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)  (
  2. Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard (5KV-00001)  (
  3. Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Mouse (L6V-00001)  (
  4. Logitech H390 USB Headset  (

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.