The 6th and 7th Elements

On December 27, 2012, in digital life, by admin

I've got some really weird habits.

People laugh at me all the time.

Particularly when I'm traveling.

Before I even leave my home country I'm obsessed about 2 things and 2 things only…

1. Can I get power…

2. Can I get Internet.

I call these my 6th and 7th elements…

Lovers of the great film “The 5th Element” will know what I'm talking about.

The first 4 elements are Fire, Water, Earth and Air…

In this movie the “Fifth” element is “Love”. (Aww…)

But in 2012 the more important elements are Internet and Electricity.

If you're a knowledge worker like me… then you can pretty much live and work ANYWHERE in the world (I'm typing this Blog Post out in a Cafe outside on of my favorite Tenpin bowling centers)…

Without these two critical life-blood elements work is impossible…

So let's go through the craziness that is me shall we?

Let's start with Power…

So… one day I see a special on a retail website for a huge car battery camping power device… that has a 240volt output as well as USB. Awesome… I knew I had to have it. That would power me … and my laptop for about a day…

It arrived at the office.. everyone laughed… until there was a power outage.

One of my best buddies and fellow co-workers, the good Dr. Anthony Fernando had a power outage at home. We had to do some marketing work on a very tight deadline… and this lack of power almost destroyed the chance of the project's success.

He wasn't laughing anymore I can tell you.

In my laptop bag I travel with a 100wh hypermac battery. It gives my MacBook Air another 6 hours or so of additional power. So I can work about 8-10 hours straight without needing to be plugged into the wall. This gives me so much freedom. I can work out in the forest if I want to – and I have. I don't have to stress about getting a seat in my favorite cafe with a power socket near it. I can sit outside… It's awesome.

I can fly from Melbourne, Australia to Los Angeles and not be worried about running out of power on my laptop or my mobile devices.

It weighs a bit.. but it's worth it. It fits into my tiny laptop bag. I actually own two of them, in case I ever need to go to the UK.

When I don't have to worry about carrying my laptop with me I travel everywhere with a small portable re-chargeable battery called the Innergie Powercell. It's tiny, but holds 3000Mah of sweet power… I can recharge my iPhone 5 to full, or recharge my iPad mini to about 60% with this little bad boy. It's really tiny, but I won't go out without it.

My current pet hobby-horse with power is looking at renewable energy. Yes, I have some great solar rechargeable batteries… but I'm also eagerly watching companies like Horizon and Powertrekk who have rechargeable hydrogen fuel-cells! The Horizon Minipak can be charged with Solar energy… and recharges portable Hydrogen Fuel-Cells. It's really neat. They don't have the best energy density in the world… But they'll get better with time.

Yes – I'm a little nutty.

Which brings me to the 7th Element – Internet Connectivity.

I don't have to tell you how critical this element is to a knowledge worker. EVERYTHING needs Internet. Particularly if you're traveling. Being able to use Google Maps while you're traveling completely transforms the travel experience. You can can navigate around a completely new town like a pro if you have data and Google Maps.

So… before I even LEAVE for a new country that I'm unfamiliar with I'll buy some pre-paid data SIM cards for all my devices from eBay so I've got them there and charged up with data before I even arrive.

I've done it in France (because it's tricky to get internet access without a physical address), and recently a few weeks ago in China. I usually pick up SIM cards at the airports.. but sometimes you arrive before any of the shops at the airports are open – which is what happened in my last trip to Beijing. So… if you're worried – do this!

Yes… there are so-called International 3G roaming cards… but they're really expensive and don't work that well in practice. The best and cheapest way to make sure you have internet access when you're abroad is to pick up a local pre-paid data cards.

And here's a little trick – they don't even need to have to be able to make phone calls. They just need data. So you can often pick up a cheaper data-only SIM card… which usually still allows you to send SMS messages. Given that you're living in a different time zone anyway, and you're likely to be making international calls with FaceTime or Skype, this is often the best way to go.

So… as I said… some people think I'm crazy. But I think if you're a knowledge worker… You need these two critical elements – Internet and Electricity… and you can do and work practically anywhere!

What do you think? Leave me a comment.

 

 

Our Digital Life

On December 22, 2012, in digital life, by admin

This year I went about my regular Christmas shopping and discovered an unusual trend.

As I went through my list of people and was thinking about what to buy each of them I was surprised at how often the answer was “iTunes voucher”.

The thing is… it wasn't all for the same reasons.

Sure… I'm a bit of an Apple Fanboy.. and that would predispose me to surround myself from other similar people of “the faith”…

But as I went through my list I was amazed at how many of those people weren't fanboys.

And.. More than that.. the reason I bought them iTunes vouchers was for very different reasons.

For one person it was to buy music. She LOVES her music… she is always plugged into her iPod or iTunes and listening to new tracks… So it seemed like the perfect gift.

For someone else it was because he was really into Mac productivity apps. Once again it was the obvious gift.

And so on and so forth.

It's gotten me thinking about things.

You see… I believe we really DO have a digital life… And that's not what most people mean by it..

It's not that there is our real life… and that part of of that involves digital devices and so forth…

It's that our lives ARE DIGITAL…

We increasingly spend more and more hours in front a glowing white rectangle… whether it's connecting with others on social networks… reading the news… sending and receiving emails… browsing the web… playing games… reading books… writing documents… more and more and more of our lives are spent LIVING it digitally.

It's interesting… There's a growing trend for people to choose minimalism.. that is… eschewing the collection of “stuff”, pruning back our lives to bare minimal – a very “Zen” existence.

For those who embark on this quest…. a strange thing occurs.

The physical …. becomes digital.

We start with all our books… and replace them with their digital counterparts.

All our music turns into digital tracks.

Our movie collections and TV shows become part of a digital library… or get streamed from services such as Netflix or Hulu.

Our paper life… gets scanned and turned into searchable PDF files.

You begin to realize that much of our lives… the “stuff” that fills our houses is actually “data” that is well suited to carrying around in digital format… taking no space at all.

It's pretty cool, actually…

When you do this. When you “strip back” to the essentials… and then you travel you realize that you have your entire life… in your suitcase. With your laptop… your iPhone… your iPad… you have your whole life…

I do anyway… It's actually quite empowering… When you get back home.. you unpack… and it's like you're checking into a hotel.. .which is your home.

Our lives are digital – think about it… It's actually empowering for those who can do it – make the transition.

Because you can sever the connection between what you do and where you live – which means you can work ANYWHERE in the world… more and more of my friends are making this transition. I plan to do so soon too.

Stop filling your life full of “stuff” that can take up zero space on your digital devices.

You'll be glad that you did.

 

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Belkin Shows Off Upcoming Thunderbolt Express Dock

On December 10, 2011, in News, by admin

want!

The Belkin Thunderbolt Express Dock features three USB ports, a Thunderbolt port for daisy chaining, a Firewire port, and a GbE port. This is basically the same port setup that’s found on the new 27” Apple Thunderbolt Display.

Source: macrumors.com

 

LOL

Microsoft will not support browser plug-ins, including Adobe’s Flash, in one of the two versions of Internet Explorer to be bundled with Windows 8, a company executive said Thursday,” Gregg Keizer reports for Computerworld. “As he explained Microsoft’s reasoning, Dean Hachamovitch, the executive who leads the IE team, used some déjà vu, echoing motives cited by Apple’s then-CEO Steve Jobs more than a year ago.

Source: feedproxy.google.com

 

LOL

Microsoft will not support browser plug-ins, including Adobe’s Flash, in one of the two versions of Internet Explorer to be bundled with Windows 8, a company executive said Thursday,” Gregg Keizer reports for Computerworld. “As he explained Microsoft’s reasoning, Dean Hachamovitch, the executive who leads the IE team, used some déjà vu, echoing motives cited by Apple’s then-CEO Steve Jobs more than a year ago.

Source: feedproxy.google.com

 

Belkin Shows Off Upcoming Thunderbolt Express Dock

On September 19, 2011, in News, by admin

want!

The Belkin Thunderbolt Express Dock features three USB ports, a Thunderbolt port for daisy chaining, a Firewire port, and a GbE port. This is basically the same port setup that’s found on the new 27” Apple Thunderbolt Display.

Source: macrumors.com

 

This is awesome!

Use one of these for capturing iPad video!

Intensity Extreme features HDMI and analog video I/O, and is powered completely by Thunderbolt.

Source: rss.macworld.com

 

How To Extend Your WiFi Network Range

On September 11, 2011, in News, by admin

Great article about getting the best signal

Wireless networking is de rigeur these days, but in large buildings or crowded urban environments it can sometimes be difficult to get connections working reliably throughout a facility. Extending your WiFi network allows you to provide strong coverage through a home or workplace while allowing wireless devices to roam about and keep connectivity. The most reliable way I’ve found to extend WiFi network coverage is to create a single network with multiple Wireless Access Points, connected via a wired backbone to a single internet router. Here’s how this is done.

Source: feedproxy.google.com

 

Brilliant!

In case you missed the story, Apple lost another iPhone prototype. While this time around the prototype hasn’t been leaked to the public, the whole thing is still a big mystery and we’ll probably never learn what really happened. Nevertheless, Apple looks pretty ridiculous, and you can count on Conan O’Brien to pick up on it. For the occasion, he put together a fake commercial that he claims Apple would have used to scare whoever had the iPhone into giving it back. Enjoy:

Source: appadvice.com

 

Newstand just got a whole lot easier!

Adobe has announced that it will add support for the iOS 5 Newsstand to its Digital Publishing Suite. This will provide an easy way for publishers to take advantage of the delivery system that Apple has established in the Newsstand iOS 5 app. Adobe’s Digital Publishing Suite customers will be able to deliver high quality content optimized for iOS right to the virtual doorstep of Newsstand subscribers.

Source: feedproxy.google.com