The Toybox

people for the conservation of limited amounts of indignation


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my feelings on tablets
children of dune - leto 1
seperis
Friday I had the combination annoying and gratifying experience of helping a coworker out and then utterly killing my faint thoughts toward looking into an iPad or work (currently my Kindle is doing double duty to hold the design documents when I script tests; even having two monitors no longer cuts it when I have to be able to script on one screen, use the second screen to hold my original plan for a script, and need a third to look the original requirements. Dude, we need like, four screens at this point; there are so many changes in workflow that I have to actually create entire cases from scratch so I can see how the hell this is supposed to work.

Note: if you live in Texas and may be applying for benefits or know someone who is, I will be posting a tutorial on how to use this way of submitting your application. As a tester, it's driving me nuts, but for clients, I think this will eventually turn out to be a hugely good thing. What I don't know is how to do that without the upping the risk of someone eventually noticing via google that seperis sounds like Certain Employee With Opinions. I'll get back to that after this release, along with some further updates on welfare policy and what you need to know. Keep in mind when I do post, the information is Texas specific, but policy is federally mandated, so there is crossover in different states.

Anyway, one of my coworkers has an iPad and a Toshiba both, and wanted to transfer her music to the Toshiba and was getting absolutely nowhere. She brought them to work for me to do after some coaxing, because like most people who have to deal with competing OS's, in her heart she thought the entire thing was because she was just, you know, tech challenged in a bad way. This is a program tester by the way; I always want to coax my coworkers into a seminar titled "It Really Isn't You; It Is That Fucked Up" with a side of "No, Really, This Is Because They Designed It to Make It Harder for You to Do This So You Will Buy Their Products and All Companies Do This". I am still working on this seminar.

Teh only Apple product I use is iTunes, for various lazy-related reasons, so I'd almost forgotten that iTunes purpose when combined with objects (iPod, iPad, iPhone) is to drive me nuts. I explained about computer authorization and DRM and did a search to see what she had that was locked (nothing, thank God) and the waited patiently while iTunes took an hour to complete a synch operation that takes me ten minutes with a direct sd card move, and while doing that, I stared at the gorgeous iPad and realized that there was no possible way that it wouldn't send me into conniptions trying to use it with my spreadsheets and docs that I need to update now; when I want to move a song, I want to just move it.

I'm not any happier with my experience with the Toshiba tablet; my Kindle and my phone both use android and I broke them to my will as far as getting root access and setting my organization up even if the limits can be--frustrating, but working with someone else's tech means I can't spend ten minutes getting the apps I want to make life simple, and it was a revelation all over again that dealing with my server's ubuntu in various forms comes in stupidly handy at the weirdest times, and how much I depend, literally, on workarounds I don't even think about anymore. Moving music of all things--legally goddamn bought in the iTunes store music free of DRM--should not have been this kind of production that took a computer authorization, a full synch that took forever, and then finally the sd card transfer.

I really want a tablet now after using my Kindle to hold my work docs and finding it a lifesaver to be able to flip through the pages and search and even edit directly there and carry it around with me to meetings--it's hitting me how stupidly useful this would be for reading design documents and screenshots and being able to make notes directly during meetings instead of having to jot things down and hope to God I can read my own handwriting later--but the iPad and the Toshiba both did not encourage me to think this will be a painless process on par with using my home laptop regularly. The only one that seems like it might meet my requirements is the Motorola Galaxy, but now I'm suspicious that the ability to do more complex work--and what I want to eventually do is use it so when our design documents update, I can add te revisions in without losing my notes--also means it will be more stupidly complex work to make them do something that should be very simple.

I am feeling technologically cynical, I think.

Posted at Dreamwidth: http://seperis.dreamwidth.org/929598.html. | You can reply here or there. | comment count unavailable comments

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What computer would you recommend if I need lots of memory, want to play movies, isn't a Mac, and most importantly, has the keyboard VERY close to the edge of the laptop? Dell inspirions are not good, there is about 6 inches of "resting" space between the edge of the keyboard and the keyboard that is causing severe carpel tunnel syndrome. At work, I use an hp laptop, which is ok.

Re: New computer question

Except for netbooks, none that I know of that don't have those spaces for the touchpad. I'd stay with the HP one if that one is working for you.

(Deleted comment)
Thank you for the review! I'm adding that one to my list to check now.

I have an all Apple workflow—iPod, iPhone, Macbook, iPad—so it all just works for me. I have no clue what Windows and Linux users have to go through to get their lone Apple product to play nice with the others.

As for tablets: If you type, you need a keyboard. No ifs, ands or buts. You need a physical keyboard, the soft keyboards are not ideal for coding or writing lengthy documents. And then lifting your hand from the keyboard to the screen can be . . . annoying.

I don’t mean to dis on tablets. I love that 8 – 10 hour battery life. I can café and library hop all day long on weekends and not have to worry about plugging in. But that kind of freedom comes at a cost of having to rework some of my workflows. I have had to overhaul parts of my workflow and I have an all Apple ecosystem. I tell people to ask themselves: Which do you prioritize more? Untethered freedom or workflow?

FYI, there are rumors that Microsoft is going to announce Office for iOS with the next iPad. I’ll believe it when I see it but it’s something to hope for. If it does happen, I will be keenly watching to see of Word does track changes and comments—if it does, it’ll be the first native word processor to do so.

I think having all Mac makes a huge difference. Also, honestly, I'm used to having root access or easily being able to get it without voiding my warranty, so I wouldnt' be able to cope with that restriction.

As for tablets: If you type, you need a keyboard. No ifs, ands or buts. You need a physical keyboard, the soft keyboards are not ideal for coding or writing lengthy documents. And then lifting your hand from the keyboard to the screen can be . . . annoying.

I've been worrying about that. I've played with onscreen keyboards, and the only one I could use almost normally was the one that allows dragging between letters, but even then--I type fast. It didn't keep up well at all.

I tell people to ask themselves: Which do you prioritize more? Untethered freedom or workflow?

This is part of it for me, I think. I can work with Windows and Linux and Windows and Android and Linux and Android because if all else fails, I can command line it from the root and I can code in all three and pretty much transfer between effortlessly. But Apple's immovable when it comes to transfer/sync and in an Apple-only workflow, that works, but not so much when nothing else uses that.

Though I do wish I could find a program that let me transfer my Excel macros. I wrote a ton of them to cover certain functions and certain kinds of spreadsheet searches for speed, and those just do not transfer.

Check out these sites, i've had really good experiences with cheap chinese electronics, their pricier range of tablets have decent processors, dual windows/android systems and good battery life. Since they are completely unlocked, i've found it very easy to customize them too.
http://www.tinydeal.com/index.php?main_page=index&sk=69685606hn
http://dx.com/c/laptops-tablets-1499/tablets-1409

Thank you! I'll check it out!

Teh only Apple product I use is iTunes, for various lazy-related reasons

OMG, same thing here! Each and every time it loses my whole library, ie, every 6 months or so, I swear I will investigate MediaMonkey, but I am so lazy...

And yes, I have read and tried to follow all the backup/restore instructions I have found and it never works somehow! And now that I have started using Calibre (for my Kindle), it is even more obvious how truly deficient and stupidly restrictive Apple software is.

The truth is that over the past few years I have started hating Apple with the fire of the thousand suns: yes, their products are truly beautiful, but their contempt of their users is not something I will accept lying down.

And my new Android phone (a Samsung Galaxy S model running 2.3) is a thing of beauty and a joy forever. And so is my Kindle Fire!

Note that I do not mean to harsh any Apple lover's squee, I just dislike their general attitude - though I grant you that by now everyone else now does the same. But I blame Apple, because they are the tones that started this trend.


OMG, same thing here! Each and every time it loses my whole library, ie, every 6 months or so, I swear I will investigate MediaMonkey, but I am so lazy...


GOD I KNOW. I have to backup my library every time I do anything now and restore it about once every six months to a year.

Note that I do not mean to harsh any Apple lover's squee, I just dislike their general attitude - though I grant you that by now everyone else now does the same. But I blame Apple, because they are the tones that started this trend.

*g* I know. It's hard because I get why people love their Apple stuff, and why it works for them, but man, I'm used to having a ton more freedom and flexibility for a lot of my work, and I can't get used to those restrictions.

I've got Apple products (iPod Touch, then iPhone 4) and had loads of trouble with iTunes; had a Toshiba laptop with Windows Vista and it kept telling me iTunes wasn't installed properly. Laptop died (after three years) and I got a glorified laptop masquerading as a desktop with Windows 7 and haven't had a problem since.

Then again, I make few demands of my computers; surf the internet, play videos, download this 'n that and run calibre. I keep my music in the itunes folder and everything else in an external drive, including backups of the music.

I have a Toshiba laptop; don't buy them, it's a piece of crap that I'm sorry I bought. It gets so hot in my lap sometimes that one time when I was wearing shorts instead of pants it gave me a bad burn on my leg that's still healing; the hard drive failed in less than 5 months after I bought it and customer service was rude and unhelpful--I had to insist on returning it w/them; wouldn't cover a malfunctioning laptop screen--I paid for and replaced it myself as paying someone else to do would've cost me $250 and so it only cost me $80 instead by doing it myself. I wish I'd just about another Acer--I had good luck w/them and more computer for my buck. But, no, I fell for the marketing that Toshiba was a better product and Acer was crap.

I owned an Acer laptop for 6 years w/no trouble until it started going and the 2nd one only died b/c it fell off the table and killed the hard drive--worked perfectly up until then.

I will never, ever buy an Apple product. They're not user friendly and I have adamant objections to their business practices. Say what you want about Windows and Gates but I'm not aware of him driving employees to suicide or having such unethical business practices and I've searched for the info.

From: http://www.alternet.org/labor/154043/iempire%3A_apple%27s_sordid_business_practices_are_even_worse_than_you_think/

Behind the sleek face of the iPad is an ugly backstory that has revealed once more the horrors of globalization. The buzz about Apple’s sordid business practices is courtesy of the New York Times series on the “iEconomy. In some ways it’s well reported but adds little new to what critics of the Taiwan-based Foxconn, the world’s largest electronics manufacturer, have been saying for years. The series' biggest impact may be discomfiting Apple fanatics who as they read the articles realize that the iPad they are holding is assembled from child labor, toxic shop floors, involuntary overtime, suicidal working conditions, and preventable accidents that kill and maim workers.

I have a Toshiba laptop; don't buy them, it's a piece of crap

Anon above: I recommend Fujitsu! I used to be a Sony devotee until the DRM virus-gate several years back. Since then, five years ago I think? I have bought several Fujitsu laptops (and tablets).

They may not be the cheapest or the slimmest or the best advertised, but they are reliable and the best bang for your buck. Note: you'll probably want to buy from their website directly after checking out some of the models on display at Fry's Electronics.

Their biggest advantage over the competition? Their customer support people are actually helpful and happen to speak and understand English! Will wonders never cease!? :D

I'm on the fence about tablets. (I'm not considering the iPad, however; I'm more of a control freak than Apple is and couldn't bear the ecological constraints.) I need the option a keyboard. For this reason, I've been eyeing the Asus Transformer Prime, which just got released here, but I've yet to meet someone who owns one (preferably upgraded to ICS), and won't make the jump until I do.

I'm not considering the iPad, however; I'm more of a control freak than Apple is and couldn't bear the ecological constraints.

I don't own anything Apple anymore because of that; I still twitch at memories of synching my iPod. And using the iPad would mean authorizing every single computer I plug it into, and I have too many for that to be done easily wihtout rooting everything.

For this reason, I've been eyeing the Asus Transformer Prime, which just got released here, but I've yet to meet someone who owns one (preferably upgraded to ICS), and won't make the jump until I do.

Post about it if you decide on it and tell me how it works? I'm still looking at the Motorola Galaxy as far as being able to use it for work and home, but the keyboard issue is going to come up. I'm wondering if I can get a usb keyboard on it directly or if it needs an entire workstation thing for that to work.

I have to admit, I have a love/hate relationship with PinkiePie (the IPod Shuffle I got for Christmas) and right now she's in a time out because ITunes makes me want to rend things.

B has a tablet (it's an Acer) that he bought for work (mainly so he didn't have to haul around his ancient laptop which he says is too heavy) and he seems to like it well enough.

I also have Barney, the Toshiba netbook, which I don't use for anything but the internet really and I like it well enough. It hasn't given me any problems except for that one time back in Nov when I got a virus that made me have to wipe a bunch of stuff to get rid of it. D: I lost almost all of my NaNoWriMo novel which pissed me off to no end.

I also have Barney, the Toshiba netbook, which I don't use for anything but the internet really and I like it well enough. It hasn't given me any problems except for that one time back in Nov when I got a virus that made me have to wipe a bunch of stuff to get rid of it. D: I lost almost all of my NaNoWriMo novel which pissed me off to no end.

oh my God. I would have cried. I'm so sorry!

I had something similar happen with a Palm Tungsten E when the app crashed. I did cry. ;_;

I have been thinking about getting a tablet for quite a while now, primarily for reading documents, organizing and keeping up with social networks while on the commute. Another use for a tablet I have considered is reading digital comics.

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