Sunday, January 31, 2010

A Glimpse at the possible future of tabilzines

Had the opportunity watch this video last week and it was mind blowing. The possibilities are endless from a content and advertising perspective. I'm looking forward to seeing what the next year or two brings as touch screen tablets take off with Apple's help.

Sports Illustrated - Tablet Demo 1.5 from The Wonderfactory on Vimeo.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Scanning and Shredding My Way To A Paperless Home Office

westchester county ny shred mobile

During my week off between jobs I took the plunge to a paperless home office.

After reading about Fujitsu ScanSnap S1500 and getting rave reviews from my friend Dan, I ordered one from This machine can do duplex, color, and OCR into a PDF. For ~$450 it comes with Adobe Acrobat Standard which is a $252 by itself.

Now it's time to scan and shred.

The scanning was amazingly simple to do with the software included with the ScanSnap. First go around I set up the scanner to OCR while it was scanning. With my old laptop this was really slow, but not to worry the software has a background OCR process. Just turn-off the immediate OCR option and while the computer is idle your files will be OCR'd. I burned through thousands of pages in a few days and eliminated four storage boxes of records.

I started out with a Staples 8 sheet cross cut shredder, but with this amount of paper I was not 100% sure it would make it through. It overheated twice and I was just getting started. Once the paper is confetti it went into my "kind-to-the-earth," partially recycled, Seventh Generation Kitchen Trash Bags. This wasn't efficient, as I could scan faster than my shredder could consume the discarded paper. The other downside is the paper dust; for some reason the cross cut shredder gives off a fine white dust which then needs to be cleaned up.

Fast forward - I remembered reading about Westchester County having a mobile shred truck. A little searching online and I found a shredding day this past Saturday. The county employees were friendly and helpful; my waiting in-line plus shredding took less than 15 minutes. I didn't have to throw out the confetti and my shredder didn't melt down.

4 boxes shredded.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Kindle Cover Design Issue

There must be a problem with the Kindle cover when I get an email sent to me months after purchase letting me know how to use it correctly.

How many things break or are damaged if you open them up backwards?

Dear Kindle User,
We’re sending this note to remind you about proper
attachment and use of your Kindle cover and about Amazon’s Kindle warranty. You
can view instructions and illustrations here:
THE COVERTo install the Kindle, open the cover and lay it on a flat surface.
Then insert the bottom attachment hook on the cover into the bottom slot on the
left edge of the Kindle. Rotate the Kindle to insert the top attachment hook.
Then slide the switch down slightly to lock the cover attachment hooks in
Be sure to place the Kindle flat on the cover during installation. Do
not tip the Kindle at an angle during installation, as that may cause the cover
attachment hooks to bend.
USING THE KINDLE COVERWhen using your Kindle with
the cover, be careful to open the front cover only. If you open the back cover
and pull the cover away from the Kindle, that may cause the attachment hooks to
bend and could result in cracking or other damage to the Kindle.
KINDLE WARRANTYYour Kindle is covered by a One-Year Limited Warranty you can
view here:
the attachment hooks on your cover have become bent, or your Kindle has
developed cracking or other damage near the location where the hooks connect to
the Kindle, please contact Kindle Support by phone or email regarding warranty
You can reach us via phone or e-mail through our website by
clicking the Contact Us button on our help pages at
or directly by calling one of these numbers:Inside the United States:
1-866-321-8851, Outside the United States: 1-206-266-0927.
For more
information, please see the Warranty Service section of the Kindle Return
Policies Help page:
Kindle Team

Monday, January 04, 2010

Reflecting back on 2009

2009 was a year marked by loss -

Passing of Jon Alsop - Jon's death was a shock and I blogged about earlier this year. Jon will be missed. Jon was one of my real estate partners in Baltimore.

Passing of Lamar Conrad - Lamar was a mentor and friend during my stay in Locust Point Baltimore. He helped Jon Alsop, John Demayo, and myself rehab multiple houses in the Point. He kept us out of trouble, saved us a few times from certain death or dismemberment and taught us the ins and outs of South Baltimore contracting and life. I could write a short story about all of the various crazy situations we experienced together. What a reality TV show it would be with Lamar, Junior, and Jodie.

Lamar taught me the ten foot rule, if you can't see it from ten feet you're fine. This was a critical time saving lesson as I'm a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to construction. He also turned me onto the book, Working Alone with tons of tips for when you don't have an extra set of hands.
I did not find out about Lamar losing his fight against cancer until after Christmas. He was truly unique, completely larger than life, and will be missed. I look forward to helping with a memorial bull roast in March of 2010.

Passing of Jason Strauss - I worked with Jason at and during my stint at AOL. He had a unique approach to sales that every salesperson could learning something from.

Passing of John Borkoski - John was my next door neighbor in Locust Point. He cared deeply about his family and his neighborhood and always kept an eye out. He called it like he saw it. Haubert Street won't be the same without him.

Hopefully 2010 won't be more of the same.