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7 posts from January 2012


Red Hat Releases WebLogic to JBoss Migration Guide

Red Hat Consulting has released a migration guide for folks interested in moving off of WebLogic and onto JBoss. Nice to see the app server wars are heating up again.  


PlayBook: What's in the Box?

It may only be mildly helpul news but it was difficult for me to find anywhere online what was included in the box with the BlackBerry PlayBook.  Both the iPad and Kindle Fire product pages display what's included with the purchase but all I could find regarding the PlayBook box contents was what was printed on the actual box. So, if anyone's interested in knowing what you won't need to purchase along with your new PlayBook, here's what is in the box (excepting warranty, startup, and safety guides):

  • The PlayBook (obviously)
  • AC Adapter - Over 6' long (2m) cable!
  • USB Cable to connect the playbook to a computer
  • A neoprene sleeve to carry it in
  • A cleaning cloth

I do have to say that, from a usability standpoint, the very first thing that impressed me with the PlayBook occurred before I had even powered it on. The length of the included AC Adapter is over 6'—twice as long as the one included with my iPad. I know, it seems silly, but when you want to engage in some aimless surfing but also need to recharge the battery, it's nice knowing that one does not need to sit so close to a power outlet in order to do so, (or daisy-chain to an extension cord).

The neoprene sleeve is ok but it is just large enough to cover the PlayBook and that's it. It is clear that, although functional, it's intention is to get you to want to buy something a little more utilitarian. 

Blackberry Playbook 7-Inch Tablet (32GB) at Amazon


Picked Up a PlayBook

I read a lot. I have owned a first generation Apple iPad for a while now and although I love it, reading while laying down in bed or on the sofa can be tough. After an hour or so, I really start to feel the size and weight of the iPad digging into my chest or stomach. I find myself wishing that it was just a little bit smaller. I had been interested in the BlackBerry PlayBook for a long time, primarily due to its smaller form factor but the $499 US starting price tag was hard for me to justify to myself. It's smaller—it cannot cost the same as the iPad. It wouldn't matter if it were covered in gold, it is a 7" screen vs. the 10" iPad screen, so it can't cost as much. That may seem over-simplistic but that's what kept me from purchasing it in the past.

Besides reading, I use my iPad for general web browsing, email, watching videos and listening to music. Due to the popularity of the iPad and AppStore as an application development and delivery platform, I often found myself having to share the iPad with every member of my family and began contemplating purchasing a second one for home but around this same time, retailers began heavily discounting the PlayBook.

Like a lot of people, I've read many of the other blogs and news articles deriding Blackberry as a "dying platform" but I don't believe it yet. Many of the negatives posted for why the playbook is supposedly a terrible tablet were actually positives for me. Yes, there are not that many apps for the playbook as there are for the iPad but, for me, that means my wife and kids won't be borrowing it! It is all mine! I work from home so the lack of 3G support wasn't an issue. Presumably, I can tether it to my blackberry curve when traveling and make use of the phone's data connection then.

On December 3o, 2011, the day before the discounts were to end, I managed to find a 16GB model at an OfficeDepot not too far from home. All other retailers in my area were sold out and I was just about to give up and settle* on a Samsung Galaxy Player 5 from BestBuy when I lucked out and managed to grab the last 16GB PlayBook in the store.

Periodically, I'll post impressions and opinions on my experiences as a PlayBook user. I have no intentions of rooting the playbook as I prefer to experience what the device has to offer us "regular" users. I have not jail-broken my iPad or other iDevices for the same reasons. At some point in time, I hope that some of the folks at RIM will stumble across some of these posts and consider any potential criticisms or concerns constructively. I have no financial stake in RIM and I am not being compensated by RIM in any way. I like their products though and would like to continue seeing the company succeed.

* I say "settle" on a Galaxy Player 5 not because I believe that it is inferior hardware but because I am not too interested in Android due to some hard feelings I have with Google regarding my AdSense banishment. Hopefully, no one will flame me for being anti-Android. I'm not. I'm just not interested in supporting Google right now.