iTunes updated to version 11

Dec 14

Many iPhone, iPad and computer users have had a love/hate relationship with iTunes. Originally introduced to help manage music collections and sync to iPod, iTunes has grown to a full blown media server, but unfortunately, the frame it was built on was often slow, cranky and unwieldy.

Today Apple has released version 11 of iTunes, which is a significant improvement over all of the previous versions.

Unfortunately, iTunes still does not do a good job of managing apps and app documents

iTunes and iOS device app management

I have also found that iTunes is not suited for managing large collections of movies or TV Shows – as it just takes too many clicks to scroll through our family’s collection.

iTunes Movies and IOS device management

iTunes and Device management has experienced an improvement significantly in ability to tell which device your media is on.
iTunes and device management

Wired Magazine shares their thoughts on the iTunes update here

Sep 10

Apple is announcing its latest iPhone news today (9/10) and that includes a firm release date for iOS 7 – slated to be pushed out to over 700 million iOS devices starting 9/18.

image courtesy –

How does it compare?
Alexis Madrigal at NPR has done a great job explaining why the physical world metaphor no longer applies for your iPhone / iPad.

A live feed from can be found here – Liveblog

7″ tablet comparison – 10/2012

Nov 13

Kindle Fire

The following is a review of the Kindle Fire and Google (ASUS) Nexus 7 tablets a portion of which is featured in the Institute of Real Estate Mangement‘s Journal of Property Management Magazine

Comparison of Features between the two tablets:
a PDF of the Gadgets Column from the JPM can be found here

If you have been holding out on purchasing an iPad either due to size or price, you might consider these 7” tablets. Although the Kindle Fire and Google Nexus 7 both use the Android operating system and look virtually identical, I found my experience with them vastly different.

This summary table gives you an idea of the basic internal differences between the two:

How the two machines operate is also vastly different. The Nexus 7 is snappy, responsive and a visual delight. In comparison, the Kindle Fire is pokey, opaque and sometimes difficult to use. The Kindle Fire “home screen” looks similar to the Apple’s iTunes “cover flow”, but is much more difficult to select the right app or book than it should be.

Web Surfing
The Kindle Fire runs all of your websurfing through its “Silk servers”, which was supposed to enhance the delivery of information, but will most likely frustrate the power user of websites. Since the Kindle Fire was created to enhance the users ability to read Kindle Books and shop, the irony is not lost on me that navigating Amazon’s website is difficult at best. The Silk server makes assumptions that you can’t override, which keeps you from being able to order a physical book as it only displays kindle books.

Media Play
Although both devices can use NetFlix and can easily play MP3 files, the Kindle Fire has been designed to get the user into the Amazon Cloud ecosystem by playing any music you’ve uploaded on to your Amazon cloud drive, or renting/buying movies through Amazon prime.

A connected device
If you need to use the video conferencing of Skype, or anything that needs a camera, the Nexus 7 is the way to go. Ditto for mapping and GPS.

Additional devices
The Nexus 7 really shines when you attach any of a number of USB or Bluetooth devices, both of which the Kindle Fire is locked down from using. My favorite Nexus 7 peripheral is a keyboard case that plugs straight into the device with a USB to MicroUSB cable.

Really Amazon?
In addition to half dozen different Kindle hardware platforms, the Kindle software platform runs on Windows, Macintosh, Androids, iPhones, iPads, and even through you r webbrowser, which makes sense as Amazon is touting the Kindle as your “be anywhere virtual library”. What disappoints me is that Amazon has “crippled “the Android version of their app, making it difficult to navigate your book collection, eliminating any sharing options, and making for a disappointing reading environment, all of which is amazing since the Kindle Fire runs on the same platform and has these features.

Added “ahh-hahs”
The Nexus 7 has two really interesting additions to the typical Android tablet – face and voice recognition . The face recognition kicks in if you turn on the option for a security password every time you turn on the tablet. In lieu of the typical number pad PIN, it brings up the camera and ask you to hold your face up the front face camera – if it matches your mug, it logins you in, if not it reverts to asking you for your PIN. If you have used Apple’s Siri on your iPhone 4s, then using Google’s Voice recognition will be comfortable whether you are issuing commands to search the web, or dictating a short memo.

Should you wait?
By the time you are reading this article, Kindle and Apple may have announced new versions of the Kindle Fire and/or the potential iPad Mini. But so long as the Kindle Fire is locked into Silk, would whole heartedly recommend that if you need a 7” tablet, grab the Nexus 7.

Kindle Fire – $199 –
Google Nexus 7 – $199 to $249 –

Gizmodo has updated their review of the Kindle HD 8.9-

Apple’s textbook entry

Jan 22

Earlier this week Apple announced their intent to disrupt and reshape the textbook market in their iBooks App platform.

In the near future, I plan to test out their authoring system for our 365 page textbook “Understanding NM’s Property Tax system”.

This articles does a great job explaining why the iPad is on top

Dec 29

From Gizmodo.

how to get an iPad for a discount during Christmas

Dec 10

Most folks are not aware of the fact that Apple has a refurbished store that also sells iPads.

iPad 1st generation are available for $499

iPad 2 black 64 gig wifi are only $599

iPad 2 white 64 gig wifi are only $599

and my recommendation – the white, 64 gig, 3g iPad2 for $729, a full $100 discount from a brand new model in the store.

Ideal office setup

Dec 09
Todd Clarke's ideal office setup taken with iPhone 4s

Todd Clarke's ideal office setup taken with iPhone 4s

Todd Clarke's ideal office setup

Todd Clarke's ideal office setup

Todd Clarke's ideal office setup

Todd Clarke's ideal office setup

Todd Clarke's ideal office setup

Todd Clarke's ideal office setup

Todd Clarke's ideal office setup

Todd Clarke's ideal office setup

I have been pursuing my ideal office for decades and this arrangement is the closest I have come to a nirvana of office productivity.

What you see here includes 7000 gigabytes (7 terabytes) of storage, 9 screens, 4 computers all controlled by one keyboard and mouse sitting on an Ikea desk.
Additional equipment on deck includes 2 iPads, one Kindle fire, one iPhone, a Fujitsu Scansnap S510 scanner (for going paperless), a Brother PT-2430PC labeler and of course the all-important Aeron chair.
Most of the monitors are 22” to 24” Samsung’s with a 22” Samsung USB Driven monitor a Phillips Boom Boom monitor and a Mimo 7” USB driven monitor. The desktop computers are redundant setups with a physical keyboard/mouse switch and Multiplicity software that ties them together with the MacbookAir, and the MacMini.

The computers are task driven and run software during the day based on their portability. Starting left working right they include:

I have found this setup to be very efficient. The two HP desktops run jobs that take a long time – like backups or print runs, or they are used for big projects we have going – stuff that I want to leave up (like maps). The Mac mini is used mostly for coding apps for the iPhone/iPad. The MacbookAir is my main day to day machine – so its running email, contact management, quickbooks, and document management. It is configured in such a way that on a moments notice I can pull its plug and dash out to a meeting.

The glass wall you see to the left of my desk is a 8’ wide x 4’ tall white board that we write on and/or tape things to as we work through projects .

How is your office configured?

One of my favorite blogs – has a great gallery of office setups – including this mobile one or thi sone in a barn – and this map shows where everyone is located that has made a contribution to Lifehackers Workspace show and tell.

Just a few days after I posted this article, I came across this showcase of minimalist office setups.

Technology presentation for the MN/Dakotas CCIM & SIOR Chapters – 11/10/11

Nov 11

Thanks to the MN/Dakotas CCIM chapter and SOIR for a fabulous turnout and a great session!

The list of must have iPad apps can be found here.
and the article I wrote on iPad apps can be found in the Journal of Property Management.

You can also always search our blog for iPad or Apps for the latest news.

and I’ve uploaded yesterday’s powerpoint here MN-CCIM-SIOR-Tech-SocialNetworkingWebinar-11102011.

If you have interest in taking our tech session a bit further and using social networking -click here to watch our Prezi.

IREM’s Journal of Property Management list of Apps

Sep 08

Every other month, I report on the latest technology for the IREM associations Journal Of Property Management in their “gadgets” column.

This month’s issue provids coverage on the must have apps for your iPhone and/or your iPad.

Thanks again to the IREM staff for doing a phenomenal job on the layout!

Cool photography app

Jul 01

I recently came across Microsoft’s PhotoSynth for the iPhone/iPad. This app “assembles” live photographs into a mosaic or collage of photos.

Here is a before and after shot of the auditorium at the Bank of America headquarters in Charlotte, NC.

Before my class started:

and during the class:

I’ve also used the tool to turn otherwise dull photos of properties into something that interests the viewer – like this one: