Tea Please.

starbucks tea

Everyone can stand to periodically look themselves in the mirror every once in a while and think about what they do and how they do it. Sometimes, the inspiration strikes me to do this in a car or on a plane. Recently, it struck me while I was working at a Starbucks.

Here’s the thing, I have a coffee addiction. Now, I’m not talking about needing a cup to wake up in the morning. I’m talking about four cups of coffee before noon. I’m talking about making another pot after lunch. I love the smell and taste. I love the smooth way that it pours out of the pot and hits the inside of a glass mug, sending rich smells into your face. I come from a long line of caffine fanatics. Maybe you can tell? They got me started when I was 10.

After killing off soda and candy a few years ago, I was only left with coffee. I stopped taking any artificial sweetener in it. When I have coffee, it’s always black. As I set in a Starbucks window three weeks ago, I thought about how caffinated I must be constantly.

So I decided to change it. I haven’t cut out coffee, but I have banned myself to only making a single 2 cup pot in the morning. There’s no drinking it after lunch any.

I’m only three weeks in, but already I feel slightly different. To be honest, I feel manic all the time.

Hold off on buying that Surface Pro 4


I reviewed the Surface Pro 4, Microsoft’s iPad and notebook PC rival, late last year for The en. At the time, I noted issues with the software on-board the machine, but expressed optimism that Microsoft would address the issue in short order.

It’s February now, and the Surface Pro 4 still struggles through some very strange issues.

I got it wrong. Microsoft may have fixed the issues causing the display driver to not work correctly, but other issues remain. I’m taking the somewhat unorthodox step of lowering the Surface Pro 4’s review score and adding in a paragraph to warn buyers about the software issues that remain.

Look, I spend my earned money on products the stuff that I review at The en. Continued frustration has led me to bench the Surface Pro 4 and go with a more traditional PC while I wait for Microsoft to get its act together. If I’m frustrated, than chances are that many of you are out there frustrated too. I simply can’t not acknowledge that some people might be in this situation because of my optimism on forthcoming software updates.

Drake remarks on Video Girl, a song from his Comeback Season mixtape, that if lively, curvy women would get their act together “we’d all have something better to talk about.” I can appreciate the sentiment.

I can and I will do better next time. Hopefully, so does Microsoft.

I Wrote This: Surface Pro 4 with Core M3 Review


“When some hot piece of new technology arrives, everyone is quick to either sing its praises or tear it down. That’s the nature of technology and culture. If we aren’t collectively enhancing its mythos, we’re collective pointing out its flaws. Sometimes we do both at the same time. By the time we get a device like the Surface Pro 4, it’s usually the praise that dominates the landscape.

The Surface Pro 4 isn’t a big departure from that device, at least in many of the ways that matter. That’s led to a lot of people singing its praises.

Frankly, I understand all the praise from reviewers; the Surface Pro created a new form factor that no one considered viable before it came along. Anyone describing these devices as “perfect” is out of their mind, though. There are improvements galore. There are compromises too – some of them so severe that I can’t understand how someone begins to describe this device as the best there is.”

Continue reading at The en

I Wrote This: ‘Mozart in the Jungle’ is a masterpiece


“I can’t say that Mozart in the Jungle necessarily hits the mark on all fronts; I’ve never been a musician. I can say that, after watching the show, I feel like I know a bit more about the battles that musicians fight everyday. In some ways, their battles are our own. We all feel like frauds and pretenders, like we’re unappreciated and undervalued.”

Keep reading on The En

I Wrote This: ‘Spectre’ review


My James Bond,” – because I seem to have developed a personal stake in the Daniel Craig films – “would never make caddy references to predecessors and grin at that camera while doing it,” I declared. Spectre, the James Bond film that debuted a week ago today, better balances Craig’s darker take on the British super spy with references to previous films and classic ropes. Plus there’s romance, so much romance.

Continue reading at The En

I Wrote This: Microsoft Band 2 Review

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Wearable makers think that users either want a way to avoid having to pull their phone out of their pocket for each task or a barebones wearable sensor that they have to look at another screen to fully use. The Microsoft Band 2 is Microsoft’s attempt to find some comfortable space in the middle.

Read the rest at Gotta Be Mobile.

Asked & Answered: What tech do you use?

surface pro 3

Asked & Answered is full of questions that people ask me online that it wouldn’t be appropriate answering anywhere else. Send me your questions on Twitter.

The funny thing about giving people answers is they ask more questions. Some days back I answered some mail about what sites I visit on the daily. Your responses were awesome and appreciated. I figure, it’s time to answer another.

What’s tech do you use?

When I was a young geek (Yes, 16 year old Travis. I’m finally willing to own that.) I wanted every piece of gadgetry I could get my hands on. My first desktop PC, the one I would write my first Harry Potter website on, was a Gateway all-in-run running Windows 98. I had AOL and a hunger for code. A ThinkPad R40 and Dell Inspiron 2600 followed it.  Before I could afford my own upgrades mom rented me an HP Pavilion from one of those Rent-A-Center places just so I could stay inside and keep playing games and learning about the internet. That was before she realized she’d also crippled my social skills for life and likely wouldn’t be getting grand children. When I got my first job I’d replace a PC once every year or year and a half. There were times when I even had two PCs.

Today, I hate technology. I loved those days when everything was new and exciting, but to 26 year old Travis thinks that PCs, phones and media players are just tools. I’ve found a center where technology takes a backseat to life, I think. My choice in computers reflects that. I don’t own a tablet and I’ve been thinking about selling my XPS 13 for years. My only PC is a Microsoft Surface Pro 3. It’s my eReader, my desktop, my notebook, my everything away from home. I have a nice Lumia 930 smartphone and two Xbox One consoles too, but the Pro 3 is my prized possession.

Maybe one of these days I’ll do an office tour like my man Scott Hanselman does.  I reviewed the Surface Pro 3 for enConnected a month after I purchased it.