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Microsoft Surface Update

Let’s talk some more about the basic keyboard. I’m really surprised at how well it works. But, it’s absolutely going to take some getting used to. Here’s some typing I did as a test to see where I missed keys, etc.;

Once upon a midngith dreary while I pondered weak and weary over many a curious and quaint piece of forgotten lore while I nodded nearly napping suddnely there cane a tappig as if someone were gentlay wrappig, wrapping at my chamber door, only this and nothing more, S

Four score and seve yars ago our forefathers vrought brough t brought forth on thi cnotentit a new nation conceived in liberty and dedid]cated to the propisiion that all men are created equal.

You really do have to look at what you’re typing I order to make the keyboard work, It’s too easy to wonder off the home keys. And some keys are just not where you feel like they should be.

I like the pointer device built into it. It works with some gestures too. I absent-mindedly started scrolling with two fingers like I do on the POF, and sure enough, it scrolled. More to explore there. I also love having arrow keys so I can quickly navigate & select text when I’m typing. I note the lack of traditional function keys, but I see the new  functional keys across the top which allow you to control sound, access the search and other stuff. While it’s gong to take some getting used to, I think it’s a win because of how thin it is, yet actually responsive to touch typing.

One reason I’ve been very excited about a Microsoft tablet is because I’ve been very happy with the Zune music service (and my Zune music player for that matter, go ahead, laugh). I connected my music up fairly early and it worked great (at home, more on that later). Some of my songs, the ones I had purchased, were downloaded immediately to the Surface. Cool. But, my playlists were not available. They must be unique to a device, which sucks. I’ll have to see if I can find a way to share the lists. This is because getting music added to the list is more than a little bit of  pain in the bottom. Searching songs & bands is easy, but the interface to add them requires repeated swipig fro the top or bottom of the screen. And, it’s slow to respond. Then I tried to play some music on the plane.

On the plane, I go to play some music and it won’t. Just get an error to go online to look for help. Can’t go online, so one of the things I was actually excited about with the new tablet is having my Zune, uh, I mean, Xbox Music, available to me isn’t working. I did some searching and figured out why the music wouldn’t play. None of it had actually downloaded at all. It was all only available while connected. I’ll fix this later.

I did rent a movie from the video store, download it to the Surface and watched it on the plane. It worked great. The volume was excellent and the sound quality was very good. I was watching SD movies, not HD, but they looked very good on the screen. I’m glad that part worked correctly.

I’m still excited by this device. And, I’m much more excited about the OS now that I’m working with a device that it was written for. I still think Win8 on the desktop sucks, but here, on this nice piece of hardware, it’s slick. But the apps… And no, it’s not just the dearth of them. It’s the fact that the ones we have seem to be seriously buggy. The life of an early adapter, yes, but come on. For this to be a functional tool, and it’s close, we really have to have functional apps.

Update: My first post about the Surface.

The Scary DBA

I have twenty+ years experience in IT. That time was spent in technical support, development and database administration. I work forRed Gate Software as a Product Evangelist. I write articles for publication at SQL Server Central, Simple-Talk, PASS Book Reviews and SQL Server Standard. I have published two books, ”Understanding SQL Server Execution Plans” and “SQL Server 2008 Query Performance Tuning Distilled.” I’m one of the founding officers of the Southern New England SQL Server Users Group and its current president. I also work on part-time, short-term, off-site consulting contracts. In 2009 and 2010 I was awarded as a Microsoft SQL Server MVP. In the past I’ve been called rough, intimidating and scary. To which I usually reply, “Good.” You can contact me through grant -at- scarydba dot kom (unobfuscate as necessary).


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