Future Proofing the Blackberry Playbook: An Optimistic Two More Years of Regular Use

I picked up my Playbook today and started thinking about how much longer I would be using it on a regular basis. This lead me down the path of thinking about what I can do to future proof my Playbook for at least another year (two years optimistically). I also wanted to open this up to the Crackberry community to learn if there is anything that current users are doing to maximize their use and to prepare for continued use for a least the foreseeable future.

The first thing that I did today was to purchase any accessories that I haven’t bought before and would see myself using in the future. It was easy enough to find a case and a cable or two at an extremely insignificant cost. The second thing I did was to back up any essential android APKs that I use on my Playbook regularly. This included Linkedin, Evernote, Dropbox, and Officesuite Pro. Thankfully most of these apps are still supported by the Playbook android runtime or what I believes is Android 2.3 Gingerbread (Don’t quote me). The third thing I did was to go through Blackberry World which is something that ended up not being necessary. I did a sweep for any apps that I wanted to make sure I had loaded on the device in the instance that Blackberry does away with the App World on the Playbook (It would come as no surprise at this point). Unfortunately, anything worth downloading I already had. It really is depressing to take a walkthrough the Playbook App World. It’s like the graveyard where apps go to die… but, to continue… the new thing I did was to make sure that all of my accounts on the Playbook were configured correctly. The final step I took was to delete any unnecessary files from the device to make sure that it’s performing as well as it can.

That is really all that I could think of. Thankfully, it’s easy enough to get files onto and off the Playbook so as a multimedia player, I still plan to get a significant amount of use out of the device. It’s also still great as an on-the-fly content creation device. For my purposes, the quality of the video recording still really great for short form video clips.

All in all, I can still see myself using the Playbook for at least another year. The point at which I will probably taper off use of the device will be when the device really starts to lag in comparison to my other devices. For right now though, it’s not that big of a concern for what I use it for so here’s to another year of Playbook use.

What are your ideas? Has anyone else taken similar steps? Do you see yourself using the Playbook for much longer? Let me know your ideas. I know there are still a lot of users out there so hopefully there are some practical solutions out there for those of us who want to keep using our Playbooks.


My Lubuntu Desktop

This is a screenshot of my Lubuntu desktop. Lubuntu has become my second favorite Linux distribution. It’s elegant, efficient, light, and full-features. It’s a must check out.Lubuntu Desktop

My Solution to the Flash on Linux Problem

It’s well-known news at this point that Adobe is no longer going to put out updated version of flash for Linux. They’ll just continue to put out security backports for the latest version. In the Linux community, I know this has been a major point of contention and it has definitely made getting flash to work on several different Linux distributions a tremendous hassle. It’s just unnecessary effort. My solution has been simple. I just turned too my favorite tool on Linux, Wine, which allows for Windows applications to run on Linux. While I also use Crossover and PlayonLInux, Wine is still the most effective program. If you install Wine then you’ll be able to install the Windows version of Firefox and install the flash extension which will allow you to view your favorite flash content with no problem. If you’re someone who has been grappling with this problem, try out this solution.

Use RSS, Really Simple Syndication is Great

RSS is everywhere and RSS feeds make it easy to do so many things. If you’re looking for any easy to automate your content, then use RSS. My top three uses are as follows:

1. My Website
RSS is everywhere on my personal site at raymondaguzman.com. Using RSS has made it effortless to have a site that is live and automatically showcases new content as I write it. It brings my site to life in a way that is of very low resistance. I’d highly recommend using RSS if you’re someone who is looking for an easy way to make your site pop.

2. News
RSS just makes it simple to read and consume the news I want to see. It allows me to custom tailor the news that is of importance to me. My favorite RSS news reader is Feedly. Google Reader was my favorite, but with its impending demise, Feedly is a great choice that also makes it easy to switch over to it from Google Reader.

3. Podcasts
Podcasts have been one of my favorite types of media to consume for years now and its most easily distributed via RSS. If you’re not tied into a service like iTunes, then RSS is a must for any podcast consumer.

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The Open and Clean Workspace | 43 Folders

Raymond A. Guzman

From a productivity standpoint, I really value open and clean work spaces. Lifehacker has a showcase that specifically showcases user work spaces and that’s a great place to find ideas for your work space. I think that when you give yourself space to work it tends to make you more productive and creative. Before I personally get started in on a new project, the first thing I do is to clear my desk. It goes that a clean and uncluttered work space is indicative of clear mind. Simplicity should always be at the forefront. I’ve found that by simplifying my digital life and my different work processes, I’ve become much more energized to want to take advantage of my time. It’s freeing to know where things go and to follow through with that. That being said, I’d like to talk about some of the positives I’ve found in using the…

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Install Linux on Your Old Windows XP Computer to Breathe New Life Into It

Lifehacker is one of my favorite blogs on the web. The writers there are amazing and there’s always good content. I read through an article, once again by Alan Henry, entitled What Should I Do With My Old Windows XP Laptop? Henry does a great job of going through several different options. The option that he ends on is the one that I want to highlight here. Try Linux. Linux has come a long way and there’s a very low barrier to entry for new users. An installation such as Linux Mint is not only easy to pick up, but comes with very low system requirements. It will make your old PC feel new again. One of the other luxuries of Linux is that there are more distributions than you will find for any other OS. Start out with Ubuntu, Linux Mint or Fedora and then make the switch to more niche distributions. You’ll learn a great deal and add on years to the life of your PC. 


P.S: Linux Mint is my favorite distribution.

Use a Linux Live CD to Troubleshoot Your PC

Linux Live CDs are kind of the swiss army knives of PC troubleshooting and repair. One of the most useful distributions is Knoppix STD which comes with a full accessory of applications to figure out what’s ailing your PC and to fix it some 90% of the time. If you’re Windows installation isn’t booting then using a Linux Live CD can give you access to your Windows file system and registry. This has happened to me in the past. I had a Windows Vista installation that blue screened, but thankfully Opensuse 10 allowed me to fix the registry problem, boot my Windows partition and find a permanent solution. If you’re Windows installation can’t be repaired or put into a bootable state, you can use a Linux Live CD to safely pull your data off your Windows partition. These are two of many problems that a Linux Live CD can resolve. Use Linux Live CDs to troubleshoot your PC.