Posts

Apple Watch

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  "Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in ..."  The line in the Godfather as Al Pacino, as Michael Corleone, explains why he still is in his father’s criminal empire. I feel the same about Apple . I bought an iphone only to end up back in an Apple Store for my next tech purchase.  To almost no-one\"s surprise face-id on an iPhone doesn\"t work very well when you wear a mask. Having chosen to use an iPhone you are left punching in your passcode quite frequently when you are out and about. Apple solved this little issue by authenticating your id via an Apple Watch when you wear a mask. Buying another Apple device to deal with the problem of other Apple tech is a very Apple solution. I do accept this isn\"t a devious ploy but rather the product of the way Apple thinks about it\"s own products.  Each product, on it\"s own, is an expensive piece of technology. Its also a fashion item. The design, colour etc say something about the owner. Th

Airtags

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  Apple announced a number of new products this week. The most important of which seems to be the cheapest. This is the Apple  Airtag .     An  Airtag  is a device that is a little bigger than a coin.  The idea is you attach them to your personal  items. A set of keys, a bag, a rucksack, and so on. If you lose track of the item then you can find it. The “Find My” feature in the  icloud  website or app on your “ idevice ” can be used.    This isn’t really new. Find my  Iphone  has been a feature for the  Iphone  for a long time. It used GPS or cell towers to locate your lost phone. A Mac computer and  Ipad  work the same way. However, this extends the scope of the feature itself, allowing you to “tag” your everyday property.    The key features are the “Find My” network and the new ultra-wideband U1 chip. The U1 is in the  iphone  11 and 12. When it is in proximity of the tag it can give you precise directions to the object. The “Find My” network gets around the limited range of  blueto

Ryzen

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  News of the release of the Microsoft Surface 4 Laptop this week also included the information that the AMD Ryzen processor would be a standard option across the range. The Ryzen processor is part of the AMD comeback story on Windows PCs and part of the story about competition with Intel .  For a long time the "Intel Inside" logo was common on PCs. Whether you bought an Apple Mac or a Windows PC the processor was almost certain to be an Intel processor. This dominance was also reflected in business. The combination of Widows and Intel literally created "Wintel" as the name for engineers that dealt with Windows servers. AMD processors, that also used the same basic processor instruction set, were the less famous little brothers. They were a favourite of builders of home PCs and gamers where they competed on price and power.  Intel processors had raw power and were originally designed to work connected to mains power with large fans to remove the heat of heavy proc

Devs

 Dev is short for development. The act of software creation. Along with DevOps , development plus operations, it is the place where modern software creation lies. Creation of software rapidly with rapid iteration.  I am not a developer. However, I like to understand the process. As someone who manages systems, and uses command line tools like  Powershell , understanding rapid software change is part of the process.  Recently I was exploring the subject and found something I hadn't realised. Google own the Top Level Domain (TLD) called dev. A Top Level Domain is the part of the Internet that defines the organisation of domains. Domains ending in "com" are broadly created for companies, "edu" for education, "gov" for Government and so on. The UK Government owns "gov.uk". Anyone who wants to use a "gov.uk" address needs to be doing some UK Government or Local Government function. Over the years the Top Level Domain owners have either s

The end of Cortana?

 Microsoft have killed Cortana . Not completely, but she is certainly in intensive care. Living on as a shadow of herself in the area of productivity.  On 31st March 2021 the Cortana app stopped working on Apple Iphones and Android phones.  If you haven't spent time in the Microsoft ecosystem then this needs a little explaining.  Cortana is a character from the Xbox Halo series of games. She was an artificially intelligent hologram that assisted the game hero the Master Chief. In doing so she also helped the player navigate the game. When Microsoft added an AI to it's WindowsPhone mobile OS there was a popular wish for her to be called Cortana.  Cortana became the front for Microsoft's search property Bing and added in reminders, phone functions etc. You could tell Cortana what sports you cared about or anything else that was significant. By 2015 Windows 10 baked in Cortana to desktop search and it even helped setup your Windows PC, However, the place where you really nee

Didn't Make It!

 I did try to do the Microsoft Ignite Learning Challenge this month. I ended up not really having enough time.  It was just like ordering at a restaurant and ending up wishing I had ordered a smaller portion.  The complete learning experience was 43 parts. They were short. Typically each was 10 or 15 minutes. Bite sized stuff you could do at lunch or some other time. However, the motivation didn't carry me through.  It's all good stuff so I will return to the lessons but it just couldn't be done in the month.  I did learn quite a bit of stuff about Azure and I appreciated the journey. I still recommend Microsoft Learning . Its a great free resource. 

Ignite Learning Challenge

One of the things I am doing this month is Microsoft Ignite 2021 Learning Challenge. It’s part of the annual conference for IT Pros. You do a customised course until the end of March and get a free Microsoft Exam voucher for one of topics. I am doing the Microsoft 365 admin course. if you don’t have time to meet the challenge then you can still look at the free learning content at  Microsoft Learn .