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.
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