Category Archives: Tablet

My Justification for not buying a tablet this Christmas.

My Justification for not buying a tablet this Christmas.
My justification for not immediately going for a tablet is holding true to its tenet.
They were mainly personal reasons.
1. I do not like any proprietary software installed.
2. I do not like proprietary operating system too.
3. Even if the above two conditions cannot be avoided I need my own or selected operation system run independently of the above two.
4. Eve android is not my kind of game.
5. I prefer sourceforge EyeOS instead of Android or vagaries of Android even though I supported the move by Google from the very beginning its embrace of Linux (they did it for different reason now I understand).
6. I don’t like even Kindlefire in spite of very vocal support for its success above all the other E-readers.
7. Apart from the above facts, it cannot or does not let you boot from a smartcard like in Barnes Noble tablet. In that scenario I prefer Barnes Noble in spite of the higher price.
8. Not having the USB boot function was my major attribute that is missing in Kindlefire. But I do not make qualm at this stage before it get established in the classroom. I want it to be successful in an educational environment and if one has camera and lot of other utilities it divert the attention of the students and teachers will have a hectic time preventing little guys hacking into the system without the teacher’s knowledge. It is natural for kids to do that kind of things. If they want to do that their mums and dads have to buy a separate tablet.
9. I need a dock for a proper keyboard at my age. I am not going to fiddle with my fingers and touch screen.
10. Now comes the crunch point.  
Carrier-IQ’s attempt to spy on YOU is OUTRAGEOUS. 
What ever their industrial justification the METHOD is worse than a dictator/king attempt to say that he/she is not nude in front of his her subjects while parading stark naked.
It is naked attempt to hoodwink the not so sophisticated ordinary guy/girl.
I thought only Microsoft applied that principle and now that they are rich they seem not to repeat their old mistakes.
It is the new companies want to get rich quickly coming from Asian subcontinent who would apply those tactics. 
Already there is hush every China built chip has associated spyware (it may be a ploy of IBM and the chip manufacturer to undermine China. But there is no reason such a rich and powerful company with lot at stake will go down that pathway unless they know something is brewing in China. I tend to believe them knowing what China is.
Chinese and Indian guys did dirty things in this country prior to and during elections.
I retire into Christmas holidays not sporting a tablet or Kindle and my reasons are vindicated by and large.
It is prudent practice to wait and see policy and to see which direction the wind blows.
In this digital age one has to be not paranoid to believe anything they offer with market hypes and strategies.

Pen and paper are out and the Tablet and stylus are

Pen and paper are out and Tablet and stylus are in.
That is the “sea change” we are going to see come 2012.
I rarely use a pen nowadays, most likely filling a government form or at the bank.
The other day one of my students asked for my pen and he never returned it.
He is becoming like me.
He was filling on of my surveys and I obliged.
Ten years ago, if this happened I would have been angry.
It is very similar if somebody asks for pen at the counter / Water/Electricity Board, ten years go. I used to say NO, rudely of course.
I remembered that he did  returned it when I wanted to go to the bank . I borrowed a pen from our secretary and went to the bank and I did not either till next day.
She a steno-typist rarely takes short hand notes, now.
All of us are hooked to the keyboard and the computer.
However, I do not like lot of paper being used.
That is we are felling trees and not environmentally sound practice.
If the pen disappears and the paper disappears, I don’t care.
But we need a replacement.
Yes we are going to get it soon.
Long before “I kick the bucket”
Not a computer we want a tablet with a stylus.
To that you add Xournal, we can fill an electronic form on the fly.Xournal makes filling an electronic form breezy.

I love the idea of the tablet which reminds me of the Slate and slate pencil.
I wish that its alternative name should be “THE SLATE”.
It is said that in USA they are abolishing cursive writing in school which is a stupid idea.
We are different from Apes because we use our finer coordinate movements for manipulative skills.
If one wants to become a vascular surgeons or a neurosurgeon these are very essential skills.
Chinese make their (actually parents) children to learn these skills early in their life. These skills are essential in shop floor too.
In time to come Americans might need Chinese to perform neurosurgery on them, if they do not teach finer manipulative skills.
That is why when they come to Asia they cannot eat rice with their hands or used chop sticks.
Coming back to stylus, tiny stylus and ekle can be dangerous in young children.
I have seen young ones poking their eyes (accidentally) with coconut ekle, fine gadgets in instrument sets etc.
The tablet should be hardy and they stylus should be safe with a blunt end.
They should be child safe.
Lest few children might lose their eyesight by accidents of the nature  I mentioned above.

I hope these items from Amazon hit this country before my manipulative skills and eyesight fail

Slate and Slate Pencils

Slate and Slate Pencils

Digital devices are good for teachers and I am not sure whether too much of technology will be goo for kids.

Children have to use fine motor and gross motor skills as they grow.
Slate and the slate pencil were the primitive but sure way to learn finer motor skills and specially the hand writing.
In the west they are even banning cursive writing and when the grow up I cannot think of them becoming neurosurgeons (microsurgery need hand skills that are properly developed as children and not as adults) or eye surgeons.
We might have to use rots to do surgery then.
I had my granite slate till I was 25 years old and I gave it to a poor kid and he did not keep it for even three months.
In this consumerist society people do not value conservation and the amount of plastic junk we are collecting we won’t be able to clean up for 100 years.
My slate was very special to me.
One side there was horizontal lines and the other side there were squares and I could practice as much as I wanted and my saliva was the best wet cleaner. My hand writing were no very good at least they were legible till I became a practicing physician and they automatically became illegible again. Point I am driving is slate was eco-friendly and there were no papers and no trees chopped down, then.
We are heralding an era of paperless and digital era and the rime is right for slate again if not digital pads.

I am not saying we much go backward what I am stressing is that manual dexterity and fine motor skills were something we developed in evolution and apes do not have these skills.
A monkey cannot open a door holding the knob and as kids we could not do that and we had to learn it and if technology retard our finer motor skills I do not know what will happen to us 100 years from now?

New Ubuntu Desktop Unity

I was never a Ubuntu fan and I took sometime before downloading Ubuntu and before that I read couple of web articles and if I had been Ubuntu fan, I can very well understand the logic, frustration and criticism of the loyal fans.
I have gone from Redhat to Mandrake to Suse to PCLinux and Mepis and know very well the pain I went through when Redhat dished us out to Fedora Community Project.
After Fedora 3, I gave up and that change in my attitude and experimenting with other distributions even though troublesome was a very good experience.
After all I gave up Microsoft and giving up a distribution was easy because I used to have at least 5 operating system including Win 98 and XP in my computer and switching and testing and falling back to most stable and useful distribution came second nature to me.
In addition it made me to migrate to Live CDs and over the past two years, I have been talking about almost all of them I have downloaded and tested. Writing about their virtues and sore points has become a habit and when I test I have no preconditions attached to the exercise.

No expectations at all.
Testing Ubuntu Unity (which I have in principles supported due to other reasons ) was no different and no strings attached.
I tested it with my old computer (old IBM Netvista) which was disaster by itself and it booted up with graphic images with no fonts.
I came across this problem with several new Linux distributions including PapugLinux, JULinux and Taylor Switch (KVM switch) and knew immediately to exit and boot it with my IBM Think Center and the subsequent experience was totally different and Unity booted up with a beautiful desktop which looked somewhat liked MeeGo (not that elegant) and getting round was a completely new desktop experience and I could not see any familiar features of Ubuntu.

My first need was the workspaces which I am so used to now without them I will have a heart attack.

With some fiddling I found 4 workspaces and I could open and exchange the programs from 1 to 4 (workspace).
Then I wanted to fill the other 2 workspaces and I could not.
I searched the applications but then I had to leave the workspace and that experience was a very bad one, now that I got used to FullMonty nice desktop arrangement.
Then I hit the web browser and went to distrowatch and looked at the latest downloads of Linux distribution and Ubuntu is now sandwich between Mint and PClinux which has climbed up to 3 from 7.
This was a pleasant surprise for me.
I used PCLinux as the gold standard of Live CDs and an arbitrary reference, coined for testing other Lice CDs.
I can understand the reaction of the Linux users but I have some sympathy for Ubuntu and hope their experiment will succeed.
It ought to since tablets are coming to the market thick and fast and all the looks are Ubuntu is ready with this new innovation.

I have decided to give 300 points (for innovation) of my scale which I am revising now with the latest trends in the super highway.
If not I have no way of promoting Ubuntu as a general purpose Linux distribution.
Switching to LibreOffice was good.
It will be a rough passage for them knowing very well we shift our allegiance when our needs are not satisfied by the latest distribution.
That is what I did with Fedora.
Now after 10 more distribution I have switched back to Fedora since it is one of the few that support Sinhala Unicode.
I hope Ubuntu Unity do the same of supporting Sinhala and then I will be promoting Unity with some new found vigour.

Asus’ Convertible Tablet-the tablet-plus-dock combo

Asus’ Convertible Tablet is doing a good job of converting an android tablet into a user friendly laptop.
It’s price is right and it is cute and serves the writer to be free when fully engaged in writing instead of sending messages with the touch pad system.

This is one reason I am reluctant to buy a Tablet now.
Asus has changes my mind but I still wait for a while till the hard disk is big enough.

The dock on the Transformer extends the battery life of the tablet.

 It has USB ports too and it is coming close to my specifications except allowing me to boot another Linux system (dual booting perhaps Sabayon)

That is why the Eee Pad Transformer have surpassed 400,000 units per month only second to iPad.
Days of iPad are numbered unless thy decide to cut the price an profit margin drastically.

Why I won’t buy a Tablet soon?

Why I wont buy a Tablet soon?
The bad publicity and nasty feeling I get when I hear the word “Tabloids” has made me to change to tablet like all the good journalists who write on computers use this word tablet.
I apologise for my little discretion. Tablets are going to take all us by surprise and when it hits the market and the price is right everybody will join the band wagon.

1.It is a light weight.
2. It is mobile smart phone.
3. It is a little touch screen computer.
4. It is the news reader.
5. It is the web browser.
6. It is in every C.E.O.’s hand
7. Unlike the paper it will read the news while you drive the car.
8. It is the E-reader
9. Business companion, stock dealer and buying machine on E-bay and stock Market
10. Sports can be live like in the TV but unlike TV you can replay the match or game you like.
All these fancy features make the yappies to go for it and the rest will follow. That is what the predictions are.
But I won’t buy one in a hurry.
I need the following conditions satisfied.
1. It should have an alarm or a siren attached to it as in the car doors.
Like laptops, mobiles and money it is the item everybody wants to steal.
2. It should have pass word protection.
If it is stolen the thief (unless he is a hacker) should not be able to use it and the user should be able to track it down.
3. It should have a location mapper or a tag which we put on dogs.
Why ?
This works both ways parents can locate their children and the Secret Service can locate you and wives and husbands can tag the whereabouts and spear of activity of the other half.
4. It should have a long life battery.
5. It should have solar panel.
In countries like us where electricity price is exorbitant and on Sunny days when we have power cuts, this is the only fun we can have outdoors.
6. It should have satellite (not 3G or 4G version) communication facility.
In countries like us where the Telecoms never give the band with they promise us and we pay for, this is the only way we can tune into America and A.O.L
7.It should have at least 4 USB ports, if not ports ability to expand it to a switch and attach DVD and USB.
The above points are general purpose and below are my own specifications.
8. Big hard drive with ability to put my own Light Weight Linux Distributions instead of Android only and dual boot it.
9. Ability to boot up with my Pendrive, if the above cannot be allowed due to Company Law.
10. Ten is the most important one. Sturdy titanium case shock proof.
If Android does not work the way I want to thrash on the floor and see it survives.
If it does, I will appear free on a commercial for Google.
There is another reason. I was one who supported Google from the very beginning when they announced it, many moons ago and remained solid with it due to Linux capabilities and they did not invite me for the party and also did not give me a free version to test. 11. The real reason I to not want to go for the tablet is the lack of good and easy keyboard but ASUS has changed this radically by adding a transformer / converter to the tablet.

Read my blog on Eee Pad Transformer.
12. All American car manufacturers should install a tablet in the dashboard with appropriate buttons to listen to music, TV and newspaper .
This way we can prevent lot of road accidents, even in the the 3rd world and the big Americans can say they were the pioneers of prevention of road accidents.
Apart from that real reasons are anything that attempt to kill Linux or Free Software Foundation, I get activated by default.
This is why I support Unity of Ubuntu.
“Tablet is going to make print media obsolete in the not so distant future. Ink print might disappear giving way to digital news. Unlike the print paper, it can read you the news while you drive your car. Local Paper edition might come in smart cards. Advertisement supplements in the digital format make one to order with the touch of one’s finger tips”.