Angelic Paranoia

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Tablet computers
Saturday 10th May 2014 5:55 pm

I remember when tablets first came out and I couldn't see why anyone would want one (unless they had lots of money to spare). I've had my sister's old iPad since Christmas and I'm still struggling to find a use for it, beyond playing games (and most of the games I play on there are also on my computer).

My trouble is that I use computers a lot and therefore I use keyboard shortcuts, rather than the mouse a lot of the time. There are quite a few things that I would struggle to find on a menu, but I know how the keyboard shortcut for it. The best thing I ever did with Gmail was to turn the keyboard shortcuts on, so I never have to use the mouse in Gmail any more.

Tablets don't have a keyboard. And the browsers on it tend to have symbols instead of text for menu-like items and you can't hover over them to get a tooltip telling you what it does. As a result I'm limited to randomly pressing things in the hope that one of them will do what I want it to.

There is also the problem that you can't choose to install old versions of programs on it. There are lots of things I can't install because they require iOS>5 and it can't cope with iOS>5. The more annoying thing is apps that refuse to run until you've upgraded them, but I can't upgrade them. There's nothing at all wrong with the old version, you're just not allowed it. And yet this iPad is not as old as my netbook - where I can not only choose what versions of software to put on it, but also what operating system.

Given that the cost of a decent tablet and the cost of a computer are pretty similar, I think I'll just stick to computers. I can put Linux on them. Also, my netbook is far easier to use while lying down and is lighter than the iPad.

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Tablet computers
Thursday 29th December 2011 3:01 pm

Dad's friend brought round his Samsung Galaxy tablet today. Since my sister had her iPad home I compared the two. I prefer the Galaxy Tab because I can actually navigate the panes (the iPad randomly stops recognising my finger swipe, but always works for my sister) and the screen is nicer to swipe your finger on (although you can only really tell if you have a frenzy banana in Fruit Ninja).

I thought that if I had a tablet I'd be bored with it after a week. It turns out that was an optimistic estimate: it took an hour. There's only so many times you can play Fruit Ninja (or any other game) and I constantly have to hold it at a funny angle to stop the reflections. It drove me mad surfing to find out how to use the thing (there's a manual, but you have to download it from the website). I eventually worked out to click on a link you have to click above it and the keyboard has no delete button, only backspace and it's really hard getting the cursor to the right place in the text.

Given that you can buy a laptop or two netbooks for the price of an iPad or a Galaxy Tab, there's just no contest, given how much more versatile a netbook is.

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