Ask A Techie 20 Questions - Carolin Sha - Engineer

How would you define a techie?

A person immersed in technology, keeps up to date and actually knows what he/she is talking about.

If you had to choose a job outside of tech, what would it be?

An entrepreneur because I don’t want to work for a company. I’d like to be a founder of my own company and contribute positively to the community.

What are your thoughts on the newly announced Microsoft HoloLens?

I have positive thoughts on this because there is a lot of research being done on holograms and its wide use in all fields. This is long overdue for the pace of technological development that is happening in places of higher learning and technological institutions.

What global tech event would you like to attend?

Mobile world congress

Describe the state of ICT in Trinidad

ICT in Trinidad is still evolving. I would personally like to see ICT being used more in social work, agriculture and health sectors in Trinidad.

Tell us anything about yourself.

Introvert, humble and likes to read/watch autobiographies

Most prized gadget you own?

Iphone and Roku player

Do you think robots will surpass human intelligence?

Yes, please see the movie I,Robot.

If you have a drone, what would you use it for?

Cooking restaurant style meals and driving me around

Team work or individual work?

Teamwork for projects

Come up with an emoticon and describe it.

A face with arms reaching outwards. This portrays giving a hug from a distance while not intruding into the other person’s personal space.

Which month do all soldiers hate?

December because soldiers would want to be at home with family and friends for the holidays

If you were to create your own programming language, what would you call it?

Cashaa

What would call your tech startup and what would the slogan be?

"Sha Industries" slogan "Simple is awesome"

How would you describe the internet to your grandma?

A never ending black hole of information that is available anytime and anywhere.

List 5 websites every techie should be visiting.

  • expert-exchange.com
  • stackoverflow.com
  • cnet.com
  • techrepublic.com
  • speedtest.net

What dress code is best suited for tech jobs?

Jeans, Jacket and Heels :)

What do you do for fun and relaxation?

Netflix, Netflix and more Netflix, exercise and spending time with family.

Are you sure you're ready for the road that lies ahead?

Yes, I am excited to see the implementation of new ideas to solve complex problems from the younger generation.

What question would you ask the next techie?

When was the last time you helped a fellow techie, without being arrogant about it?

Ask A Techie 20 Questions - Kevin Sheppard - IT Specialist

How would you define a techie?

I'd say anyone who is very knowledgeable of and has a love and appreciation for technology.

What made you fall in love with tech?

I've always had a interest in technology since we got a Windows 95 computer when I was about 5 or 6 years old. What turned interest into love was watching Call for Help and The Screen Savers on TechTV in my teens.

Describe the smartphone of the future.

I think any modern smart phone that can survive 10 hours of usage and not beg for a recharge at the end of the day is plenty futuristic for me.

What are your thoughts on ethical hacking?

I think it's fine as long as it's truly ethical.

Pull out the USB drive or click eject in the OS first?

If a read/write operation is going on, I'll wait... then pull that sucker out.

Describe the state of ICT in Trinidad.

ICT in T&T, I believe, is making strides. There is, however, a major hurdle we're still trying to overcome - bringing all the ex-ludites in the decision making positions up to speed with how technology can improve and even eradicate a lot of inefficient processes.

They're coming along, but it's taking some time. In the mean time, folks who have the great ideas are trying to forge their own path around this hurdle.. which can prove to be a bit difficult.

Tell us anything about yourself.

Every year on my birthday since 2006, I attempt to finish all of Grand Theft Auto 3. I'm usually successful at that.

Most prized gadget you own?

Has to be my PC (Eleanor). This is where I work, play and do everything in-between.

Tell us a tech joke.

A hard drive went to the doctor about his appetite. Two days have passed and he hasn't had a byte to eat.

Would you take a blackberry pie or a Blackberry phone?

I'd take the the phone. Their latest offerings really aren't that bad. Not many apps, but at least I could hack on it.

If you have US500 million which tech company would you buy?

DigitalOcean

If you have a drone, what would you use it for?

Giving people surprise haircuts :-D

Team work or individual work?

Team work, but keep it compartmentalized - one person does the UI, another the back-end and another front-end.

What five-letter word becomes shorter when you add two letters to it?

"Dog"... just kidding "short".

5 things you would put in a care package for a new IT employee?

  • Cell phone loaded with numbers for everyone in the IT department
  • list of places to go when you need to escape the constant phone calls
  • gym pass
  • white board with markers
  • a bible

Your smartphone falls in the toilet bowl, what do you do?

Fish it out! Unless there's poop in there... then I'd fish it out with like, a rag or something.

What dress code is best suited for tech jobs?

Comfortable wear for day to day - a decent t-shirt, long jeans and decent shoes. Shirts and tie for client meetings and stuff.

What do you do for fun and relaxation?

Take in a good movie/video game with an engaging plot and and interesting set of characters.

What are you doing to change the world?

Trying to disrupt the marketing industry by changing the way businesses keep in touch with their high valued customers. Check out http://linqme.co/business to learn more about what I'm working on.

What question would you ask the next techie?

Are you sure you're ready for the road that lies ahead?

My Samsung Note 4 Review



So basically I got a Note 4 for 2 weeks to review. My aim and approach for this review is to pen the best review I ever did and set the standard for future reviews on this blog. Hopefully the more I blog, the better I get. The tech space is very dynamic and I am learning everyday.

It just so happened that I would have to go to Woodbrook to collect the review unit. I always wanted to try out Hassan’s Gyros on the Avenue. So after I collected the Note 4, I took a stroll down the Avenue and bought gyros for lunch. Hassan makes the best gyros.

I love the phablet form factor. That’s why when I had the choice of a new phone in 2012 I chose the Note over the other phones at the time. Samsung started the phablet category and are still the leaders in this category.


I'll start off by listing what comes in the box. Phone, USB cable, adapter, quick start guide, earbuds, and S-Pen nib replacements.



Things that caught my attention when I started using the Note 4 include Smart Network Switch, longer USB cable, new version of TouchWiz, better performance (compared to the S4), Smart Remote had options for Trinidad and Flow, chamfered metal border, beautiful screen and the size of the battery. Things that bother me include the wait for Android Lollipop, the white body that is easy to dirty (if I had a choice I would choose Charcoal Black), no USB 3.0 and no radio app.

The first thing I like to do with my smartphone is customise it. I remove all the widgets and leave one page of my mostly used apps on the home screen, then add a wallpaper of my liking. I don’t use cases, skins or screen protectors. I like to enjoy the full look and feel of the smartphone. Build feels and looks premium. Price is what you would expect from a premium flagship device.


Captured from front facing camera in Selfie Mode

Swipe (Samsung version of Swype) is not enabled by default, I had to enable it under settings. Selfie mode is really sharp and nicely saturated. It takes some time to get used to the fingerprint reader. A steady, firm and not too fast swipe works for me. The new version of TouchWiz on this latest hardware is faster and more fluid. I looked at some of the art created with the S-Pen and I must say that some persons are really talented. Artists would really enjoy this feature of the Note. The menu button now launches a list of opened apps. Hold it down long enough to get the menu. The volume on the loud speaker is decent and the call quality is great. I am pleased to note that the Note 4 does 4K video recording. I tested this out a few times and I am impressed. I would love to upgrade the "Tech Remix Weekly" vlog to 4K recording. The Note 4 is great for multitasking and allows for multiple apps on the same screen.

The camera is pretty good. Below are some photos I captured with the Note 4.






As a techie it is easy to get carried away with specs and features and performance and ecosystem but we must also consider what normal users might think about when chosing a smartphone. Things like style, branding, ease of use and personal preference. Some of the competitors in the phablet category would be OnePlus One, iPhone 6+, Nexus 6 and LG G3. These are the phones I would compare the Note 4 to. Samsung has invested in the Trinidad and Tobago market considerably more than any other brand in my mind. Launches, review units, smart classrooms, experience stores, and service and support. This has created a lot of goodwill in my mind.

Where can they improve? Things like better battery life (like twice as much), quicker OS updates, stock android look, feel and performance but keep the TouchWiz features, bring back the radio app, more premium build (like the rumoured all metal body of the S6), stereo speakers and lower price. It’s easy to say listen to your customers but we must remember that customers want different things. Some people like TouchWiz and some people don’t.

I wanted to get a sense of what others are saying about the Note 4 so I asked my social streams and I also went looking for comments on the internet. This helped me shape my views for this review. I chose 5 features and asked persons to vote [ link to poll ] on the most important smartphone feature. The results were not surprising to me. Most people want better battery life. I am a photog so I chose camera over battery life.



It’s not the easiest task in the world to please everyone. Samsung has tried to create categories of phones for everyone. If the Note 4 is not for you, you will probably be able to find what you are looking for in another model. "Be together, not the same" is the tagline for Android and pretty much sums up why I like Android smartphones, like the Note 4.

In conclusion I would rate the Note 4 an 8 out of 10 and I would recommend it to anyone looking for the best phablet on the market. And you don't have to take my word for it. Go into any Experience Store and experience it for yourself. Thank you for reading and sharing and please share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

Ask A Techie 20 Questions - Dwayne Samuels - Entrepreneur

When I read about Dwayne's story in Loop Jamaica I said to myself I should contact him to do 20 Questions. Dwayne is headed to Silicon Valley to take part in an entrepreneurship programme there. You can connect with him through his website - dwaynesamuels.com

How would you define a techie?

Someone deeply in love with technology and what it enables them to do.

What made you fall in love with tech?

I was a pre-natal Star Trek fan (lol), my mom used to watch Star Trek marathons when she was pregnant. Thats the first TV show I can remember being obsessed with.

Your thoughts on open source and free software?

Essential. Would be great if everything was free.

Your thoughts on IT certifications?

Certifications are very important based on the area of ITC you plan to venture into, at times, more comprehensive than a degree.

Describe the state of ICT in Jamaica.

Quickly growing, especially mobile data. Mobile is eating Jamaica. I only wish Jamaicans made as much as they consumed.

Tell us anything about yourself.

I like pizza.

Advice you would give to other techies?

Try to build something that people want, don't sit around a desk all day and work then play video games.

Most prized gadget you own?

My iPhone

Describe a tech pet peeve?

Someone borrowing my browser for a while and not using Incognito Mode.

Describe a futuristic technology you would like to see happen.

Quantum Computers!

Specs on your dream PC build?

I kinda stopped paying attention to specs post 2012, lol.

If you have a drone, what would you use it for?

Delivering my pizza.

Team work or individual work?

Team work makes the dream work.

What does an island and the letter T have in common?

They're in water, hahaha.

5 things you would put in a care package for a new IT employee?

  • A Beats headset
  • A portable mobile phone charger
  • A branded T-shirt
  • A branded hoody
  • A Herman Miller Aeron chair

Best tech advice you have received?

Work and smart hard while being patient and humble.

What dress code is best suited for tech jobs?

Long sleeve T-shirt, jeans and sneakers (I wish I could wear them every where, including formal functions).

What do you do for fun and relaxation?

Take long walks alone or read.

If you can use a computer program to solve one problem, what would it be?

Stabilising Bitcoin.

What question would you ask the next techie?

What are you doing to change the world?