“Sir, your replacement furniature is ready for pickup”

Posted on April 29, 2010

Here is a brand new headboard, wee!

The dresser was damaged, and the proof is apparent...

That is all for now!  Stay tuned……

Making up for last year, summer comes a bit early.

Posted on April 20, 2010

Thank goodness summer came a bit early for us this year.  Last year, we had snow in May and nothing really nice the rest of the year.

And now – something you have all dreamed about as little kids:


What the pad is this thing?

Posted on April 15, 2010

What is the iPad?  Is it a laptop replacement?  A smartphone replacement?  Perhaps it is something in between?  But, if it’s something in between, what the heck is that – a useless laptop, or a clunky massive smartphone…….that can’t make phone calls?

Well, let’s take a look at this and see if we can’t figure it out.  I think we need to know the answers to these questions first, before we can think about the more important question: Do I want one?

So, what the pad is this thing.  Apple calls it a tablet – now that’s a tough pill to swallow……….. sorry.  A tablet is supposed to be any portable computer that uses a screen interface, using such things as a stylus or your pizza-greased fingers.  Tablets can come in different forms, and the iPad would be classified as a slate, because it uses the screen as its keyboard.

So it’s a slate tablet.  We now know it’s not a laptop, or even a “netbook”.  wow.  So why would anyone want such a thing?  We have netbooks and iPhones.  Apparently, Steve Jobs doesn’t like netbooks – because they are underpowered laptops.  How many reporters at the unveiling were thinking in their heads “isn’t a tablet an underpowered laptop – that doesn’t even have a keyboard?”  The answer is yes.  Yes, the iPad will be an underpowered laptop with no external keyboard.  (“will” be, because we Canadians don’t have it yet, and the version we will soon have doesn’t yet have a cell connection)  Yet why, why Steve, do people still want these….pads?

Well, Steve has claimed in the unveiling of his 9.7″ pad, that it does certain things better than a smartphone, and certain other things better than a netbook or laptop.  Let’s see.

iPads are more expensive than netbooks (and smartphones).  Many netbooks offer beautiful 10″ screens.  The iPad has a touch interface.  Most netbooks don’t have a touch screen, and those that do, don’t have the software to complete the user experience the way the iPad does.

I think we stumbled on the major difference.  Although the iPad has many limitations over a well-optioned netbook, it does have that user experience.  Netbooks are usually found in two categories:  Windows, or Linux.  If you bathe somewhat regulary, or if you consider the command line interface to be passe, you likely will choose a Windows-based netbook.  Windows netbooks have a problem though; they run on Windows.  Welcome to the world of constant updates, viruses, cluttered screens and menues, slow performance, and all on a machine with less cajones to deal with it all.

The iPad runs on Apple software.  Software that has been written for the very hardware it uses.  This allows Apple to design the user experience itself.  With Windows, or even Linux, they are designed to run on almost anything you want to buy and build yourself.  Since the iPad is locked in, both in harware and software, the entire experience is controlled.  What’s the result?  An environment where getting a virus is unheard of (much like a smartphone), there are no background programs eating memory, and the touch screen interface has been detailed and perfected without compromise.

Doesn’t the iPhone already do this?  Well, yes it does.  The main difference I see is that this iPad is large enough to be used as an e-reader or watch movies without neck and eye cramps.  There are a lot of deficiencies, however, that make me wonder if I am wanting to give up the compact nature of an iPhone just for a bigger screen.  I have a laptop that does all of the movie stuff quite well, in fact.  It also has an HDMI output, and USB outputs for my DVD drive and other devices; which the iPad does not have.

So, in the end, the iPad is in fact a “slate tablet” with a locked-in software and harware environment.  It has a great user experience, as a direct result of controlling the operating system and hardware.  However, the iPad will force netbook lovers to give up a traditional keyboard, webcam, USB / HDMI ports, and possibly some horsepower, etc.

So, for this generation of the iPad, we need to choose between the user experience of the iPad and the full features of a netbook.  There doesn’t seem to be a device around that has combined those two things.  So for some, that may mean that a netbook and an iPad makes sense; this way you get the best of both worlds.  For me, I’m still on the fence.  I demand more out of my technology.  I want the user experience AND the features in one device.  I know it’s possible, and I will wait until that day comes.

This leads into a small rant about Apple.  The more I learn about Apple, the more it becomes obvious that they are not the friendly teddy bears that the Mac vs. PC commercials would have us believe.  What I’m getting at is that Steve Jobs and the Apple-bots are purposely phasing their devices to maximize profits, at the expense of consumers getting a more superior product.  Apple can squeeze a camera on the back of an iPod nano, but there is no room on the iPad?  Really?  No connections for disc drives, flash drives or HD TVs?  Never done this before on say, a Macbook?  It’s obvious to me that these things will eventually make their way into an iPad or iPad-like device from Apple.  What bothers me is the way we are expected to buy every version as it comes out.

But I guess I don’t HAVE to buy one now.  I just have to wait until a feature-rich iPad comes out.  Then I can re-assess the differences between current netbooks (or tablets) and Apple offerings.  How about you?

Another “new” blog….

Posted on April 13, 2010

Well, I’ve started the transition from my own meager attempt at programming to an official WordPress blog.  It’s time I got on the train.

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