Windows Phone 8.1 and Windows 10

So I broke down and got the developer preview for my Lumia Icon. Best choice I probably made all week. I love it to death. Cortana is my new best friend. Geo based reminders, and the ability for me to set places and then ask how bad traffic is, is flat out amazing. Since my job requires a lot of traveling around Houston, knowing what traffic is like is a MUST!

Only complaints so far are related to music playback. There seems be be some random noises at the end of some songs. It’s definitely software related as it happens when playing out of different music apps. Now I just want the feature to be able to use Cortana with just my voice. Another minor annoyance is when someone else is talking while you’re talking to Cortana. She’ll pick up words from the audience and mess with your search.

Now on to Windows 10

The rumored reason that makes the most sense as to why they skipped Windows 9 has to deal with old code that would check for Windows 95 and Windows 98.  Essentially the code would look for the 9 and handle it a specific way. I still think that they wanted to call it Windows 2, but used binary instead of base ten. If you recall during the press conference they called it “Windows One” as a joke…

Anyways, I’ve been running the “Technical Preview” since I am a tech, for a couple of days now. The “new” start is essentially a cross between a Windows 7 start and an Windows 8 start. The functionality of searching from the start menu is still there. They added a dedicated search icon on the task-bar that is is a global search. Essentially the same search from the charms bar. They did not do away with the charms bar, but you cannot access it with the mouse like you used to. On touch screens it is still a swipe from the right. Swipe in from the left is now the same as Windows Tab on the keyboard. It shows you your open applications and you can click or tap the one you need. It will also allow you to “add” desktops. You can have multiple desktops, and switching between them is pretty easy. If an app is open in another desktop it will be underlined on the task-bar and you can switch to it. Alt Tab on the keyboard now shows you a screen shot of the app you are switching too instead of just an icon. The biggest improvement for me is the spacing on the notification area icons. I used to fat finger those like no other. They have added space to make it easier for us fat fingered people to hit the right button the first time. Windows Explorer also got a new start page. It now lists common folders and recently accessed files which is a huge benefit. I have not had any application compatibility issues, and the system appears to be extremely stable for being a “preview” release. Windows 8 was a lot more buggy at this stage of development. One other thing, all windows are now border less. You know that little piece of window on the left or right side that you would grab to resize a windows? Well that’s gone, well almost. You can still resized the windows from there, but you get that much more space for your applications to display info.

Stay tuned for more! Microsoft is supposed to be releasing updates to this platform so I’m hoping to see some new and amazing features coming soon!

Windows Phone 8.1

Well, I finally bit the bullet and signed up to get the developer preview… Since Microsoft just announced that they’ll be pushing the Cyan update through the DP I figured I would go ahead and get my Icon setup on it. So as of right now I’m finishing up the first update and will keep y’all posted on how it goes.

The Science of Troubleshooting

Need to figure out what’s wrong with your technology? Well there are certain ways to figure out where the problem lies.

In your typical office environment there will be multiple devices. Computers, printers, servers, and other network connected devices. Let’s say we have a user who is having issues printing to a particular printer…

The first thing to do is establish how far the problem extends. Is this the only user that is affected? If yes, then there is a larger problem. If no, then it’s more than likely an issue with the one workstation and most likely a reboot will fix it.

When the issue affects more than one person where do you start? Start with the common denominator. Everybody can’t print, so we start with the printer. Power off, unplug for 10 seconds, plug back in, and power on. For printers that should fix 99% of your problems.

Moral of the story is to not make something more complicated than it is. I have seen scenarios where the IT professional wanted to look at a switch to troubleshoot one user having network issues. That’s all fine and dandy until you realize that if it was an issue with a switch that it would affect more than one person. The fix for this issue was simply re-seating the network cable in the workstation.

Keep your resolutions as simple as possible. If you exhaust all your ideas for a fix pass it up the chain and or Google it. Chances are if you have a problem, someone else already had it and found a solution.

New Theme, New Beginnings

I’m going to try to stay on top of this more often. I really want to be a more active blogger, just haven’t focused enough on it.

I’m about to start my third semester at WGU Texas. Getting started a week late due to their admin department. Looking forward to getting this semester over with. First class is Intro to Probability and Statistics. Not really looking forward to that…

Stay tuned for more updates!

Why I may Ditch Windows Phone

I love my Windows Phone, I really do. However Verizon (VZ) is making it very difficult for me to stay up to date with the latest releases. And I’m not talking about a low end phone. I have a flagship Windows Phone, the Nokia Lumia Icon (929). Here’s my beef. Nokia announce the release of Cyan two months ago. Every single ATT phone that can be updated is already updated. Not so for T-Mobile, or my carrier Verizon. Have either of these carriers given an ETA for this update? No. Not a single word about it.

Problem 1. I don’t want to leave Verizon, they have much better service than T-Mobile and ATT. Some may debate the latter, but I digress as it’s not on topic. I know Android users have the same issue on Verizon. An update released by Google is delayed significantly compared to other carriers. Why does the Big Red do this? I pay a heap ton more money to them for their services than I would to other carries. Why do I not get top notch service across the board? Does VZ want us all to switch to iPhones so we they can be lazy and not have to update any other phones? As far as I know Apple controls the update process on the iPhone and every phone can get the update regardless of carrier brand. Why can this not be the same for Windows phone and Android? I know VZ and other carriers want to test updates to make sure it doesn’t botch their network, but seriously two plus months for one update.

What bugs me even more is that an update to the update has already been released by Microsoft, and now they are already hyping the next major update. That’s all fine and dandy, I would love to have the latest and greatest updates if my carrier would let me.

Problem 2. I don’t want an iPhone. I to this day do not own or use an Apple product on any of my devices. Why? I just don’t. I’m not a fan of the way they market their products. Plain and simple. However being able to have my phone updated in a reasonable amount of time is tempting.

I’ve been a Windows Phone fan since before Windows Phone existed. I can go back to the days of Windows Mobile 6 and 6.1. I loved my phones back then and I still love my Icon. I just want my updates.

I’d love to hear from others who are in the same boat. Comment below.

Surface Pro 3 Review

So I have been playing with my brand new Surface Pro 3 for a couple of days now. I must say I am pretty impressed. As I sit here cross legged with the stand out and the keyboard attached, it feels comfortable enough to use, but does not give me the feeling that I’m going to burn my lap like a traditional laptop. The keyboard is solid and the friction stand is outstanding. The pen support is amazing. I’ve showed it to a few people, and they have been impressed with its functionality. The only thing bugging me right now is the florescent light above my head glaring off my screen.

On a slick surface it is a little difficult to move the keyboard into the more natural typing position, but this is to be expected and there seem to be no friction grips on the bottom at all. Not a huge deal, but it is kind of annoying.

The size is a bit daunting. I am still getting used to the bigger screen size. However, the increase in screen resolution is downright amazing. I like having a bigger work space. The display is crystal clear and responds nicely to touch. Pen input is good. I noticed sometimes when using Fresh Paint in order for it to work I had to press quite hard on the pen. When switching to my finger it was easy. Not sure what the issue is with that.

The Windows button placement change and the power button placement change will take some getting used to. The USB and Display Ports have also been moved. I haven’t had an opportunity to do an in depth review of the audio, but the speaker placement is forward facing instead of to the side so it is noticeably louder.

Overall it is a solid device. The one thing that is detrimental is the ability to use touch on the taskbar when the keyboard is in the upright position. I’ve owned an original Pro, a Pro 2, and now a Pro 3, and the Pro 3 is by far the best device. I would love to see a power cover for the Pro 3 as I had one for the Pro 2 and did not have to worry about having to carry a power cord with me. As a traveling IT consultant this was a huge bonus. I cannot wait for the docking station to release so I can take better advantage of it while I am in the office.


Been a while, but things are moving along. Busy with work and school. For those of you who don’t know, I work for Nfasys Technology. We specialize in IT Support for small businesses. I’m attending WGU Texas and am in my second semester.

Came across an interesting article today regarding the 8.1 update that was released on April 8th. Microsoft has stated that it will no longer support Windows 8.1 without the update. A little drastic in my opinion, but I can see where they are coming from. They’re looking to start shifting to a single platform, and doing so will require drastic changes. I mean Windows 8 was a drastic change right? Microsoft is also now accepting App submissions to the store for cross platform support. So if you have an app that can work on Windows Phone 8.1, Windows 8.1 RT, and Windows 8.1 you can get it approved now.

On another note, my Surface Pro 2 has been doing a fantastic job of keeping me productive. I haven’t had any issues with it, and I’m contemplating picking up a power cover if I can find one in stock somewhere. Read a review that said he was getting 20 hour out of his Pro 2. Pretty substantial improvement, and may very well be worth the cost.

Stay tuned for more random technology gibberish brought to you by Ryan…

The Good the Bad and the Ugly

Well I ordered my Surface Pro shortly after it launched. In February of 2013 I took a gamble and spent over $1000 for a tablet. It was a good solid tablet for a little while. It had its quirks, but overall it was a solid machine….

Until Windows 8.1 came about.

But 8.1 was supposed to fix all the problems with Windows 8?!?! It did, but for the Surface Pro it introduced a bug that would cause some serious issues. It started out quietly, not really noticing it much. The Surface would go to sleep, or so I thought. When I powered it back on, it would do a full boot up like it had been shut down. Ok, weird, but I can live it. Well then one time I put it to sleep, and it woke up, and spent the next 45 minutes or so sitting cooped up in my backpack. When I realized what was going on, the surface of the Surface was too hot to touch, and would not power on. Once I got it cooled down, I used the volume up and power button combo to bring it back to life.

But it doesn’t stop there! Over the course of a few months, the Surface would randomly restart when using the touch keyboard. If you moved it just right, disconnected, or reconnected it, it would randomly restart. No warning, no nothing. This started to get frustrating when I was out on job sites trying to work. As an IT guy when your stuff doesn’t work when you’re working for a client, they tend to doubt your abilities. Not a good thing at all!

So after enduring this for a few months, I said enough is enough. I went to the Microsoft store in the Galleria, and they were generous enough to spot me a brand new Surface Pro. Still a first generation, but I was happy with the exchange and went on my way. Not but a few days later, the restarts persisted… Now the first round through mind you I reformatted and tried everything I could to get the restarts to stop, but I found nothing. So I did some googling and found others that were having the same problem, so at least I was not alone.

I tweeted the Surface account to see if they had any ideas, but got nowhere. They recommended contacting support. So I contacted support and they were like we’ll give you another one… I’m like hold up wait a minute. I just got a brand new one and it has the same problem… We chatted for a bit and decided that it would be best to go back to the store and have them look at it.

So I took half a day and went back to the store. Sat down with one of the guys at the Answers desk and we started discussing my problem. The first 10 minutes or so he was skeptical because he couldn’t replicated it. I told him to remove and reattach the keyboard a few times and low and behold it rebooted. I told him I noticed the reddish light flashing when it did the reboot, so he knew then there was a problem. About five minutes later it did the restart again without him even doing anything. So he did a search in their “tech forums,” and found several others that had the same problem, but were unable to find a resolution.

So I’m at a loss, I need a portable computer that I can depend on as an IT guy. Yet the device I have has no fix for this issue, and I use it on a daily basis. The guys at the store offered to let me upgrade for the price difference of the Surface I had and the Surface Pro 2 which doesn’t have the problem as far as I can tell. Reluctantly I accepted as I need something for work. I’m writing this up to chronicle what I’ve done as to help others in their quest because I know I’m not alone.

Here are the steps that I have personally taken, with no avail.

  • Reinstall Windows
  • Uninstall touch keyboard driver then reboot Windows
  • Uninstall and delete touch keyboard driver then reboot Windows
  • Install secure boot keys from bios
  • Replaced device
  • Tried different keyboard

Others have suggested things and have not found a solution yet. Keep an eye on this thread for information. If I hear anything I’ll post. The guy at the MS store wanted me to stay in touch so I may visit him in a week or so to see if there has been a resolution.

A little different…

About to start working on a project that’s slightly different from my normal routine, but if it does well, I will be quite busy. Having talked with some people, I think this may be an awesome move. But we shall see…

On another note, school is going well. I’m way ahead of schedule which means I should be able to take some extra classes and get ahead 🙂

Work is going great. Seeing God move in ways I could not imagine. Lord willing I will become full time in the next month or so which will be a huge help.


That’s all for now folks, stay tuned!


A New Leaf

So I recently turned over a new leaf in my life, and I’m also going to try to not neglect this blog as much as I have… We’ll see how that goes.

I recently started working for Nfasys Technology, and I must say I love this job. It’s similar to my last job, but I get to work on a much broader scale. The schedule is flexible, and there is lots of room to learn new stuff.

In addition to that, I’m planning on starting school in September so that will be another adventure. I will be attending WGU Texas studying for a bachelors in Information Technology. It’s all online which give me the flexibility to work at the same time.

Needless to say, my life over the next few months is going to be interesting so blogging may become my escape.

Stay tuned!