DJI Mavic Pro – Toy or Tool?

mavic1On Tuesday, September 27, drone powerhouse DJI announced a game-changing drone to the world.  It is the DJI Mavic Pro.  Some have called it an “Adventure Drone,” which I think fits it very well.  It is a drone with the same intelligence as their larger models (Phantom 4) but folds up to a size not much larger than an iPhone 7+ box.  What this means is that it is something you can nearly put in your pocket.  Even the remote is smaller than an iPhone 7, and has a range of up to 4.6 miles.

The question, however, is this a tool or a toy?

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Wait. What?


So, I have been working in computers as a career since 1995.  A long time.  In that period of time I learned how to type, more or less, without looking at the keyboard.  I know, pretty much where the keys are and what they mean.  However, today I was corrected by a user here at work on where a certain character is located on the keyboard.

The “uppercase 1.”  Yep, I was told that the exclamation point was not an exclamation point but an uppercase 1.  As in “you hold down shift and hit the 1 key.”

Yep, this is the mortar that holds together the bricks of my career.  Open hand, insert face.

That’s a Wrap!

So, Louisville’s 48 Hour Film Festival was shot over last weekend.  We started at 7:00 pm Friday night and turned in just after the deadline (technical issues) on Sunday night.  We had a great time with the whole process.  As with all the others I have done it was exciting, exhaust, fun and frustrating, painful and ecstatic.  Yes, it really was all those things.  You really do run the full range of emotional and physical stress as you try and compress what should take weeks to accomplish into all of 48 hours.  Read on to see a synopses of the project.

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Meet Dracolich


Microsoft Surface Pro 2

So I picked up a new computer/tablet.  Did I need another tablet seeing as how I have an iPad?  No.  Did I need another computer seeing as how I have a very good MacBook Pro?  No.  Is it more than a cool new toy to configure and play with?  Yes.  It is like the red-headed stepchild of my home technology bundle.  It is the only Microsoft Windows device in my house right now.  And that is OK.  Meet Dracolich, my Microsoft Surface Pro 2.

It will be taking the place of nothing, replacing nothing.  It will be adding to my growing list of gadgets that I have for specific purposes.  It has already shown itself to be quite capable and as it is a full computer, rather than a tablet running on a separate OS, I can install anything on it I would install on any other Windows computer.  I realize my whole house and entertainment center is Mac OSX oriented.  And  that isn’t changing.  I have already installed Plex on Dracolich so I can stream movies to it as well.  I have most of the apps on my iPad and iPhone replicated that I would want, so the rest is to be basically Windows 8.1.

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My Vape Kit

The new big thing in smoking or for quitting smoking is Vapor.  In it’s simplest form, it is a nicotine delivery system with flavor suspended in a Poly Glycol or Vegetable Glycol solution.  The fluid, aka juice, saturates a wick (wire mesh, silica thread or cotton) and then heat is applied to vaporize the juice.  Same method as fog machines, but less chemicals.  Other than the ability to continue the act of smoking, complete with the production of “smoke” you get the following benefits:

  1. You can step down your nicotine intake to 0 mg.
  2. You can use these devices inside buildings, including bars, restaurants, movie theaters.  Use common sense…
  3. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of flavors ranging from tobacco to lemon meringue pie.

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New Travel Case

I did a short writeup of my small go case for computing, now here is the large go case for computing.  This will be short, as I have not had a chance to really put it to use yet.  I bought this on faith that it would fit my MBP. Everything about this case was mobility for me and being able to take my full kit with me, both my still camera kit and my video cameras (GoPro and a small Sony.) I was also able to include my whole iPad kit in TwelveSouth’s Book Book. It is probably going to be my last case. I cannot wait until my next trip to really put it to use. I would recommend this to anyone who needs a good really throw-around travel case. And It will be very TSA friendly, since everything is easily accessible and fully protected. This is typical of every Pelican case I have ever used.  More info and photo after break.

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More House Stuff

I have added some stuff to the house to help me monitor it while away.  I put in a blog a while back about the NetAtmo weather monitoring device.  On top of that I have some cameras set up in various locations to watch the exterior of the house.  I have two looking out the front, and 1 looking out the back.  I also have a camera set up to monitor my garage – mostly because I hate turning around and going home to check if the door shut…  I have also added a security system that uses my phone as the monitoring company.  This and my Belkin WeMos already in place and set up and there are only a few pieces to get to have my house the way I want it.

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So, this weekend I proceeded to migrate my email, contacts and calendar off of an Exchange server I have been using since 2001.  I loved it, but with the ever-tightening budget, I wanted to see if I could live on the services I am already receiving for free, rather than relying on a paid service.  Sure, it is only $8 per month, but hey, that can add up over time, especially since I have been paying for it forever.

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Weather Info

And before you ask, this is not going to be a bitch post complaining about how cold and snowy it has been.  Personally, I love snow, always have.

I installed a neat little bit of hardware in my house that monitors various aspects of the weather.  Both inside my house and outside.  Very cool.  It has a nice web interface to bring up what the station is gathering, and includes charts/graphs as well.  It also has smartphone apps that show  the same information.  All this is great.  The units work as expected and is my go-to weather app on my phone now.  It is called NetAtmo and can be ordered from their website.  Installation was quick and easy, even mounting the outdoor unit was cake.  The outdoor unit is completely wireless, and runs on batteries.  So far, after being on the house for 9 months, I am still showing 95% battery.  Very acceptable.  The indoor unit is plugged into the wall and sitting on the counter in my house.  It connects to the internet wirelessly and is completely stand-alone.  Please click more to see how I am now contributing to Louisville’s weather watching.

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