Of course your laptop screen chooses to break on the day that you are giving four open day talks and you’ve lost the keys to your office….
O.k. so I took my annual leave right after that so I took my trusty Tablet S from Sony with me instead, thinking that this should probably be the future anyway. However I like the past for a few reasons:
- I really missed my keyboard and my mouse. I found the virtual keyboard slow and error prone and I missed the mouse as there is a clear distinction between position and action with my fat fingers I seem to often click buttons when I am simply trying to navigate around a page. This can cause the odd outburst of swearing over slow internet connections when trying to enter complex data…
- The Android Tablet pretends not to be a computer. This means the filesystem is abstracted away from the user. This means it is much harder than it should be to do things like back up photographs from your camera. To be fair a lot of software is doing this I often spend as much time looking for my boarding card download on PC as I did getting the PDF of the boarding card from the airline.
- The Android Tablet doesn’t play DVDs. When abroad I quite like to catch up with the DVDs that I have bought in shops but the stupidity that is region encoding means having a DVD player with an HDMI output is quite handy. Messages like the one on the hotel supplied DVD player make me wonder when I don’t just pirate the stuff…
- You need an app for everything. Like navigating the file system to create a folder to backup your photographs…. but also for the stuff you do everyday like making notes, storing on-line passwords, creating a budget for the holiday, managing and uploading photographs. Some of this could be solved by planning an preparation but as time goes on I want my IT to be simpler and simpler and only want to learn one program ever!
- The Sony Tablet S has a really stupid custom power supply connector so you have to lug around a power brick and adaptor. Everything should be a standard supply in this day and age.
- Once you get back to mission control and want to copy files back to your computer your problems continue! You connect the tablet via USB but then nothing happens…. This is down to the whole MTP thingy but still I had to had to check out OMG Ubuntu to get it done.
On the plus side my tablet is very easy to use on trains, planes and automobiles and comes with a game called angry birds where for no good reason I could determine a series of small birds (who looked angry) conducted suicidal attacks on pigs using a catapult and their own body weight. Surprisingly fun.
Perhaps the future is actually in these touchscreen laptops which combine the best of both worlds…