Quick Nexus 7 Review

I’ve been thinking about a tablet for awhile now, and I’ve finally just recently acquired a Google Nexus 7.  These are my thoughts on it after the first couple of weeks of ownership. 

  • At $249 for the 32GB version, the price is right.   It’s WiFi only, so I don’t have the luxury of being connected anywhere like you would with a 3G or 4G device, but I don’t have the monthly bill that goes along with that capability either. 
  • The 7” screen form factor is super handy.  It’s easy to hold, easy to pack around, just the right size for working with apps…I really like it.  It’s significantly more convenient  to me that the 9.7” screen on my wife’s iPad. 
  • The down-side of the 7” screen is that it’s a bit to small for general web browsing.  I end up either holding the tablet too close to my face or having the zoom in on the text too much of the time.  The larger iPad is certainly less work for every day surfing.
  • The processor speed is amazing.  I never have to deal with lag.  Everything is fast on it, all the time.  The difference between the Nexus and my HTC phone, which also runs Android 4 (albeit 4.0, and not 4.2, like the Nexus) is night and day. 
  • The built-in keyboard is horrendous.  It’s fine for entering passwords, but the auto-correct was so terrible it became virtually unusable the first time I tried to type anything longer.   It was bad enough to immediately drive me out looking for a third party keyboard replacement.  A friend had recommended the Adaptxt keyboard for Android phones, and I saw that they’ve come out with a tablet  version as well, so I decided to give that a try.  I’ve been happy with it so far. 
  • The only other thing I think people might miss (I personally don’t) is a back facing camera.  It’s got a front-facing camera so you’re fine for Skype, or Google Hangouts or what have you, but you can’t take pictures with it easily.   I’m content to use my phone (and my actual camera!) for that instead, so it doesn’t bother me. 

So for me so far, it’s been a great tool.   It’s significantly reduced the amount of time I spend on a regular computer for non-work stuff, and it’s really a pleasure to use.  I definitely recommend it. 

Xanderland Relaunched

After the better part of a year as a black hole on the web, I’m re-launching Xanderland.com.   I’m using a new blogging engine, so the content from the previous blog hasn’t automatically come over.   I’m going to bring the bits that might still be interesting to readers, or search engine users over, and add them to an archive category as I find them time, but most of the content is either no longer relevant, or wasn’t that interesting in the first place, so I’m going to let it rest in piece.

Here’s to hoping I a do a better job keeping the site fresh this time around.

-Xander

Keeping threats in context.

It’s amazing to me how much money we’ll spend, how much time and effort we’ll waste, how many liberties we’re willing to give up in the name of “the war on terror” which in reality is one of the more minor dangers we face in the world today.

The truth:  “We need to keep terrorism in some kind of context,” he said. “For example, every year in the UK, more people die in road accidents than have been killed by terrorists in all of recorded history.”

That’s a quote from Nigel Inkster, former Assistant Chief and Director of Operations and Intelligence of MI6, as reported in The Register via Schneier on Security.

Nachos

Vegetarian nachos, anyway.   I don’t know about you, but if I’m going to the time and the trouble to cook meat, I want to eat meat…Not sprinkle little bits of it over nachos.   Nachos with beans instead of meat, however, are both filling and can be prepared in 5 minutes.  Ten tops.

Ingredients:

Tortilla chips – Enough to cover a dinner plate.  (I like Tostitos Restaurant-style for nachos.)
Refried beans – 1/2 can
Tomato – Half a small tomato, chopped.
Onion – 1/3 of a medium sized onion, chopped.
Avocado – 1/4 of a large avocado, cut into slivers.
Jalapeno – 1 jalapeno, chopped.
Cheddar & Jack cheese – 1/4 pound, (little more than a cup, maybe?) grated
Habanero cheddar – (About 3/4 of a cup?) finely grated.
Salsa to taste.   I like loads of salsa, and I like to mix the medium Sontava Organics salsa that I find at Costco with the super-hot D.L. Jardine’s Habanero salsa.

Cover a plate with the chips, and dab on the refried beans until you have a good layer.  Then sprinkle the chopped tomato, onion, jalapeno, and the silvered avocado evenly over top.   Cover with a thin layer of the cheddar and jack,and then cover that with a thin layer of the habanero cheddar. Stick it in the microwave for a minute and a half to two minutes, or until the cheese starts to get melty.   Pull it out, cover it with the salsa, and then back in the microwave for 30 to 45 seconds to warm the salsa, and finish melting the cheese.   Then, pull it out and enjoy!

Nachos