Archives for : Technology

A Kindle Fire Joins The Metal Media Office

Since I’ve been enjoying sharing the various technological implements that I use here at the Media Command HQ, I felt that you might be interested in knowing that I have just added an Amazon Kindle Fire tablet to the arsenal of things that I use to create and control these websites. I had owned a ASUS 7″ tablet in the not too distant past already but ending up giving it to a friend with a more immediate need for the device. My plan to replace this went by the wayside until the night I was purchasing a copy of the brand new Metallica CD and as I walked to the line in Best Buy in Union Square, I noticed that they had racks of Amazon Kindle Fire tablets for $40 apiece. How could I pass that deal up? I couldn’t and I didn’t.

kindle fire tablet, metal media office

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A New Addition For The Metal Media Office

Several months ago I had some fun and shared the various pieces of technology that made up my Metal Media Office. If you didn’t see it just click HERE to be more up to speed. Since the time that I shared those images, the Dell Studio laptop began having numerous problems with over-heating and performance so it needed to be replaced. I had it since 4/2009 and considering how much I used it I am surprised to find it lasting that long. Below is a photo of the latest device to join my creative arsenal. Check it out.


It’s also a Dell system and one of their Inspiron models. It’s sort of gray in color and the screen display is super clear and I think 19″ with some of that being the sides around the display. Its fine for me for sure. I had it loaded with Windows 8, a 1TB hard drive and 8GB of RAM. Once I got it fully powered I upgraded it to Windows 10 and the latest Microsoft Office (which at the time of this writing is the Office 2016). It was the first time that I would lease the license for said software as opposed to owning it outright but by doing this I can install on all of my other systems and be in complete sync. That is very important to me. So far so good with this system, I like how it feels and now the decision on what to do with the old Studio machine. Perhaps I will repair the stuff that makes it overheat and use it as my travel system for short trips. I haven’t decided yet if the costs to work on it is worth it. So there you go, another look inside at my real life world and the things that help me manage its duties.

The Windows 10 Free Upgrade Is Here!

Hey there readers, it seems as though the time to get your free upgrade to Microsoft’s Windows 10 and I decided to take advantage of it since I was getting a little bored with my release of Windows 7. I had never gone to Windows 8 or 8.1 on any of my systems and I am using three distinct pieces of gear in case you were wondering.

Logo - Windows 10

After requesting the upgrade via the means in your task bar, a few weeks went by until the upgrade rollout date which was beginning on July 29th if memory serves me correctly. I saw the notice the following day and decided to wait for a few days before kicking it into gear. My test example would be my little HP Netbook (remember those? They were pretty much the tablets of the time based on their size and basic functionality). Anyway, it was in my Windows Update screen that you first see the option to begin the upgrade and I apologize for not capturing that image. After about two hours the download and installation completed and brought me to this screen below.

windows 10, windows 10 upgrade, microsoft

PiercingKen’s W10 Upgrade

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Presenting My Metal Media Office

A couple of years ago I was involved in a Focus Group that was asking about my own personal technology setup and they wanted photos of the gear you were using and how it was being used during your activities. Recently I discovered those images while re-organizing some folders and putting things in proper places and thought it would be fun content for the personal blog so here we go with an overview of my creative workspace and its relatively neat order on the day I shot it.

computer gear, metal office

The Metal Office by Ken Pierce (2013)

The monitor is a 21″ flatscreen and its the Dell brand since it came included with the system. I have another spare smaller screen in my possession but the room is just not there on the desk for me to connect it to the desktop. Maybe if I move the All-In-One device. As you can see I approach the media office with maturity and have a couple of Spider-Man action figures sitting there protecting the sanctity of the writing world for me. Since my mouse is on the right hand side I use the left side space for the things I am examining and you can see a few CD’s and stickers here that I just didn’t move when I snapped the photo. On top of the screen is a small Microsoft Camera for those times when I need to do any sort of video chat. They are great for the band interview but I mostly use this to keep up with the folks who have moved a few states away since I first snapped it.

computer gear, metal office

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Techno-Journalism or How I Did This For Awhile

There is a good chance that you are looking at this photo and wondering just what the heck it is and depending on when you grew in the technology side that is understandable. This my friends is the Palm Tungsten PDA and no, the PDA does not stand for “public display of affection” but instead means “personal digital assistant”. Of course when I was using this device I will admit to loving it very, very much.

Even though its not pictured, my first PDA was the Palm Pilot Professional or the Palm IIIx. I got it as a gift from one of the Partners in a firm that I was once associated with. This had to be around 1999 and of course I was not a writer or aspiring photographer yet in the fashion that you all have come to know. I remember that when my job “ended” that my turd of a manager tried to get it from me citing it belonged to the company. That tool just wanted it for one of his flunkies but that was not happening. Moving along, when this device had served its purpose I stepped up to the Palm V which had more memory and a clearer screen than its predecessor. Mind you this was all in a light green with black typeface and not a color device. I had just started doing my writer thing and was using a new application called Documents To Go which allowed me to edit documents and sync them back to my home computer when I needed to. That was pretty cool.

When my needs grew as a writer I decided to make the jump and buy the latest and greatest Palm device of them all. This was the one in the photo above and called The Tungsten. It had a stainless steel case and took a knocking around in ones briefcase and not only was the screen larger but it was in color. At this point in time there were also PDA phones but I didn’t go that route as I already had a cell phone and I was not interested in mixing the two together. I was using the latest Documents To Go and would stockpile all of the works in progress that I had for the websites I was helping out on and would keep on using this until about 2008 when I moved to a Smartphone. I really liked this device and found it was much easier to jot down my notes right as the events happened when it came to concerts or updating the product review pieces on long train rides and work breaks.

The Palm devices needed you to use a stylus which is the pen like item you see in the photo above also. They were easy to lose but I somehow managed to keep the one that this came with. It also allowed for the adding of an additional memory card, and when I needed more memory I added a whopping 512MB to it. That amount of space is kind of a joke now isn’t it. I never used the device on my network as the WiFi card that you could purchase was a bit pricey for my tastes and I was a slightly disgruntled customer after having ordered this unit at a premium price with no benefits only to find it being sold with a free WiFi card, case, and additional stylus only a month later. Grrr.

I haven’t used my Palm Tungsten in over three years and maybe its even longer, but when I chanced upon it this afternoon while digging around for a memory card in a desk drawer I thought it would be the perfect thing to speak about in my Retro Techno series of PiercingKen blogs. I called it “Techno-Journalism” based on my counting on the abilities of this device as opposed to relying on the conventional pen and paper for the media tasks at hand. Thanks for listening.

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