Welcome to InterconnectNow - Interconnected Technologies' blog about technology and other items of interest to small businesses and individuals.

The topics here will usually deal with productivity-enhancing technologies of interest to small businesses and individuals, but are often of broader interest.  Productivity is the goal of all of this technology that we use. Enabling productivity through refining or adding technology-based capabilities is what we're obsessed with at Interconnected Technologies, and so this blog is dedicated to discussions of all things related to that.


Entries in Android (18)


Rackspace Exchange Account setup

One of the best and most powerful capabilities of hosted Microsoft Exchange service is the ability to use it seamlessly on mobile device(s), computer(s), and via the web. image

Rackspace provides a handy reference site for setting up your account on a wide range of devices.

Go to the Rackspace Email Help facility here:


Enter your email address and password.

You will be shown which Exchange platform you are using, and then given links to show how to set up the account on various devices.

If you need additional assistance setting up your account on any particular device, let us know!


And the winner and still champion is . . .

. . . the Droid Razr Maxx! Yesterday I bought a Samsung Galaxy S III (SGS3) phone from Verizon. Few of you will be amazed at that since many of you know that this will be about the 20th phone I’ve tried over the past 2+ years (I’ve lost count).

The SGS3 is really quite something – fast, huge beautiful screen, typical Samsung Android excellence – and against any other phone it would be a strong competitor. However, I’ve gotten spoiled by one big thing and a couple of small things about the Droid Razr Maxx:

  1. Battery life. There isn’t another smartphone that’s even close to the Maxx. I have become accustomed to getting a whole day’s use out of my phone without running for the charger during the day. The SGS3 is good, but in using it today I got the awesome and terrible low battery warning by about 3pm. Before the Maxx I really had no choice – they all run out of juice well before the end of my day.
  2. Universal search. Searching on the Maxx searches Google and also several other things on the phone such as the address book, Google Drive, Music, Facebook, etc. Very handy, and removed from the SGS3, apparently as a result of the Apple suit against Samsung.

Really, the other differences are pretty trivial. Address book sync doesn’t work as well as the Maxx with my car’s Bluetooth system; the SGS3 is slightly more difficult to hold than the Maxx. There are a few other minor areas in which the Maxx wins that I can’t even recall now. On balance, though, Motorola really got things right on the Razr Maxx, especially with the recent operating system update. The SGS3 is a great phone, and so is the Maxx.

With HTC’s recent difficulties, on any other carrier the SGS3 is the clear frontrunner. On Verizon, if you care about battery life as I do, the Maxx still comes out on top!


Windows 8–lots of little things, and one big one, make it great


This should be an interesting year for personal computing. The Intel Ultrabook concept will come into its own, Apple will make the Pro and the Air and the iPad  is even better, Android tablets will finally come into their own with Ice Cream Sandwich . . . and the thing that could change the whole game: Windows 8. I’ve been using it for a couple of months and I have to say now that I’ve adjusted my thinking to it (yes, that had to happen) I have a hard time going back to Windows 7 or to Android, or to anything else. Why?

  1. All the little things, yes. Touch screen handling is silky smooth edge to edge. Performance is snappy everywhere (even compared to Windows 7, and remember: this is a BETA I’m using). The preview apps for photos, news, finance, weather and more are beautiful, functional and informative. The cross-everything search function is nice. Internet Explorer 10 is amazing: it’s beautiful and snappy and all that, and there are lots of little things like underscored spell check in web forms (good by again, Firefox), swiping for forward and back (just like Tony Stark, but not in 3D), and on and on. And I've just scratched the surface.
  2. The big thing: it’s still Windows, and it runs desktops, laptops and tablets.
  3. Reflect on #2 for a moment. Windows 8 is still Windows. All my stuff that works on Windows 7 also works on Windows 8 (mostly – it’s still a Beta). That’s most of most people’s stuff, even now.
  4. OK, it’s still Windows and runs my stuff; so what? What: it’s got a split personality: Metro and Aero. Aero is what Windows 7 looks like. Metro looks like the picture above. Now, there are lots of very famous and popular bloggers who complain about this. Why do we need both? It’s ugly and inconsistent! But I love it! I, along with millions of other computer users, have been using computers and tablets for awhile now. The computer is where the “work” gets done, mostly, and the tablet is where the “fun” happens, mostly. Do you see it? Metro is where the tablety ‘fun’ happens: read, look at pictures, browse, look at news, use apps. Aero is where the computery ‘work’ happens: Outlook, Word, time recording, photo editing, and so on. If you run this on a convertible tablet like the ThinkPad x220t on which I’m typing this (in Live Writer, under Aero – it’s "work", after all), it’s like having two devices in one: a computer and a tablet. But it’s a tablet. And it’s a computer. And it’s all on one device. No compromises.
  5. Reflect on #4 for a moment. It’s the ultimate “two devices in one” with almost no compromises (other than having to get used to it).

I read an article recently (can't recall where, so can't attribute) that mentioned the concept of people having a laptop, getting a tablet to replace it, trying that for awhile, and ending up carrying around both devices because the tablet just couldn't cut it.


That’s all for now. This thing’s going to be big!


Windows 8 is coming!



Just a placeholder, a forecast, a prediction, a hope. Windows 8 is coming. Most people have heard that in one way or another or seen a picture, or something.

Windows 8, if done correctly, can change everything. We’ve worked with clients to give them access to much of their Windows “stuff” on smartphones and tablets in some way shape or form. It’s not straightforward, no matter what Microsoft, Apple, Egnyte, or anyone else says. Imagine if your smartphone or tablet actually ran Windows, and ran it well - if your stuff were just there, in largely the same way in largely the same place across your phone, tablet, laptop and desktop.

That would really be something. And Windows is really the only platform that could do it, given current market share numbers.

But we’re not talking about Windows as we all know it. We’re talking about the same Windows files and data and applications, but running in an entirely different way, on an entirely different OS.

We’ve been looking at Windows 8’s beta release for a couple of months and like all betas it’s not finished yet, but if Microsoft can pull this off, it has the potential to make using a phone, tablet, laptop and desktop a much more seamless experience than has been possible, or could be possible, with any other platform, ever. With the futures of Microsoft, Intel, AMD, Dell, Lenovo, HP, Nokia, the cellular carriers, and a thousand other companies that nobody’s ever heard of all tied up together in this, there certainly is potential for a circular firing squad. If, however, they can focus and really bring this off, it’ll be the most significant platform upgrade since Windows itself. And yes, I do know about MacOS. And yes, I’m guessing Apple has a few tricks up its sleeve too – MacOS 11 anyone? iOS 6? Maybe some convergence? A unified MacOS and iOS would be significant, since Apple still has a majority share of the tablet market, and a significant share of the smartphone market. But this would pale in comparison to what Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 have the potential to do, if done correctly.

The convergence of phone, tablet, laptop and desktop. Not to mention radio, television, and movies, is happening. Microsoft and Apple still control the computer market with 92% and 4% respectively (that’s 96% total; the rest is Linux and “other”), and while Android tops the smartphone market, and will probably continue to do so, Gartner and IDC have predicted that Windows Phone will be #2 within 3 years. And Windows 8 comes out this year, maybe along with Windows Phone 8, which will in some large part be based on Windows 8.

This all started just a couple of years ago, remember, and 2012 may not be the year that the earth changes rotation and we all go flying off into space, but Windows 8, Windows Phone 8 and maybe MacOS 11 and some sort of MacOS/iOS convergence, could be the earth-shattering occurrences the Mayans predicted!

This should be fun.

Just in time for Christmas!



Every now and then I come across something that just works well and is very cool. Such a thing is the new feature of Dropbox wherein its Android app automatically uploads pictures. No longer do we lowly Windows / Android users have to feel jealous of the image in the Apple ads that shows someone taking a picture on an iPhone and having that picture show up on a computer and a tablet.

And we don’t have to deal with iCloud.

And we don’t have to pay for it either! Dropbox for basic use (and that’s all it’s really suited for, given recent security lapses) is free.

There is a tool called DropSync which I’ve not yet investigated, but which may offer expanded function beyond this specific cool feature which is included in Dropbox.

Not only does this make pictures taken on an Android device almost immediately available on one’s computer, it also serves as a functional backup for pictures captured on the phone.

N.B. There are some considerations:

1. This tool uploads all of your pictures into one big folder, called Camera Uploads. It does not distinguish between or among various folders on a single device or multiple devices. Everything ends up in one folder. If the goal is to eventually take the pictures from the camera and file them away like one does with a “regular” digital camera, this is fine.

2. To accomplish #1, above, this tool *renames* all of your photos to a standard which I happen to like: yyyy-mm-dd hh.mm.ss. It’s about as close to the ISO standard for date and time (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ISO_8601) as one can come in an operating system that doesn’t allow the colon “:” character in a file name (what were those ISO people thinking?), which is good. It’s a naming standard that allows for varying sources to contribute to a common folder with unique file names, as long as you’re not taking pictures with two different devices at the exact same second.

3. It’ll use your bandwidth, if that matters to you. By default it uploads pictures and videos.

4. There may be other aspects of this (what happens if I delete a picture in one place or the other, or start moving pictures out of the Camera Uploads folder into my nicely organized pictures folders?) which I haven’t probed thoroughly, but which may affect you as a user. Beware!

Given the other file syncing and access mechanisms available to Interconnected Technologies’ clients, this is one use for Dropbox that really shines, and is a reason to use it!