Mario Cardinal

"The real voyage of discovery consists, not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes" – Marcel Proust

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My new phone is a 7-inch tablet

I’ve always been uncomfortable with the small size of my smartphone screen . So when the first 7-inch tablets size appeared, I considered merging my phone with a tablet to carry only one device with me. 

asus-fonepad1I am a big fan of the Phablets form factor and a 7-inch phone is a device with which I can live. After a long thinking , I finally decided to proceed with a change. This summer, I exchanged my iPhone 4 for an Asus Fonepad tablet. Here is a summary of my experience during this transition.

My needs were simple. I need to run the same applications (or equivalent) than what I used on my iphone 4. Here is a list of those applications sorted by priority:

  • Email that work with Exchange
  • Feed reader that work with feedly (i now use gReader)
  • Mobile reader for the Montreal newspaper “La Presse”
  • Mobile player for french canadian TV (
  • Voice recorder (i now use smart voice recorder)
  • Google Maps
  • TuneIn Radio
  • Podcast player (i now use gReader)
  • Book reader (I now use Google Play to read epub and PDF)
  • Rdio player
  • Safari To Go
  • Pluralsight
  • Hootsuite
  • Twitter
  • OneNote
  • Lync2013

It was mandatory to obtain a tablet with 3G data. For the phone feature, I was ready to try Voice-Over-IP (VOIP) services such as Skype or Line2. Obviously, since I had an ipone 4, I evaluated the purchase of the iPad mini but when I saw the price (around $550), I decided it was too expensive. After evaluating all my options, I decided to opt for the Google tablet as I feel the price was fair (around $300).

So in June, I bought a Google Nexus 7 tablet with 3G data. As I live in Canada and I need a phone number in the 514 area, I subscribe to the Line2 service and start testing VOIP. During my tests, I discovered that the services provided by Line2 was correct even if the reach of 3G data is not equivalent as the reach of mobile phone. For example, I could hardly received phone calls when I was in the basement of my house. Those were constraints that I could live with.

Unfortunately, because of the design of the tablet, there was a problem that I could not tolerate. Since the speaker and the microphone were side by side, the microphone recorded the sound of the speaker which created a very unpleasant echo for the caller. All the people who were calling me experienced the echo and all were uncomfortable. Despite the fact that I enjoyed a lot my experience with Google Nexus 7, I had to consider another option. So, I canceled my subscription with Line2 and I sold my Nexus 7.

By doing some research over the web, I discovered that ASUS is offering an almost identical clone of the Nexus 7 that include a mobile phone.  This tablet is the ASUS Fonepad and bought it for 270 dollars through a reseller who import them from Japan. I now have the best of both worlds, a real mobile phone and a 7-inch tablet . It’s been almost 2 months since I used this new tablet and I could not be more happier.


From now on, I plan to use only phablets and I’ll probably change my device every year. In this regard, the new 6-inch ASUS Fonepad Note seems like a promising device.


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Building software to ensure cooperating teammates

In this post, I explain how a presentation from Simon Sinek has inspired us, my partner and I, to rethink why we create Slingboard. Discover what motivates us to start this new endeavor?

I recently discovered a very interesting presentation on TED by Simon Sinek, the author of the book “Start with why” published in 2009. I know I am late to the party.  This video has been published in 2010 and been viewed 11,742,371 times.

Simon Sinek has a simple but powerful model for inspirational leadership all starting with a golden circle and the question “Why?” His examples include Apple, Martin Luther King, and the Wright brothers.

Simon’s message is profound to say the least! I felt compelled to go back to the drawing board – not just in the work situation, but also in my private life! We need to know why we act as we are, what is our inspiration and motivation, even if it’s just for everyday things, or significant milestones in your life, such as why you marry someone, or why you start a company.

With my business partner, Eric Renaud, we seek to answer the question “Why Slingboard.” What motivates us as a company founder to start this new endeavor?

Here is the result of our thinking:

“Slingboard build software to ensure cooperating teammates”

This vision is the foundation we want to share with the people associated with Slingboard – customers, employees, investors, cooperation partners, etc. We understand that customers buy a product in the first place, but we want more. We want them to understand why we designed the product, in the hope that they will feel inspired by our vision.