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What are Tablets Good For?

20 Jan

Personally, I am just getting a grasp of the tablets place in the scheme of devices. My only real source for reference is Star Trek the Next Generation. I know, what a geek right? Well, let’s be honest, we owe a lot to Star Trek for the tech we have simply because so many engineers, designers and scientist were Trekkies and they wanted to try and create the devices they found so cool in the show.

In the Next Gen, we see a great deal of use of four (4) devices. The Main Computer, the Tablet, the Tricorder, and the Communicator.  Seriously watch four or 5 episodes and you will see what I am talking about.

The Communicators main function was to communicate. It had some optional abilities but it was mainly used to communicate. Today’s smartphone is just that. It can provide voice, Text, Instant message, and group communication like Facebook and other. It too can do other functions, but it works best as a Communicator.

The Main Computer is what it sounds like. It handles the big functions and things that need large processing capability. These are our office and home systems.

The Tablet, …well, it is our study and research tool. It can effectively communicate when it needs to and it can run some programs, especially on the more expensive units that have larger processing and storage. Yet for reading, researching, computing, processing template docs as in contracts, forms, etc. it works to its maximum. However, like the show, we see tablets designed to meet specific jobs. One is like a general all-purpose tool, another is powered for mobile gaming, and another for production like engineering, photography, and more. You just have to discover what your need is before you select.

Once we get a real grasp of the real benefit of tablets as a whole, we will see more real innovation beyond just its power and processor capabilities.



The Nook Tablet

20 Jan

Every tablet or pad has it’s own unique offerings and support and the Nook is no different.

However, the support behind the Nook is probably the best currently on the market. Why? Because not only do they have a website with video instruction and a quick access to the Operators manual, they have something the others do not…It has a store front where Nook owners can go and get face-to-face with a person who can help them with their device.

Barnes & Noble offers a class for those with Nooks to come in learn all about their device and talk directly with someone who can give hands on advice and help. The best yet…it is FREE. Now that is value. Check with your local Barnes & Noble for class notifications and times.

So if your thinking of buying a tablet, you might consider the Nook, especially if you find technology a little getting used to. If your a technophobe, you need to look elsewhere for a device that meets your unique abilities.



If someone sends you pictures in an email, they will be found not in the pictures area of your files but in the “myfiles/downloads”.

Office Tools: Being Productive on your tablet

6 Jan

I say, the more your tablet can do, the more real value your sub $100 tablet is worth. Besides the basics of being an eReader, Music Player, Photo Gallery, and a source for browsing the internet…surely the thing should be able to provide some productivity beyond entertainment and games.

We have established that your “Inexpensive” tablet is NOT an iPad or Galaxy Tablet. So what? Hey if I can receive and send email, create documents such as compatible Word, Excel, and Powerpoint, and I can communicate via IM with friends and clients, then my little “Inexpensive” tablet has become an even better bargain right?

Picsel Smart Office v1.9.2 Apk works great on the Pandigital 7″ Novel and the Cruz Tablet. I can create word, powerpoint and excel type documents in a very user friendly atmosphere. I must admit that the draw back to a tablet is my fat fingers making mistakes as I type, but when I am on the go and need to send out a document, then this is great. It even has a DROPBOX capability where I can deposit my docs directly to my dropbox account. Awesome huh?

Now, use that HP’s ePrint feature that is available to your newer internet enabled printers fro your home or office and you can print directly to them no matter where you are. HP ePrint is also set up with Fedex Office locations so you can run by and pick up your documents should you be on the go.

Finally, you could even print it to a PDF and email it directly from from you tablet.

I am very appreciative of software designers in Android who not only look forward but are conscious of the past. Having apps that work on all Android OS releases starting with 1.5 is a smart way of doing business.

Got Video On That Tablet?

5 Jan

Ok, you, like so many others this Christmas, bought one of the inexpensive tablets that were sub $100. What you found out was not only did it not access many of the apps out there but it won’t really access any video sites like Youtube, Hulu, Netflix and such.

SkyFire Browser

Well there is a potential “Get Around” as far as video is concerned.

First, I must ask you to proceed with patience since you are basically seeking to get at compact Toyota to act like a Mustang. With a deep breath and a goal to get it to play regardless of a few setbacks, you can access a browser named “SKYFIRE”.  This can be found by downloading online the apk named SkyFire 2.1 Apk. There are later releases but the newer ones charge you $2.99 for the app license. If your tablet is a OS 2.1 or greater and do not mind the price, then no problem.

What this browser produces an available video as a service. It does not matter if the site uses flash. The browser will pop up a video window of its own. Click it and the video will load. Nice huh?

This is similar to what Youtube did a few years back before Hulu went to Adobe Flash 10. They simpy reverted or converted the single as it played through their servers back to Flash 7. SkyFire is sending out a single for the video and then having it pass back through their system to play on your screen. Again, nice huh?

Any Down Sides?

Yes. The picture quality maybe a little lower and some of that depends on your device. Also, the browser is slow..but remember I mentioned having patience. Also, it can crash having you to start over again.There is no fast forward or rewind so should an error occur, you have to start the show or movie over. That can be a hassle.


Go to the place you want to play the video like, CBS, etc with your regular browser. Save the website that plays your videos in your bookmarks for quicker access in case of error or just wanting to play again in the future. This is good for TV shows.

Also, when you click to play, your device should ask which browser do you want to use to open it with. Choose the Skyfire then. Wait for the window to pop up that says video is available. On newer versions, the video does not pop up. You have to go to the page and select the video button for it to test and see if there is any video there to play. If so, then a window will pop up.

So, the real question you must answer is whether it is worth the frustration to watch video on your less powerful device.  If you are stuck in a waiting room, airport, waiting on your mother, or some other place where something to watch would pass the time away nicely, then this is the answer.

The Pandigital Tablet

4 Jan

Like many this Christmas 2011, I was able to acquire a tablet or two for family. I am knowledgeable enough to know that not all tech works the same and therefore I enter into each situation with somewhat of an open mind.

First, I never had any expectation that this tablet that I bought for under $75 would equal something $150 or more. I say this because I guarantee there were many that bought it thinking that come Christmas morning, their child would open it all excited to play Angry Birds and it didn’t. Not only would it NOT play that game but it didn’t even have access to the Android Marketplace!

Buyer beware….if you bought it with that expectation, then shame on you for not taking the time to investigate the differences in models rather than just shop price.

Now, my purpose for this article is just to simply begin a list of apps that I have tested so far that actually work on the Pandigital Novel 7″ with the Android OS (Cupcake) 1.5 operating system. This will help those that are looking for a quick reference for adding apps. Keep checking back to this article because when I find new additions I will add them and date it.

If you would like to do your own search, again the operating OS is called Cupcake and it is Android version 1.5. Below I am listing the APK files that I have found to work and use. There are a lot of apps out there but I can’t say that I have an interest in all of them so I am listing the ones I found interesting.

Jan 03, 2012

Apps Installer
Apps Uninstaller
AVI Player
Bejeweled 4.31.90
BitTorrent.Client. aBTC v1.3
Collins. Spanish, Dictionary + Grammer KVC V1.0
Desk Clock
Dolphin Browser 2.0
HTC Flash Player
Nutsie iTunes Music Player 1.0
Open Wordsearch 2.3.2
PayPal 1.1.3
Solitaire 1.12.2
TuneIn Player v6
UNO 3.1.2
YouTube Web

Jan 0, 2012

YouVersion (Bible APK 3.2.2) *Other versions from v1.0 up to this work, but this version has the voice app that reads the verses to you. Version 3.5+ does not work.

SkyFire 2.1 (Video solution) (See later Blog entry on video)

More to Come…!


The browsers work fine on the Novel so accessing most websites is no problem. I can access AOL, Yahoo, MSN, or Google and gain access to all my files, storage, emails and such with very little limitation. While I have not found an eBay app to work yet, I can go there as normal. Using a browser like Opera Mini lets you access those sites kinda like apps with its FireFox like Speed Dial feature.

Finally, the Barnes & Noble app works well. If you are internet savy you could download books and such via torrents and use the downloadable tool Calibre to your computer and convert the files to ePUB and they will show up in your B&N library just like the others.