Today’s post is inspired by a question that was put to me at work – how (if at all) do I keep up with the latest in technology? I was asked this by my manager while discussing my plans after leaving work at the end of this month (touching on subjects like training and further studying, etc).
So, a brief summary of some of my efforts to stay up to date:
I’ve switched from using Windows 7 to using Windows 8 as my main OS at home for the past six months (since the Consumer Preview). I do all my work at home on my Windows 8 laptop (upgraded to the Release Preview of course), which I know from past experience is the best way to learn and discover new features in an OS. After six months, not only have I picked up a few tips and tricks from a user’s perspective but also from a user support perspective with good knowledge of the new monitoring and troubleshooting tools available in Windows 8 (the Reliability Monitor, improvements in the Task Manager, etc). It’s no secret I’m completely sold on Windows 8 which I’m hoping to elaborate in a future post.
I’ve also recently started using Office 365 Home Premium Preview as my main Office suite on the same laptop running Windows 8. Office 365 is essentially a cloud powered version of Office 2013 allowing me access to my files stored on SkyDrive. The Home Premium subscription allows me to install Office 2013 on five devices and also allows me to stream a full version of Office on any Windows 7/8 PC connected to the Internet. Known as Office on Demand, I’ve tried this on my Windows 7 desktop and it actually works great, though I can’t see myself using this much considering I’ve always got access to Office Web Apps.
Speaking of Office Web Apps, I’ve been using this for quite a while but I’ve become more active since using Windows 8 as I’ve been storing more and more files on my SkyDrive account. My favourite Web App is OneNote, allowing me to take notes in the cloud, syncing perfectly with my OneNote apps on Android and Windows 8 .
Last but not least, I try and stay up to date with the latest news in technology by ‘leveraging’ the power of Social Media for tech news consumption. My favorite is using Twitter, where I’m mostly a silent observer, quietly taking in the latest news and keeping up with developments in the tech world, not to mention quick tips, tricks and how to’s. I’m also a regular reader of tech articles online, my favorites being TechRepublic and ZDNet.
I almost forgot about smartphone and tablet OS’s – In addition to reading articles online and supporting friends and family, I get a lot of support queries from iOS, BlackBerry and Android users at work (Wi-Fi, Exchange connectivity, remote desktop solutions, etc) to keep myself (somewhat) in track of developments in these OS’s. On a more personal note, iPhones are too costly, I don’t like the ‘executive’ Blackberry phones, and as for WP8, I don’t see the appeal beyond the “Metro” UI. I’ve been an avid Android user since Gingerbread (2.3) right up to ICS and I love the flexibility it gives me – don’t like the stock Android? Root it and flash a new ROM. Easy. (Yes, I know I haven’t got round to Jelly bean yet, but I will.)
End of summary:)