Saturday, February 24, 2018

Match Your Computing to Your Tasks

Nowadays computing devices are so inexpensive that you can have several of them for your various needs.

For reading,  the Kindle 8 and Nook 7 or both are best suited for that purpose.     Although the Kindle app can be run on other devices,  these are cheaper and more convenient than most.

If you are a heavy reader you will probably need to use an app called Calibre,,  available only on a Mac or PC.

For writing you will need a device with a keyboard such as a Chromebook.     If you are a more demanding writer,  you will need a device which runs the Scrivener app,  such as a PC or Mac.

For browsing you will want a fast browser,  the best choice being a Chromebook,  although Linux on a PC can also run fast browsing.

An iPad, with or without keyboard (using voice)  will also handle your reading and writing needs, including Scrivener.    It will also offer fast browsing.

For music,  Spotify will run on almost anything and give you access to almost any music at $10 a month.   Amazon offers in alternative.  If you have a large library of music,  you will require a device with a lot of memory for the ability to add such,  such as a smartphone.     The Pandora app will guide you to new music on almost any device.

Most agree that for finances Quicken is the choice so that you needed advice that are run it.    I disagree a bit.    Mint  from Quicken will do the heavy work for you and run on many more devices.

For photography, there are three choices all of them pretty decent:  Apple, Google,  and Amazon. But your choice of device may limit which are available.     I suggest the cheapest iPhone which will run all three and replace your camera.

Spreadsheets and presentations will run on many devices and not just Windows or Mac.

If you are fond of tinkering,  you absolutely need a PC,  which needs to be tinkered with all the time just to keep running.      Windows is the most adaptable interface but also the most exposed to trouble.

Summary: I suggest that you can have all of the devices you need to do just about anything for less than the cost most people pay for a single device.

This includes a Kindle 8, a Nook 7, a Chromebook,  a cheap Windows laptop, and a smartphone.

For voice phoning,  almost any of the devices will work from WiFi with such an application as Hangouts,    All you need is a $5 or $10 a month account away from WiFi , or alternatively a hotspot.    

If you use voice broadly for your computing,  it will be available on most devices but you need to assure that before you commit.

If you do a lot of communicating by phone, it  is far easier, cheaper, and less intrusive to the person you are calling,  to use text messages.      You just dictate them and they appear on the destination phone without disturbing anyone.

If you do use that phone for browsing away from WiFi I,  especially for navigation,  you need a gigabyte a month for about $10  over and above your basic $5 or $10 a month phoning.     Waze for navigating is almost mandatory for seniors who drive.

If you use headphones,  the new ones are cheaper and better, especially wireless (bluetooth).      I found one on Amazon which shuffles music from a memory card directly and sells for about $25.     

There are headphones now which include amplification and even plug into USB ports.  

Where you use headphones will determine your choice.       The old radio frequency headphones for TV are still around, but for new TVs with only optical output you need an adapter to use your new bluetooth headphones.

Bottom line:  you can have it all now cheap without struggling to make one device stumble through things it cannot do well.

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