What are QR Codes?

What are these funky codes you keep seeing everywhere?

qr code

These are QR Codes. They are codes that contain data, such as a link to a website or a mobile app. They might contain information such as an email address or phone number, which is why people are starting to put them on their business cards.

How do I read it?

You simply scan it with your mobile phone. This requires a camera, so you most likely need a smartphone to read it. I use a barcode scanner on my Droid to read them.

How do I make one?

Very easy. Go to a QR Code generator such as http://qrcode.kaywa.com/. There you type in your text and it creates it for you. Its free and takes a minute to create. There are many other QR Code generators if you do not like the one I recommended.

Why computer labs are dying

When I was a kid, I used to love walking into the computer lab for computer class. We used to play Carmen San Diego and Oregon Trail. It was neat to learn that I could do an activity using technology. We had Apple IIe computers and if you were lucky you had a Mac. In college it was more of the same except I wanted to see my colleges computer labs have the latest and greatest hardware and web development software like the Adobe (then macromedia suite). I was so disappointed that they only upgraded their computer every 4+ years. That’s crazy I thought. Computers are done in 2 years. Then again public education has always been underfunded so it was not really surprising.

Now in todays climate with current budgets, I am guessing computers will be upgraded every 6 or so years. Obviously its not even worth having a computer lab is you cannot keep it up. So my solution:

LETS GET RID OF COMPUTER LABS IN ALL K-16 PUBLIC SCHOOLS. Yep you heard me right. Let’s get rid of them. Now I am not saying lets get rid of computer education. Quite the contrary, I just have another solution. Computer education is probably one of the best skills students of all ages can have. For instance, when I started working in the corporate sector after I completed my masters degree, the company I worked for expected me to fully understand MS Powerpoint, word, excel, and visio. What I didnt expect was that they also expected me to make graphics and use a database among other things and this was for a general business job. It was not a computer oriented job. So yea, those computer skills were extremely helpful. Fortunately for me, I am a tech guy, so it was easy to do all of those tasks.

Anyway, so what is my suggestion:

Get rid of computer labs and create a cloud based network. Thus students would be required to all have their own computers (mac or pc would not matter). They would come into a regular classroom and log in to the cloud network where all of their software and files would be. That way the school would just need to keep up the cloud and keep up the software updates – most of which they do now. They would no longer be required to use their funds for computers that are quickly outdated and would not need to waste the computer technicians time fixing half of the labs computers each day because students put viruses or whatever on them. Now students and parents would be responsible for their own computers. This would also be a huge advantage for the student. Now they would not need to worry about working on a computer, forget to save the file, only to find it deleted when they come back the next day. I cannot tell you how many students lose their projects because they are working on a school computer. Anyway, I believe this is where we are headed and it is a solution to better our labs and save schools money that they already do not have. And if for some reason US schools do get properly funded as they are in many nations across world, I would still call for this change.

Future of the computer

Someone asked me yesterday where I see the future of the computer and here was my response….

Where we are heading soon (and some people might be here):

– No more desktop/laptop computers
– All tablet/ipad like devices – these devices would dock into a keyboard/mouse when we type.
– Dock could also include monitors/hdtv for larger screens
– No more desktop as we know it
– No more disks/thumb drives as we know them
– All software, files, etc will be available online in the cloud
-4G+ speeds to high speed internet everywhere
I even believe there won’t be any necessity to convert pdf to html.

Where we are headed in the future:

-No more tablets/pads – phones will replace the need for these
-Phones will project a monitor, keyboard, mouse making it easy to carry our computer everywhere. Thus your computer, all your files, and everything will on one small device that fits into your pocket.
– Monitor quality will always be an issue so there may still be monitors but that depends on how far projector technology advances. If you are interested in buying a projector, check out a list of reviews.
– Phones will control our house, car, and lives – they will act as a remote control. You will be able to change the air conditioner temp from your phone no matter where you are. Turn off the house power from your phone. When you get into your car the phone will tell the car how to adjust your seat, what radio stations you like, etc.

These are some of my ideas where I see technology – hardware that is headed. I still remember a day in 1998 when I told my computer science teacher that someday we would have a portable cell phone that could go on the internet and do email. She laughed at me and said it was impossible. I promise to NEVER be that professor.