Odds and Ends on the Microsoft Surface – Continuing my Exploration

So, I continue my exploration of the Microsoft Surface.

On Screen Keyboard

I was so focused on using the off-screen keyboard that I hadn’t tried the onscreen keyboard much. I like it a lot.  Also, using the pyramid created when you fold back the keyboard and extend the kickstand creates a very stable device, at the perfect angle for onscreen typing. I find I can type quite fast on it. The last (short) blog post I wrote was written on the onscreen keyboard.

USB Port

I quickly added some music to my Surface with a USB stick, very easy.  I also added some epubs that way. Why Microsoft was so cheap as to fail to include a cable to connect my Surface to my computer I don’t know. I know I must have one laying around but no idea where it is.

Speaking of Music

I read reviews complaining about the speakers on the Surface. I put on a song with the sound almost all the way up, walked out of the room, and could hear everything quite well. I imagine part of the issue is the quality and sound level of the music or video in the first place. The general sound quality is about what you would expect from two tiny speakers. A bit tinny. Of course, the moment I put on my head phones things are quite different. The music system is fine. It isn’t iTunes, but it works fine. In the past I have synced my playlists with my Android using various apps. My guess is something similar will come about for the Surface. It would certainly be easier than trying to rearrange everything.

Some Useful Apps

I’ve come across some useful apps, and some not so useful apps. I’ll share.


Evernote – ah Evernote, you are everywhere. This fact alone makes Evernote extremely helpful. It is a great way to keep track of, well, whatever. It works on all of my computers, my phone, my Kindle, and now my Surface.

News Bento – RSS reader. The most important thing for me is that it let me sync my Google Reader.

Kindle – Again, ubiquitous. I haven’t used it much yet, but I have read complaints. So it could have some bugs yet.

TweetTRO – I tried several Twitter apps. This one pleased me most.

Last Pass – Use this on all your devices and you won’t have to worry so much about remembering your passwords. It is available for every device I use.

Not Useful – I uninstalled these as quickly as I installed them

Air Hockey – Doesn’t respond well, causing the enemy to win. Boo.

Simple RSS Reader – Fine, if you like starting over and finding all of your feeds again.

Alexandra Reader – Also fine, if you are just looking for free books. I was looking for an ePub reader. This isn’t Alexandra’s fault of course.

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