts need not apply. This app will record your voice, send to to reQall and the service transcribes your voice note and stores it on their website and sends it back to your phone. I again have not used it to its full extent. A provisional 4 stars. 

– HoldEm — Apple’s poker app & it is very good. Supports wifi play with people in the same room (but if you had people in the same room that wanted to play poker, why would you do it on your iPhone?), but the single player mode is robust. The AI is pretty good, but I think advanced poker players will breeze through it. $4.99 is a good price point. 5 stars.

That’s all for now! Till next time!

July 29, 2008 at 3:22 am Leave a comment

Computers – iPhone 3G – I got mine! — Do you want one more quickly?

My iPhone 3G finally came in today. After waiting 11 days after ordering it at my local AT&T store, the phone finally came in. After backing everything up, cleaning off the old phone and restoring to the new phone (which, BTW — if you have a lot of apps, will take a LOOOONNNGGG time — it took me approximately two hours), the 3G is good to go. I have only played around with it for about 15 minutes, but the GPS works as advertised. We are having the company we use for IT issues come in on Wednesday to setup Exchange for a couple of computers and they will set my iPhone also. I plan on reporting on my experience with that later.

But now the exciting news. While getting my new phone activated, two guys came in for their pre-ordered phones. In chatting with them, they had just ordered them two days ago and they were already in! I talked with the AT&T rep about how they got one so quickly (after all, I had to wait a whole eleven days!) and she said that the WHITE 3G iPhones were coming in more quickly than the black. The black are on a 10-14 day backorder, but they have been receiving the white ones 2-3 days after ordering. So, if you don’t care about the color and want to get one a little quicker, order the white.

Also, if you think this is just happening in small cities, I live in Evansville. The MSA for this area is the 140th ranked MSA in the country, between Fayetteville, NC and Ann Arbor, MI — not the biggest MSA in the country, but definitely not po-dunk country!

Till next time!

July 26, 2008 at 2:36 am Leave a comment

Computers – Using worpress iPhone app

I am in the waiting room for my follow-up appointment following my ICL surgery, I decided to try out the new wordpress app. It looks and feels pretty good, but without the sideways keyboard, it is pretty obvious that authoring long posts would not be very effiecient. I would also like a spellcheck, but I guess I sholud just learn how to spell. So of the other shortcomings are posted on approll (see link to the right), but for quick posts, this app looks like it has some promise.

I am adding a photo from my iPhone to see how the picture function works on this app. This is an example of the screen capture function on the 2.0 update.

Till next time!


July 24, 2008 at 6:20 pm Leave a comment

Computers: WordPress iPhone App!!!! & another App Review site

Well, that was quick — wordpress released it’s iPhone App today. Read more about it here… Once I get to playing around with it, I plan on putting up a quick review.

It looks like iPhone Atlas is getting a little more active — as is iPhone Approll… I am adding links to them over on the right side of the page. Also, I had not mentioned it before, but I did post a link to the site over to the right — macworld had some pretty decent reviews of the iPhone Apps, but you have to dig a little to get to them. The link will take you straight to the App review area.

Also, I had my second ICL procedure done today — more on that in a bit.

Till next time!

July 22, 2008 at 11:50 pm Leave a comment

Computers: Update on iPhone App Reviews

So, this AM, I decided to do another (what I thought was going to be) fruitless google search for iPhone App Reviews. Either I get cNet’s AppRoll or iPhoneAtlas links (which, I am exteremely dissapointed with… come on cNet — Apple sold 1 MILLION 3G iPhones in 2 days — there are a lot of users out there) which are updated, at best, once a day. OR, you get links to jailbreak apps, which I am really not interested in, fearing I will turn my iPhone into a brick.

But, I tripped over something promising… applegazette is promising App reviews sometime in the next two weeks and is requesting ideas to review. The author did not want to do quick posts of apps only giving a one paragraph review of the app — and so far, he has gotten around to doing a couple. The only problem I can see with this site is having to hunt for the reviews, but I have found a couple….

New iPhone Apps – July 15th

Super Monkey Ball – July 15th

New iPhone Apps – July 16th

AOL Radio – July 16th

New iPhone Apps – July 17th

New iPhone Apps – July 18th

Facebook for iPhone – July 18th

Subscribe to Apple Gazette RSS here.


July 20, 2008 at 5:33 pm Leave a comment

Computers – iPhone App Review Site

Nice to see that my little blog is getting some hits… so I will throw this out there: anyone know of a good review site for iPhone Apps? I mean, outside iTunes and the asinine user reviews… they are basically worthless. Please add a comment below with your sites.

Outside that, I am starting to get a couple of the bugs that people have been talking about. Nothing major — a shut down and start up usually takes care of the problem.

One new thing I really like that I found on cnet… iPhone Screen shots — from anywhere in iPhone!

To get a screen shot, simply press the home button and the power button at the same time. The screen will white out momentarily and the image is saved to photos section.

Pretty cool, eh?

Till next time…


July 20, 2008 at 2:50 am Leave a comment

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