Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Which Computer for ME?

                Which should you choose, Apple or Microsoft, laptop or tower, tablet or eReader, and so on, or something else?\
                 It doesn’t matter.    What matters is what we want and need to do.    More important, what we will want to do in the future, often forgotten or underestimated.

                A computer is simply a tool.  Specify what you want to do and choose the most appropriate tool.

                So what are the factors to consider in choosing the right tool?

                If we look at the development of computers, we get some clues.

                What made Apple and Microsoft successful was the ability to get it in a small size at low cost.

                How does that affect us?     If you want portability, the new eReader is the most portable all-round choose.   This is fairly new.

                If you need high screen resolution, or are a photographer, the iPad may be the choice.  It is still fairly portable.

                That brings us to the next choice

Screen Resolution     
                Screen resolution also depends on SIZE.      Once you decide on size, screen resolution is critical.   How good is your vision?  Do you just want to read or access and use graphics?

  Consider that 10” tablets have half the screen area of the everyday laptop, and 7” have half the screen area of that, with large newer smartphones half the screen area of the 7”, and the smaller smartphones half that.

                There are now two choices for input, with another one coming along nicely.   Touch screen or keyboard.   And now, voice.

                Tablets and eReaders offer onscreen keyboards, suitable for occasional use.    Laptops and towers offer any size keyboard, even wireless.

                Many tablets and eReaders will accommodate an external keyboard, but size becomes important again.     Touch typists will be unhappy with any but a keyboard like the old IBM Selectric typewriter.    For good reason.

                Once we learn better how to use onscreen keyboards, they may be more appealing.   For now, even external keyboards area bit awkward with these devices.

                There is, however the new transformer, which embodies both keyboard and tablet.


                You might think applications would come first.    Actually they do.      Still, most sizes can handle most apps.   Indeed apps are critical.      Each platform has some apps it does well and others it does not do well.    So again, decide what you want to do and pick the best for it.      
 Back to Size

                The same “size” thing happened with phones.   The old ones did their job, until one day they did not do it well enough and small enough

                It was important to get the cell phone computerized but also small and cheap.  Today the smartphone based iPad is the slickest computer out there, a wonder indeed.          Yet why is it that I do not use it the most?

                Simply because of size.

 Which comes first?

                I use the small 7” tablet now appearing---because of the size--- I can use it in more places, like a standard sized book which people have been carrying around for 400 years or more. 

   Oddly, the company which brought the 7” tablet out last fall was not a computer leader at all. It was the bookstore Amazon, which created the eBook reader.  Hey, they got the size right. 

                The Kindle eBook reader was developed to fill a need: size.    Then, Samsung brought out a lookalike of the Kindle with nearly full computer capabilities.   Now Google has brought one out and is selling it direct online  (also at Staples).

                I use the smartphone most, followed by the 7” tablet, then Windows, and finally iPad, in that order, based on size, even though the latter is probably the most capable and appealing of all.  All because of size.

                I use my old Windows for writing, based on my need to write where I can easily see the whole page.  Size again.

 So what next?

                Nowadays, development continues to small size, and also ability to handle varying sizes.

                PC "sticks" work with all screen sizes.   Windows 8 does, too

We need a device which can meet even more needs.  
In the eventual future we will need a small device, like a hearing aid, to which we can interact by talking and also glasses which are also a screen.    Later, computers will read our minds and send stuff directly to our brains.   Tiny.

            That may be a way off.    What's this?  (Click or Tap)

             It may also seem impossible, but what Apple and Microsoft brought us was also “impossible” at one time.

            But now we need as much as we can get in a small device.   Size is paramount.    

            Maybe those slightly larger smartphones may be showing the way, as their internal systems are also growing up to those of larger computers.    
            But it does not matter.   What matters is that the device does what we need it to do, now and in the future, if we can visualize your future needs.     We all benefit from the right sized device.
            We will see a lot of new choices in the near future.