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Complex emotions on the devices that shape my world

April 29, 2012

For no particular reason, I feel like writing about all the technology I interact with and how I feel about all of it.

Macbook Air: My work computer. I’ve been a PC guy from pretty much my entire life but almost everyone at Mozilla has a Mac and gosh darn-it, the Air is pretty sleek. So I made the jump and got the Air.

My thoughts: Well, I don’t really like the Mac OS. OK, there, I said it… fine. Hate me, spam me, abuse me, whatever. Sometimes the Mac OS really gets on my nerves.

My biggest complaint is that I tend to have about a half a dozen applications open at any one time, and about a dozen docs for each app. Yeah, that’s how I roll. With Windows, it is great. All your documents are piled up in neat stacks at the bottom of your screen (at least that is where I keep them.) You want a doc, it is down there.

With Mac , you gotta go hunting all over the place for the doc or flip between apps or use that F3 button that I find annoying. This alone kills the Mac experience for me. Love the hardware, mediocre on the software. Will probably get a PC Ultrabook next time around.

 iPhone 4: Love it. Need it. Can’t live without it. Would rather go on without a kidney than without my iPhone. It is the smarter extension of my brain and surgically attached to my hand. Plus I have a really funky purple case for it.

 Samsung Galaxy SII phone: I got one for work to demo stuff off of. Meh. Hardware feels flimsy, don’t really like the form factor and whatever version of Android it is running feels clunky and demands too many keystrokes to do simple things

iPads 1, 3:  There are two iPads in my life. An original that I got for my birthday a couple of years ago and a new one we just got as a gift (woohoo!). Actually, I don’t really use the iPads all that much.

The iPad 1 is pretty much the domain of my 3 year old and we’ve blown through the 16 gigs with all her games, apps and movies. I loved it when we first got it, but I rapidly lost control. The new iPad is occupied by my wife who has a lot of her stuff on it.

To be honest, I’m so surgically attached to my iPhone, I don’t really crave the iPad any more. The small size of the iPhone screen doesn’t really bother me for what I like to do, which is read the news, update a couple of social networks, play a couple of games and surf the web.

Yeah, the iPad is better for all of that, but did I mention that I’m surgically attached to my iPhone? So when I want to do any of the above, the phone is just there.

Oh yeah, biggest win with the iPad? Skype+iPad+AirPlay+AppleTV turns our flatscreen into a video conference screen for talking to the grandparents. We set the iPad in front of the flatscreen to my kids talk right to the TV and have great conversations with distant relatives. The AirPlay mirror function on the iPad alone is with the price.

Asus Transformer and Galaxy Tab Android tablets: I have these for work also.

And I know this is going to be weird but I actually don’t mind the Android tablets. I know I said the Android phone bugs me but for some reason, I’m actually OK with Android on a tablet.

Maybe it is because you have more real estate to fumble through all the extra keystrokes. I’m not sure.

I really like the form factor of the Transformer. The screen and speakers aren’t that great but I really like the size. If for some reason my iPhone isn’t handy, and the iPads are claimed, I generally don’t mind hopping on the Transformer. It is still running Honeycomb and the apps on it generally look pretty bad, but for what I need it for (mainly flipping through news services and socializing) it isn’t half bad. I’ve even seen a couple of Netflix movies on it.

Biggest pet peeve, crap battery.  Biggest bonus, no one in the house likes using it so I can completely customize it with my stuff.

Windows 7 desktop:  When I jump on my desktop I realize that all the negativity around Windows is overstated. Yes, it does take forever to boot up (especially compared to the blazing speeds of my Air) and yes, fiddling with all the drivers is a pain, but I guess I just like Windows. Yes I said it… keep hating me.  I know where everything is, the file system seems logical to me, there are menus galore and I don’t have to remember a ton of hot keys. Here’s another bonus… print screen. This is one of my most used functions and on Mac you need three keystrokes and a PhD in Macology to do it.

This is my workhorse machine and if I really need to do some hard core productivity, which generally involves PowerPoint, then my Windows desktop is my go to.

AppleTV and Roku: We don’t have cable so these are our only way to access TV (yes, I could got OTA as well, but I just haven’t bothered). I’d like to say I watch Roku more; I like the company, its attitude, their content, the product. But simply put AppleTV has a better UI and is more fun to navigate, so it wins.

Future wish list? I’m kinda psyched about Windows Metro 8 on desktop,  tablet and mobile. Let’s see what it all looks like but I can see myself migrating back to Windows pretty readily. Wouldn’t mind a new Roku, just for kicks. And like the rest of the world, I’m on pins and needles wondering what Apple has up its sleeve for an Apple TV.

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