Starting Install.   Enter PC name.   Select wireless connection.  
  Enter wireless password.   Use Express Settings.   Sign in.  
  Enter account details.   Optional security info.   Installing apps.  
  Usage illustration.   Getting ready…   Installing apps.  
      Windows 8!      

(To view a larger image with a more detailed description tap or click a thumbnail.)

At the end of the first part of this series, installation of the Windows 8 upgrade on a Acer W500 Iconia Tab had just began. This part of this series covers the installation options chosen and how to properly clean up remnants of the last Windows image after installation is done.

Most of the installation options are fairly straightforward, as most of the effort is used to do the following:
          1. Establish a wireless connection.
          2. Create machine name.
          3. Create and sign-in with a Windows Live account.

This entire process is shown in detail in the screen shots above, but the most important step is freeing precious space after installation is finished.

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  Win Release Preview – tap Desktop.   Swipe right edge.   Tap Settings.  
  Tap Control Panel.   Add Features to Windows 8.   Download Upgrade Assistant.  
  Tap Next to review details.   Close window.   Create media.  
  Install to USB drive.   Open Setup.exe   Installing Windows 8.  

(To view a larger image with a more detailed description tap or click a thumbnail.)

Love it or not, the newest version of Microsoft’s flagship OS – Windows 8 represents an entirely new direction and focus for the software giant. Because of the tablet and touch screen interface revolution, Microsoft realises that it must adapt or die as many of it’s competitors in the industry have had to do over the decades. Redmond may not have the same mojo it had in the past, but it is still a formidable company with vast resources and knows that it must work hard to remain relevant in a world of shrinking PC sales. The new Windows 8 interface formerly known as Metro, is an acknowledgement by the company that the PC will not be “king of the mountain” forever.

Released gratis to the public by way of freely downloadable Consumer and Release Previews, these pre-release Windows 8 versions gave many IT professionals, developers, and enthusiasts the opportunity to become familiar with the new OS. Many chose to install these on PC hardware, and a smaller percentage chose to install on tablets running Windows 7. Being a tablet fanatic, I did both and installed on a run-of-the-mill desktop machine and on an Acer W500 Iconia Tab.

My key discovery was that Windows 8 requires a massive amount of free space to install. If you choose to upgrade your own Windows tab, I highly recommend you clean your drive as much as humanly possible before attempting the install. 15GB of free space is about the minimum amount of free space you can have and still install Win 8.

If you use Internet Explorer either on your Windows 7 or “upgraded” Windows 8 RC tablet, cleaning the temporary internet files helps greatly, as well as uninstalling unneeded apps, and moving the contents from your Documents folder to temporary storage. If you use Chrome as I did, removing the Google folder (found in C:\Users\YourUserName\AppData\Local), will mostly likely free massive amounts of space as it did on my tablet.

Upon clearing a minimum of 15GB of storage space on your tablet, ensure you have a blank USB stick with at least 3 GB of free space and follow the screenshots above to upgrade to Windows 8. NOTE: If you are attempting an upgrade from Windows 7 instead of Windows 8 Release Preview, use this link to download the Upgrade Assistant.

Part two of this series will cover the installation and steps performed immediately thereafter.

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Posted by: glasskeys | 05/18/2012

A hiatus…

After taking some personal time the last couple of months, I am once again recharged and will be posting some more tablet goodies in the very near future — including information on the Microsoft Metro interface, among other findings made these recent weeks.

Stay tuned and thanks again for reading.

I encountered the following erratic looping behaviour viewing Google+ in “desktop view” with Safari on a wifi-only iPad 2 running iOS 5.1. The only other application running was Settings. A screenshot with the iOS version settings can be viewed here.

Although the looping can be halted using the previous page button, I am curious if anyone else has ran into this odd behaviour using Google+ (or any other page) on their iPads fully updated to iOS 5.1 whilst using Safari.

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Posted by: glasskeys | 03/25/2012

How to setup Location Services on the New iPad.

  Maps application.   Tap location arrow.   Settings.  
  Configure Location Services.   Find my iPad configuration.   Enable Find my iPad.  
  Tap System Services.   “Privacy” switches.   App-specific location settings.  

(To view a larger image with a more detailed description tap or click a thumbnail.)

We live in a time when an ever increasing number of corporations, marketers, despotic governments, and fraudsters are prying in the personal business and affairs of tablet, mobile, and desktop computer users. Not only is this blatant abuse of powers quite despicable, the scum (esp. the corporate variety) that practice this abuse of power actually feel entitled to your personal data, much like a spoiled rich child demanding a designer handbag.

Logically, it would behoove (I have been looking for an excuse to use this word.) one to use any means at ones disposal to make the job as difficult as possible for the scumbags that practice the digital equivalent of opening sealed envelopes. To complicate matters further, some applications that run on your iPad or iPhone need access to a smidgen of your personal info for legitimate uses.

Location Services on the iPad and iPhone is an example of a situation where the user would prefer to share information with a specific app or small handful of apps, and in turn deny the privilege to others. As demonstration, and a practical example for use in the real world, I chose the Maps application on the iPhone and iPad in the screenshots above to illustrate how to singularly permit Maps access to your personal whereabouts and deny it to all other applications.

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Posted by: glasskeys | 03/17/2012

How to setup the New iPad (iPad 3rd Generation).

  Select language.   Select country.   Disable location services.  
  Tap OK to confirm.   Select Wi-Fi network.   Enter Wi-Fi password.  
  Wait for activation.   Tap Setup as New iPad.   Sign in options.  
  Sign in with Apple ID.   Tap Don’t use iCloud.   Tap Don’t use Dictation.  
  Tap Don’t Send diagnostics.   Toggle Register with Apple on.   Start using iPad!  

(To view a larger image with a more detailed description tap or click a thumbnail.)

If you do not purchase your iPad at the Apple Store, or opt to setup the device yourself, there are some decisions that must be made shortly after turning your new iPad on the first time.

Fundamental to your decision making process is the amount or type of data about your person that you feel comfortable sharing with Apple, third party application companies, and marketers.

If you are reticent in the slightest about sharing personal data with faceless third parties, use the screenshots above as your visual guide in locking down your new iPad. Keep in mind that keeping your personal data private is becoming more and more of a battle that must be fought as time marches on. A perfect example of this concept is the contentious subject known as Location Services. I know of no valid reason that office applications, games, utilities, eBook readers, et al. need to know my physical location in order to work properly. The only types of applications that have a “need to know” are proper mapping or direction finding apps.

In my opinion, any excuse or reason offered by an application to log location data is for the most part a poor, thinly veiled excuse to build a profile of your usage data and in turn sell or share this information to marketers, spammers, or worst of all – large corporations. The next topic on will show how to enable Location Services to make it available only for the Maps application on the iPad or the app(s) of your choosing (please choose wisely).

I opted to skip iCloud signup as I don’t consider it a cost-effective solution, especially for backups as the free iCloud account is a scant 5GB and only works with iOS, the Mac and PC, skipping Android devices entirely. If you want similar free cloud storage that works with virtually every device use Dropbox instead. Read this article on how to use Dropbox with all of your devices, or check out this list of all of the Dropbox topics available on

Additional providers of free storage include my favourite – the very secure SpiderOak. I was so impressed with SpiderOak, I opted to upgrade to the paid version of this service for secure backup of my home desktop machines. Box, a cloud storage provider used by many in the corporate world, gives away 5GB (and occassionally offers 50GB) of free storage to new users. More storage is available with SugarSync, Wuala, or create your own cloud storage service using Tonido.

So in light of this cornucopia of free or low-cost storage options, paying a subscription for additional iCloud storage seems rather pointless and silly.

Disclaimer: I am not associated or employed by any company producing software reviewed on this site.

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Finally the New iPad is available for purchase, with yours truly receiving his via trundling delivery van earlier this morning. With the rush of a new retina display dissipating, I pulled out my trusty iPhone and began snapping some obligatory unboxing photos that are expected of every new iPad or tablet review.

Because I believe that “unboxing” photos are becoming a bit cliché, I decided to justify my snap-happy fun and compare the new iPad with older models by way of a few side-by-side shots. These side-by-side pictures help show the “evolution of the iPad” from first to latest iteration.

On a related note, the photo of the iPads turned face-down best illustrates the differences in thickness between the three generations of the device.

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PicsArt - Photo Studio

PicsArt – Photo Studio provides a hefty set of easy to use image tools for image and photo editing,

PicsArt main menu.

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Photo Editor Ultimate Free takes minimalistic design to a whole new level.

Photo Editor Ultimate Free

The “Welcome message” and first of many messages you will see whilst using Photo Editor Ultimate Free.
The first of many messages.

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I recently decided to review nine different Android image editing applications to decide which ones are best suited to use on my Asus Transformer TF101, currently running Honeycomb version 3.2.1. All of the apps in this review were running on this tablet with the same memory and OS configuration.

I can say with certainty that not all apps still run with this configuration – some have been gratefully uninstalled from my tablet and hopefully from my neocortex and hippocampus in the near future.

The “Gang of Nine”:
Nine photo and image editing apps installed on Android tablet.

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