Sunday, October 24, 2010

Technology frustrations

1. Kindle - finally broke down and got one but it wasn't all I was expecting it to be - sure all that great viewing and all that but:

a) What mattered to me was the native PDF viewer that I was perhaps expecting too much of - I could barely make out the page and had to rotate it to landscape except that it became the default for everything else. Can I just have it landscaped for PDF documents and not for MOBI or Kindle files?
b) Copying books from my computer to the Kindle was another frustration: Can't I create pointers and folders on the Kindle and have it actually obey what I created? For instance, I created a folder called Philosophy and moved some books into it. Except when I turn Kindle on the folder isn't what Kindle calls a Collection and I have to manually move it into a Collection called Kindle. And I have to do this one at a time! Can I move multiple books into a Collection? This is something I've still got to find out.

2) Touch screens and fat fingers - yeah, that's me. I got a Palm Pre which I'm pretty happy with. The reviews panned its battery life so I knew what I was getting into. Except that what I thought was the future of interface suffered from the obvious defect of the fact that a mouse pointer isn't quite as precise as a finger. I also got a chance to try the touch screen interface on an HP Touchsmart and a MSI Wind and found that minimizing a window using the upper right icons (which is what I'm used to doing) was harder than I thought. There is probably an easier way to minimize such as tapping on the menu bar or something but I suspect most people will gravitate to what they're most familiar with. One the plus side the price has come down from the $1000 or so to the $600 price range.

3) I'm in the market for either a desktop with low end dual core processor, 4GB RAM, 500 GB hard drive, DVD RW and TV Tuner and I cannot find it for under $400! Call me crazy, but I
would have expected that the price point was reasonable.

4) So with a new phone I have new plan - $29.99 for data and $39.99 for voice and I figured that I would be paying another $10-$20 for taxes etc but Verizon is also adding another $40 for "other charges"! Come on! This is crazy. To top it off I switched from ATT and had to endure two additional months of bills because of "retroactive/prospective" billing - I can't figure out which. Why can't bills stop when I cancel the service? These telcos are a bunch of ripoffs.

5) I'm also in the market for a portable hard drive and when I was back in Penang over the summer, the recommendations were either a Hitachi or a Samsung. Of course retail i.e. Best Buy/Office Depot/Staples only seem to offer Seagate or Western Digital which from the reviews I've read are not glowing. These guys seem to have the retail market locked up, so perhaps I'll go online and get another brand.

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