Tag Archives: Computech

A Modest Proposal

If I’m using my iPad as my primary computing device, which Apple obviously intends I should, why shouldn’t the Facetime camera be on the long axis of the device, the side with the volume controls? I so seldom use the device in portrait orientation, especially since I have a keyboard/folio, that having the camera on the side is a pain.

Follow Up to Using iPad as Primary Computer/Apple as a Service Company

Since early September I have been using my 12.9” iPad Pro Gen 3 as my primary computing device and I must say it is handling the task with very few complaints.

Furthermore, my complaints are mostly about how iCloud works rather than how the device works. All of them center around services that Apple offers that, if they worked better, would make a huge difference in usability on the iPad.

My first annoyance is with Apple Notes. It syncs across devices and across accounts with shared folders. But it does so with glacial speed. If I scan a pdf of a document and add it as a note it will take as much as a day to propagate across all of the devices and users it is shared with. I have noticed it comes in two stages.

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In the event you haven’t discovered this new entrant into the world of search engines from Wolfram Research,  the eponymous company of Stephan Wolfram, makers of Mathematica, a widely used mathematical software tool. 

According to the folks at Wolfram Research,  the goal of  Wolfram|Alpha is nothing less than “…to collect and curate all objective data; implement every known model, method, and algorithm; and make it possible to compute whatever can be computed about anything.”  In short to know everything about everything everyway there is to know it and to make the information available to you.

As a result of that goal, Wolfram|Alpha search results are very different than Google’s.  In the graphic below a search on Baylor University in Google and Wolfram|Alpha are presented side by side using the Wolfram Alpha Google addin for Firefox.


As you can see, Google returns links to pages about Baylor, starting with the official web site, Wikipedia articles and articles from publications.  Wolfram|Alpha on the other hand, returns Baylor’s location, age, student population, population of home town, etc.  Very interesting.

I find both types of queries so useful that I intend to run the Wolfram Alpha Google addin, unless and until somebody decides it violates their IP.  Bah.