Great to have the iMac back on the desk

Is really good to have my Mac back on the desk and available for use. I was able to use it for about two weeks. The hard disk was replaced after it failed. When it first failed it wasn’t too bad because it wasn’t making any noise but when I started making funny noises I had to get the new hard disk put in there. I went to the Apple Store in Barcelona and it took a week to get the job done. During that time I was an iOS warrior. My primary computer was my 12.7 inch iPadPro and a very close secondary computer was the iPhone. I really enjoyed the reliance upon the mobile computing for the two weeks. I wrote a whole series of posts based on my experience over at NoStylus. Because I was writing a daily post on my experiences I knew that using iOS mobile computing even more than I would do otherwise. The thing I missed mostly was the DragonDictate, otherwise known as Dragon for Mac version 5. Despite missing the accuracy and speed with which I can dictate using DragonDictate I was able to do a lot of dictation using Siri. I found Siri works best when I was using a 4G connection on my devices. I got pretty good accuracy even when I was using the iPad via the hotspot from the iPhone. Later in the post I talk about the Amazon Echo.

On my return to OS X computing

Even before my vacation from OS X to the world of post PC mobile computing I had been using iOS quite a lot. Quite often I could go for a good part of the morning without having to switch on the iMac. I actually prefer to do my email triage on the iPad or iPhone. I use the application called Spark and it’s particularly easy to archive or delete emails just with a swipe. While I’m having a cup of tea and my breakfast in the morning I can quickly and easily get through my emails, Twitter and Facebook checking. Any input required is easily done using Siri dictation or a little bit of glass tapping keyboard action. Regarding the Syrian dictation, there were a couple of long blog posts of over 1000 words completely dictated using Siri dictation. As I said before, the accuracy was pretty amazing. Whether you are typing, using Siri dictation or using DragonDictate there’s going to be a round of editing after the first draft has been completed. Whichever way you look at it, dictation is the fastest way to write.

The future is in artificial intelligence

There are rumours at the moment that Siri is going to be coming to the OS X platform, probably in the announcements they make and WW DC. Having Siri as your virtual assistant is useful and interesting. It’s also interesting to have a look at other artificial intelligence systems such as the Amazon Echo and the soon to be properly released Google Home. Apple doesn’t want to be left behind and there are now rumours surfacing today about an updated Apple TV we shall give a similar facilities as you find with the Echo and with the Google Home devices. Who knows? These are only rumours and possibly only wishful thinking from the Apple fan boys, enthusiasts. The two weeks before the Apple worldwide developers conference does get kind of crazy with all of the daft rumours spread by the Apple bloggers. I prefer to wait and see what Apple gives us on the actual days of the keynote. It’s a waste of effort and time to read, discuss or give any credence whatsoever to any of these rumours.

Amazon Echo

I have recently done my first Raspberry Pi project which allowed me to set it up as a home-made Amazon Echo. There were some limitations and the main one being that you can’t have it listening all of the time as the Amazon Echo does. The other limitation is that the information is largely based in the USA as that’s where the actual device has been released. Amazon can’t be bothered to send it to other parts of the world. Because of this it’s not really worth making any comparisons between Siri and what you get with the Amazon Echo. It’ll be interesting to see how wide the spread will be for the Google Home product. The great thing about Siri is that it is available in an awful lot of countries. It is very clear with these products coming to market that artificial intelligence is the direction in which we are heading. Will be out to use our computers in the same manner as they do on Star Trek. All we’ll need to do is to talk to a computer to get it to our bidding. It’s not going to matter whether we are talking to the large mainframe computer based on the  starship  Enterprise, otherwise known as home or if we are using one of our mobile devices such as our iPhone or an iPad. The computer systems are getting far better at speech to text conversion and so therefore getting better at answering our questions and giving us intelligent answers. Will you get an Amazon Echo if they become available in your part of the world?
Raspberry Pi getting ready to be an Echo