The Professor's Notes

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Reply To Dean Dad’s Geek Plea!

Posted by Steve Brady On May - 27 - 2010ADD COMMENTS

Dean Dad published his “Nerdy Academic’s Tech Wish List” today, and  in looking at it, I thought “Hey, we have talked about almost all of these over at Real Tech for Real People podcast — I should reply!”  I then thought “I should share the thoughts here, too!”

So, here are my replies to his 14 requests.  Some were rather quick, others are requests for tech that would be “way cool” if we could ever get it. Without further ado, the 14 points:

Fine, I will bite (Go visit his site to read his requests):
1.  eReader.  iPad, using the Kindle Reader (for “real books) and iAnnotate for PDFs.  Yup, highlight, add notes, and export the highlighted areas and the notes.  We have talked about these aspects extensively at our podcast “Real Tech for Real People” over at http://realtechrealpeople.com
2.  Can’t help ya with the one price thing (but honestly, I like the “ala carte” pricing for phone service…)  As for the wifi router…actually, if you get an Android, you can use it as a “hotspot in your pocket” (or purse, or backpack, or…) It will essentially function as a MyFi (the name brand for the stand alone hotspot in the pocket.)  You can also achieve this by jailbreaking your iPhone and installing “MyWi”–this works well. (Again, talked about on the podcast, and I even made the MyWi my “Pick of the Week” a while back.
3.  Ala Carte pricing for Cable? Why? You can go to Basic Cable for $5 and get MOST of the shows you are missing, and then switch to Hulu and other Web sites. And if you say “I don’t want to watch shows on my computer” check your notebook.  Almost all new ones do HDMI out–just plug it in to your TV.  Here I would also recommend giving a hard look at Boxee.  Still in beta, but a great way to get most of your TV needs aggregated into one player.  So, bottom line:  Go ahead, Ditch Cable.
4.  The Gong? Back to the Apps–for Android, iPhone, OR iPad–the “SoundPad” app is the first one that comes to mind.  Gives you the ability to play ANY sound at the push of a plunger button.  Feel free to turn any meeting into a “Morning Zoo” radio show.
5.  ERP? Perhaps the problem isn’t that they aren’t working, but that you are applying a production and manufacturing tool to a service industry.  (Alright, I understand they have rebranded their ERP products to fit that, but honestly–it’s still a manufacturing oriented too…. if it is a “real” ERP.)
6.  Change this to read “A day in which the Academic World agrees, en masse.” (FULL STOP)  Heck, let’s get them to agree on simply what to have for lunch!
7.  Room scheduling isn’t that hard to implement on Excel, honestly…  Unless you are a Lib Arts/Humanities prof… (*wink*)
8.  Back to the iPad/iPhone and Android platforms.  Just go to the shows you want to update and “get more episodes.” It’s a good implementation on the Android (and so far an afterthought, show by show on the Apple products) but it lets you get them “untethered.”  As I understand it, we should see a more cloud-synced solution from Apple with v 4.0.
9.  I agree we need choice in broadband, but I would like to get the 45% of America that doesn’t have broadband (landline) to their doors wired.  We have allowed the digital divide to widen to far too great an extent.  Yes, I realize it’s Rural America, and that are “red state” flyover territory (er, I mean too costly to wire) but isn’t that why we pay that USF?  (Again a topic on our podcast… about 10 episodes back)
10.  Agreed. If I buy the Google Nexus One (at full price) why must I continue to pay the same high fees at AT&T as I did with the two year (subsidized) contract? (we talked about that in the podcast too!)
11.  Excel.
12.  Search on your desk? But… cleanliness is next to…
13.  Voice ID? As in you say “Hi Phone” and it KNOWS to respond “Good morning, Dean Dad”?  Why…?
14.  Cool….
Okay, I hope I have given some ideas here.  Quite frankly, DD, you just may well have helped write Episode 39 of “Real Tech for Real People!” Let me know if you want to be a guest… we would love to have you on!

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