Category Archives: Services

Pondering Amazon Fire HD vs. iPad

Today’s disquisition is a bit off the beaten track and brings Windows 10 to bear only tangentially. My family is in the market for another tablet, primarily for reading and media consumption. I’ve already owned an iPad 2 (now retired) and currently own an iPad Air 2 (2014 vintage). You’d think I’d buy another iPad, right? But the model I want (iPad Air, 256 GB, cellular) costs a whopping US$879 at the Apple Store right now. And then, there’s a new generation of Fire HD tablets about to arrive, at less than half that cost. By the time I add in a cover and keyboard, it’s more like a 2.5:1 cost ratio. Frankly, that’s what has me pondering Amazon Fire HD vs. iPad.

Price Provokes Pondering Amazon Fire HD vs. iPad

On the plus side, the iPad offers more power, lighter weight, and higher screen readability. On the minus side, it ends up costing $700 more for more or less the same capability, most of the time. At 12 hours versus 10 hours of battery life, the Amazon Fire HD comes out ahead on untethered operation, too. Then too, the Fire HD Plus Pack costs under US$300. The device even accommodates a MicroSD card for added storage capability (which the iPad does not, though you can attach storage through its input port, using a special US$13 to 20 adapter).

What’s fascinating to me, though, is the front-and-center add-in on the Fire HD of a Microsoft 365 subscription. Though it means you can use the unit for web-based Office right away, I’m also convinced it will be usable as a Cloud PC client (as will the iPad also, no doubt) when that comes out later this year. Thus, either platform will serve as a “thin client” for my Windows 10 stuff sooner or later.

To me that raises the very real question of why I should spend 333% more to get an iPad? Shoot, it looks like Fire HD can do most of what I need for substantially less. For a lot of people, I’m thinking that’s exactly what Amazon wants. I may just try it, and see what happens!

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Hybrid Workplace According to Jared Spataro

MS Corporate VP Jared Spataro delivered one of the more entertaining sessions at Ignite 2021 I’ve seen. That 15-minute session is short, sweet and entertaining while conveying big and important messages. Indeed, I’m recommending everybody watch this. For labeling purposes, I call it the “hybrid workplace according to Jared Spataro.” But of course, it’s really “how Microsoft technologies enable hybrid work.”

Details from the Hybrid Workplace According to Jared Spataro

Over 80% of managers expect more flexible WFH policies post-pandemic. At the same time,  more than 70% of employees should benefit from such policies themselves. The traditional model for work and workplaces is changing significantly and permanently.

My favorite moment was when he switched from PC to phone call in a teams conference with no noticeable sign of switchover (1:16). In fact, I was stunned.

Spataro recited interesting factoids, too.  He said Teams grew to 115 M daily active users. He also observed Office 365 users generated “over 30 B collaboration minutes in a single day.” He demo’d Teams channel-sharing outside organization boundaries, which is also pretty cool.

Another nice quote: “Office buildings need to be digitially connected and built for ad-hoc natural collaboration with people in the office, working from home, or connecting even from the factory floor.” Indeed, that’s something I’d like to see happen sooner, not later.

Digital whiteboards appear as creativity enablers. They bring in-room meeting participants and remote workers together (through their PCs). Sometime soon, mobile devices will enter the mix, and let users on any device share their displays with others. Meetings will occur in the context of virtual, flexible meeting spaces. MS calls those spaces immersive, fluid, dynamic, content-forward and designed for sharing and brainstorming. Looks pretty cool, actually.

The Future’s So Bright…

A certain amount of breathless hype is always good for the compost heap. But the story that Mr. Spataro and MS are telling (and selling) is actually darned compelling. I, for one, hope to see it come to life in the near future. For once, I’m seeing a future that I could get into, and even enjoy. Check it out!

 

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Samsung Network Printer Goes Missing

OK, I admit it. I hadn’t set up DHCP reservations on my LAN. I could try to blame the Spectrum-supplied router that provides DHCP, but it’s really my fault. Thus, when I saw my Samsung ML-2581ND laser printer was offline yesterday morning, I immediately knew what was up. Generally, when the Samsung Network Printer goes missing on my LAN it’s because DHCP has assigned it a different IP address.

Look at the lead-in graphic for this story. There you’ll see that the device (Samsung ML-2850) is associated to Private IP 192.168.1.126. It had previously been …127. And as soon as I changed that address selection on the Ports tab of Printer Properties, it started working again. So how did I figure out which port it had actually been assigned?

When Samsung Network Printer Goes Missing, Then What?

That’s when I call on one of Nir Sofer’s handy network utilities — namely NetBScanner. It quickly scans the local cable segment on its address range. In fact, the program is smart enough to figure that out on its own, after which it supplies a short list of all occupied addresses in that range. Here’s what I saw when I scanned my local wired Ethernet:

Samsung Network Printer Goes Missing.NetBscan-results

Notice the entry for …126 which also shows the device name SAMSUNGNWP. That’s what I want!

It turns out I already had defined this address in the Ports tab, so all I had to do was switch the device from the now-incorrect …127 entry to the current …126 entry and it was done. That meant unchecking the box next to the former, and checking the box next to the latter. Dead simple, quick and easy to fix. As long as you know how, that is…

The Right Fix is a DHCP Reservation

DHCP lets admins make static address assignments from the IP address pool it manages. That way, devices like servers and printers can keep the same address forever, and DHCP won’t move those assignments around, as it otherwise might. That shows up under the Advanced and DHCP tabs on my Askey RAC2V1K boundary device. I reserved the …126 address for the Samsung ML-2850 and also the …15 address for my Dell Color Laser CB745E. The latter is shown here:

Samsung Network Printer Goes Missing.DellCPres

By supplying the MAC address and the desired (reserved) IP address, you tell DHCP “hands off” for future assignments.
[Click image for full-sized view.]

So now, I’ve done what I should have done long ago, thanks to sharing my (prior) shame with you, dear readers. Live and learn!

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