Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Dell Inspiron Duo: Pics

In case you haven't seen the ads, videos, or my previous post linking to the ads, I decided to post some pics of my new computer. Yeah, I am sounding like a fanboy, but it is allowing me to kill two birds with one stone: A.) I get to talk about my new toy B.) I am posting in my blog. `Nuff Said!

I am finding the touchscreen interface easier to use. I guess it is a matter of getting used to it. Win 7 is a lot different than iOS, so that has a lot to do with it. I tried using IE for my browsing, with my multiple tabs (yes, I am one of those people), but it apparently doesn't like that very much. I am going to have to do like I said I was going to do and get the IE 9 beta to run on this machine...it has a lot cleaner interface and should run a lot smoother, if my desktop experience is any indicator. Then I can has swipe-the-page scrolling!

Now for the pictures!

Full Front-On Standard Mode

3/4 Profile

Beginning Transformation

Screen Totally Flipped

Tablet Mode with Dell's Stage Software Launcher Open

Standard Win 7 Desktop, Tablet-Style





Monday, December 27, 2010

Dell Inspiron Duo: First Review



I opened my Inspiron Duo on Christmas Eve, since it was my Christmas present, my wife made me wait until then to open it. It was nice to have it to open then, but it was hard waiting!

The Setup
I plugged it in and turned it on. It went through the normal Win 7 new computer setup routine. Within about 5-10 minutes I was set up and running. (Not sure how long, Chistmas Eve + Creme de Menthe = Time Distortion for Clint)

Google Plug
Since I prefer Chrome to IE, I installed it(production release) as my default browser. I logged in to my Gmail account and synched chrome with my other machines so all of my bookmarks and settings would be transferred over.

The Hook
At this point I wanted to try out the whole reason for buying this machine...the convertible touchscreen. I flipped the screen in the bezel and closed the lid. After a brief pause, the screen lit up with Dell’s Stage software launcher maximized. I closed out of this and opened Chrome to browse with my finger. I found it hard to click on links at the default resolution after using an iPhone for the past year. It also took me a while to get the hang of scrolling on web pages. I couldn't just drag my finger up or down the screen to scroll as you can on an iPhone(More on this ater). I had to drag my finger (or thumb, depending on how I was holding it) on the scroll bar to scroll the page. I found that a little disappointing, but it was fairly easy to get used to.
One of the other things I noticed that detracted from the machine was a slight sluggishness, especially playing Bejewelled Blitz on Facebook. This is my secret reason for wanting a touchscreen laptop...to be able to play this game through the website. There are interactions that aren’t included in the iPhone game, such as the accumulation of total points and game levels. I was still able to score 417,000 points in one game using the duo, so I guess I can’t really complain.

Scroll Solution
As it turns out, dragging my finger up, down or across a web page to scroll does work, but only Internet Explorer, not Chrome. Hopefully Chrome will work on this. I am torn between continuing to use Chrome or upgrading to IE 9 beta...I have it on my desktop and I like it, but continue to use Chrome as my main browser of choice.

Initial Summary
All in all, I like it. It works well for web browsing in traditional mode, as well as tablet mode. I can use my fingers directly on the screen, just like my iPhone has conditioned me to do, and it is small enough for me to use in the economy seats of the airplanes I have been riding in lately. With a 320 GB HDD, I can put most of my music on it, plus some movies when I travel, still be able to work on work stuff, if needed, keep up with my social stuff, and still carry it around with me without breaking my neck. (My current work computer is a 17.3” monster that I have to squeeze into a rolling bag.)

To someone looking for a lightweight, all-around, travelling computer, this is a good fit.
On the other hand, if you are looking for a desktop replacement, this isn’t it.
The Setup
I plugged it in and turned it on. It went through the normal Win 7 new computer setup routine. Within about 5-10 minutes I was set up and running. (Not sure how long, Chistmas Eve + Creme de Menthe = Time Distortion for Clint)

Google Plug
Since I prefer Chrome to IE, I installed it(production release) as my default browser. I logged in to my Gmail account and synched chrome with my other machines so all of my bookmarks and settings would be transferred over.

The Hook
At this point I wanted to try out the whole reason for buying this machine...the convertible touchscreen. I flipped the screen in the bezel and closed the lid. After a brief pause, the screen lit up with Dell’s Stage software launcher maximized. I closed out of this and opened Chrome to browse with my finger. I found it hard to click on links at the default resolution after using an iPhone for the past year. It also took me a while to get the hang of scrolling on web pages. I couldn't just drag my finger up or down the screen to scroll as you can on an iPhone(More on this ater). I had to drag my finger (or thumb, depending on how I was holding it) on the scroll bar to scroll the page. I found that a little disappointing, but it was fairly easy to get used to.
One of the other things I noticed that detracted from the machine was a slight sluggishness, especially playing Bejewelled Blitz on Facebook. This is my secret reason for wanting a touchscreen laptop...to be able to play this game through the website. There are interactions that aren’t included in the iPhone game, such as the accumulation of total points and game levels. I was still able to score 417,000 points in one game using the duo, so I guess I can’t really complain.

Scroll Solution
As it turns out, dragging my finger up, down or across a web page to scroll does work, but only Internet Explorer, not Chrome. Hopefully Chrome will work on this. I am torn between continuing to use Chrome or upgrading to IE 9 beta...I have it on my desktop and I like it, but continue to use Chrome as my main browser of choice.

Initial Summary
All in all, I like it. It works well for web browsing in traditional mode, as well as tablet mode. I can use my fingers directly on the screen, just like my iPhone has conditioned me to do, and it is small enough for me to use in the economy seats of the airplanes I have been riding in lately. With a 320 GB HDD, I can put most of my music on it, plus some movies when I travel, still be able to work on work stuff, if needed, keep up with my social stuff, and still carry it around with me without breaking my neck. (My current work computer is a 17.3” monster that I have to squeeze into a rolling bag.)

To someone looking for a lightweight, all-around, travelling computer, this is a good fit.
On the other hand, if you are looking for a desktop replacement, this isn’t it.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

What Do You Do?

Here are a couple of links to some stuff that describes what I do. The first tells about the service and the second is a case history from early 2010.

Baroid's Applied Fluids Optimization Service
AFO Services Overview

AFO Case History
UK North Sea Case History (pdf)

Just in case you were wondering...

Feel free to contact me for more information.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Fookin crew Change!

While waiting to start boarding, I sat near an outlet to charge my laptop. There were a few Aberdonians behind me. Service hands? NO! Fooking rig hands! ;-) It seems that just about the whole flight was rig crew, mostly from Scotland, heading to Baku. Crew Change on an Airbus A321!

Flying

What's the deal with carry-Ons?
I had always heard that flying during the holidays was hectic in the `States...now I understand. My flight from New Orleans to Houston on a Sunday afternoon (DURING a Saints game, no less) was sooooo packed with people and carry-on luggage that I had to sit with my laptop bag half under the seat in front of me and half in between my feet. It was a fairly uneventful flight, just like I like it, thank GOD.

We touched down in Houston and I walked to my departure gate. It was a fairly short walk to an adjacent terminal. No trams, no travel to the other side of the airport.

I get on the plane and there is no room for my small duffel bag! Even though not all of the seats were full around where I was sitting, all of the overhead storage was. One of the flight attendants found an empty bin about halfway back in the plane on the other side. The result was that I had to wait for everyone to depart the plane before I could get my bag to leave. This wasn't a big deal, since it was around 07:00 local time and my next flight was not until 13:20.

New Vest
My new vest worked out well. I came up with the idea that if I got a vest with a lot of pockets, I could store everything I needed in the pockets of the vest, remove the whole thing at security, and take less time going through. I can also carry 3 bottles of water in the back pocket, a hard case for my glasses, my phone, passport, cash, medicne, etc.

Garnering Attention
When I fly, I like to wear my "travel" shirt. It's a shirt that my wife bought me that says "Just another sexy bald guy". It always gets some kind of attention, eliciting giggles and laughs. I do this because it gets me noticed. One thing I learned when I was a bartender is that unless people have a reason to notice you, they will ignore you, and by extension, give you bad service. so if the flight attendant thinks my shirt is funny, she/he will pay a little better attention to me than if they had not noticed anything about me at all. This especially helps since I tend to travel in comfortable clothes that gives me the least amount of trouble at security. The afore-mentioned t-shirt, crocs (with socks, for dirty security floors), jeans without a belt, and now my travel vest. Flight attendants usually view this as bum clothes. (At least I think they do.) So the shirt helps to endear me with them.


Well, my plane should start boarding for the final leg of my trip in a few minutes, so I'll sign off. I'll be able to go to sleep in about 6-7 more hours! 


Cheers, Mate! from London Heathrow.




***Addendum***
Just after I posted this, my flight was delayed for another 2 hours. So I will now be departing (touch wood, fingers crossed, saying a prayer) at 15:30, which will put me in Baku at 12:35 or so on Tuesday.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Christmas Wish List

I have decided that I want to get a personal laptop computer for Christmas this year. I want something small enough to be able to use on the plane (with my size and economy seating, a 17" mobile workstation just does not cut it!), but powerful enough that I could actually get some work done on it if needed. I was looking at a Dell Inspiron 101z...it seemed to fit the bill nicely. The only other feature I could want would be a touch screen. (Damn You iPhone!)

Lo and Behold I see this article:

Dell Inspiron Duo finally official, can be yours the first week of December for $549


That is the same price I was looking at for the 101z, but with an innovative flipping touch screen that allows it to be used as a tablet. If you haven't looked at the previous link and the embedded video, here is the direct link to Dell's website for the Duo with a small video of the flip screen in action: 


Looks very nice and can't wait to see what else it comes with. Hoping for a really good battery life...should get it with the atom processor.

More to come...

Thursday, September 2, 2010

What is an Oil Rig?

With all of the attention the industry has been getting lately due to the Deepwater Horizon Tragedy and subsequent spill, I have been seeing the term "Oil Rig" blazed across the headlines in all of the media outlets. The term has been used as a fast and loose term to describe any offshore oil and gas industry facility.

There is no such thing as an "oil rig"! 


There are drilling rigs and there are platforms. Drilling rigs can not be classified as oil rigs because they do not only drill for oil. a lot of the time they are drilling for gas.

There are the following classifications of offshore facilities:


  • Drilling Rigs
    • Jackups - Stands on "legs" on the sea floor
    • Inland Barge - Used in marshes, swamps, and shallow bays
    • Submersibles - Has traits in common with inland barges and semi-submersibles, but used in deeper waters than inland barges. Sits on the seafloor.
    • Semi-Submersibles - also known as a "Floater" because the rig floats. can be anchored or use thrusters and be dynamically positioned
    • Drillships - An actual ship with a drilling package on it.
    • Platform Rig - This type is a component package that is installed on production platforms to drill development wells in a reservoir.
  • Production Platforms 
    • Fixed Platform - This is the type of platform that you can see from Fourchon or Grand Isle. It is fixed to the sea floor.
    • Floating Platforms - Various configurations that include Tension Leg Platforms and Spar Platforms.

So, in conclusion, please tell all of your friends, newspaper reporters, and TV Anchorpersons, DO NOT use the term "OIL RIG"! It is an inaccurate term.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Saturday, July 10, 2010

No Agenda

It's been a little while since I've posted. I am trying to be frequent in posting, but life keeps getting in the way! :-) (It's all good)

I had to be in Houston this past week to do some software UAT (User Acceptance Testing). So I drove over on Monday. Since I got my iPhone I started listening to podcasts while traveling. I have been mainly listening to podcasts from the TWIT Network.

TWIT is the acronym for This Week In Tech, which I guess is the flagship show on Leo LaPorte's online broadcast network. They have shows that cover topics from technology to law to food. It's pretty cool.

One of the regulars on the show TWIT is John C. Dvorak, a journalist, has been one of my favorites from waaaay back. I used to love reading his columns in computer magazines. When on TWIT, he occasionally plugs a show he does with Adam Curry called "No Agenda". I decided to check it out and was kind of blown away by it. The opening credits bill it as "The Crackpot and the Buzzkill" (meaning Curry & Dvorak, respectively). That in itself was a WTF moment. As I got into the content, I liked what I heard. The premise of the show is that it is not supported by any advertising, only by listener donations and cover news that is not covered in mainstream media. And I am not talking about what's covered by Fox & not the other channels...Granted, some of the stuff Curry comes up with is really off the wall, a lot of what they covers connects dots between stories that by themselves seem harmless to normal people. When you look at them in the context of their show, it makes a lot of sense. Does that make me a conspiracy theorist? Maybe. The stuff just makes sense of what's going on.

The thing I do disagree with Curry on is his understanding of what actually goes on when drilling a well for oil or gas. (for obvious reasons). He believes the story being spread around that the Deepwater Horizon drilled into a giant methane gas bubble under the Gulf of Mexico and that bubble will soon burst to the surface and force the evacuation of the coastal states. I don't really know what to say about that except "huh? What have you been smoking?"

Anyway, go check out No Agenda. And based on what they have said on Thursday's show, I predict Spain will win the FIFA World Cup in a scoreless game on a penalty kick (or whatever the equivalent of that is in non-US football).


Thursday, June 17, 2010

Decline of SoLa

I think it is here...something that a couple of hundred years of wars, floods, hurricanes, and coastal erosion have not been able to bring about...the end of South Louisiana.

President Obama has reiterated his stance on the deepwater drilling moratorium while spending as much or more time pushing "Cap & Trade", or as I saw someone put it, "Smash Knee Cap & Tax", than talking about cleanup efforts. This does not bode well. Whether he knows it or not, he is forcing people to either A.) Move away to work somewhere else or B.) Lose their jobs and go on welfare...***Epiphany*** What better way to garner more support? Get a whole region dependent on him for survival! This is how demo-don'ts keep getting re-elected. This is also how dictators do it. Very scary.

I hope and pray that the people of the United States of America wake up to what's going on and don't let our country be turned into a powerless socialist has-been. Is it that everyone is OK with losing our freedom and sovereignty? I have heard a lot of people say that they would like to the US to be more like European countries...Have they seen the European countries lately? They are struggling! The EU is not quite working out like they had planned. The UK was wise to fully embrace the EU.

Enough of my ranting. I have gone from lamenting the decline of south Louisiana to complaining about the far left. I hope to make my next post about something positive in the oil and gas industry!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

I did it...!

I finally created a blog. I had toyed with the idea for years, but never really got around to it because I never felt like I really had anything to say. Now...what can I say? Things change...

If you start following this blog, you can expect comments on politics, the oil & gas industry in general, the current spill crisis in the Gulf of Mexico (GoM), and a host of obviously and not so obviously related things. (Like the iPhone 4 pre-order opening today...how does it tie in to the main topics I have listed? It (or devices like it) could one day become O&G Exploration workers' "brain" while on the job. Think about it...video or take picture of situations going on, video conferencing, e-mail, etc. all right in the palm of their hands! LOL

Anyway, that's about it for my first post. Time to customize this thing.


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