Archive for the ‘Opinion’ Category


Get An iPhone

In Accessories,Apple,Emerging Technology,Opinion,Tips & Tricks on December 1, 2011 by

First photo I took with original iPhone in 2007. Kitchen of our new home.

After having a late lunch at Olive Garden on July 1, 2007, I walked over to the AT&T store and bought my first iPhone. All that was left from the biggest launch in Apple’s history was a 4GB model and I took it. (No waiting, no lines)

I must admit, my friend Andy twisted my arm to give it a chance.  I have to thank him for pushing me to try it.  Who knows, I might have given Android a chance like most of my other friends avidly use & recommend. Yuk!

I was undecided at the time because I didn’t want to give up, of all things, the QWERTY keyboard on my Blackberry Curve. Can you believe that? Makes me chuckle everytime I reminisce about it.

Needless to say, the iPhone was the best electronic device I’ve owned by far!   I’ve kept my original iPhone thinking it will some day be a collector’s item.  I have it on display in my living room, since it is the most expensive art piece I own.  Well, other than the other Apple products in my home.

I have been upgrading every two years to the latest model.  I currently own a 32GB iPhone 4 running iOS 5.0.1 with 1,709 songs, 10,273 photos and 91 apps.  Waiting for upgrade eligibility in Feb. 2012 for the 4S.

I won’t make this into a post of why I believe the iPhone is simply the best choice out there.  There’s about 90 million iPhone users and countless stories on the web to convice you of that. 

It’s about a question I’m asked from time to time:  What phone do you recommend?  I simply say, “Get an iPhone”  and it usually results in one of two things:

1) A follow-up visit a few months later thanking me for the recommendation and them sharing their favorite features they didn’t know a phone could do. (Demonstration included)


2) A text message asking me to guess what phone they just bought.  This is my favorite of the two. Since iOS 5, it’s been a pleasant surprise to receive that first iMessage from someone who just switched to an iPhone. It’s made it easier to identify the switch.

By my count, the number of converts is at 15 and rising.  Their ages range from 17 – 58 years of age.  The list includes friends, family, married couples, college students, teachers & my mom.

Thanks to subsidies, owning an iPhone has become fairly affordable.  For those new to the iPhone, there was no such thing when the original came out.  It was either $499 or $599 cash money! Also, it’s now available on all relevant carriers with a variety of plans to suit every need.

So if you’re in the market for a new smart phone, just get an iPhone! I’ll see you or reply to your first iMessage soon.



Cool Furniture Website

In Emerging Technology,Opinion,Reviews on December 29, 2008 by Media Specialist Tagged: ,

Browsing the internet the other day, I came across this online furniture store called LOMBOK. What caught my eye was the unique furniture on the front page. They have interesting wooden bedsbed throws and wardrobes that would decorate any bedroom nicely. I am a dark colored wood furniture aficionado and wouldn’t mind having much of what that furniture store makes and sells.

What I liked the most about the site was the cool zoom technology they use to enhance their products. Some of the benefits of purchasing online is that generally you get a better price without leaving the comfort of your home.

The one thing you always want to make sure of, is that the picture of the product you may want to purchase is clear and BIG. That way you have an exact idea of what will be arriving on your doorstep in a few days. LOMBOK does this well with the zoom option on all their products.

The way you can hover over a picture of any product and enlarge the part you want to see with great detail is so helpful. Try it out and see what I’m talking about. (Click on image below)

Cool Zoom Feature On LOMBOK Products

Cool Zoom feature on LOMBOK products leaves no doubt in what you are buying.

Do you agree with me? I hope more websites implement this technology. Makes purchasing much easier.

I signed up for their Catologue and their email updates for alerts on their new product line coming up. When time comes to replace our current furniture, I might consider purchasing from LOMBOK. If you are into this type of luxury furniture, check out this site.


The LCD Killed The Overhead

In Audio Visual,Education,Emerging Technology,Opinion on December 29, 2008 by Media Specialist

Overhead ProjectorVery popular song lyrics, “video killed the radio star!” Those lyrics definitely apply to this post, “LCD Projector killed the Overhead Projector!”

I don’t know about your school, but less and less teachers are using an overhead projector. Our school is fortunate to have been fitted with hanging NEC VT800 LCD Projectors.

The overhead projector has ran its course and has served  us well since the 1970’s. During my high school years, they played an important part in classroom instruction. I will never forget the sounds and awkward smells that radiated from these metal monsters. I’m sure you won’t either. It’s bittersweet to see it go, but I am happy with the replacement.

LCD Projectors are so useful in a classroom. Having sat in classrooms where these are used dynamically for educational instruction justify the cost of this technology. The internet provides so much useful content for projection. The ability to project videos, pictures and text in large format make an impact on how a lesson is taught. At least I believe so. The LCD Projector should be used as a compliment to any teaching method.

Here are some websites that can be useful for projection:

There are so many websites out there! Do your research beforehand and bookmark those sites you plan to use. Have fun using your LCD Projector as another teaching tool. Sometimes larger is better…


Invest In An External Hard-Drive

In Hardware,Laundry Room,Opinion,Tips & Tricks on October 7, 2008 by Media Specialist Tagged: , ,

Life Saver

In Case Computer Crashes

Wikipedia defines an External Hard Drive as “a type of hard disk drive which is externally connected to a computer, and may be portable.”

To me an External Hard Drive (EHD) is so much more than that. Actually, I compare it to having a defibrillator in my office, especially when your work computer crashes. (Ask Mrs. Ayala) My heart would stop if I would get a BSOD and I had no current back up of my data.

Although your data on your work computer is somewhat safe on company servers, you can never be 100% sure. I have to admit, an External Hard Drive is not fool-proof either, but is more reliable. It gives you some peace of mind. I have several EHD’s at home and one at work. They haven’t failed me yet. I’ll discuss the advantage of having some of your most important data on an online storage service later. Seems like some of our data is worth so much more than $$.


Lacie Line of EHD's

There are so many brands of EHD’s out there in various sizes. A 250GB EHD would provide plenty of storage space for the average user. ($89 Office Max) You can pay a little extra and get a portable one. (Doesn’t require power outlet) It’s a basicaly a Flash/Thumb Drive but with more capacity. By the way, you should have one of those too! If you like the portability of a Flash Drive, you’ll love the added capacity of an EHD.

I recommend that you have one attached to your computer and store all your vital data. This can include documents, presentations, videos and music. Whenever you need to take it home, just detach it and work from home. Trust me, it’s worth the investment.

UPDATE: Lacie, Western Digital, Seagate and Maxtor are all great/dependable brands! Usually on sale for $89-$99 at your local Best Buy, Circuit City and Office Max. Check out the weekly ads and you might get a lower price or pay a little more for double the storage.


Luis Miguel – Complices Tour 2008

In Entertainment,Opinion,Reviews on September 18, 2008 by Media Specialist Tagged: , , ,

Went to see Luis Miguel in concert last night at the AVA Amphitheater in Tucson, AZ with wife and friends. Great place to catch a show, by the way.

Luis Miguel has been one of my favorite artist for quite some time. I had not seen his show since 1999. I was very impressed with the artistry, music and atmosphere of that concert. After attending last night, must say that he has NOT skipped a beat.

LuisMi mixes his new and classic music well. His younger generation of fans get to listen to his new material as he pleases his older fan base by doing compilations of his more recognized hits. I have to admit, he had me singing. The sounds of his orchestra and mariachi really move you. His sound is quite unique and covers a broad range of genres.

The atmosphere is as lively as I remember the first two times I saw his show. It’s the typical hispanic audience that gets caught up in the moment of listening to one of Mexico’s brightest stars. He is known as “El Sol De Mexico” (Sun of Mexico). Nothing rowdy at all! There are people of all ages and ethnic backgrounds. He even welcomed the crowd in both Spanish and English. Nice touch. 

His light and sound has always impressed me. Technology in that field has definitely improved the concert experience. Each time I attended a concert, I would compare the sound quality to his. In my opinion he always had the best. The light show and projection screens he uses are the best and most sophisticated I’ve seen. This time around, the center screen was in HD. Wow! Wish I had one of those at home. Same thing goes for the sound. Not to loud and not to low, just perfect. Borderline CD quality.

I recommend his show to anyone with an interest in music. You won’t be disappointed. Here’s a fan site to listen to some of his music free:

Luis Miguel At AVA 9/17/08

Luis Miguel At AVA 9/17/08


My Current Phone – iPhone 3G

In Current Phone,Opinion,Reviews on September 16, 2008 by Media Specialist Tagged: ,

I’m currently using the iPhone 3G as my handheld device. After having the 1st Generation iPhone from day one, updating to this one was a no brainer. (No I didn’t wait in line) This is by far, the most useful device for my line of work and interests. I’ve had it for 2 months now and here are my thoughts on it so far.

I can check my work and personal email directly on my device. I can also respond, send pictures and files if needed. It’s so simple to setup multiple accounts.

I’ve always loved music. I have about 2,000 songs and podcast I can listen to on my downtime. I can also connect the iPhone to my car stereo or home system when needed. Being so simple to connect to any sound system has saved me both at work and social gatherings.

Google Maps & GPS
There is no such thing as being lost with this device. Google maps and GPS makes searching for an address or current location a breeze. It also gives you turn-by-turn instructions to any destination.

When Steve Jobs announced the Apps Store, I knew this feature would be a complete game changer for this device. I admit, some applications available have no use what so ever. They shouldn’t even be allowed. How many flashlight or tip calculators do we need? Anyways, there are about 20 applications that make this device so much better. Some of my favorites: Apple Remote, Air Sharing, NetShare, MySpace, MLB at Bat, & QuickVoice.

Kelly Blue Book

Kelly Blue Book iPhone

Mobile Safari
It’s literally the internet in your pocket. It does not support Flash yet, but it’s quite useful for me to have my favorite websites available at any moment. Most websites display just like the desktop version and iPhone specific sites are increasing. (Kelly Blue Book) With 3G now, download speeds are much faster. Speed on the EDGE network was my #1 complaint on the 1st Gen iPhone.

Overall this device almost has it all. The built-in camera could be improved. Battery life can be an issue for the heavy user, but I haven’t had a problem. Simple features such as cut & paste, video recording & MMS are still missing.  I can’t really complain because all the things this phone does do outweigh what it doesn’t. It’s just a matter of time that these features will be lacking, since Apple is always trying to improve it’s products.

Until something better comes out, I’ll remain an iPhone user. I’m extremely happy with the power of this device. I’m starting a series of how this device has saved me called iPhone To The Rescue.