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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

iPad PDF Readers

iPad PDF Tools

·         iBooks is a native iPad app and can open PDF files and read them but you cannot annotate PDF files with iBooks.  Also note that if you open a PDF file with iBooks it will appear in your bookshelf in a separate PDF section.  You may or may not like this.

·         GoodReader  $5.99.  The reason many of us are willing to pay $5.99 for GoodReader is that GoodReader was the first very popular PDF reading tool on the iPad, it is cheap, and it still works very well even with large documents.  For the money, GoodReader it is an excellent tool to have handy in case some other PDF reader tool does not work right.

·         GoodNotes $3.99.  I actually own this one as well as GoodReader and I love the way it allows me to takes notes in meetings.  I don’t use it to mark up PDFs much but the ability to magnify the note taking area for general notes makes this a very good tool as well.

·         Adobe Reader (free and the current version will also allow you to sign a PDF document)

·         Evernote (free and premium edition)

·         PDF Pen $14.99

·         iAnnotate PDF $9.99.

·         Quickoffice Pro HD $19.99

·         CloudOn (free used mainly to open Microsoft Office documents not just PDF)

·         Dropbox (or your data sync tool of choice)

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

4G Is Not LTE

There is 4G and then there is 4G/LTE.  Don’t confuse the two.  Also, don’t feel bad if you don’t understand 4G as there is no real clear standard on 4G.  My iPhone is 4G, my iPad is 4G/LTE, and my carrier for both is AT&T.  I am in a major metro area right now and the results I have below are very typical as you go around the country.  I have been testing this now for about five months and here is a very vivid and very real world result comparing AT&T 4G, AT&T 4G/LTE, and Verizon 4G/LTE.

Tested speed with app:

iPhone (AT&T 4G)

·         Ping 124ms

·         Download .50 Mbps (no I did not leave out some digits this is just bad)

·         Upload  1.34 Mbs

iPad  (AT&T 4G/LTE)

·         Ping 68ms

·         Download  20.43 Mbps

·         Upload  7.73 Mbps

MacBook Air (tested via Verizon MIFI)

·         Ping 96

·         Download 16.86 Mbps

·         Upload   7.86 Mbps

I will let you do your own math but as you can see it is a VERY significant difference even with the same carrier AT&T.  LTE (Long Term Evolution) is an evolving standard.  Currently running at best as drawn up on the chalkboard it can potentially run at 73 Mbps up and 73 Mbps down. The fastest speeds I have seen with LTE so far this year measured out at 38 Mbps down and 27 up.

This past fall I spoke at a large MAP conference for a large NE state and discussed the merits of using your iPhone as a hotspot for the iPad.  At the time it made sense as the speeds were O.K. and as CPAs we love to save money.  Now, it makes NO SENSE to use your iPhone as a hotspot as it is terrible when compared to real 4G/LTE MIFI hotspots. Marianne, please let all your members know I feel bad that I ever recommended this idea.  Everyone, please spend the extra money and buy the iPad it’s own data plan especially now with 4G/LTE.

Apple’s Migration Assistant

I know this is not an iPad topic but the story is worth telling on this blog.  Apple’s Migration Assistant is a lifesaver if you buy a new system and want to transfer everything from your old Mac including applications, data, and settings.  Windows also has such a utility but I have never been able to get it to work right.  In fact, we are now also being told that we cannot even upgrade in place from the Beta test of Windows 8 to the final code.  Noooooo!  That would be too easy.  Instead, the loyal testers of Windows 8 (myself included) will have to format our systems and start all over when Microsoft releases the final product in Oct.  Typical Microsoft.

Last month I bought a new MacBook Air.  I use a lot of virtual machines.  I have VMs for Windows XP, Windows 7 Ultimate, Windows 7 Pro, and Windows 8 so you can see how the new MacBook with 8GB of RAM was very attractive to me.  While on the road teaching I went to the Apple Store in Charlotte, NC and started the process of migrating to a new system.  

Here is a brief summary of how the migration:
6:30 p.m. system purchased, left the Apple Store.
7:30 p.m. started the Apple Migration Assistant.
8:00 p.m. realized that using 802.11 to migrate will take from 24-44 hours this was not going to work well.
8:20 p.m. connected the two MacBooks with my Thunderbolt cable restarted Migration Assistant.  (If you are going to do this be sure to hold down Option-T while booting the source machine.  This will turn the source system into nothing but a Thunderbolt drive.)
8:55 p.m. done.  Completely Done!

I didn’t have to fix anything it was a seamless full migration to the new hardware and it left the correct new OS in place. End story.  Well done Apple.  

Friday, July 13, 2012

Lantronix xPrintServer

Having trouble printing from i-devices?  Well, this one will cost you around $ 140 but works even better than claimed in the advertising.  In fact, the installation took all of about one minute.  Yes, that is sixty seconds folks.    In sixty seconds,  the Lantronix xPrintServer ( found all the printers in my home network and I then printed web sites, email, and PDF files to various printers from my iPhone and iPad.  The only caveat is that all the printers and i-devices need to be hooked to the same subnet which should be very easy for almost any business or home network.   At first I thought I needed to keep this device in the middle of my home like a wireless router then I realized that it does not work directly back to your i-device but through the existing wired and wireless network so I plugged the device right into my wired switch downstairs.  This one is a winner and I would give it a full 10+.  I bought mine at  All the best!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

K2 Enterprises Crosses 100,000 Views on YouTube

I am very proud to announce that our company K2 Enterprises ( has crossed the 100,000 views mark on YouTube with our training videos.  See .  We believe we have some excellent training videos on Excel, QuickBooks, iPad, etc.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Intellicast HD

I have written a bit about Intellicast HD before however I have been getting a lot of good response and questions about this app.  Intellicast HD is a free app for the iPad (only iPad) and provides some of the best radar images you will ever see including annomated radar.  This is real HD radar.  Using standard iPad controls such as pinch/zoom, doubletap/two finger tap you can easily navigate the screen and the locate me now button works great.  You can zoom down to your rooftop level if you like or plung into the dephts of the oceans.  Intellicast HD is probably my 2nd favorite app on the iPad right behind  I actually use Intellicast HD sometimes to see a "lay of the land" look from space.  :-)  Happy iPad-ing.

Monday, July 9, 2012

iZon IP Camera

iZon Stem IZON IOS WRM-WA0-00 Remote Room Monitor

Well there is a first time for everything I guess.  I have never bought a bad product from the Apple store until this past week.  I wanted to get an IP camera setup for my home office that I could check and show while on the road.  This one looked great on the shelf but my instincts were telling me to check the reviews on first and they were right.  If you check the reviews you will see I don’t have to write much today to tell you other than in my opinion this is the worst product I have tried in ten years.  I spent over six hours trying to make this thing work with either my iPhone or iPad to no avail.  I recommend that you stay away from this one.