Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Nexu 5x 1 month +

It has been a little over a month since I have been using the Nexus 5x as my main phone.  I have been very happy with it.

For full clarification, I currently been using the phone on the Verizon network.

Biggest grips is Voicemail. Out of the box, there is no visual voice mail. Expected, but still think that in today's world, that should be built into the OS and not and add on by the carrier or manufacture or 3rd party app. But, that is my personal opinion. I think honestly, is the biggest weakness for a Nexus phone to go "mainstream". I know that is not really their target market, and I know workarounds that are really better.

Right now, I am using YouMail and have been pretty happy with it. Willing to go pro, but I have not been able to get it reliable alert me when I have a message. Right now, knowing that I missed a called, has alerted me to check the YouMail app for a message. Good, but would rather it alert me all the time itself. Do you have a better app? Let me know and I will put it on the list to try it out.

Another issue that i didn't think I would run into, but have (only a couple times) is I have too many apps open and had it freeze, run out of memory. Once it was enough, that I got impatience and force restarted the phone. So, while, I still think that 2 GB was is a little slim and wish I had a little more. But really only if you are lazy or really trying to tax the system, it is fine. I am just stating a compliant that I have notice a few times. Not crazy and not worth not getting the phone but wanted to do full disclosure.

I still find the finger print reader to be the best on the market. So fast and accurate. The OS, Marshmallow is great!!!

More to come after the New Year!!!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Nexus 5x Mid-Week Review

I received the Nexus 5x on Friday, October 23. I have had it a few days already and I thought that I would give a little mid-week review of some of my first impressions.

As a Google ethos person, it only took a little bit of time loading apps and now I am just feeling out the new Android OS, Marshmallow. I will spare you a video of opening up the package.

Size and Weight

I use many phones. I have the Apple iPhone 5 and Apple iPhone 6. So, Nexus 5x is as you would expect bigger then the iPhone 5. It is also slightly bigger then iPhone 6, but not by very much.

Even though, I read about it from other reviewers, I am still amazed about the weight of the phone. It is light, very light. In fact, I went ahead and got the ADOPTED case for some protection and that didn’t add much weight. The Nexus 5x is feather light and it feels great.


As expected, Nexus 5x is fast. In my time with the phone, the navigation is smooth and quick even after adding the typical applications.


I find the camera much improved. Below is an outside shot. I tend to take "beer selfies" so I will include one here too for an inside shot.

Finger Print Reader

I can attest that the finger print reader is indeed quick. Not only in use, but also in set up.

The set up of the finger print reader is straight forward and easy to get started. Following the prompts I was able to quickly able to set up multiple fingers for the finger print reader so that either hand that I pick up the phone and can always unlock with a finger. There are is a couple of different backup methods to unlock the phone. You can choose a pattern, pass code or password. So far the finger printer reader as been so easy and quick, I have yet to have to use my alternative method of unlocking the phone.

Android Pay

Setting up Android Pay is easy following the on screen prompt. If you are not in the Google ethos or did store your credit cards with Google account already, you can just add the cards that you want by taking a picture. The process was fast and accurate.

I used Android Pay for the first time this week. I bought a soda at Lucky's with the express intent of using the Android Pay app. Knowing that I wanted to use my default card, I didn't have to do much. When it was time to pay, I just unlocked my phone with my finger print and held the phone over the POS device. It recognized quickly and the transaction was quick.

Good experience for my first time use.

Battery Life

I would call myself about average in the amount of time that I spend using a smartphone. Some days, I use it a lot; some days not so much (okay, that is rare). Regardless, I find that the battery life on the Nexus 5x is good, but nothing to brag about. I find that my typical use, I would be just find making it through the day, but if I was far from a power source on a heavy use day, I might get a little nervous. But, truthfully, I would have the same feelings for any smartphone. I tend to always have a power source close, either the wall, car, or battery pack. Also, with the Type C charging method. Charging is fast. So a quick charge while getting a coffee or something would more then get you through the day. It would have been nice to have a little more power in the battery, but the trade off would have been the size and weight of the phone. So, it is either this or that. For me that is a good trade off.

Here is a reference of my battery usage from Nexus 5x. I unplugged at 7 AM and took this screenshot right before plugging in at about 1 AM

Likes So Far

There are many things that I like about this new Android OS. Coming back to Android after a little hiatus, I may be mentioning things that have been in a previous version of the Android OS, but I am just finding it out now.

  1. Show clock when picking up. I like the "wake" from sleep to show me the clock when I pick up the device. Like most people, I look at my phone for as my main source of "what time is it" and I like the idea that I can find out not having to touch a button. A simple move or pick up the does the trick.
  2. The custom rules that you can set up for do not disturb. I really like all the different options I can use for the do not disturb function. The phone as all the normal ones that I have seen on other smart phones, but one I find interesting, is that I can have it set to do not disturb automatically on events on my calendar. This could be really useful, and you will not get that embarrassing ring during a meeting. Great addition, and I think an underrated feature.


Like everything, nothing is perfect. I wouldn't call these flaws, but it would be nice to haves.

  1. Clip board available to all main applications. The Samsung S6 as a great feature of universal clipboard that is available quickly for all the main applications. I don't see that function in this OS. Maybe I just haven't found it yet, but it is a nice to have. Sometimes, I will grab some images or text that I will save on the clipboard and then when I am ready, I will paste it into an email or text message. The cool thing with the Samsung version is that I can "call" up the clipboard and choose what to paste. It is just not the last copy that I did.
  2. I have found one app that I like from time to time that is not ready for Android 6. So, being bleeding edge sometimes means that you have to wait on the development cycles of 3rd party apps. Not the end of the world, but still disappointing.

More to come....

Sunday, October 25, 2015

The Nexus 5x ARRIVED!!!

This is a quick note to say that Friday was a good day. When I got home, I had my Nexus 5x waiting for me. I spent that evening charging and setting up the phone. Easy since, I have chosen to be in the Google ethos for a while regardless what smartphone I use.

Saturday, I spent time at the Verizon store getting the phone registered to my account. I may write more on this experience later, but briefly, if you need it activated, make sure you deal with the manager. This phone is too new for everyone know how to activate the phone properly. Overtime I am sure this will change.

My overall first impressions -- The Nexus 5x is light and fast. It is a welcome replacement to the original Nexus 5 and worthy upgrade for others that want the pure Android experience at a great price.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Google Nexus 5x -- Shipped

It has Shipped. After pre-ordering on the day of the event, I am expecting to have the Nexus 5x in my hands soon.

Look for my review soon.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

More Standardization is needed not just recommendations

I read an interesting blog post from the Wall Street Journal (http://on.wsj.com/1jrzxcB) titled "What Medicine Could Learn from the Aviation Industry." I found the post an interesting take on EMR and the need to cut through the clutter to get to the information that this needed for the medical professional to make a sounds diagnoses or decision the first time.

So, what is missing from EMR comparing it to the Aviation Industry? I believe that it is standardization. There are plenty of recommendations and frameworks, but not enough standardization. Looking at different EMR implementation from the same vendor at different medical facilities, I am always surprised the amount of variation there is between them. To continue the aviation theme, imagine piloting the same aircraft from one airlines and then go to the same aircraft on a different airlines and having to relearn were all the buttons and knobs are located before you take off. It would be a nightmare. Then say as a pilot you jump back and forth between the two airlines. Having to remember to fly the "same" aircraft two different ways.This wouldn't work in the airline industry and it is presenting problems in the health care industry.

More standardization and compliance to that standardization would help and maybe go a long way in actually getting better user acceptance and satisfaction. Ultimately, providing better patient care. But, that does not seem to be where the business model is for health care EMR/EHR vendors. This is not about interoperability. It is more complicated then that. This is saying that within the same vendor's product, what assurances are there to know that clicking the upper right corner icon/button, the same function will happen regardless of what medical facility you are located?

Health care industry is struggling with interoperability right now and that is fine. The easier it is for systems to talk between one another the more that patient will benefit. But the next step should be more standardization. This too will help the patient experience, but  may be even harder than interoperability to put in practice.

Monday, September 28, 2015

How Google are you?

This has not been the first time that I have thought about this, but how Google are you?

Some people are into the Apple iOS ecosphere and some people are into the Google ecosphere. Even though, I have had more iOS devices then Android devices, I have been more in the Google/Chrome/Android ecosphere than the iOS. There is one benefit from this; I have been able to easily switch from device to device, because as much fun iOS is and may be "better" hardware, Google is more interpolatable. And that is the Hole Grail. This is indicative of many battles. And, right now, I choose Google.

What about you?

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Using a Microsoft Surface Pro 3 full time MS Surface Pro 3

I have the opportunity to get the MS Surface Pro 3. I thought that I would try to see what I can do with it. Here are my first "5 days".


I am an IT project manager in the Healthcare space. I spend much of my days in the following programs

MS Office applications
Web applications
scripting and command-line
SSH to servers


MS Surface Pro 3 (i5 8Gigs)

Surface Keyboard Cover
Surface bluetooth mouse
Note -- The "Days" bellow represent times that I did an entry not necessarily sequential time.

Day 1

Putting everything everything together.

First impressions...

The surface is an i5 so, it is fast, just like any other fully function laptop. Using the keyboard cover is easy to use. It is not quite like a stand alone keyboard, but the portability more than makes up for that.

One odd thing about the keyboard, it smells a little.... I hope that it goes away soon.

Day 2

The good thing is that the smell of the keyboard cover was short lived.

Day 3

So, decided to use the surface to watch a little Netflix... It worked well with both the internal speaker and external headphones. While others have said that the internal speakers were good, I would say that they are just okay. Not bad, but not as good as I thought they would be from the reviews that I read online. This might be personal preference. Either way, it is very usable. I tend to use headphones most of the time so I may not be the best judge in internal speakers.

Day 4

An interesting thing has happened a couple of times. The screen/surface seemed to have locked up on my. Usually this has happened when I am in transition. Closing the keyboard cover. It seems that the Surface did not "go to sleep." The only that as seemed fix this was to do a hard restart of the surface. Which is harder than I thought. I had to hold down the power button for greater than 10 seconds. This could be a software problem that is running on this Surface that is not disconnecting allowing to "sleep." I will keep an eye on this and see if this is a deeper issue.

Day 5

Went ahead and added a second monitor using the display port from the docking station. This allowed me to have a bigger screen in addition to the surface.

The more and more I use the surface, the more and more this is becoming my main workstation for work.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

What Did We Do Before Text Messaging?

The other day, it was a divide and conquer shopping day. I was thinking how much easier to handle it is with text messaging.

Below is a recent excerpt of a text message conversation that I had during a “divide and conquer” shopping trip.

Without text messaging, I am sure there would have been either missed items or duplicate items.

With most of the US cell carriers having unlimited text messaging on almost every plan. Go forth and text. It will help your in so many ways. 

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Using the IOGEAR 4x4 USB 2.0 Peripheral Switch

I recently had an opportunity set up an new workspace for myself.

I had a delima. I had a laptop with a docking station, a desktop, and MS surface pro with dock (for testing). Each with their own keyboard, mouse and monitor. My first thought was going out and get the traditional KVM switch, but really I didn't want to combine monitors just yet, I wanted share the keyboard, mouse and possible USB headset.

Also, I wanted to cut wires and eliminate waste in my workspace. So, I choose to the following pieces of equipment.

The Gear

  1. IOGEAR 4x4 USB 2.0 Peripheral Switch (GUS404)  (Amazon.com)
  2. Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard (5KV-00001)  (Amazon.com)
  3. Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Mouse (L6V-00001)  (Amazon.com)
  4. Logitech H390 USB Headset  (Amazon.com)

The Setup

The setup was easy. Everything was was plug-n-play. It does say that the peripheral switch requires USB 2.0. That was not a problem for me since I have 2.0 and 3.0 available for all the devices. There is a mini-USB DC in 5v on the peripheral switch. I would assume that if needed the peripheral switch can be powered through the mini-USB if you do not have USB 2.0 available on your devices. That would be an additional cost and road  that I did not need to got down right now.

I connected the keyboard, mouse and headset into the peripheral switch. Then the peripheral switch is connected to each one of my work devices (laptop dock, desktop and MS surface pro dock). Using the toggle switch, I can switch my peripherals between each of the devices.

The Result

It is working pretty well. As you would expect toggling between the device is simple, but there is a little lag. This is tolerable and expected because the USB has to engage to the new device and that will always take a second. Once your realize that, it is a breeze to switch back and forth.

This might not be for everyone, but is working for me. I will update as a continue to use this more and more in the next couple of months. 

Monday, July 27, 2015


Sorry... It seems that I changed the settings on the Picasweb album from the blog. That temporary removed all the images that I had on the site. Ooops. Sorry about that.

Just so you know, doing a search in the Blogger forums (HERE) lead me to what I did and easily corrected the issues.

My images should now be viewable.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Resume Page Update

I had a little time this weekend, so I thought that I would update my resume/career page on my website. Yeah, I have linkedIn with all the same information, but it is comforting to have another location I can direct clients and/or employers.

I still need to add a few things, but the basic set up is looking good. Check it out. I am always looking for interesting opportunities.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Trying the Dollar Shave Club

It is easier to buy beer than it is to buy refills for my razor. Take back your blades. Join the DollarShaveClub.com Join here. 

I finally got tired of going through hoops to buy razor blade refills. I joined the DollarShaveClub.com. The last straw was when doing my weekly shopping at my local grocery store, I forgot, again, to get razor blade refills for my Gillette Fusion. With kids in tow, I didn’t  have time to go back in, wait for a customer service person, unlock the cage or go behind the customer service counter to get the blades. Then, if they are out of what I needed repeat this at another store. So, I went without.

I received my Welcome Pack on Friday and used the razor for the first time on Saturday. Ordering was super simple. There are several different type of razors for your needs or wishes. Click one, two, three and your are done. I chose the 4X to start our with. Results have been good for the last couple days. Over the coming month, I will continue to evaluate and report back my findings.