Tag Archives: Ipad

The Future Is Now

I recently discovered a video on “Citrix TV” that does as good a job as I’ve ever seen in presenting the big picture of desktop and application virtualization using XenApp and XenDesktop (which, as we’ve said before, includes XenApp now). The entire video is just over 17 minutes long, which is longer than most videos we’ve posted here (I prefer to keep them under 5 minutes or so), but in that 17 minutes, you’re going to see:

  • How easy it is for a user to install the Citrix Receiver
  • Self-service application delivery
  • Smooth roaming (from a PC to a MacBook)
  • Application streaming for off-line use
  • A XenDesktop virtual desktop following the user from an HP Thin Client…
    • …to an iPad…
    • …as the iPad switches to 3G operation aboard a commuter train…
    • …to a Mac in the home office…
    • …to a Windows multi-touch PC in the kitchen…
    • …to an iPhone on the golf course.
  • And a demo of XenClient to wrap things up.

I remember, a few years ago, sitting through the keynote address at a Citrix conference and watching a similar video on where the technology was headed. But this isn’t smoke and mirrors, and it isn’t a presentation of some future, yet-to-be-released technology. All of this functionality is available now, and it’s all included in a single license model. The future is here. Now.

I think you’ll find that it’s 17 minutes that are well-spent:

iPad First Impressions (Part 1)

This week I am getting up close and personal with a  new addition to our fleet of computers, the famous (or infamous, depending on your point of view) Apple iPad.

I have several reasons for doing this:

  1. I love my iPhone 3GS with IOS4 and I am excited to see if I will fall in love with a larger HD version of it. More is better when it comes to screen size right?
  2. Many of our clients (large and small) are either interested in, or have already decided to support iPads in their IT environment. And many of those who haven’t already decided to support them are feeling huge pressure from their users to provide some level of support.
  3. Honestly, my biggest reason for taking this on is that I am a huge geek and love to tinker with new technology to see how it might enhance my life.  If it doesn’t make my life better in some way, then it will end up collecting dust on a shelf or sold on eBay.

Even though the iPad has been out for a while, I wanted to share my unbiased, honest opinion from an IT consumer who also happens to be a technician and consultant.  It might interest you to know that I am a PC and a MAC (and Linux and iPhone and…) - I look at all of these as wonderful tools, and I keep them all in my toolkit and consider which one to reach for depending on the the job at hand.

My first experience with the iPad involved buying one and I grade this experience as a D-.  I simply do not like to purchase a computer online. I want to go see one, touch it, feel it, buy it and take it home.  I visited the Apple store a half-dozen times, and, after not being able to do that (because they were perpetually out of stock), I decided not to buy one.  But after six months or so, I gave in and decided to take Apple up on their standard offer to place my order online. I purchased a 16GB Wi-Fi + 3G model and an Apple iPad Case for $629 and $39, respectively, expecting to have an iPad in my hand in a couple of days. (And I would have, if FedEx hadn’t kept trying to deliver it to my office after hours when no one was there to accept it…but that’s another story.)

The case promises to protect your iPad and be a convenient stand.  My first observation is the case looks like its worth maybe $7 and while it does offer some amount of protection it is a terrible stand.  So my first impressions are not all that great regarding the purchase and the case.

How do I feel about the device itself?  I am going to save the juicy details for my next posting but I will say that after nearly 24 hours I am highly impressed with some features and functions and highly unimpressed with some others. Please stay tuned as I share my experience - I am going to be brutally honest and would invite you to share your thoughts and tips. I may miss some things that you think are important, and would appreciate your tips and observations, both pro and con. Hopefully we can learn from each other how to make this exciting device sing!

Will There Be a Tablet Revolution?

I read an interesting post over on ZDnet today that cites a Forrester Research report that predicts that tablets will begin to outsell netbooks in 2012. by 2014, they predict, more people will be using tablets than netbooks, and by 2015, tablets will constitute 23% of PC unit sales.

We can probably thank the iPad for most of the buzz that’s building around the tablet format lately, although tablets have been around for several years now. I’m on my second Motion Computing tablet, and had one of the original Compaq tablets before that, so I’ve used a tablet as my primary business computing device for the last seven or eight years, and I love them…although the way I use them has changed over the years.

When I first started using the tablet format, I thought it was very cool to carry it into a client meeting, fire up OneNote, and use the stylus to take my meeting notes. Over time, though, the “coolness” factor has worn off, and I’ve gone back to using pen and paper - mostly because I don’t have to wait for my pen and paper to boot up, and I never have to worry about battery life.

These days, I love it just for its portability. I’ve got a docking station in my office, and one at home, with external monitors in the two locations. It’s a snap moving back and forth between the two locations, and Win7 does a beautiful job of remembering the monitor settings. For several complicated reasons, the docking station is to the right of my external monitor in my office, and to the left of my monitor at home. I, of course, want to spread my desktop across both the external monitor and the tablet screen, and I also want, in both cases, to have the external monitor set as my primary monitor (because it’s bigger). When I was running Vista, I always had to open the display settings and drag the monitors back and forth when I moved between the two locations - Windows 7 always remembers.

When I travel, I snap on the removable keyboard, fire the tablet up in my hotel room, and just keep it there for the duration of my stay. I no longer need it for email when I’m out and about, because I have my AT&T Tilt (Windows Mobile) phone, and my Celio “REDFLY,” which connects to my Windows Mobile phone via bluetooth, for those times when I need a larger screen and/or keyboard to make reading and replying to email a bit easier. [NOTE: the Celio REDFLY is no longer made]

Side note: Battery life is better as well. With a full charge, I can use my REDFLY and Windows Mobile phone to take notes all day in a training class using the version of Word that came with my phone. My tablet battery won’t last that long. The REDFLY has a substantial battery, plus it extends my phone’s run-time because it doesn’t have to power the phone’s display screen when I’m using the REDFLY. In fact, I can even hook it to the REDFLY with a USB cable instead of using bluetooth, and recharge it from the REDFLY…but I digress.

Personally, I’m intrigued by the iPad, and think it would make a great plaything, but don’t see enough business value compared to my Motion Tablet to make it a compelling purchase. I’m more interested in getting one just so I can demonstrate the Citrix Receiver for iPad to clients.

How about you? Have you ever used a tablet? Do you have one now? Is it an iPad? Have you ever used (or are you now using) one as your primary computing device? Do you have plans to acquire one and/or to support them on your business network? Inquiring minds want to know.