Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Technology and my discontents (again)

I had voiced them previously, but I can’t help voicing them again (a different set of compalints this time) because I succumbed to the lure of electronics again.

Got a 10-inch Samsung Galaxy tablet despite my not so positive experience with Android based devices. My conclusion has not changed. Those who claim that their tablet can replace their laptop for work tasks aren’t doing real work. Unfortunately, it was an expensive lesson for me and egads (!) I’m thinking that I should have gotten a multi-touch Kyros instead. (These weren’t out at the time.) On top of the $400 tablet, I blew another $100 on a bluetooth keyboard, a stylus, a folio case, HDMI connector, and a USB connector. The last 4 items were all included in the earlier version of the Kyros I got - all at $170. The one thing that the Samsung has going for it that the Kyros didn’t is the battery life and the camera. That Kyros version I had was also a resistive touch which was almost unbearable and no access to the Android market. It also ran Android 2.1 and the sound while it was pretty good is definitely not as good as on the Samsung.

So off I go to the app market. One app I wanted to try out was the Economist magazine’s Android app. With the latest Android on the tablet, I figured I could not go wrong. Wrong. The Economist app only works with …. drum roll, please, Android 2.1 (or 2.2 or 2.3). What’s going on here? No backward compatibility? Well, I can see the guys at Google think this is a great idea. Not. Or perhaps app production is so straightforward that the guys at the Economist should have just recompiled a new version under the new Android SDK. Whichever it may be this state of affairs is a step backward! App guys who can keep up with Android apps shouldn’t be in the business of producing apps. Platform guys who can’t ensure backward compatibility shouldn’t be producing platforms. Oh, wait I forgot - the guys at Google don’t get platforms.

On to my next new toy, a Dell Latitude laptop with Pentium i-5 chip which is not really my toy but rather one that is on temporary loan to me. What is up with the slow start up? Otherwise I was fairly impressed with the feel of the laptop. Our old Dell Desktop circa Pentium 4 looked and felt so cheap I had decided to ditch Dell. This laptop hasn’t quite induced me to go back to Dell.

But wait, it’s the new (almost 1 year old) HP that looks and feel so cheap that I’ve decided to ditch HP. The DVD player crapped out last weekend - refusing to read DVD+R disks but will read some CDs. I’m afraid to put a movie into it. I’m not sure if the problem is Windows or HP or the player. I tried un-installed and reinstalled the drivers but no dice.

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