For developers there are only one or two iPads

October 26th, 2013

Screen Shot 2013-10-26 at 4.00.09 PM


In Canada my math tells me there are 40 SKUs for the iPad.:

 (Silver + Space grey)  (iPad Air + iPad Mini Retina) (16GB + 32GB + 64 GB + 128 GB) (Wifi + Cellular) = 32
(Silver + Dark)  (iPad 2 + iPad Mini) (Wifi + Cellular) = 8

To developers 40 iPad SKUs doesn’t matter.  Almost all don’t care how large the storage is on the device.  So let’s rewrite our SKU equation to remove the storage parts on the top A7 line.:

(Silver + Dark)   (iPad Air + iPad Mini Retina + iPad 2 + iPad Mini) (Wifi + Cellular) = 16

To developers 16 iPads don’t matter.  Almost all don’t care if their app runs on a light or dark device.  Rewrite with the colours removed and merge the A5 and A7 lines.:

 (iPad Air + iPad Mini Retina + iPad 2 + iPad Mini)  (Wifi + Cellular) = 8

So now we have 8.  3 important dimensions for an iPad developer.  Each dimension has 2 values.  Size small or big; processor kinda fast or super fast; and network while indoors, or everywhere.

Depending on the application those dimensions might not matter.

Introduction for #ETMOOC

January 13th, 2013

Hello.  I’m Cameron Bales.  I’m a licensed teacher in Ottawa Canada who is very happy to actually be training medical offices to use Electronic Medical Records.  I have a delightful wife and daughter.

I’ve been a professional in the Educational Technology Space – I was on a team that produced a CD full of HyperCard stacks for an Introductory Physics Cours, and I’ve authored a business course for a BlackBoard System.

My B.Ed. was from Acadia University (Nova Scotia, Canada)  I was in one of the first classes there to use laptops in all classes.  Mount Allison (New Brunswick, Canada)  hosted my for my B.Sc. in Physics, Math and Engineering.

I’ve been hopeful about Educational Technology for a long time – three decades.  Sadly I haven’t seen much good, but I remain hopeful.

I’m taking this course to re-immerse myself in the current state of the art.  I’ve forgotten most of the jargon, and it’s been a decade since I’ve done any authoring.

At work we need to explore new ways to train our clients how to use our software.  Currently we do almost all our training face to face.  We are making tentative steps to do demonstration videos.  I need to help us figure out what kind of educational technologies make sense for us and our clients. Then I’ll be on the team putting the system together.

Rabid Beaver

August 17th, 2012

This will make you happy every time you hear it. The Loop’s Jim Dalrymple Rabid Beaver Ring-tone

From the beginning of Amplified #20; Rabid Beaver.

Kobo eReader Touch

June 21st, 2011

For Father’s day I got a Kobo eReader Touch a product that has been released in just the last few weeks.  I am very much liking it.  If you are a reader you should seriously consider an e-reader.

Yesterday at the Gym I was listening to tunes on my iPod, pedalling the recumbent bike, and reading on my new Kobo – living the geeky dream.

The Kobo touch is a very close cousin to the Nook simple touch most any review of either product could be a review of the other unit with the names switched.

The new Kobo and Nook have a new “less flashy” page turn algorithm.  E-ink works a bit like a Magna Doodle .  Historically the black “ink” gets “stuck” and the whole screen has to be wiped black and white with every page turn so the previous page doesn’t stick.  This was a problem with the first half hour or so of using the devices until you stopped paying attention.  The new algorithm puts off the full page flash/wipe for 4-6 pages – this makes the annoyance much less.  A few weeks ago when preliminary reviews were out for the new Kobo and Nook only the Nook had this – after 2 software updates on the first day I owned it my new Kobo had it too.  it is interesting what they can “fix in post.”

Buying books – you can buy books for the Kobo using the device while in wifi range, using your computer at the Kobo website, or using a kobo app on your smartphone – like my iPhone. Books you buy any of those places are available in any of those places.  Bookmarks in the books you read in any of those places are synchronized as long as you are reading in network range – put down the iPhone with kobo app, pick up the eReader and you pick up the same page of the book.  It is quite sweet.

e-book prices – if you are used to buying music in iTunes/FutureShop and have enjoyed the price of an album go down from $24 to $10 in the past few years – even if you still buy it on CD – you are going to be shocked at the price of e-books.  e-books often cost between the price of a hardcover and a softcover book.  You are going to want to have your eyes open and check out the prices on the different websites.  Leatherbound is an e-book price comparison engine that will show you the sad state of perfect competition that makes all the prices exactly the same.

Not much to see here

April 29th, 2009

Blogging is too much work when you never get a comment. On Facebook I can tell that people are reading. If you found me here – go get current info there.

Cameron Bales profile on Facebook.

Cameron Bales Flickr photostream.

Why are Cordless phones so bad? – especially Phillips

February 26th, 2008

Maybe it’s a test – how bad can cordless phones be and people will still buy them? We had some Cordless phones – they were Panasonic – They drove Sandra a bit crazy, but they were quite good.

Then there are these:

Not so good Phillips Phones

When we moved we needed Cordless phones with 3 handsets – we now have 3 floors, and I wanted Dect phones so all the Wifi in the neighborhood wouldn’t interfere with our phones. We found a great sale on some Phillips phones (the poetically named CD4453B/37). These phones are SUPPOSED to have a long battery life – 150 hours of standby and 12 hours of talk – Sadly not even close – I followed the instructions on charging the batteries fully and letting them drain fully the first few times, I try not to leave them on the charger if they don’t need charging… Sadly they need charging every second day, and if you put them on Speaker phone they will often die with no warning –Even if they still have 2/3 bars showing on the charge indicator- they you have to go around the house looking for a phone that still has some charge. I may try buying different rechargable batteries to replace the ones that came with them – but maybe that’s throwing good money after bad.

Why would anyone want different Cordless phones to have different memories on them? You need to program each phone seperately, teach each one how to get messages from the invisible answering machine, teach each one a good phonebook – yes you CAN copy phonebooks from phone to phone, but to do that you need to have all of them in one place, and hit some keys on each on – yes I really want the phonebook to come to the other phone. The memory belongs in the base so you don’t have any of this insanity.

The UI on these things is crazy too. Most anything you want to do requires lots of keypresses – and now I’ve lost the reciept and I’m stuck with them. Of course it could be worse – I could have gotten the next model up which looks and feels more like a relay baton than a phone.

Lesson: Don’t expect much from Cordless phones, don’t trust brand names, keep receipts.

Recommendation: buy something else if you can.

Lunar Eclipse 2008

February 24th, 2008

Lunar Eclipse 2008We all went out to see the Lunar Eclipse this week. I was sadly confused about how far I would have to drive to find a nice dark site.

Of course you don’t need a dark site to see an Eclipse, but for the rest of the experience it is nice to be able to see the stars too. We were able to show Cassie Orion and Sirius. I was sadly unable to find her eponymous constellation.

I was able to take these pictures hand held with my camera. Using the manual settings – including manual focus was a bit of a fight. Remember when taking pictures of the moon to use the sunny f/16 rule – on the Moon it’s sunny right now – even if it is nighttime. After the Moon is in Shadow (the colorful part of the lunar Eclipse) you have to experiment, or bracket, or have a really good spot meter to get the exposure right. My camera couldn’t get much image during totality – I think all of my pictures are during the lead up to totality.


Updated WordPress and added new Geocoding plugin.

February 6th, 2008

I’m addicted – what can I say? I added a new Geocoding plugin to this site – Now to see how it works.

I’m working in Woodstock NB this week, so if you look at the map that’s where I am.


Shark feeding.

December 31st, 2006

Last night we went to a local fish store and saw the shark feeding. I think it was a black tip shark, but I’m no expert. It was cool watching the shark hunt highly dangerous squid meat squares. Cassie is excited by the prospect of Santa bringing fish.

Ottawa Municipal Election, 2006, Mayor

October 1st, 2006


I am happy to link to more official candidates webstites – these are the best I could quickly find.

Ottawa Municipal Election Info: