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    • ultimusrex
      By ultimusrex
      Hey everyone. First of all, I'm unsure if this is the best place for this thread, so admins, feel free to move it, if necessary.   As I am just starting (or trying to get started) setting up a smart home/home automation system, and I am a huge technophile, it has always been a dream of mine to have a cool (and useful) central touchscreen control panel in my house. As I was dreaming up future plans for my smart home, I revisited this concept. At first it was a fleeting and fanciful dream, since there is no way that, on our budget, I am going to waste an expensive tablet computer to act as a mostly dedicated wall-mounted control panel. But then my eyes got wide, along with my grin, as I remembered the likes of www.gearbest.com -- with a huge selection of relatively dirt cheap off-brand smart phones and tablets. So now I've been thinking very seriously about this possibility and searching for a good tablet at a good price, as well as some nice wall-mount hardware.   So I'm wondering what you all think about the DIY touchscreen control panel for the smart home. Do any of you already have something implemented? I am trying to compile a list of possible uses for such a device, to make it as useful (and cool) as possible. If you have any ideas, or know any good apps for this purpose, please include them in a reply. The ultimate version of this idea would be to have a tablet eventually in most rooms of the house, maybe a larger, slightly more expensive one near the home entry, and smaller, cheaper satellite devices throughout. I personally would prefer an Android tablet for this, but if you have any ideas for an iPad (or Windows), please share those, too.   Here are some of my own ideas: Home Automation Control Center -- most likely using the mobile app for whichever smart home ecosystem you have decided to go with in your home Weather Station -- Lately I've been really happy with an Android app called "Weather Timeline" that I think would look good and work well Music Player -- I don't think this would work very well if you're a big audiophile, but using the tablet's bluetooth, you could connect it to bluetooth speakers in the room or a bluetooth receiver in your media center and play Pandora, Spotify, or whatever over them, or find a more robust whole-home music system that has an tablet app available for control. Video Phone -- using Skype, Google Hangouts, or whatever. Motion Sensor/Security Cam -- I know there are ways, with combinations of apps and the likes of Tasker, to have the built-in (front-facing) camera watch for motion then start recording or broadcasting when it sees something. Intercom -- if you have tablets mounted in multiple rooms and don't feel like shouting across the house to your spouse or children, you could "call" them on the tablet network. I know there has to be some walkie-talkie-type apps available, or there's always Google Hangouts with voice calls and video calls. Note/Message Center -- you could keep a notepad or sticky notes widget, or an audio note app, on the home screen so you can leave memos to your family, manage your shopping list, etc. Household Calendar -- using Google Calendar (or whatever app/service your household uses), you could keep track of everybody's agenda. Security System Control Center -- Currently, we have an ADT system, but once our contract is up, I'm hoping to cancel them and set up a self-managed system and use a mounted tablet for controlling and activating it.  
      I'm sure I'll think of some other ways to use a wall-mounted tablet, and I'll try to add them to this list as they come to me (or as I add them to my own mounted tablet).
    • sethman
      By sethman
      Does anyone know what program can view the the panorama photographs taken using the surface rt?  I have transferred the files but no native windows program (that i tried) could open the files.  Does anyone know the answer to this?
       
      Thanks!
    • ebot
      By ebot
      This is an advice posting, but I'll try to make the journey to the question a little diverting.
       
      I'm a casual scribbler. I love drawing; love comic books, but I've never derived an income, it's always just something I've done to have fun.
       
      I spend most of my time in IT in one form or another. I have some graphic design experience (studied it 20 years ago)... Purchased my first Wacom tablet for some crazy amount of money, but I could never get past the cognitive dissonance of drawing on a surface while watching the screen somewhere else.
       
      At one point I owned a Cintiq 12x? the little one... I replaced it with a first gen iPad, because I can't sit for long periods at a desk (busted spine) and I don't like being tethered in general.
       
      I fell in love with Adobe Ideas. Being able to freehand vectors (Macromedia! Woo!) and apply lighting effects via semi-transparent layers: Awesome.   
       
      Then I repaced the iPad with an iPad 2 for the additional grunt and cameras (Facetime my folks).
       
      Until the ipad 2, I drew with a stubby Wacom bamboo stylus. The end of the first gen iPad started a journey of disappointment as I went on to purchase and become disillusioned with around 15 different styluses.
       
      A combination of no palm rejection and no decent Initial Activation Force (IAF - a term that describes a problem I've always had but couldn't articulate)... At the end of the iPad 2 era, I was mostly happy with a Maglus.
       
      Then along came the iPad Air. The change in display tech (in the Air) made all my existing iPad styli mostly useless, including the Maglus.
       
      So I splurged on a battery-powered Evernote(branded) Bluetooth fine point stylus... And spent the next 12 months getting angry at it (because it was mechanically faulty and I didn't gather up the guts to confirm/replace it).
       
      Eventually I did, and the replacement is okay... But in the meantime I picked up an Apex - no Bluetooth, still no pressure sensitivity...  But all I cared about was IAF and having a non-stubby tip. If I'm writing notes in a meeting or just mucking around, I want every contact between pen and display to register, not some: It's irritating to have to 'rewrite' letters because the hardware didn't register the strike-though on a 't'.
       
      I gave up drawing on the iPad air. I still co-draw stuff with my 4 year old daughter, but we mainly use our fingers (Artrage+finger painting = fun).    
       
      Then this year, I was looking for a cheap windows 8 tablet to install Steam, so I could stream/play PC games on the couch while my wife watches bad TV.
       
      I picked up an Ausus VivoTab Note 8 (32Gig) for $200 on Amazon, funnily enough, because it has Wacom tech in it. 'Turns out I really like scribbling in OneNote. The lines look lovely and it seems like you have an infinite canvas size(?) - you just keep drawing and scrolling.
       
      I purchased a $40 copy of Manga Studio, because I miss layers.
       
      When the Wacom tech works, its... Fantastic. I don't mind the little stylus; a couple of days a week I catch the train to work (cycle most of the time) and I can knock out a few quick sketches.
       
      I'd forgotten how much joy I derive from it.
       
      But then: On the AVN8, the stylus goes nuts along one corner, and every now and then a 3cm area on the stylus will 'go dead' - usually fixed by a restart of the device - but annoying when it happens. I've read enough forum posts to know that there's no such thing a working AVN8, just varying levels of not working, so replacing it isn't really an option.
       
      My question:
      Do I spurgle on a SP3? Sight unseen, Do you think I'll get annoyed by the increased IAF required?
       
      Do I go look for a SP2? Do I run the risk of getting one with dodgy Wacom tech in it - Until the AVN8, I didn't know there was dodgy Wacom tech- is there another Manufacturer I should consider? My requirements are:
       
      be a capable Steam Home streaming client
      be light (relatively)
      Not have a resolution so high and a screen so small that I can't make out anything
      have 6+ hours battery life
      Not be crazy expensive
      has inking tech that will register fine touches (see: fast notetaking)
      not have dodgy corners or dead spots, temporary or permanent
      Have nice (Agnes Nutter nice I mean) software.
       
      Please note that my life doesn't depend on a perfect solution, I do fine as a low level Database administrator. I just like drawing (even more than playing videogames I finally realise)
       
      Thanks btw for existing, Surface pro artist. The recent stuff about the N-trig hub software is very informative.
       
      Cheers.
    • mon40
      By mon40
      http://www.marketwatch.com/story/apple-will-lose-tablet-share-to-windows-idc-2013-12-05
    • joshpollard
      By joshpollard
      Are there any good apps for editing photos? I plan to do some blogging from my Surface, but I need to be able to crop and resize photos. Sometimes I need to be able to add text to them too. I'm used to using Gimp and Paint.Net, but obviously can't use those on a Surface RT. It seems like most of the apps so far are geared towards effects and filters (like Instagram)
StanHD

Photo Storage Process

11 posts in this topic

Problem 1:-

 

My wife is a photography enthusiast and loves to spend a day filling up memory cards with her Canon Eos 7D. Often we are away from home and have found a need to filter / delete the failed or scrap shots from the good ones or "keepers"

 

Our solution:-

 

We use an iPad with the camera connection kit. This makes very fast work of importing the pictures in a logical album fomat. She can then utilise the lovely iPad display to view the day's shots and maybe delete a few obvious "scrappers."

 

Problem 2:-

 

We get home and need to do a final "clean up" just keeping the good stuff, and stuff that can be edited to make good. She then needs to get these onto the WHS v1 for safe keeping, duplication, local and cloud backup.

 

Our solution:-

 

We use the recently updated FileBrowser app for iPad from Stratospherix. With this you can browse thumb nails or full screen, select which files to transfer and "copy" them to the appropriate share on the WHS which works using the SMB option that we previously defined. Folder duplication, keepvault, and WHS backup solve the keeping safe part of the equation. XBMC shows the media on the HTPC / Samsung 40", WD Tv Live on the Kitchen TV, XBMC Live on the HTPC / bedroom TV, and of course our laptop PCs direct via WHS

 

So we have Canon camera, Apple iPad, and Microsoft WHS V1 all playing together really well. A nice bonus with the FileBrowser is the ability to stream video and photos, as well as download to the iPad so we can show the "latest" photos to friends and family etc. when we visit them.

 

Works well for us, however, does anyone use other / better methods to "bridge" the different platforms and achieve a similar or better solution?

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For me, keeping up with photos in the "field" (ie away from my desktop) means using a laptop with Lightroom. How does the iPad deal with RAW images, or are you just shooting jpeg? If just jpeg, then I guess the iPad can handle it as you mention above, however, I have to think that a laptop and Lightroom would be a more powerful solution.

 

The start of my worklflow at home, is to import the images off the card using a card reader and Lightroom. The shoot is given a name which is appended to the the file and the images are tagged with tags applicable to the entire shoot. Upon import, Lightroom can write the files to two locations. I send one to my desktop and the other to unRAID.

 

I also have SyncToy setup to copy any files from my desktop to unRAID. That directory on unRAID, along with some others, is backed up to Crashplan. Of course my desktop is also backed up to the WSS2011. Yea, I know, way to many copies. I am just a little crazy about losing any of the images.

 

We went over workflow some on jpeg2RAW Show #8 and I am sure this is a subject we will revisit often.

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For me, keeping up with photos in the "field" (ie away from my desktop) means using a laptop with Lightroom. How does the iPad deal with RAW images, or are you just shooting jpeg? If just jpeg, then I guess the iPad can handle it as you mention above, however, I have to think that a laptop and Lightroom would be a more powerful solution.

 

The start of my worklflow at home, is to import the images off the card using a card reader and Lightroom. The shoot is given a name which is appended to the the file and the images are tagged with tags applicable to the entire shoot. Upon import, Lightroom can write the files to two locations. I send one to my desktop and the other to unRAID.

 

I also have SyncToy setup to copy any files from my desktop to unRAID. That directory on unRAID, along with some others, is backed up to Crashplan. Of course my desktop is also backed up to the WSS2011. Yea, I know, way to many copies. I am just a little crazy about losing any of the images.

 

We went over workflow some on jpeg2RAW Show #8 and I am sure this is a subject we will revisit often.

 

Hi, the FileBrowser works fine with the raw files (Canon .CR2). You can view both thumb nails and full screen. Totally agree about the backup thing, never to many in my book. (oh and the fact that my life depends upon it as far as the "Boss" is concerened. :)

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as far as the "Boss" is concerened. :)

Otherwise known as she who much be obeyed :D

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Otherwise known as she who much be obeyed :D

 

Oh yes ! ;)

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I have started to use an App on the iPad called Photosmith to import the photos to while on the road. There is a Plugin for Lightroom that will then import all the photos off the iPad when I get back home. While I like the App I am waiting on one "major" update...the ability to tag multiple photos at once. This would greatly improve my workflow on the road. The App has the ability to read pretty much any RAW file as well and the developers have been very active in updating their product.

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I wonder if the Kindle Fire will have apps like these. If not, it could seriously impact on its popularity.

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Tim, sounds like something we can bring up on the show.

 

ikon, not sure if the Fire is going to need these apps to become popular. My bet is it will sell in very large numbers.

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IMO, the Fire will be the gadget to have this Christmas.

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I wonder if the Kindle Fire will have apps like these. If not, it could seriously impact on its popularity.

 

Even if it does, the CPU power of the iPad is significantly more powerful than that of the Fire not to mention much more storage. The fire is more of a media consumption.

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Guys, I'm thinking more about excellent vs stellar sales figures here. I have no doubt that the Fire will sell really well. I'm just wondering how much better it could sell if it had the ability to do even more. Hey, at $200 I will probably get one, and I haven't owned any tablet to date; that price point is just very hard to resist.

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