I read a lot and almost entirely on a Kindle. I feel about my Kindle the way I feel about computers: it’s a better way.
Especially as I’ve gotten older and my eyes tire quickly, being able to adjust size and style of the fonts has become increasingly important. Kindle is lighter than a paperback and has its own light. My Kindle isn’t a book — it’s a portable library that I can take with me wherever I go.
A while back, I had to read a “real book” because it wasn’t available on Kindle. I found it heavy and worse, I had to turn a light by which to read. I’m not used to that! When we travel, I no longer need to haul a trunk full of paperbacks. My Kindle fits neatly in my shoulder bag, camera bag or laptop case. My wrists don’t get tired from holding it. I can read one-handed. The Kindle keeps my place for me, even if I’m reading more than one book at a time. And the bookmarks never fall out.
I grab my Kindle on the way out when I’m off to the doctor. Having stuff to read takes some of the sting out of waiting. At home, I don’t have to figure out where to put books. For the first time in 30 years, there’s a bit of wiggle room on my book shelves.
I get annoyed by people who tell me electronic books aren’t “real books.” I’m sure when books replaced papyrus scrolls, a lot of people complained. And when the printing press replaced scribes, whew! That was major change. For me, it’s contents that makes a book, not format.
A couple of years ago, we gave away hundreds of books. They went to our local library, two high schools, the senior center and to any friends who wanted them. And there are plenty more where they came from if anyone wants them.
Yet I still love old-fashioned paper books. There’s nothing like the smell of paper and ink when you open a new book. Nothing sounds sweeter than the soft crack of a book’s binding as it loosens for the first time. The rustle of paper when you turn pages is music to my ears.
If I had unlimited room, I’d have a library with every book I love filling the shelves. But I’d do my reading on the Kindle anyway. Because it weighs almost nothing and it’s lit from within. I’ve gotten spoiled by the lightness and the light.
There’s room in the world for all kinds of things. Paper books will never be obsolete. Buy them as long as you have room in your bookcases.
For everything else, there’s a Kindle. Or a Nook or a tablet or whatever device you prefer.
Reading is important. The rest is semantics.
Amazon launched the new generation of Kindles at the end of September 2013. I spent time perusing these latest greatest Kindles. They are much like the previous generation with the following differences:
- Higher resolution graphics
- More memory and memory options
- Faster processor
- Longer battery life
- Easier (more) Amazon cloud storage
- Simplified (better) support
- A front-facing camera for Skype and similar applications
- Different, more intuitive, menu structure
- New placement of speakers and buttons
- Even better sound quality
- Comes with a charger.
There are other difference, but these are the ones that concern me.
When the HDX first came out, my Kindle Fire HD was working fine, but as months passed it began to stutter. Stuff wouldn’t download. Too many audio books and movies. Too much music. I kept finding more ways to use the Kindle and 8 GB of memory was insufficient.
When they dropped the price by $50, it became less expensive than my original Kindle HD Fire. After a dark night of the soul about spending the money, I bought it. It came with 6-month financing at 0% interest … a nice touch.
I depend on my Kindle. It’s not an optional piece of equipment. I have hundreds of books I can read only on Kindle so in the end, there wasn’t much choice. I was going to get the new Kindle.
I’m convinced Kindles are the biggest bargain in tablets. My granddaughter has an iPad which theoretically has more functions. For my purposes, it isn’t as good. Not only does it cost two to three times more than the Kindle, but the sound quality, screen resolution and color are not as good. The difference in sound quality is particularly obvious. I don’t know how Kindles get such great sound from tiny speakers, but listening to anything on the Kindle Fire HDX is a pleasure.
The Amazon Kindle Fire HDX has a new interface for email that’s smoother and easier to use. The calendar is greatly improved. There are plenty of free games from Amazon. If you have a Prime subscription, you can watch a wide selection of movies and TV shows free too. You can also borrow books. Moreover, you can “buy” many books for $0.00. Sometimes these sales run for only a day or too, but there are new deals every day. And finally, you can lend your books to Kindle-using friends and family.
This is an incremental upgrade to the Kindle Fire HD. The HDX is a wonderful tablet, but so is the original Fire HD. You can still buy the Fire HD (new from Amazon) for $139. For many people, it will be more than adequate. The main advantage to the HDX is the faster processor and additional memory. If you use your Kindle a lot, you’ll notice the difference.
This is a remarkably complete, fun entertainment center in a lightweight, purse-sized package. It’s almost too much fun offering a plethora of pleasantly distracting choices. It’s also a better reader. The page color is a softer; adjusting screen brightness is easier.
You can store everything on Amazon’s cloud servers. If you delete a book, you don’t lose it. You can remove items from the device, but they remain accessible as long as you have WiFi. Serious road warriors may want to get a Kindle with 3G.
You can do most things you would want to do on any tablet on the Kindle. You won’t be editing pictures or writing your novel, but I don’t think you’d be doing that on any tablet. Or at least I wouldn’t. For those things, I want more RAM, a hard drive, an application with legs and a full-size keyboard.
Big thumbs up for overall quality, sound, video, and speed.
Buy a cover that offers some protection and keeps dust out. Most let you prop your Kindle like an easel to watch a movie or listen hands free. Many (most) covers turn the Kindle on and off when you open or close it. Covers are affordable.
Fingerprints are a peril of all tablets. Keep a stash of lens wipes handy. Good for the Kindle, cameras, computers and eyeglasses. Don’t bother with a protective screen; it’s a waste of money.
The on/off button is less difficult to reach, though its placement on the back of the unit wouldn’t be my first choice. I’d prefer all the controls in front. And I find the charger connection tricky. The edges of the HDX are beveled, so the plug is not straight, but slightly angled. You have to be very careful when connecting it; it would be easy to damage the connector. They need to find a way to make the connector straight, not angled. It isn’t a deal breaker, but it is annoying.
The Kindle Fire HDX wakes up instantly. Zero boot time.
I got the one with the ads. They only appear on the splash screen before you unlock it. What’s the big deal?
If you own a Kindle, you are in the Amazon universe. Amazon is so integral to my life anyway, that’s fine with me. I’ve been buying books, appliances, music, movies, housewares, coffee, cameras, computers — everything except clothing — from Amazon for years. If you feel you need to spend two or three times as much for a tablet for the privilege of buying exactly the same stuff elsewhere, hey, that’s what Apple is all about.
- A Closer Look At The Kindle Fire HDX (kindlefirehdx.wordpress.com)
- Kindle Fire HD, HDX sales help power record weekend for Amazon – Christian Science Monitor (newestgadgetsinfo.com)
- Kindle Fire HDX Cyber Monday 2013 Deals and Sales At Aboutdeal.com (hispanicbusiness.com)
- Goodreads and Second Screen integration finally hitting Kindle Fire HD and HDX (engadget.com)
- Amazon Drops Kindle Fire Prices by $50 for Cyber Monday Promo – Gotta Be Mobile (newestgadgetsinfo.com)
- Amazon putting Kindle Fires on sale for Cyber Monday (examiner.com)
Amazon launched its new generation of Kindles this week. I built up a nice head of new gadget enthusiasm looking at these latest greatest Kindles. They have even higher resolution, more memory options and a faster processor. Then, I turned on my Kindle Fire HD and realized I don’t need a new one. This one is fine. No hiccups. Handles everything I throw at it. For a little tablet, it’s a workhorse that never quits.
There is no question in my mind that the Kindles are the biggest bargain in tablets on the market. Even the most expensive top of the line new versions are remarkably low-priced. I have two Kindles and use both, though I use the Fire most.
The Kindle with the keyboard is still a great book reader with an astoundingly long battery life — weeks of reading on one charge. It doesn’t do everything, but it does what it does perfectly. The Kindle Fire HD is much more versatile. It is a portable entertainment center. It travels everywhere. I use the other one primarily when I just want to read and I don’t know when I’ll be able to charge the battery.
The Amazon Kindle Fire 7″ HD is fun, a complete mini entertainment center in a convenient, purse-sized package. It’s almost too much fun. I intend to read, but end up watching a movie. I get distracted by the plethora of choices.
It’s a fine reader. You may need to adjust the brightness to suit your comfort level, but that’s easily done. Adjusting the size of the text is a mere finger pinch. In bright sunlight, it isn’t as good as my 2nd gen Kindle, but I rarely read outside. I do, however, read in bed and the built in backlighting is very convenient.
The sound is remarkable. It’s hard to believe you can get that much good quality sound from such tiny speakers. The quality of the video is also amazing. I watch movies and TV shows on my 7″ Fire HD — something I was sure I would never do.
As an Amazon Prime member, there are a great many movies and television shows available for free; it will be a long time (if ever) before I need to buy anything. I have a huge library of books for the Kindle and all the books in my Audible account are automatically available on my Kindle too. I’ve gotten great “box sets” of Beethoven, Mozart, Debussy at amazingly reasonable prices. Any music CDs I’ve bought since I got the Kindle appear automatically under the music menu.
The Kindle HD links to the older of my 2 Audible accounts. You cannot link an Audible account that isn’t under the same email address as your Amazon account nor can you link multiple Audible accounts. If you have multiple Audible accounts under one email address and it is the same address you use for your Amazon account, you can consolidate libraries into a single account. If — as I did — you have more than one Audible account under separate email addresses, you can only link one. I gave up and closed my second account. If you are having problems with your Audible library, you will need to call Audible. They have excellent, friendly tech support and are a pleasure to work with.
The Kindle is great for listening to audiobooks, in my opinion better than an MP3 player because I hate earphones. The audio quality is good and the sound is plenty loud enough. The Kindle is small and light and fits easily in my purse. The HD is heavier than my older Kindle reader, but it’s still a very acceptable size and weight. You can use it with earphones if you need to. It sounds great. Really, I’m not kidding.
The available memory is only 16GB, plenty unless you want to download movies. Streaming uses no memory, so no problem. Regular “print” books are small; you can carry a whole library with you (I do). Music and audiobooks take up a lot more memory, but you can stream music. You can’t stream audiobooks yet, but maybe eventually. They’re working on it. There is no way to expand the memory. The Kindle has no slot for an SD chip nor port for a flash drive. Why not? If they would add one, I’d probably trade up! But, at the price — which has now dropped to a new low — it’s hard to complain. So I won’t.
Still, it wouldn’t have been that difficult to include slots for one or both. Just saying. Buying a 32 GB version doubles the amount of resident memory, but there’s still no option to expand beyond whatever is your preset limit.
You can work around the limits, but you need to accept the limits of the device or you will become very frustrated. It is what it is. It’s a lot. It’s just not everything.
Audiobooks can be large. You can keep a few on the Kindle, but probably not all 57 hours of “Lord of the Rings.” Listen to a book, delete it then download the next. Unlike when you download from Audible to your computer, you cannot download a multi part book in sections. It’s the whole book or nothing. A book that is in your Audible library in multiple parts will download in a single section to the Kindle. If the book you want to load is LOTR or Winds of War, make sure you have enough room. I have not successfully downloaded anything that long. Actually, I haven’t even tried. It would be silly. Those books I listen to on one of my three other computers. I can live with that.
You can store everything you aren’t actively listening to, watching, or reading on Amazon’s cloud servers. Thus when you delete a book you never lose it, something that’s true of the entire Kindle line (not just the HD). You just move it off the device.
You can retrieve it when you like. All is well if you have WiFi. It’s an issue if you lack a WiFi connection. Serious road warriors should probably spend the money and get a Kindle with 3G that automatically switch when you don’t have WiFi. That’s pretty much covers the world, with the exception of Jackman, Maine, where neither WiFi NOR 3G are available. I suppose there are other dead zones but I don’t know of any.
You can do most things you would want to do on any tablet on the Kindle. You won’t be editing pictures or writing your novel, but I don’t think you’d be doing that on any tablet. Or at least, I wouldn’t. For those things, I want a lot more RAM, a real hard drive, the right application and most important, a full-sized keyboard.
The manual — such as it is — is useless. Amazon has good customer service, real people who know the device and will stay on the phone with you until your battery runs out … but who wants to have to call customer service to figure out how to delete a book or movie? Or for that matter, turn the unit on? It’s simple, but even if you actually find the manual (I had to call customer service for that, too), you won’t find a listing for “delete,” “remove”, “turn on,” etc. Amazon, hire a technical writer. We work cheap. Give a job to someone who needs one!
I bought the $199 version (much less now!) with advertising. I’m don’t find it intrusive. You can get rid of adverts for $15 if they annoy you, but they show up only as offers on the splash screen before you actually turn it on, which is why I find all the comments about how annoying it is puzzling. Have the people who are complaining seen how it’s done or are they assuming the ads show up on your reading screen? Once the unit is on, the ads are gone; you can only access them via the Offers menu. They aren’t in your books, movies, music, games, email or anything else. Just the splash screen you see before you turn it on.
Thumbs up for overall quality, sound, video, and speed. It’s a good-looking compact device. Accessories are affordable. Definitely get the Quick Charger ($9.99); you will be very glad you did. I also bought some inexpensive styli and use them occasionally. They’ve turned out to be useful for my iPhone. The touch screen is sometimes too sensitive. Usually it’s easier to use your fingers than a stylus, but the stylus does come in handy. A cheap stylus will work just as well as an expensive one. I have both and I can’t see any difference between them.
Fingerprints are not a problem. I buy lens wipes at the drug store. They clean the Kindle, my camera lens, my computer and my eyeglasses. Don’t bother with a protective screen; it’s a waste of money.
Get a cover. It provides protection and keeps dust and dirt out. Most of them let you prop your Kindle like an easel to watch a movie or listen hands free. Many covers also turn the Kindle on and off when you open or close it. Since the on/off button is a bit hard to find by feel, a case that turns the unit on and off is a plus.
The Kindle Fire HD does a lot more stuff than you expect and does it well. I’ve had it for more than 15 months. I’m still a very happy camper. I’ve discovered I can listen to music while reading or playing Scrabble. I can listen to an audiobook while checking email or doing something else online. I’m finally starting to coördinate audiobooks and Kindle books, so I can listen and read the same book. Kind of cool. As the narrator reads, the books come alive and the text highlights with the narration. Neat.
The Kindle wakes up instantly. Zero boot time.
It’s the best deal in town — even less expensive now that the next generation has been released. I will probably get a new one eventually but not soon. I have yet to experience a single problem with either of my Kindles. They both work as well today as the day I got them. That’s saying a lot. I only wish everything in my world of widgets and gadgets worked this well.
- New Kindle Fire HD $139.00 (forthemommas.com)
- New Kindle Fires get faster, add personal support (cnn.com)
- Kindle Fire on sale for $129 today (reviews.cnet.com)
- On The Cheap: Kindle Fire HD Now Best Deal In Tablet Town (techcitement.com)
- Amazon updates its Kindle Fire HD (techeron.wordpress.com)
- Amazon reduces Kindle Fire HD price in India (androidos.in)
- Amazon, Barnes & Noble go tit for tat in tablet wars (reviews.cnet.com)
- Next-Gen Amazon Kindle Fire HD Leaked Photos Hit The Internet (ubergizmo.com)
“Was there something wrong with it? And, do you need a replacement? We can get you a replacement, no problem,” signaling to holler over a fellow colleague. But I declined.
“There’s nothing wrong with the tablet,” I said. “I suspect it’s actually a problem with me.”
Within the 14-day period in which Apple consumers are granted a stay of financial relief on their purchases, I returned my tablet not with a heavy heart but nonetheless with a feeling of disappointment in myself. It’s not that I didn’t like the iPad. The build quality was excellent, the software functionality was superb, and there was nothing but the highest of intent for burgeoning productivity potential.
It was that I simply didn’t need one. And not just an iPad, a test case as it turns out, but any tablet for that matter.
Cue the back story.
I fell into the Apple ecosystem. At first, anyway. But I don’t think of myself as an Apple user. I am the kind of person who will use whatever tools that are necessary for the job in hand. It just so happens that I’ve become accustomed to the way these devices work together, just as other same-brand ecosystem devices do.
Almost two years ago I bought a MacBook Air. Still to this day, it has become a crucial, necessary, ultra-portable laptop that has, granted with its occasional failings, has served me well. The battery life is acceptable, so long as certain conditions are met, but in spite of the likely unique gripes rather than hindrances, it’s a fine piece of kit.
But above all else, OS X was the driving force for change. Gone are the days where apps weren’t available. That’s the cloud’s business now. And thanks to the App Store, many previously unavailable apps have migrated to the Mac.
Pleased with the design and the quality, but above all else the OS X operating system that had become so simple to use yet powerful by design, I ripped out the cords on my desktop machine — that whizzed and whirred in the corner of my home office with a subtle yet constant background-fading drone — and I replaced it with a Mac mini.
It was all too easy. I looked for a catch, but there wasn’t one.
A staunch Windows user for my adolescent and early adult life, there should’ve been a level of discomfort and disconcertedness. But there wasn’t. With fond memories of blue screens and translucent windows, I began to prefer a sense of simplicity
The last step was my eventual move to the iPhone, albeit for a second time. The first was not the best of experiences but as a result of my confidence in the Apple ecosystem, I thought it was at least worth another try. And it was worth it.
We can tick off the MacBook Air, the Mac mini — and all the peripherals to really go all-in — and the iPhone. (In between, I’d also bought an Apple TV, but it just makes sense when you’re downloading TV and movies). The next logical step, surely, was to get an iPad.
With glee and excitement, I picked it up from the Grand Central store the following day on my way to work. I configured it, I synchronized my music, my pictures, apps and everything else.
And then I went back to work.
Not on my iPad, but my MacBook Air, which I take with me to work. I took my iPad home and it was sat there on my coffee table for three days until I picked it up again. It wasn’t that I was avoiding it, and I wanted to use it, but I didn’t have any particular reason to use it.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with the iPad. And, I suspect there is nothing particularly wrong or different with any other tablet. It simply doesn’t fit into my lifestyle.
My iPhone is my primary email communication device, plus my music. That sticks me firmly in the “prosumer” category. But because of my job, I require a keyboard. Granted, typing on the iPad is not the most difficult thing to do in the world, but it’s less natural than a keyboard. I’m automatically drawn to a keyboard.
That said, it’s a fine device but I have, as part of my one-brand ecosystem, other devices that at least for me are better suited for purpose.
Even for “play” and non-work reasons, there was nothing drawing me to it that I couldn’t already do on my ultra-portable iPhone, my keyboard-enabled yet still light and portable MacBook Air, or my work-personal life separating Mac mini that allows me to walk away from it at any point.
If I were a financier, a marketer, or an artist, a tablet may be perfect. But not for me. And you know what? That’s OK. It’s my problem, and not the fault of the tablet.
I find myself increasingly confused. I want something small and light that will do the basic stuff I need to do when I don’t want to haul the big heavy laptop. Usually, that is a trip on which I will not need Photoshop. But nothing seems quite right. What to do?
See on www.zdnet.com
Pointy shoes hurt
When I was a young woman, I refused to wear pointy shoes. They hurt my feet. It took some hunting, but I found round-toed shoes. I wore comfortable sandals, even having them made for my feet — simple, flat and strappy. I owned boots with square toes made in England or Australia. I would not wear shoes that caused me pain.
I still won’t wear clothing I don’t like or is uncomfortable. I didn’t care about fashion when I was 20 and I care less today.
I am equally resistant to gadget fads. I’m geeky enough to understand the latest gizmos and old enough (and poor enough) to think long and hard if it would be useful enough to be worth the cost. What I buy, especially tech stuff, is driven by what I need rather than what’s new, trendy or sexy. I don’t have an MP3 player because I don’t need one and I hate earphones. When I’m not near a computer, I use my Kindle.
Being unfashionable has advantages. It saves money. If you don’t need the latest thing, you need not replace your wardrobe when what was “In” goes “Out.” I have a pea coat made for the U.S. Navy as warm and attractive as it was 35 years ago.
My computers were bought with an eye toward running everything I have now plus anything I might need in the near future. I bought computers with as much memory as I could get. I got the highest resolution monitors available. I bought fast hard drives and big external drives as back ups. I got the best video cards the machines would support, Blue-ray reader/writers, and sound cards to support any system I want to hook up.
If we aren’t hit by a tornado, tsunami, or earthquake, as far as computers go, I’m set for a while, a few years at least. And most everything is upgradeable.
“The sky is falling,” cried Chicken Little. “PC sales have flattened out!”
I’m surrounded by desktop and laptop computers that run smoothly and on which everyone depends. Meanwhile, ZDNet is predicting the end of the PC. This deduction is worthy of Chicken Little or maybe, Turkey Lurky. Computer sales having flattened out while mobile device sales remain brisk from which the author concluded everyone will do everything on mobile devices. We no longer need hard drives or embedded applications. We can pick up apps from the app store and everything we need can be accomplished … on the telephone? iPad? Chromebook? Android tablet? Having made an earlier and even more baseless pronouncement that we don’t need dedicated GPS’s because you can use your telephone or iPad, I should not be surprised, but stupidity always surprises me. For some reason, I expect better of my peers.
Others have said we don’t need cameras. If you are a photographer, you’ve probably bumped into these people on forums. They don’t understand the difference between photography and snapshots. “We can take pictures just as good on our phones,” they shout. Shall I take their advice? I will just throw away my cameras, lenses, filters …everything. I mean, Hell, I have a telephone. What more do I need?
They have declared anything I use for work or art obsolete. However, before I start editing a 16 X 20 photograph on my telephone, there are a few issues to work out.
Who are these pundits?
In what world do these predictors live? Do they work? As in, for a living? Are any of them musicians, authors, or photographers? Book designers, engineers, developers? Accountants, financial advisors? Movie makers? Are they aware that most professionals rely heavily on powerful installed applications, like Photoshop, Acrobat, Framemaker and CAD?
Or are they kids who think playing games on their iPhone is the ultimate technological achievement?
People aren’t buying PCs because they have computers … and they don’t like Windows 8. I don’t like Windows 8. I want to like it. I just can’t.
Sooner or later, everyone has enough and they don’t need another, especially if buying a new one means having to relearn everything they already know. Microsoft made a huge miscalculation when they banked on touchscreens as “the next big thing.” Hubris is dangerous, whether you’re a Greek demigod or a corporation. I think until they back off, Microsoft is in very troubled waters.
You aren’t going to see a buying surge for microwave ovens or refrigerators either. People usually replace what they have when it no longer does the job. The market for expensive new toys is not limitless. One day, everyone will stop replacing their almost new cell phones with the next generation that has a new bell or whistle. Everyone who wants a tablet will have one, two or three of them.
Right now, almost everyone who wants a PC has one. Most have several. In this household, with 5 computer-using adults, we have 12 laptops, desktops and tablets. None is obsolete. Plus a couple that are in working condition but no one uses.
Like other families, we tight for money. Bad economy. We buy things, but only when something else breaks or becomes too old to do the job. We can’t afford mistakes.
A few years ago, we ran out of space for books. I bought Kindles for my husband, son, and me. Later, I got a Kindle HD Fire that plays audiobooks, music, videos, collects email and can be hooked up with Facebook and Twitter. It’s my compact media center and it didn’t break the bank. it’s not a full service computer, but I knew that before I bought it. I’m addicted to audiobooks. Since I no longer commute, listening has tied me to the computer in my office. The Kindle has freed me to roam.
But I still wanted a lightweight compact computer. My netbook was supposed to fill this niche, and it tried. Like “The Little Engine That Could” it mumbled “I know I can, I know I can.” The Kindle will do many of the things I did on my Netbook — which moved down the line to my daughter-in-law — but the Kindle isn’t a computer. It is what it is, so I got an Ultrabook. I also have an iPhone but don’t use it even for phone calls. I hate it, actually. I have yet to figure out what people find so great about it.
I took a long, hard look at Chromebooks, but lacking a hard drive, its limitations exceed its value.
Lies and suppositions
Not long ago, an equally ill-informed ZDNet author announced the death of dedicated devices, in particular, the GPS. The author (I use that word advisedly) surmised that since we all own tablets and smartphones and will use them for navigation. The idea of using iPads, iPods, or smartphones for navigation attaching a 10-inch or 7-inch iPad to my windshield is hilarious. Having tried my phone as a GPS, no thanks. I can barely understand what someone is saying on a phone call. As a GPS, it’s useless. I wouldn’t be able to read the map or hear directions. Just because a device has a technical capability doesn’t mean it really does the job.
These same pundits have repeatedly announced the death of personal computers and the replacement of standard application with mobile apps. They y think free apps will replace everything. Really? Or do they believe that we are all going to sign up for expensive monthly subscriptions? I’m not. Are you? I can barely afford my current overhead: I’m not going to up the ante.
We don’t need no stinkin’ facts!
Instead of professionals producing thoughtful articles about technology, we have a bunch of stooges for big corporations. They are not working for their readers. They are trying to sell us on whatever their sponsors want them to push. The articles are nothing more than slightly reworded corporate PR releases. I would say they are badly researched, but I no research is more accurate. How do I know? Because I used to be a tech editor. I got those releases too.
They got a PR packet, picked some information out of it, did a little tweaking, and voilà, that’s the article. If I’m going to just take the manufacturer’s word for it, I don’t need them.
I assume whoever wrote the last article saying we are all going to do everything on mobile devices has never tried to do anything working people need to do. He certainly never tried to do it on one of the devices he was touting. He probably thinks his telephone is a fine precision camera and he is welcome to his opinion so as long as he doesn’t ask me look at his pictures.
Anything that can do everything doesn’t do anything well.
In the realm of small dedicated devices, from cameras and MP3 players, to telephones, DVD players and book readers, dedicated devices perform far better than equivalent “add ons” to general purpose devices. A modern computers is not a dedicated device: it’s a platform with power to drive a lot of different things, rather like a big empty room. It does many things, but it won’t do everything well. You can use it as a TV, but sitting in your living room, feet up on the recliner and watching a movie on your big-screen TV is a more satisfying experience.
You can use a computer as a GPS, but a small dashboard or window-mounted unit works much better. Nothing takes pictures like a good camera. Nothing reproduces music better than a sound system with quality speakers. Book readers are great for reading books and if you want to make music, learn to play an instrument.
I don’t want to read on my computer or take pictures on my phone. I am a photographer and I use a camera. If you are positive your iPad is just as good as a camera, if you believe your cell phone or android tablet is good enough to fill your picture-taking needs, you’re probably right. Don’t show me your pictures. Please.
I own cameras. I edit in Photoshop. I write books. I design books and I use Framemaker, the world’s most anti-intuitive software, but also the only software that does the job. In the ZDNet fantasy world, we are going to do everything on our telephones or tablets. Where do I fit into this portable society?
The answer is simple: I don’t. Maybe you won’t, either. Many of us have been declared obsolete.
“There’s an app for that!”
No, there isn’t. There is no app by anyone anywhere that can come anywhere near any version of Photoshop. There is no application other than Framemaker that will create indexes across chapters. For creating PDF books for reading online, you need Acrobat. What? You don’t need to do any of that?
I do. So do others. Spread sheets and other office applications need screen real estate. Before you declare the PC obsolete, you might want to try really working on a tiny devices you want to sell me. You’ll be shocked to discover a spread sheet is invisible on a telephone. You might be able to create a small one on a tablet, but if you are a serious number cruncher, you aren’t going to do it on an iPad or any other tablet. You may use a tablet to display the final result, but you won’t use it to do the work. If you are editing pictures, you’re not going to use a little screen on a pod, tablet, or telephone. You want a big high-def monitor.
Some people take their jobs and art seriously. They want real tools. If you think games are the height of technological achievement, get a job.
How come people are still buying small mobile devices but not computers? Aw, c’mon. You know why. They don’t need another computer. If they do, they are hoping Microsoft will come to its senses and give us a real operating system before they have to decide what to buy.
Meanwhile, technology for telephones is changing fast too. Telephones are subject to more abuse than other devices. They get rained on, dropped, and sat on. Crumbs and coffee make the keys sticky. Touchscreens become unresponsive. But, people will not always buy a new phone twice a year. They’ll demand sturdier phones that are waterproof, dust-proof and shock-proof.
Eventually, everyone will have enough telephones, tablets, and other gadgets. No doubt there will be new gadgets, but if they want us to buy, they’ll have to come up with new needs. Otherwise, they will create sexy, cute and trendy gadgets and manufacturers will expect a rush to buy them but no one will care. They will be gadgeted out.
Computer sales will stay modest until the expensive high-powered laptops and desktops we recently bought break down or are obsolete. Are personal computers going the way of dinosaurs? Mine aren’t.
No amount of salesmanship will convince me to buy stuff I don’t need or like.
I like gadgets. I like cool devices. If someone gives me a toy, I will play with it but I’m not going to spend a lot of money to get it. Free is my price on anything I don’t need.
It would also be great if magazines and journals that supposedly provide information to the trades would really do it. I resent them trying to sell me stuff. The only reason I read trades is for impartial information on technology. I can no longer trust what they say so, so other than finding out what’s new on the market, they are useless. They might at least test the products before they tell me how great they are.
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- Three Main Reasons Because A Network Beats A Laptop (pctechmojo.com)
- Instant expert – netbooks, laptops and tablets (johnlewis.com)
- Users tell Microsoft: We hate Windows 8 touchscreen PCs (blogs.computerworld.com)
- 3 in 4 Kindle Fire Owners Use E-books – A Better Performance Than iPad, According to Latest Simba Information Report (prweb.com)
- In A Blow To Windows 8, Research Firm Drops Estimates For How Many Laptops With Touchscreens Will Be Sold This Year (MSFT) (businessinsider.com)
Why doesn’t Microsoft keep things simple and just continue to support Windows 7? They can do whatever they want with Windows 8. If they support Win 7 AND Win 8, everybody’s happy. And it’s not like they haven’t supported more than one version of their OS before. NT? And so many others?
They could thus solve a great many problems all around. We aren’t whining technophobes. We are the people that keep MS in business. They call us customers.
There is a reason by the iPad and the iMac do not have the same operating system. There is a reason why my Kindle is a playpen, but my desktop and laptops are workhorses. Fingers? Really? I write. I’m a photographer. I edit graphics. I write articles. I’m not a kindergartener using fingerpaints.
Unlike most people, I actually have experience trying to use a desktop with a full-size 24″ HD touchscreen monitor. I hated it until after I turned off the touch functionality. There’s no valid use for it in my world and the upright touchscreen put a serious strain on my already worn out wrists, hands and shoulders.
When I say no valid use, I mean that literally. There was not a single activity for which I use my computer for which my fingers were a better input device than a mouse. Or a stylus. Or a trackball. Not a single one.
That Win8 produces a desktop-hostile environment is stupid and self-defeating. More to the point: touchscreens are not new technology any more. They’ve been around quite a while and I’ve had mine for years. It is not catching on, not spreading like wildfire. Quite the opposite. After the curiosity factor disappeared, most of the people I know who tried it, abandoned it. It has no real use in the work or home environment. I do not know a single person who uses a touch screen other than as part of a tablet designed for touch input.
I went to see old friends at work a couple of weeks ago. All their office computers are now Macs. I never in my wildest imaginings expected to see these people who had been married to MS for office use (UNIX and other stuff for development) would ever switch. I asked why and my old boss (co-proprietor/head of development) said “We wouldn’t touch Windows 8 with a long pole. Not going near that monstrosity.”
He wasn’t buying into the “we’ve made it better” because he’s one of the guys who looks under the sheets and say Microsoft has NEVER cleaned up their code, never fixed underlying problems throughout their history and isn’t likely to start now.
Microsoft just doesn’t get it. They should out into the real world. They’d discover touchscreens are not the next big thing. Most people will soon own regular and tablet computers. Many already do. They are different paths, serve different needs.
Commonsense should have told them that from the first.
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- Screams in the Night: The Rise and Fall of Windows 8 (teepee12.com)
- Time for touchscreen Macs? Hell no! (imore.com)
- Uninstalling Windows 8 From the Dual Boot Setup (Win7 & Win8 Tandem) (hserania.wordpress.com)
- The one big fix that could save Windows 8 (zdnet.com)
- Windows 8 “Blue” update will actually be Windows 8.1 – a free update (gizmag.com)
- Windows 8.1 confirmed for release this year, free upgrade for Windows 8 users (news.en.softonic.com)