Archive for March, 2011

More on Windows and Mac

Sunday, March 20th, 2011

In my last post I talked about how I decided on a Windows tablet instead of an iPad.

Part of the decision was based on our long term use of Powerpoint to create presentations.

I decided to take a more detailed look at the Mac presentation software, Keynote, so I’m currently learning how to use the handy 30 day free trial.  Did I mention we have a Mac as well as various PC’s?

So far, I’m finding the experience rather strange, as the whole way of working in Keynote feels very different from Powerpoint – hardly surprising really!

Visually, it is absolutely stunning and has a real quality feel to it that my current version of Powerpoint simply can’t match unless I create content with a dedicated graphics package, which I do quite a lot.  (I’m wiriting this instaed of working on the content for a presentation I’m delivering next week….. )

So far I’ve just been getting the feel of things.  The slide transitions are very pretty!

My first attempt at importing a Powerpoint was a mixed experience.  All the slides and graphics were imported just fine.  But the fonts I had used weren’t, even though they were embedded in the Powerpoint.   Probably something to do with licensing,  so I’ll have to install the same font set on the Mac.  Not a major issue, but an annoyance that wouldn’t happen if I opened the file on a PC.  Some fairly simple animations didn’t make it either.  Again, not a huge issue to re-do then, but another irritation.

Today I tried importing a different presentation.  Same font issue (haven’t installed then yet…..) and more animations not working.

Now I have to be fair here.  Keynote is able to import Powerpoint files, but even the latest version of Powerpoint cannot open Keynote files.

That said, it would probably be quicker to start from scratch than attempt to repair the non-functional animations.

I’m coming to the conclusion that it’s not really a competition between these two programmes – they appeal to different people and both are good in different ways.

I really need to evaluate Powerpoint 2010, as that’s probably the way we’ll go, at least for now.  I have a feeling that we’ll be adding Keynote presentations to our portfolio, if for no other reason than it opening up a new market for us.  And it’s not expensive, £70 for the whole iWorks package!  I was going to say that Office is very expensive, but I just remembered that for about £190 you get a license that allows installation on a desktop and a portable machine, so that works out at not much more per machine than iWorks.

Now I really must finish off the stuff for next week!

Should I buy an iPad?

Wednesday, March 16th, 2011

This has been bugging me for a while.  Ever since I saw a colleague at a breakfast meeting using an iPad to show off his business.

I had an “I need one of those” moments….. I mean, it just looked so amazing and easy to use.

So I started looking at how I would use it.  We deliver a lot of presentations, so I thought an iPad would be perfect.  Especially when I found out it runs Keynote which, for the odd person who may not know is Apple’s presentation software.  I could see myself delivering stunning presentations, wandering about holding my nice, shiny i-Pad.

Then I really looked into it.

Almost all of our work is done using PC software, although we do have a Mac that gets used for  the occasional bit of work.

OK, not a big deal because Keynote can import Powerpoint presentations.  Mostly.  Probably enough for most of our work.

But the version of Keynote that runs on the i-Pad doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of the full desktop version.

So some of our best stuff wouldn’t work.  Bummer!

The i-Pad isn’t cheap either, although it is a wonderful piece of equipment, we would have to spend nearly £500 to get something we would only use to deliver stuff.

Android tablets are cheaper.  But no way could they be used to deliver presentations.  There just aren’t the apps to do it yet.

So I’ve arrived at the conclusion that a Windows 7 tablet is what we need.  Yes, really!

That would replace one of our delivery laptops with something smaller and lighter (not as small as an i-Pad, but still smaller than a laptop).

And it would run all of our main software anywhere. Even though battery life is less than an i-Pad (5 hours or so vs 10), that’s not really an issue for us.

We don’t do 10-hour presentations…….

A windows 7 tablet has USB ports and a card slot, as well as wireless and Bluetooth, so getting stuff onto it is so much more flexible.

So there you have it, a practical solution!

I still want an i-Pad though…….