"The only way to be truly satisfied, is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do." Steve Jobs
Once "inking" gets into your veins you will never be able to live without it. Frank J. Garcia

My Surface PRO 3 'Must Have' Accessories List

Sunday, June 28, 2015

My impressions about the Surface 3

In this article I'll write my impressions after using the Surface 3 (S3) for more than 24 hours. It is not a science-based report because 90% of those who read these articles do not look for statistics but for honest opinions of those who have the opportunity to own one of these machines. I have the good fortune to own the Surface 3 (S3) and Surface PRO 3 (SPRO 3). The two Surface version 3. And this gives me the advantage of being able to compare the two experiences.

What has impressed me more than anything else?

The way this version of the Atom processor is configured so that the Surface 3 works at a rather low temperature. The PRO 3 is hot. I have the i5 version and it's hot. However S3 is maintained at a temperature more bearable to touch.

I've never been fond of Atom processors, my experiences with them go from temperatures that can fry an egg to a performance that leave much to be desired. I must say that Intel has come a long way with these processors. To Caesar what is Caesar's. Of course performance is still below even of the i3 but is sufficient for most tasks I've done in these first hours: Use OneNote, surf the Web, upload hundreds of photos to flickr from Onedrive! And Edit some of these photos with Adobe Photoshop Express an excellent program in MUI.

Another thing I like about this machine is its design. It is in my opinion the ideal screen size and format. And it is lighter than the Pro version. This allows to hold it more time with one hand without getting as tired as when I use the PRO 3. However, a smaller screen does not mean a poorer  experience than when you are using the PRO 3. The size of the fonts and objects are the same as seen in the PRO.

What else I like?

Well, 8MP rear camera has now autofocus  making it ideal for scanning documents. Something impossible in the PRO3 which is equipped with cameras of lower quality.


Microsoft says that it last 10 hours watching videos. It is likely to last that if the WiFi is off, the BT is off and the display brightness is lowered. Using the S3 as I have used more than a day gives me an idea that it will last me about 8 hours battery taking in consideration that after 4 hours of battery I still had 52%. But I have to repeat, in those four hours I uploaded hundreds of photos from Onedrive to Flickr. An activity that uses the WiFi lot and this is one of the highest energy consumers.

What would you criticize?

The new power connector.  The PRO3 uses a magnetic connector that has saved the PRO from falling to the ground when I mess with cable, God knows how many times. S3 uses a micro USB port. A step backward. But not only this. The sides of the S3 have some angle but the connector does not have this angle like it is shown in the below picture.

Microsoft entered the hardware market to show others how to make quality products and this is simple bad design. A product of superior design and craftsmanship and somebody has screwed up this detail. Simply embarrassing.

Would you recommend this version?

Of course. Microsoft is the only manufacturer of tablets that is constantly innovating in this line and the Surface 3 demonstrates that when the public asked for Surface Mini, Microsoft was there listening. This machine can meet the needs of 90% of the public and only 10% would actually need to climb to the PRO version....

More pictures here.

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

SSD Performance Restoration Software for Microsoft Surface Pro3

Samsung has released a firmware update for SSD made by this company and installed in Surface Pro 3. To have an idea of the improvement I took one screen shot of how my SSD was working before the upgrade…

And another after the upgrade…

As you can see the improvement is impressive!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Microsoft HoloLens. How do they work?

Without any doubt Microsoft's keynote on jan-21 got an epic "one more thing". Epic. Microsoft introduced its HoloLens and everyone were impressed. In this article I'm going to try to explain how this HoloLens works using what I listen in the show, what is shown in the promotional videos and what I know about previous products from Microsoft.

HoloLens are not like Google Glass

This is the first thing I must clarify. No, they have nothing to to with them. The Google Glass works putting a tiny screen in the visual way of your eye. In front of only one eye. Then your brain mix what you see with your left eye (the one with the visor) and your right eye (without the visor) to make you think you see a screen in front of you.

With Google Glass that virtual screen you'll see in front of you will move while you move your head. Let's say you move your head over your right shoulder, the virtual screen will remain in the center of your vision. The screen moves with you.

It can not be otherwise, since Google Glass does not have enough power to do otherwise.

How is the effect? Take your mobile phone and put it in front of your nose; Now move your head sideways while moving the mobile to keep it always in front of your nose. That is the effect with Google Glass.

The HoloLens doesn't work the same. The HoloLens shows that virtual screen as a hologram. Want to see the effect? Simple. Look at the monitor where you are reading this. Try to keep it centered on your view. Now turn your head to your right trying to keep on reading. See? The monitor now appears on the left side of your view.

If you keep on turning your head would come a moment when the monitor no longer would be seen, but it's still there, if you turn your head the other way you'll see it taking up space in your view gradually until being at the center of your view again.

How Do They Do It?

As I mention before the HoloLens are not the same as Google Glass. The HoloLens contains a Kinetic but focusing outwards. The Kinetic of XBox looks to you in your room and creates a 3D model positioning yourself as volume inside the room. The Kinetic in HoloLens see what you see, the room, and it generates a three-dimensional model of it.

Over this 3D model, with the program inside the HoloLens, the user chooses a surface, such as a wall, where he wants to place the virtual screen. The Kinetic in the HoloLens records that position in a 3D space and the program maintains that "hologram" in that position while you move your head.

The HoloLens integrates, apart of the "kind of Kinetic", also many other sensors that report the position of your head, movements and orientation determing the 3D position of your hear. That gives the necessary information such as the environment and where we are regarding it.

It's like setting a painting in a room. You choose a wall and hangs the painting there. The painting will always stay there and you'll see it from different positions while you move, but of course the painting is not going to follow you.

In HoloLens this virtual screen is like the painting on the wall. Once placed, while moving, the software in HoloLens maintains the position that painting / virtual screen in the same place, showing it in the glasses where they calculate that the painting should be.

That with a virtual screen, but HoloLens go further. Suppose you're a designer of motorbikes. You're sitting at your PC where you have an Autocad-like program where you have your wire-frame model of the bike. Well, with the HoloLens you can make a 3D model of the bike to appear as a 3D hologram to the left of your desktop. As you make changes with the program on the PC model of bike this updates your 3D hologram model in the left of your desktop. If you look at the 3D hologram model you will see it there. Your hand will go to it... and through it, of course, is just a hologram.

If you get up from your desk and look at the 3D model you will see that your glasses treat the object as if it were a real model and you can move the head around it and the software in the glasses will calculate what angle you're looking at and will adjust the 3D hologram position without your knowing. The effect is that you are viewing the hologram from another point of view and your brain believe that the object is there and it is real.

Now the Google Glass look extremely primitive, right?

In HoloLens if you need it, you can have a floating screen, not generated in 3D space but to follow you as you like with Google Glass, for example to watch a video while walking or videoconferencing. But the power of HoloLens is another, defining the 3D objects in space and keep them there and adapt its vision to the position you occupy in the room.

Do they need a PC?

No. HoloLens have three CPUs inside, memory and storage. The HoloLens are a PC. They are the "next-PC". They do not need a smartphone, no PC or tablet. Computing power are in those three CPUs.

The three CPUs are: a traditional CPU that handles the rough calculation, a traditional GPU which is the graphics coprocessor that all PCs or smartphones have, and HPU that handles all calculations of 3D holograms.

How do you interface with them?

HoloLens can be controlled in two ways. Those are the ways in which you control an XBOX with Kinetic. The voice and gestures.

The voice is simple, the HoloLens hear your surroundings and listen to your commands as does my XBOX Kinetic when I say "Shutdown XBOX YES" and XBOX turns off.

The other method is with hand gestures. Imagine that we define a hologram of a vase of flowers on the table of our living room. If we make the gesture of grabbing the object the program in HoloLens assumes you realy grabbed the vase and will move it following the moving of your hand until you let it go over another surface.

Or for example make the gesture of clicking on an virtual screen object (like the painting in the above example) and a menu with options will pop-up.

O zoom gesture with two fingers to enlarge a hologram.

All these gestures with your hands are seen by the cameras of the Kinetic fitted in the HoloLens and the program will interpret what you want to do.

In the XBOX Kinetic I show my open hand and move it in front the console like a PC mouse. This movement is reproduced on the screen as the mouse pointer. When I close my hand into a fist, XBOX see it through the cameras of the Kinetic and assumes that this gesture is like a click and translates it into a click on the screen by opening the game you have selected.

This works just the same with the "eyes" of Kinetic in the HoloLens which sees your hand from the same prespective your real eyes, but the principle is the same.

Uses of the gadget

Hundreds. I'll show you a few examples.

Place a "painting" on the wall which is actually a screen where you play videos from Netflix. You could see it from different angles as the real TV in your living room.

Working with 3D models that you are designing and being able to watch them in real time. You can build them with your hands, rotate them, paint them, place them in a specific area of your room and leave them there. Off-course, leave them there... in the virtual reality.

Stick notes on the refrigerator. Virtual notes will remain stuck to the refrigerator door.

Games that use the furniture in your room like game arena. You'll see the character jumping on your couch, or jumping from the couch to the floor or to the table. This is possible because your HoloLens use the 3D model of the room with furniture for characters to interact with.

Lego stlye construction blocks which merges with your furniture.

Remote assisted works so the program in HoloLens shows the parts to use and what you must do with them. For example if HoloLens were connected to the computer in your car it would show the pressures and measurement in the probes in the engine and the position the figures over the real probes.

Posibilities are hundreds such as seen in these two short videos filmed by the brand.


It was bang on the table from Microsoft to display his power of invention, innovation and especially in a moment when Google is recalling its Google Glass and before Facebook and its Oculus Riff hit the market.

The world of games is changing and the way we interact with them too.

And this is not vaporware. Microsoft did a terrific live demonstration yesterday.

You can see it at this website, in the "Webcast on Demand" section get the video played and use the bottom bar to play from 1:53:00 to 1:58:02. It's only five minutes, but of a great live demonstration of this amazing technology.

I love this new Microsoft ... thanks Mr. Nadella for returning the illusion.

PS: The club of the presbyopia, myopia and other eye diseases ask ... Can be used with corrective lenses? WE DON'T KNOW.

This article was originaly published in spanish at WINTABLET.INFO and translated by the author himself

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Apple's Users sad reality

Face it. If your carry two devices is because you are not totally happy with either of  two. You need two devices to complement each other.

She could have bun using just one device, the Surface Pro 3. But she ends carrying the iPad, the MacBook  and her notes.

Robin there are more efficient ways to work.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Did you get a Surface Pro 3 for Christmas?

Nice article with some tips for Surface Pro 3 owners. So if you get one for Christmas that's a good place to start.


Yeah, I know that most of the tricks are Windows relative but what's nice about it is to see how articles of this type are being published around the web replacing the old ones asking MS to stop making the Surface.

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Surface Hub updated

Surface Hub is an App that allows to configure the Surface Pro 3 Pen.

Well, Microsoft just released an update that adds the capability of disabling the Windows Button, feature many times asked by artists. Definitely a nice option to have.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Using Google Hangout for demos

Recently a friend of mine tested Google Hangout as a tool for demoing software. Basically he used the capability of Hangout to stream live events  to Youtube in combination with the capability of sharing the screen of his  PC (or Mac, that's what I think he was using for his experiment).

So I decided to replicate this test using my Surface Pro 3 and IE.

Test 1

Test 2

So it works. It may be not the ideal tool but it's free. Once the video is on Youtube you can do some editing there adding a sound track like I did in the second test. The downside could be that somebody watch your live event before you do the editing. Small price to pay, don't you think?

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Very little known feature of OneDrive

The OCR capabilities of OneDrive is a feature added back in August 2013 but I'm sure that very few know about it.


Source: wintablet.info

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Surface Hub.

Microsoft Just released the Surface Hub. Few days ago Microsoft released an update for the Pen driver. This update was in preparation for this tool which allows you to control the pressure sensitivity of the Pen and how the Top button behaves either calling the desktop version of OneNote or the MUI version.

How the heck