Three days :: Three Launches

by Volker Weber


Travelling to New York for a day sounds way more glamorous than it is. Airport procedures, immigration queues, being treated like cattle by security, sitting for hours on the plane. There are upsides: great hotels, the buzz of a wonderful city, meeting people. But if you don't have to squeeze yourself into your hands-on videos ("Hey, whats up guys, ... here with the latest wares") you can sit back on your desk with a much better working environment and watch the webcast. For me this happens three times this week:

Bonus event: you can buy an Apple Watch Nike on Friday. The Airpods are also supposed to be available at the end of October, but November starts next Tuesday and Apple has never launched a device on a Monday.

Lenovo Yoga Book :: Two weeks in

by Volker Weber


The Lenovo Yoga Book is a dream. It's thin, it's light, it's elegant. It would be my companion when I leave the house. But I am afraid it's not working for me.

One reason is dozens of quirks with Windows 10. Sometimes it does not turn on. Sometimes it does not turn off I assume, because the battery is depleted. When I tap on a link in Twitter, it inverts the screen before flipping back to show the page in Edge. I can't move a Window to the side in tablet mode; you do that to split the screen for two windows. When in tablet mode it always opens the onscreen keyboard first until I type a character on the Halo keyboard. The first keypress on the Halo keyboard often gets lost. The list goes on.

The more important reason is that I am not learning how to type on the flat Halo keyboard. Yes, I can look at the keyboard and type hunt & peck style. But I cannot look at my text while I type. Which is useless to me. How do I know what I am thinking if I cannot see what I am writing?

A less important reason is that I cannot draw on a digitizer pad. I can draw on the screen with Surface or iPad Pro but drawing off screen would require some training. Yes, I could use the clipboard and paper, but you cannot erase stuff on paper, while you can on screen. Awkward.

Lenovo says they don't see those Windows quirks and that there is something wrong with my particular machine. I will try again with a new one. But the other conceptual flaws remain. This does not mean this machine is useless. People who are bound to their office desk because of a digitizer finally have solution to work everywhere. And for people who want to use the machine mostly as a consumption tablet, it's the most convenient one on the market. I just would not recommend it for a writer.

While the Yoga Book does not hit the spot, the best new notebook I saw this year, was the ThinkPad X1 Yoga. I knew I could not keep it so I returned it as quickly as possible before getting too attached to it.

Six weeks with the ThermoPeanut

by Volker Weber


It's been about six weeks with the ThermoPeanut and my initial enthusiasm has been superseded by disappointment. Yes, it is easy to setup, yes it does work. But unfortunately not in any useful capacity to me.

Ever since the Eve Weather revealed it's disappointing Bluetooth range, I wanted something else to track the outside temperature. The ThermoPeanut isn't IP rated meaning it can only really be used indoors. But I have one Belkin Netcam HD which has survived three years outside and I attached the ThermoPeanut to its mount. Unlike the Eve Weather, it never showed connection issues. Remember, both use Bluetooth. Where the Peanut connects, the Eve fails. I was happy.

Ten days later, the ThermoPeanut was unresponsive. The battery which should have lasted six months was dead.

So I replaced the battery and tried again. Ten days later, it was dead again.

I asked for a second sample and put that outdoors, under the roof. I took the first sample indoors. Both with a new battery. Ten days later the new peanut was dead, the old one was doing fine. Now I knew that I could not put the peanut outside without burning a CR2032 in less than two weeks.

I only took the first sample indoors as a control case. I don't need to record the inside temperature because that is a steady 22 degrees Celsius, plus or minus half a degree, no matter what happens outside. Now I have put them in the fridge and it shows a steady 4 degrees for one zone and -18 for the other. If the fridge leaves its target temperature zone and cannot come back (door open) it starts beeping. The peanuts don't add anything there.

Maybe one day I find a use case.

Logitech K780 :: What a keyboard

by Volker Weber


This is one of the rare moments where I meet a product that checks out in every single aspect. The K780 is a desktop keyboard, that can hold up your tablet or smartphone. It's a full featured six row keyboard with numeric keypad. Zero compromises.


The most important trick is the Bluetooth switcher. You pair it with three devices at a time simply by holding down one of those numbers for three seconds. Once you paired your devices you just hit the corresponding key and it connects.


It is quiet, substantial and heavy. Not meant to travel with you in your bag. But it is going to live on my table for the indefinite future. Editor-refuses-to-give-it-back award. Probably the biggest there ever was.

K780 works with Windows, Mac, Chrome OS, Android and iOS. On MacOS and Windows you can download Logitech Options to customize the keyboard to your needs. It uses Bluetooth Smart for very low energy consumption and runs on two small batteries. If your Mac or PC does not have Bluetooth Smart you can use the included pre-paired USB dongle.


Last but not least, the materials are fantastic. Matte black with white accents. It sits on a grey plate that also builds up the hump which keeps your tablet or smartphone upright. Since the keyboard is heavy, there is no wiggle. It's all around solid.

In the past, Logitech has been a provider of inexpensive computer peripherals, but the last three products I have been using point into a very different direction. Both the Logi Base as well as the Logi Create are very well thought out and provide a quality experience day in and day out. And this keyboard continues on the same path.

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Fritz!Box 7580

by Volker Weber


Ich bin ein absoluter Fritz!Box-Fan. Punkt. Aber vor gut drei Wochen hatte ich auf einmal ein Problem mit meiner 7490. Der Sync zur Telekom brach zusammen. Ich war felsenfest überzeugt, das kann nur an der Telekom liegen, aber die war völlig unschuldig. Das habe ich schnell herausgefunden, in dem ich eine 7390 dran gehängt habe. Alles ging, also hatte das DSL-Modem einen Schlag.

Zeit für eine neue Fritz!Box und wieder sollte es das beste sein, was AVM zu bieten hat. In diesem Fall die 7580. Kennt Ihr die Systematik dieser Nummern? Die erste Zahl beschreibt den Funktionsumfang. 3xxx z.B. ist ohne Telefonie, 7xxx ist mit Telefonie. Die zweite Ziffer beschreibt die Generation: 70xx, 71xx, 72xx, 73xx 74xx, 75xx. Mit der 7580 bin ich also nun auf der sechsten Generation. Aber 80 ist weniger als 90? Ganz einfach, die 7580 kann eingangsseitig kein ISDN mehr. Brauche ich auch nicht, weil ich das letztes Jahr abgeschafft habe.

Und dann habe ich das gemacht, was ich immer mache. Und bin voll auf die Schnauze gefallen. Alle Settings exportiert, neue Box angeschlossen, alles reingesteckt, Settings importiert, und dann nur noch die DECT-Telefone verbunden. Ergebnis: nach einem Tag stand die Fritz!Box und war nicht erreichbar. Stecker raus, Stecker rein. Alles geht. Sechs Stunden später, wieder ein Aufhänger.

Und man hat nicht die geringste Chance, die Ursache zu finden. Der Support bot mir eine neuere Software an, die sich nicht installieren ließ. Dann kam die Laborversion, die ebenfalls nicht installierbar war.

Dann habe ich eine Nacht über das Problem nachgedacht und bin zum Schluß gekommen, dass die Fritz!Box sich immer dann weghängt, wenn Sie eine Datei schreiben muss. Also etwa eine Anrufbeantworter-Nachricht. Oder eben ein neues Image. Was konnte ich machen? Ich Dussel hatte den USB-Speicher einfach umgesteckt ohne ihn neu zu konfigurieren. Zur Sicherheit ein neues Medium genommen, alles konfiguriert und jetzt schnurrt die Maschine wieder, wie ich das von AVM kenne.

Merke: PEBKAC. Problem exists between keyboard and chair.

DTEK updates finally rolling out to all devices

by Volker Weber

We have become aware of an issue related to the updating of specific open market versions of DTEK50 in Europe with monthly security patches. The latest software will be available starting the week of October 17th. We are taking steps to ensure that future security updates won’t get caught up in any operating system updates which can cause delays.

- Alex Thurber, SVP BlackBerry Device Sales

Last week it came to our attention that some DTEK50 weren't updating at all. Some were still on the July 05 patch level. We raised this issues with BlackBerry and finally got this answer. I did not like the "starting the week of October 17th" date, because that extends into the indefinite future but I am receiving reports that the DTEK50 sold through other outlets than ShopBlackBerry are finally getting their updates. It's a pretty big udate with more then 370 MB so BlackBerry seems to be staging it.

A few thoughts on the Galaxy Note 7 aftermath

by Volker Weber

Lots of articles about what the best replacement is and I find them not very useful. Some thought in no particular order:

If an iPhone is not in your budget, neither is a Pixel. You will have to compromise. That's OK, but don't pretend you didn't. I have seen plenty of capable Android devices in the 300 to 400 range.

You learn something every day

by Volker Weber


When editing a text on iPhone 6S or 7, force touch the keyboard to get a track pad. #mindblown

Registration for Connect 2017 is now open

by Volker Weber


Plantronics updates the BackBeat Pro cans

by Volker Weber


I have had only one complaint about the BackBeat Pro headset: it's comically large on your head. But it does sound really great and it works extremely well isolating you from the noise around you. And it can do that 24 hours on a single charge.

Plantronics has been updating this 2013 design and came up with something smaller and lighter. I can't judge it from the photos, but supposedly the new cans take up 35% less volume and are 15% lighter, while sounding even better. I will let you know when I have a pair.

Plantronics should really hire a design director. Both the more expensive "Special Edition" above and the normal BackBeat Pro 2 don't look very intriguing. What is special besides the colour? The case and NFC pairing. What? NFC pairing is a differentiating feature? You've got to be kidding me!

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Ceci n'est pas un blog

I explain difficult concepts in simple ways. For free, and for money. Clue procurement and bullshit detection.


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