Odds & Ends

No rhyme or reason to this post, I just felt like writing some of this stuff down!

Winter Tires
On the weekend I had my first ever set of winter tires installed. My all-seasons were getting pretty bald, so I needed new tires anyway. I figured I might as well give the winter ones a shot! Thanks to Wikipedia, I learned that the two main distinguishing features of winter tires are the rubber composition (greater percentage of soft rubber) and increased siping (slits in the rubber). We live just a block away from Fountain Tire downtown, so I haven’t gone very far with them yet.

Windows 8
I had been running the release candidate for a while (in a VHD) so I more or less knew what to expect when I upgraded to Windows 8 on launch day (October 26). The upgrade from 7 to 8 was really straightforward, and you can’t beat the price ($41.99 with tax). The process took longer than I though it would, but I just left it for an hour or so and came back and it was ready to go. I know people like to hate on the new UI, but I actually really like it. And even as a mouse and keyboard user primarily, I find myself navigating around much more quickly than with Windows 7 (it really helps if you know the shortcuts, this primer is a good start).

Logitech Touchpad T650
I switched from a mouse to a touchpad last year and haven’t looked back (I find the touchpad less stressful on my wrist). Now that Windows 8 is out a bunch of new accessories have launched such as Logitech’s Touchpad T650. I ordered one from Staples and am very happy with it. It’s wireless, rechargeable via USB, and supports up to thirteen touch gestures. Swipe three fingers up and you get the Start screen, swipe three fingers down and you’re back at the desktop. It also supports the edge gestures, so flipping through open apps is a breeze. Definitely worth considering if you’re using Windows 8 on a desktop.

Windows Phone 8
Even though the official launch was more than two weeks ago, there’s still no sign of Windows Phone 8 in Canada. I really need to replace my current phone (which I dropped causing the screen to crack pretty badly) but if I have to wait around for Telus to get something in stock it may be a while. Maybe an unlocked phone from Expansys is the way to go, anyone have any experience with them?

Nate Silver
I’m very happy that Barack Obama won another term, though after paying attention to Nate Silver’s stuff I can’t say I’m surprised. He nailed it. Let’s hope this means we’ll see better journalism for 2016. I haven’t read his book yet, but it is sitting on my Kindle ready for me to finish the other dozen or so books I have yet to read!

Upcoming Events
There’s lots of good stuff to look forward to in the next week or so. I’ll be at the Startup City Luncheon tomorrow, and I’m hoping to spend some time at Launch Party 3 on Thursday. Friday and Saturday are WordCamp, and though I’m not speaking this year I am moderating the panel on Saturday morning.

Upcoming Travel
I’m going to be in London, UK during the week of the 26th and in Miami during the week of December 3rd. Have been to London a few times but have never been to Miami. I’m looking forward to both trips! If you have any must-see suggestions for either, let me know.

  • Colin

    I’ve ordered from Expansys successfully many times. I just happened to get a Lumia 920 from Build, but have still reserved an HTC 8x with Rogers because the 920 is quite heavy and I’m not that fussed about needing the 920’s awesome camera.

    • Thanks Colin! I had my heart set on the 920 but after reading a bunch of reviews, I’m now leaning more toward the 8X. I’d like to hold it in my hands first, but I would rather have a lighter, slimmer-feeling phone than the fancy 920 camera.

  • About the winter tires…my wife needs new tires for her van what brand did you decide on? Completely agree with Windows 8 and I’m going out to check out the Logitech touch pad today. I’m such a “Mack-wannabe” 🙂 Hopefully I’ll see you at lunch today.

    • Good to see you at lunch! Like I mentioned, I think the brand was Hankook. I took what the guy at Fountain Tire recommended.