Pocketables Editor Spotlight is a weekly series that shines the spotlight on each of our editors. Last week, we got up close and personal with our Microsoft editor, William Devereux, and today let’s get to know the associate editor of Pocketables, Bryan Faulkner.
I started out with technology when I was 14. I got taught how to run our youth group’s small sound board and I haven’t been able to get out from behind one ever since. I currently work part-time at a charter school as IT help and also at my church as the Tech Director. One of my coworkers at the church jokingly says that if it has a cord attached, then it belongs to me. However that’s not far from the truth as I wear many hats at the church from network technician to video editor to sound engineer. The one thing I have recently come to enjoy the most is the graphic design work.
In late 2010 I decided that I was buying an HTC EVO. I started looking around the internet and found Good and EVO. I began reading it faithfully even though I had yet to get my EVO, which I finally got Dec. 26 2010. In September of 2011 my brother grabbed an HP TouchPad that was being sold for $100 and gave it to me as an early Christmas present. I remember him telling me that he had heard that you would be able to put Android on it soon. As soon as I got home I found Nothing But Tablets through G&E, and started reading it everyday as well. In October I answered a post on NBT that was asking for writers and decided to apply. To my joy I was accepted as the Android Editor and have enjoyed writing about tablets ever since then.
I currently have a pair of HP TouchPads, an HTC EVO, and an iPad 2. One of the TouchPads was supposed to be for my wife, but she still prefers to use her laptop, so I use it to try out different developmental things without worrying about screwing up my main tablet. Below you will see some of the screen shots from my TouchPad, which I have set up in a hub style. You will also see one shot from my iPad.
Now that you know a little more about me, let’s move on to the questions from my fellow editors.
Jenn K. Lee: What is the most embarrassing tech mistake you’ve ever made at work?
Bryan: I still get nervous about running sound for weddings and funerals. Even though they are typically easy compared to a lot of the other things I do, they can still be nerve wracking. The last thing I want to do is make a mistake and screw up someone’s wedding. With funerals they can be such sad and somber events that any small error is magnified. One day we had a funeral, and it was a day after we had the entire platform torn apart. I had someone helping me connect all the mic cables. I would tell him where to plug it in, and he would do it. I made the mistake of not double checking his work when we were done. The next morning for the funeral we only needed one microphone, and so I took the other one off the stand and laid it next to the monitor. In the middle of the funeral someone got up to speak, and so I turned on what I thought was the mic on the stand. What I found out was that my partner had switched the wires, and I was turning up the mic on the floor in front of the monitor. I created some very loud, and very embarrassing feedback, right in the middle of the funeral service. I wanted to crawl in a hole, but instead had to finish the service. I made sure to wait for everyone to be gone afterwards before coming out of the balcony.
John Freml: Have you ever gotten buyers remorse after buying an awesome gadget?
Bryan: Growing up my parents were very frugal. It was rare that we ever got new things. Because of that I have always been very cautious with my money, especially when buying things as expensive as some of the fun gadgets on the market right now. Any decision to spend that much money always involves lots of research, and now it involves the approval of my wife. :) So with all that said, I can’t say that I have ever had buyers remorse.
William Devereux: If you could change or add one feature on your current favorite device, what would it be?
Bryan: My current favorite device would have to be my iPad, based strictly on how much I have been using it since I got it. One feature that I would add would have to be the ability to be able to customize more things. I’ve only had it for a couple months and am already sick of the same square icons with rounded corners and the inability to change things like the keyboard, or even the exact spot of the icons. I mean there are some times that I just wish I could have an icon in the corners of the screen and no where else.
Calob Horton: I know that you bought your iPad to use for work, but do you also use it for other things often? Or do you use one of your other tablets when not working?
Bryan: The first couple weeks after I got the iPad I took it and my TouchPad with me to work. Then one day I decided that it was stupid to be carrying two tablets when the one could do about everything I wanted it too. So now I only bring my iPad with me to work, but most of the time I am at home I use my TouchPad. I have had to find apps for the iPad that did the things that I was using the TouchPad for at work. Not all of them am I happy with, but I make it work so I don’t have to lug around both tablets every day.
Paul King: Are we living in the future yet? If no, what needs to be done with current technology to make it so?
Bryan: According to the thoughts and dreams about technology I had as a kid, I would say that, yes, we are living in the future. Computers small enough that they can fit in pockets, with touchscreens and cloud data storage. Smartphones that do away with the need for a separate camera, GPS navigation unit, portable phone, clock, Walkman (lol), and so much more. Every year technology is getting smaller, smarter, and faster. I can’t wait to see where we end up in another 10 years.
Andreas Ødegård: Having bought an iPad for work, what do you think of the age old “myth” that tablets are toys?
Bryan: I can see how some people would think that given that there are a lot of people that use them for non-necessary things like web browsing or ebook reading. That would put them in the class of a hobby. Being in a school however, I see that there are a lot of schools that are adopting them to be used in education. One school district near me is in the process of providing one for every student, from kindergarten through twelfth grade. Those students will know that they are more than just a toy. I will say that my nieces and nephew view them strictly as a toy, but I hope that changes as they get older.
Aaron Orquia: How long did it take to successfully integrate the iPad into your workflow so that it actually saved time?
Bryan: I would say that I haven’t actually completely worked it into my workflow yet. Part of that is just getting used to the apps that I use to control the sound boards that I am unafraid of walking away from the console during a service or concert. I am completely comfortable when every switch or knob is in reach at the console, but having to switch pages, or make a couple different taps or swipes to get to where I need to be in a pinch still leaves me a little uncomfortable. Hopefully in another few weeks I will be confident enough to take that walk away from the console with iPad in hand.
As far as a lot of the other things I use it for during meetings, or just day-to-day operations, it didn’t take me long at all. Since I was already used to the function of a tablet, I just had to get used to the way that Apple does things. I had to find which web browser I liked best (Chrome), which note taking app I preferred (Apple’s Notes), how to best access my Gmail account (the Gmail app), and which game to play when I get bored (currently The End).
All of Bryan’s posts can be found on his author page, so be sure to check it out! Next week, Aaron Orquia takes the spotlight.