Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you. -- Carl Sandburg
There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- goddammit, you've got to be kind. -- Kurt Vonnegut

January 3, 2013


Note: This was an abject failure. It died in 6 months going to random app opening and closing at a rapid pace and after the short warranty was over. I'm very disappointed in this.
Today, I finally ordered a tablet computer.  I've been dissatisfied with my mobile computing while I'm in travel mode.  If I'm not particularly enthralled with a place, I like to drive until I get tired then find a place to park for the night.  I take care of the animals, take a walk with the dog, do something about diner and go to bed.  I've been using my smartphone to do a little web browsing and reading before dropping off to sleep.  It is a pain to write on the phone.  I discovered I could dictate to it thru the Android voice to text facility which helped a lot but then there's always that comical misunderstandings from the little robot.  I also found it hard to update my blog.  I usually didn't want to boot up my laptop without a lot of time to spend.

So, I've been eyeing the tablets for a lot more portability and quick access like I have to the phone.  But a lot of them are set up more as toys than tools.  While modern computers are very flexible in all the things they can do, I want one that can run a Word compatible word processor and spreadsheet in addition to the browsing and media stuff.  What finally tipped my hand is the new Android OS and the now available office apps.

Since I'm pretty much an old geek and like to have fast and capable computing, I got the Asus Eee Pad Transformer TF700T with the keyboard dock.  Among the features I consider important is it has a micro SD to expand the memory.  The keyboard dock has a regular SD reader and USB ports and an additional battery.  That will allow me to plug in my usb disks for more storage and easily transfer pictures from my camera SD card to the tablet.  I like the idea of being able to use just the slate for touch screen things like I do with the smartphone but on a bigger screen and be able to use a regular keyboard and touchpad for real typing jobs.

It looks like this device will bridge the gap between the super portability/accessibility of a phone and tablet and the real workhorse of a laptop.  I was looking at the new Microsoft Surface but the software isn't really available yet.  No matter how wonderful the hardware is in a computer, it is just a brick without good software.

The tablet should be arriving next week.  I'll be setting it up as soon as I get it and the test of usability will be my upcoming trip to St. Thomas.


  1. Well? I don't understand all I know about the difference between Tablets and iPads and Notebooks and Laptops.

    I have MacBook Pro and iPhone 4Gs.... you remember I bought that bluetooth keyboard which makes using my iPhone for ocmmunication soooo much easier. Being a touch typist ... it's murder on that little virtual keyboard.

    So... the Tablet would take place of your laptop? But you still have to have wifi, right? I mean it doesn't have a data plan like the iPhone ... I would LOVE to have a larger screen but the iPhone just serves every purpose I need while traveling... the grandfathered unlimited everything ... if it had a larger screen? hah

  2. An ipad is Apple's tablet computer. I think your Macbook is a laptop. Laptops and notebooks are the same thing, just different names. I'm not an Apple fanboy. The new tablet has some crucial items the ipad lacks - like the SD card readers. Apple is the opposite of open systems and I am a big open systems fanboy (girl?)

    Some of the tablets do have cellular so they end up being a really big phone. They come in 7" and 10-11" screens. I figure I'll use the wi-fi on the tablet and my phone for cellular. I can set up my phone as a wi-fi hotspot but I'm not sure if I have to pay more to do it. There's a way to trick it using my computer. That's one thing I'll be looking into more.

    What can I say, I'm cheap. I don't want to pay for more cell lines. Eventually, I'll probably get a cellular aircard on a different network than my phone and a cellular wi-fi router so I can have my own little network in my van. For now, I'm not on the road enough to warrant that expense.

    I'm keeping my behemoth laptop - it's a desktop replacement that I can take in the van. The tablet will probably replace my smaller and older laptop.

    Yes, I do like my computer power ;-)

    1. I only pay for the cell service. That's why I decided on getting the bluetooth keyboard - didn't want to pay exra for wifi ... and yes I checked about using my iPhone as a hotspot and it's $50 extra month plus if would negate my current grandfathered plan which they no longer offer.

      Even the salesman .. I wouldn't do that... haha... no kidding...

      So... my iPhone with its bluetooth keyboard and then my laptop - MacBook Pro to take into McDs or Panera Bread or Starbucks ... is all I need ... like I said, the larger screen would be great but then I don't want to pay extra for that stuff... I'd rather be looking at swans... did I tell you they were gorgeous this morning???

      WellI hope you do update your blog when you're in St. Thomas! wow

    2. You might look at pdanet. I think they have a iphone-mac version. It allows you to tether the phone to the computer without the cell company knowing about it. And it is only apps - no changing the phone. http://junefabrics.com/iphone/index.php

      It's how I tether my phone and it works really well. There are ways to do the wi-fi too but it usually requires rooting the phone and that invalidates the contract and runs the risk of bricking the phone (making it useless).

      Yes, I'm jealous of the swans. They are really gorgeous.

    3. I'm a little afraid of messing with stuff I don't understand all I know about ... what I have works just fine really. I just wish I had a bigger screen sometimes but when I'm traveling ... I don't spend much time online ... especially since the Blogger App improved ... the pictures actually upload to my blog much faster than connecting via USB to my Mac in a public wifi place...

      The only problem is being able to put the pictures where I want them and being able to write what I want along with them. I've tried saving ... then going back ... won't do. It will do if I post from the App then go to my laptop and save it from there. THEN I can go back to my iPhone... jeeez

      phooey ... I just say what I want to say and then the pictures fall where they fall... hopefully, they'll correct that

    4. oh, and are you aware that you have that nasty two word verification stuff for comments? I took mine off... nasty stuff. I did eliminate anonymous comments but that word verification SUCKS ...


    5. Oh yeah. I put that back on because of spam. I don't like that either but I don't like spam. Does no anonymous cut the spam?

      pdanet is pretty safe to try. I think they let you use it for free for awhile to see if you like it. It can be deleted easily and it doesn't change anything permanently on either the phone or the laptop. It just gives you another option when wi-fi isn't available but you want to use the laptop. I used it at home for a long time because I had no other option for internet. Where's that adventurous spirit of yours? ;-)

    6. adventurous spirit does not include potential financial hazards... I'm so afraid of losing this no longer offered plan I have .... I talked with a really savvy Apple guy ... iPhone really frowns on messing with it... I have heard of some who have had their service interrupted and lots of thises and thats...

      some on the WGS list... As I said.. I'm really ok with what I got.

      Well? so far so good with my spam. I think allowing anonymous comments sorta invites spammers...

      A few folk really will not comment when they see that two word nasty thing... Word Press commenting, to me.. is just the pits. Have to fill out stuff - not fun when I'm traveling. I read blogs at night from my iPhone in bed. I usually don't bring my keyboard with me.

      Commenting on blogs is reserved when I'm like I am now... all cozy like in a motel room with never ending wifi...

      You've had spam? try eliminating anonymous but take off that nasty two word stuff. too tedious for lazy people. I'm dreading hitting publish... lol

    7. HEY! you did it! wow... what fun ...

    8. Yup, just for you. I'll see if the no anon works. Even tho I'm a virgo, I think fast! ;-)

      I've had a whole career with computers a lot more complicated than this by trying and testing stuff. I think pdanet is safe to use but I understand. Apple's iron control is a big turn off for me. And a good plan is valuable in itself. They seem to just make it worse for the consumer as time goes by.

    9. LOL... wow! the other aspects of your horoscope must have a fire sign in there.. hahaaa... oh, me.

      well, I feel honored.

      I know .... I knew lots of people who refused Microsoft because Bill Gates and his monopoly... Joe was a computer programmer when we met and I sold the things ... I don't like monopolies either nor the bullying but with my budget? I just don't want to rock the boat. I would LOVE to have the hotspot though...

      I've kept the website PdaNet ... even though I'm a spontaneous no thinking before doing Aries... when it comes to money? I stop --- it's a miracle!

      Where are you? Why do I think you're in Arizona...

    10. I don't put much stock in horridscopes. I'm not a neatnick either, so there. But I am very analytical and can do fine tedious detail work in addition to large systems analysis. Really handy in science and computers. I'm in mid-Maryland where I had my career. Still stuck with home ownership that keeps me here. I just grew up in the west - CO and CA.

    11. I've updated to IOs 6 ... this is the part I kinda cringe over ...

      ~~~Update 10/15/2011 - If you have updated your phone to iOS 5 or iTunes to 10.5, please update PdaNet to 5.30 from Cydia. If you use USB mode please also update desktop client to 5.30 from here.

      How to Install - version 5.30
      Apple has not accepted PdaNet into the App Store since it avoids your carrier's tether plan. You will need to jailbreak your iPhone (see instructions) and install it through Cydia.

      To use WiFi mode you do not need anything installed on the computer end. To use USB mode, download the desktop client on Mac or Windows. ~~~

      When I did the software update on my phone... several apps were out of date ... the jailbreaking thing is scary. I know that Annie and Roxanne have done this but they did it with an Android ... I booned with them a couple of nights... I wanted her to fix mine... she didn't want to mess the iPhone... especially with my current plan.

      You have the iPhone and have done this? What are you using? I went back and read ... I don't see what plan you're using. You have a wifi plan and a cell phone plan?

    12. Oh, I think horoscopes are fun ... not to be taken seriously ... been around since the 60s - had mine done then. Interesting how the traits do come together ... I'm Aries Sun; Sagittarius Moon; and Aquarius Ascending... truly believe that's why water is absolutely necessary for swooshing out the junk...

      Anyway! yes... I remember your house situation now. Maybe 2013 will be the year...

    13. Yet another reason I won't join the Apple pod, lol. I don't want to jailbreak either and I have Android. Nah, I'm with the Ducks on that one - too risky. I didn't have to jailbreak my Android to get the tethering.

    14. I have Sprint with unlimited data and limited phone minutes. Wi-fi is just an option on the smartphone - a Motorola Photon - and I don't have to pay anything for it. Sprint encourages use of wi-fi to cut the battery usage, or maybe really to cut cell data usage. I have a gig router to set up a wi-fi network in my house. Sprint has been good where they have a network. I had nothing from them when I was in SD and most of WY.

    15. ah Joe has a Sprint air card because it's best for interstates all over but has our AT&T service for his phone - family plan - there are four of us on the plan.

      I use wifi on my phone when it's available. The screen pops up with available wifi .. I have it on here too. I didn't know it helped with battery saving... it was just supposed to help with data usage and faster service.

      battery conservation? really. well, that's good news... glad to know that... because unless I'm really doing some heavy uploading and such I don't bother connecting to wifi on my phone. and well I have to have it to use with FaceTime and some TV shows...

    16. I'm not sure whether it really conserves the battery. It is in Sprint's interest to cut down on data usage on their cell network and telling us that encourages people to do just that. But sometimes the wi-fi is faster. Other times it isn't. One thing having the wi-fi on is that it affects the cell connection. I turn it off when I make a phone call. What really eats the battery is a weak cell signal.


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