CLOSED – Your tablet, your way

#spon: I’m required to disclose a relationship between my site and Intel. This could include the Intel Corporation providing us w/content, product, access or other forms of payment.

Acer Iconia w510

I got so much great feedback about my video, and I’m absolutely thrilled you guys liked it! Having a tablet really helps get through a busy day – from getting work done, to the mind-numbing entertainment, but also in satiating my thirst to read more and more! Now I’m giving you the opportunity to fall in love with an Intel tablet just as much as I have! (hip, hip, hooray!)

Here is your chance to win one Dell Venue 8 Pro Tablet courtesy of Intel. This contest runs until April 15th (you’ll have until 11:59 pm to get your entries in!). This giveaway is only open to US residents at the moment, sorry international folk.

For those of you that can enter, use the easy Rafflecopter widget below to enter not just once, but many ways, so you can increase your chances of winning. If you don’t see the widget at first, you may have to refresh the page. I don’t think you can see it through RSS feeds, so you’ll have to click through your reader to get to the page.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Easy right? You have a plethora of options by which to win
1. Like Intel on Facebook
2. Join the Intel Fan Advocate Experience and share your content through a comment
3. Leave me a comment telling me why you would like a tablet and a link to an app from their Windows store you would like to explore
4. Post a picture on Instagram of where you would set up to work on your tablet, tag @Intel and me (@thrifteye) and use the hashtag #tabletcrewthrifteye so I can find the picture (a disclaimer about the Instagram entry – your profile has to public so I can see your picture. But you also have to use a new picture, entries tagging old pictures will not be accepted)
image
5. Tweet about the giveaway, the text is already set up for you to go!

So again with the nitty gritty details – this contest is for ONE Dell Venue 8 Pro Tablet. Open only to US Residents. Runs until the end of the day of April 15th 2014. When you set up to use the Rafflecopter, make sure you leave a correct way for me to contact you. You can’t win if I can’t reach you! ONE winner will be chosen randomly. The prize will be distributed by Intel. If you have any questions or concerns, please let me know ASAP!

Good luck! :)

My tablet, my way

#spon: I’m required to disclose a relationship between my site and Intel. This could include the Intel Corporation providing us w/content, product, access or other forms of payment.

I’m really excited about today’s post! If you’ve been following my tablet life posts since the beginning (see all previous posts here), you’ll get an idea of how I’ve been integrating the tablet into my daily life. Intel gave some select people tablets (I think we all got different ones) back in early 2013 and the freedom to do whatever we wanted to do with them! It’s been really awesome to come home and tinker around with it most evenings, do blog work, listen to music, and my personal favorite READ BOOKS!

So with some help, I was able to shoot this video to share with you guys a quick zoom through of how I use the tablet! If you’re interested in specs about the tablet I use, the Acer Iconia w510, check it out on Amazon.

if you’d rather watch it on YouTube or in a larger size, click here!

Video: Jorge Novoa
Desktop backgrounds: DesignLoveFest
Nail polish: Butter London

If you use a Windows 8 tablet or OS, please please please share some of your favorite apps!!

Hello new blog look!

A bit behind, but starting off 2014 with a new look for this blog! When I transferred from Blogger to WordPress 2 years ago, I went with a basic layout that comes free. Besides customizing the header, there really wasn’t much I could do. A few months ago after searching high and low, I found a new theme that I liked. But I sat on it, worried that I wasn’t going to be able to handle the import! Instead I worked on a new logo, finally settling on one after many revisions.

Today I bit the bullet and just did it – I figured if I was able to do the WordPress import, then I’d be able to do this myself too. It was actually so easy (the actual theme switch), it was the adjustment of getting the links, header, and bits and pieces that took the whole evening. In fact, there was one damn button that would not budge, I had to teach myself a bit of CSS to fix it. It’s just hidden at the moment, so I won’t say this thing it’s 100% complete – there are still some adjustments I’d like to make (and also optimize the mobile layout). But blog is a one woman show! I’d love to hear your feedback or even tips!

Shiny new Thrift Eye, if you’re reading from email or RSS land, you’ll wan’t to click over!

2014 thrift eye screenshot

Did I think I’d get here and be doing this when I started this blog in 2006? Absolutely not – I’m drowning in a sea of other bloggers. Many who come armed with photographers and web developers, that jump right into a professional site! I started this thing from the bottom and have worked my way up mostly by myself. I laugh when people ask if I get help from my boyfriend – and although he’s a professional photographer, he’s too busy doing his own damn work to help me here most of the time. I do most of it myself, and I thank each an every single one of you for motivating me to continue. Blogging is not my main job or income, I do it for fun – even though it drives me crazy some (most) nights, and you’ll often put a lot of work into something that doesn’t pay back very much. What I love is the writing and photography outlet, the opportunity to hone my web and photo editing skills, the community and people I have met, a catalog or my outfits I’ll be able to keep forever, and getting to interact and share information not only with people in the city I live in, but also all over the world.

thank you again and again

Just as a reminder, I have found some of the old versions

This being the latest, I was so proud of my moving gif header that spelled out Thrift Eye

2012 2013 blog screenshot

And this was how it looked when I started with WordPress, I carried over the header from the Blogger one. I basically looked the same!

Screen-shot-2012-06-30

Because you want to see how it looked last on Blogger?

2011 blogger screenshot

Basically, I’ve been stuck with polka dots and blue for way too long. I did find my woods themed theme from when I was still in Vegas, I had this one for a bit too. I had all kinds of buttons and business cards designed around this.

thrift eye old blog

I wasn’t able to find any of my other blog layouts sadly. I did find this super old header that pretty much summed up how I felt being the only blogger in Las Vegas for a very long time…

thrifteye2

 So here we are now – again, suggestions and tips are welcome! Hoping to have this optimized very soon!

Revisiting the #tabletcrew

#spon: I’m required to disclose a relationship between my site and Intel. This could include the Intel Corporation providing content, product, access or other forms of payment. 

You may remember not that long ago I partnered up with Intel to try out the Acer tablet (click here for my introduction post!) – I am now working with their team again as a follow up to working with the tablet as I have just upgraded to Windows 8.1 and as the holidays approach (for those of you still on the fence about getting a tablet for yourself or someone else). You can browse the different Intel running tablets here through this link – and find the one that fits your needs and lifestyle. So you may see some bloggers out there also approaching the subject, Intel only provided the tablets, but has given us free range to explore the world of being mobile; the good, bad and ugly.

Some previous photos I had taken of my tablet (you can view the whole set here)
Acer Iconia w510, #tabletcrew, #Inteltablets, intel tablets,

Acer Iconia w510, #tabletcrew, #Inteltablets, intel tablets,

The upgrade to 8.1 eliminated a few annoying quirks – mainly the customization bits. It was really confusing on how to customize the start screen and home screens! You couldn’t even choose an image of your own. Now that’s possible. I also love that the Windows backgrounds behind the tiles are now have better customization and move with your swipes in a really pleasing way. It makes it kinda cool to swipe back and forth between the apps. But mainly, the upgrade has eliminated a lot of bugs that slowed down the whole thing. It runs much quicker than before. I think one of the main perks of having a Windows tablet is the ability to treat it as you would a laptop or PC with access to a desktop. You still don’t get the ability to pinch and zoom when using the desktop, which is slightly annoying after having an iPhone and using an iPad for work – but it’s a feature that Apple has patented, so I’m hoping that in the future there will be an alternative to this. In the meantime, I make the text larger when using the browser.

ONWARD!

Down the road, these are the ways I’ve found the tablet most useful

-Reading Books – to date, this year I’ve read 51 books (last year I read 95!!) no thanks to reading them mostly in ebook form. I’ve gone on non-stop telling people to use the Overdrive function almost all libraries use now! Click here to find if your local library uses Overdrive, and click over here if you want to download the free app. The best part about Overdrive is that once you have your books downloaded, you can always reach your books even without any wi-fi! And when your due date comes up, your books will return themselves, thus you avoid any overdue fees!! aka the best thing ever. I have two library cards (one where I work and one where I live) so my e-book collection instantly becomes doubled, basically all the books in the world and not enough time to read them!

Things have changed since I wrote this comparison review of using Overdrive between an iPad and Windows tablet. The main thing being that they have finally enabled a setting that lets you sinc your bookmarks across all devices. When I have this featured turned on I can read on my iPhone (which I do quite a bit when I’m waiting in line somewhere or in bed at night), and then if I open up the same book while I’m on my tablet on the couch or maybe at a coffee shop, it will ask me to move ahead to where I bookmarked it last (as long as there’s internet available).

-Browsing internet – I have a Chrome browser installed on mine, and when you sign into Chrome with your Google account, it saves your links and bookmarks across all interfaces. So the browser I see on my laptop is the same one I get on the tablet, no need to shuffle around looking for links or bookmarks! I took the tablet to my parent’s home with me over Thanksgiving break, and I had bookmarked a Dropbox link with lots of photos my boyfriend had taken of my sister’s wedding back in August. I was able to open the link up in Chrome through the tablet and share it with my mom instantly while we sat on the couch together. My mom grew up in another country and without computers and I was able to show her how to swipe to see all the pictures. Which is something I don’t think she could have accomplished if I had asked her to pull up to a computer and use a mouse to click on X,Y, Z…

-Drawing – as someone that loves using the regular old Paint feature that Windows offers, the ability to use Fresh Paint is AWESOME! Not too many people I know have ever gotten a chance to actually use it, but if you like to illustrate or even want to dabble in it, you may enjoy this quite a bit. If you think tablet illustration is for kids, think again – I recently saw the David Hockney exhibit at the DeYoung Museum here in San Francisco with a large collection of things he illustrated right on his iPad! And they were absolutely beautiful, I wouldn’t have realized they weren’t paintings had it not been pointed out. And blogger Justina Blakeney recently reviewed using Fresh Paint AND making prints from it on a Surface Pro, which is similar to the Acer I have. The results were also surprisingly very real painting like. Fresh Paint gives you access to a very detailed e-palette I don’t think I’ve seen on any other drawing apps.

-Entertainment – from using the free Spotify client on the desktop (which you have to pay to use on an Apple device) to browsing Instagram, there are quite a few entertainment features you can’t beat on a tablet. The best of which is watching TV and movies in bed or when someone else is hogging the TV ;) Our Netflix subscription comes in handy for this, we don’t have cable so we live by Netflix! We also recently switched out our Wii (where we previously accessed our Netflix on the TV) for a Roku 3 player, and I have just learned that I can possibly download the Roku app for the tablet! Which will be awesome because having the Roku lets you access many more channels to view videos, we’ve been enjoying catching up with a lot of PBS shows this way.

And some updated photos with the Windows 8.1
Acer Iconia w510, #tabletcrew, #Inteltablets, intel tablets,

Acer Iconia w510, #tabletcrew, #Inteltablets, intel tablets, windows 8.1

How I want to better use the tablet in the upcoming future

-Mobile blogging – often, my ideas about new posts come while I’m away from the computer. I used to write these ideas down, but would often lose the paper or forget where I’d written these things down. I’ve found that if I start a draft post with my idea, I’m more likely able to come back to it – now I need to be better about doing this while on the go. This also means capturing more images with the built in camera, which should now be easier that Photoshop has released a mobile editor in the last year!

-Mobile librarian – I’m still trying to figure this one out, I want the libraries where I work to begin offering more tablets to our patrons. Maybe if I begin carrying one around more, I can convince them! I recently walked someone through downloading and using Overdrive (see above) while still in the library. Many libraries will let you borrow a laptop while you’re in the library, wouldn’t it be cool if the library had a cozy corner where you can use a tablet? Patrons could browse the internet, look at ebooks, make phone calls, and maybe even one day chat with others over Skype all while in the library similar to the browsing stations at the Apple store or at airport lounges.

-Part time laptop – I still want to find a keyboard dock for my tablet. It’s actually been pretty hard to find one. I have a USB keyboard the plugs in, but it’s not the same thing. Having the keyboard dock would make lots of the features I do and want to do listed above, much easier. I’ll probably have to turn to eBay or Amazon in this case.

So I’ll be checking in with you here and there with the tablet progress! But as always, I’d love to hear your ideas on how you like your tablet if you have one, why you’re on the fence or even refuse to get one!

Tech accessories

Since I was given the Acer Iconia tablet from the people at Intel, I realized there are some accessories that make having it a lot easier and more like a traditional computer! What I need these accessories to be is unobtrusive and have the ability to work on other devices if I needed them to. In other words, get the most bang for my buck.

Untitled

My case – I ended up going with this really punchy and basic Incase sleeve at the moment. I wanted something bright and protective. But as I mentioned in some posts ago, there’s a few more I have my eye on. And in a pinch, this would totally work as a clutch!

Jawbone Jambox - the days of hooking up your devices to listen to music are slowly fading. With a simple switch on of bluetooth, I can stream my music from any device to the Jambox. Even better, it doesn’t need to be near me. Plus, the Jambox works as a speakerphone if you needed to do a conference call.

Tablet pen/stylus – There’s just some days when I feel like my fingers are too big and they’re tapping in all the wrong places! This is when I use the pen instead. Plus, I can use it on my iPhone or iPad should I need to. It works really well for apps where you can write or draw! I got mine on eBay for super cheap! (less than $1)

Portable keyboard – connecting via USB, I have the power of a full keyboard that I may not with the onscreen keyboard (plus it’s nice to not have to hide and open the screen keyboard over and over). This one is silicone, and it rolls away when I’m done! Also got this on eBay, some guy was selling it because he’d didn’t use or need it.

That being said, there are a few things I would like to get or switch out to enventually

Bamboo Stylus – While the stylus I have does the job, it would be incredibly nice to have this Wacom one. Just because I have heard it’s a little more precise and pressure sensitive than most others.

Keyboard dock – it would be nice to have this, since it makes the tablet function a little more like a laptop. You can twist the screen to share, and use it as a stand too. Plus it also works as a battery. But the price is too high for me right now.

Mini bluetooth mouse - for those times you get tired of tapping the screen, luckily I’m not there yet :)

I called in sick yesterday because I’ve had this nasty cold, and I spent most of the morning in bed reading my ebook on the tablet. I was and am plenty grateful to have it for times likes that.

intel, smart squad, tablet squad, tablet crew, tablet product image, acer

Content and/or other value provided by our partner, Intel.