Microsoft Surface Book: A Tale of Love and Woe

I remember back during my college days, in a Technology Transfer class, the professor told all the students that early adopters often times pay the price for being first (in more ways than just monetarily). No statement is truer than my experience with Microsoft’s first laptop, the Surface Book. When Microsoft announced their Surface Book, I was ecstatic, I can’t remember being this excited about a piece of technology since the first iPad. Microsoft hit all the right notes, and made the machine I’ve always dreamed of. A 2-in-1 device with a large detachable display, armed with a touch screen AND DIGITIZER, with the added bonus of a dedicated GPU!. I was luckily able to snag one of the first pre-orders from the Best Buy web site at midnight October 26, release day. What follows is are my experiences and struggles with what should have been my unquestionable love affair.

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Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book Impressions from the Press Conference

On October 6, 10am EST, Microsoft had their chance to show off their newest gadget/tech lineup. There was already plenty of speculation leading up to the show; including leaked specs for their new Lumia phones. Microsoft made a big show of their new line up, starting with their Hololens augmented reality headset, then moving onto the official debut of the new Lumia 950 and 950XL Windows Phones. Everything lead up to the Surface Pro update, which was well planned and delivered.

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Dower’s Guide to Surface Pro 3 Must-Have Accessories

It’s the holiday season and maybe you’ve just purchased a Surface Pro 3; what next? It’s a wonderful multipurpose device, but even if you picked up a Microsoft Type Keyboard to go along with it, there are some things that you should also get to make it the best productivity tool you can use. I’ve been using my Surface Pro 3 since it came out, and it has now become my primary computer for all my work; which includes video editing, image work and development. Here are some of the accessories I recommend to go along with your Surface Pro 3.

Please note that these recommendations below are not limited to the Surface Pro 3, they will work fine for any Surface Pro tablet.

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X-Wing and Tie Fighter Now on GOG!

It’s hard to believe, but LucasArts release the first X-Wing game back in 1994! That’s 20 years ago! LucasArts followed it with Tie Fighter in 1996, both games were fantastic and became an everlasting part of my past. The horror of the story is that these games never saw any type of re-release, until now. Good Old Games, GOG, has gotten the rights to sell these games! If you never played it, I highly suggest you get them, both games are $10 each, and come with the all their expansions. So, now, instead of trying to dig up old floppy disks or pirating the game and struggling with emulators, GOG did the hard work for you. For me, this was an instabuy! I’ll be reporting later on how it’s like.

Microsoft Makes Windows 10 Available for Everyone to Test!

Windows 10 ScreenshotThis past Tuesday Microsoft announced the next version of Windows, dubbed Windows 10; skipping over the number 9. The announcement was at a small press event and with little fanfare, but the big news is the availability of the new OS to the public to test; following what Apple has been doing with their updates to OSX. I downloaded the image off Microsoft’s website and first installed it as a virtual machine on my Macbook Pro using Parallels 10. It was a bit quirky at first, since Parallels likes to make things easy for you by offering you known OS’s to install. Windows 10, isn’t known to it yet, so I had to play around a little to make a VM for “Other Windows”, and point it to the ISO file for Windows 10. I must admit, the install process went far faster than I expected. It’s unclear if the fast install experience was because of Windows 10 being still a technical preview, or if this will be how the final version will install.

Upon starting up, it didn’t feel that different, there is no new logo, and everything appears like Windows 8 until you realize that there is no more Start Screen! You are taken to a more familiar Windows 7 desktop. It’s only when you hit the Windows Key or the Windows Charm you’ll notice the Start Screen is now part of a new Start Menu. Beyond this obvious change, there is the new Virtual Desktops and the enhanced task switching. I’ll try and go into these things later when I have a chance to delve into Windows 10 some more in the coming days.

Initial Impressions of Microsoft’s Surface Pro 3

wpid-2014-06-12-21.47.21.jpg.jpegUnlike official tech reviewers and members of the press, I don’t have early access to new and exciting technology. Instead, I need to wait till the consumer masses are allowed to see and touch them at retail outlets. The Surface Pro 3 won’t be available to purchase until June 20, but Microsoft recently put their upcoming tablet on display at their retail stores; and I happened to be near one yesterday.

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