Kyle Maxwell

Just me.

Archive for the tag “iPad”

New toys!

A little over a week ago, I finally got my first tablet. And rather than follow through (for now) on my desires for a Honeycomb tablet, like the Motorola Xoom, I bought a refurbished low-end iPad 1. It came with 16GB storage and a Wifi-only network connection, but for me that does the job quite well since I can just set my Droid Incredible as a wifi hotspot. The Twitter app for iPad really rocks, unlike their Android app. And reading news (New York Times, The Economist, Flipboard, etc.) has become the pleasurable experience it ought to be. My primary complaints, so to speak, have to do with apps with minor issues (e.g. feedly) or the lack of a coherent way to manage settings (e.g. the browser).

Just as importantly – actually, more so – my new desktop finally came to life. Built from scratch, godel runs Ubuntu 10.10 on a 6-core AMD Phenom II and 16GB of RAM, with a pair of linked Radeon HD 5770 graphics card each holding 1GB of on-board memory, all wrapped in a black monolith Antec Three Hundred case. Yeah, it runs like lightning, although today I need to get audio working properly and perhaps find a way to cut the fan noise. (Plus this monster deserves a new monitor.)

Of course this machine can and will run games (think EVE Online), I didn’t build it like this principally for that purpose. Rather, I want to spend significant time delving back into development, perhaps including Android development or data science projects.

Thoughts on a tablet purchase

I’ve wanted to replace my Dell Mini 9 for a bit. As an Ubuntu netbook with decent performance, it got the job done for me when it came out. Now, though, I’ve had it for over a year and a half, so it probably can get passed on to a family member. And a tablet form factor would fit my use cases much better: lean-back computing, generally at home or a third place such as a coffee shop or book store.

This has led me to set up a few criteria for the device I’ll eventually get.

  • Android device. I’d rather not get an iPad and thus delve further into the Apple ecosystem at this point. (Though as I look at the probability matrix for the rest of the year, certain family events could cause me to re-evaluate that position.) Still, for my own needs, I’d like to stick with Android to the degree possible.
  • Hackable device. Specifically, I’d like something I can jailbreak. The idea of flashing the tablet with a custom OS appeals strongly to me, especially for running Android Honeycomb.
  • WiFi only. I vacillate a little on this particular issue, but given that I primarily expect to use it in locations that provide WiFi, the extra expense of 3G or such doesn’t really appeal to me. (And it should make the previous requirement a little easier to match.)
  • Decent quality hardware. Bargain-basement knockoffs with flimsy casings and low-quality touch screens don’t appeal to me. Not that I want to go drop USD 1000 on the device, but I don’t have to go get the Wal-Mart special, either.

I’ve started to look at my choices, but mostly in ruling some of them out (e.g. the highly expensive Motorola Xoom).

Maybe I should get the Honeycomb SDK in advance, too, so I could mess around with some “Hello, World’ stuff. Mostly, though, I want to prepare myself for the inevitable moments where I tell myself that I can’t find an app that meets my needs and decide to roll my own.

Any recommendations from my friends?

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