Computer Or Tablet, Which Do You Usually Use?

Discussion in 'Gadgets & Tech Talk' started by Yvonne Smith, Jan 23, 2015.

  1. Jorge Ruiz

    Jorge Ruiz Member
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    Oh Michelle, don't sell it!

    I've still got the typewriter I bought for about $50 to type up my second novel to send out in serial form to my friends and family.

    White-out, those little pieces of paper with dry white-out that you typed over, the IBM Selectric that had a correction tape integrated, onion-skinned erasable paper (yuck!), and that little eraser pencil with a pumice eraser and the little broom on the end. Those are all things the younger generation has probably never seen or heard of (well, white out yes, they use it to correct their homework and notes where I live! Always had to prohibit its use in class, I wanted to see their mistakes and corrections and they often used it as an excuse to wait for it to dry before continuing any exercise....)

    And, can you believe it, I've had younger students ask me (seriously!) just what a typewriter is! Pity. I loved my first, a massive, black (and extremely heavy) Underwood typewriter that I fixed myself. I tended to type too fast for it, though, and the keys always got stuck. Best typewriter ever made? That IBM Selectric with the interchangeable ball element. Great machine.


    peace,
    revel.
     
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  2. Richard Lee

    Richard Lee Member
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    I hate typing on tablets - I have thick fingers and they are not touch screen friendly. I use my tablet when I am in bed to check news and messages (FB/Skype/etc), for playing audio books, on trips where I am not driving, and instead of taking a paper into the loo :eek: - other than that, I use my desktop or one of my lap tops. My girls (daughters) have both tablets and laptops - and they almost exclusively use the laptops indoors. I have two monitors on my main computer - a high res one of standard size and a large (plasma TV size) one.
     
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  3. Michelle Stevens

    Michelle Stevens Active Member
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    That doesn't surprise me at all. A few years ago I was in an antique shop when a kid asked his parents about one and was so impressed by this strange object that was a keyboard and printer in one.

    I wish I'd had one of those. My typewriter was a really cheap one that didn't run on electricity. I had a friend who eventually got a small typewriter with some sort of word-processing capabilities and I was so jealous. I imagine that wasn't too long before we moved on to PCs though.
     
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    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 26, 2015
  4. Richard Lee

    Richard Lee Member
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    Just today my daughter (13 going on 30) said was talking to me about an online discussion she was having with friends - they were discussing things that they would miss in the future. One of the things she said was CDs. I asked why, and she said it will be replaced with online music and personal playlists, so no need for CDs and she will miss them because you can tell a lot about people by their CD stack. Strangely enough (not) she had no idea what a cassette tape was (let alone an 8-track or a reel-to-reel) - and did not regret the demise of the gramophone record, LP/EP/45 either.

    I was thinking about typewriters today (as I sat and fixed every spelling mistake in an article I wrote) - we may all be used to typing these days, but we must be horrendously worse than we were 30 years ago when a typo meant liquid-paper or starting the whole sheet again. Also reminds me, as an old programmer that still codes, the days when a program was hand written on a coding sheet, typed into a card punch deck by a data-prep girl (not being sexist - they were always girls), had to be sorted by a deck sorter and hand loaded into a reader to compile - a single bug would reject the punch card and it was back through the process again. If you had 5 bugs it would take 3 days to do all those compiles and you'd have an angry boss too boot. Now I hit F6 to do the same code to compile process a hundred times a day - no one looks for bugs as its so quick to just let the compiler fail and find them for you! I am not sure if this has made us better programmer or not!
     
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  5. Michelle Stevens

    Michelle Stevens Active Member
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    @Richard Lee, I remember those punch cards. I studied computer science at University for a couple of years in the early 80s, though I never used my knowledge afterwards. When we started first year, we had to use their main frame computer which must have taken up quite a big room and our first couple of assignments were done using punch cards. After that we were allowed to use terminals which made errors a little easier to cope with, but our assignments still had to go to that big computer and there could be a long wait to see whether the programs we'd written actually worked. It was a long slow process and we often had to spend hours there at night because terminals weren't available during the day.
     
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  6. Richard Lee

    Richard Lee Member
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    Yes! I remember when they brought out TSO terminals (Time Share Option) - these allowed for many terminals so we didn't have the issue you mention any more (still green screens though). The mainframes (we used to call them telephone boxes - the units were the same size) used to house one processor (many many chips - and huge water cooling systems in each) were spread over vast computer floors the size of football pitches. They were great at night though - you could sneak up there (to the computer hall) and snuggle down behind one of the boxes to sleep - they were nice and warm :)

    My first mainframe was the size of a good sized 5 bed house in floor area - and had 20Mb of memory total - it cost 5.5million pounds sterling. Gonna start singling "Those were the days my friend" in a minute :D
     
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  7. Harrison Greenberg

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    I still read regular books, but I'm starting to use my tablet a lot more because it's just so convenient. Though I'm not quite used to it yet because of the turning of pages, it feels very different to turn a regular page. But the tablet gives me so much more features such as accessing the newspapers everyday (much more cheaper than regular paper by a paperboys, and certainly a lot more faster and updated). Similarly to Richard Lee though, I don't like typing on the tablet, my fingers are huge for such a small device, so sometimes it would be a error in typing.
     
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  8. Michelle Stevens

    Michelle Stevens Active Member
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    I sometimes think I should buy a Kindle because it takes so much less space than regular books, but I've got so many books lying around already which I'll probably never find time to read that it just seems a waste. I've gone as far as downloading a few free Kindle books onto my computer, but I haven't bothered to read any of them yet. Maybe if they were on a tablet without the distractions of the internet, I'd find time to read them, but given my record of starting books and not finishing them, I'm not convinced.
     
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  9. Val Carey

    Val Carey Member
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    That brought back memories. I had one those Underwood monsters too. It was bought for me when I nearing leaving school so I could practice and increase my typing speed in order to get a job. Touch typing was a major qualification for a girl getting a decent job back in those days, just as computer skills are now.

    I use a Toshiba laptop. I'm a dinosaur, never even had a hand on an iPad and no desire for one. Keyboards have always been so much a part of my day I can't imagine communication without one. I think I've forgotten how a pen works.o_O
     
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  10. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Greeter
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    If you read a lot of paperback books, the kind with no pictures in them; then one of the little Kindle e-readers is perfect. You can get these on ebay for around $20 if you watch close. I used one of those for a while, and it is very lightweight, and easy to use.
    All it does is store books, and is not like the Kindle Fire, which does go online.
    The main problem with the e-reader is if you are reading a book with pictures. I was trying to read one that showed the differences in the skull of early humanoids, and I could barely see the skulls, let alone the differences !
    But for paperback type books, it is awesome.

    I ended up getting a Kindle Fire 1st generation, which is about $50 on ebay, and I only use it for reading; but it is just enough larger that I can see any pictures in the books, plus it has color.
    I still have regular books, too. What works best for me is to have a real paper book for reference books, that way it is easy to highlight important areas and flip through pages to find the information I am looking for.
    If it is just a novel that I want to read, and don't really care if I keep it, then the Kindle is perfect.
     
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  11. Richard Lee

    Richard Lee Member
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    There's a PC product (software) called Calibre - it's free. It allows to shelve epub/PDF/etc ebooks like a library, but it also has an inbuilt Epub reader (which a lot of the ebooks are in these days). Books can be displayed by Author, category, language, date, and so on, and opened directly from the product (bit like Windows Media Player with respect to Albums/Tracks/artists etc). It links with many book retailer sites to snatch the Metadata too so you don't have to feed all that info in - you can even use your own cover images or pick an image from the book, instead of using the real book cover. I use it all the time for manuals and things - even recipes - that I have downloaded.
     
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  12. Michelle Stevens

    Michelle Stevens Active Member
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    I don't usually buy novels. That's what the library is for. If I buy a book it's going to be non-fiction and there's a good chance it will have pictures, so it's good to know that some of the Kindle screens aren't good for that. When it comes to books about my hobbies (photography and bonsai), I definitely want them on paper.

    As for buying on eBay, that's not really an option for me as I live in South Africa. As I mentioned in another thread, our postal service is unreliable and shipping costs sometimes come to more that the item is worth. Most items of technology work out much more than their dollar equivalent here at the best of times :(

    There may well be a Kindle in my future, but for now my priority is buying a decent monitor as I've been using a small one since my good monitor died a few weeks ago. Technology has its benefits, but it sure can work out pricey!
     
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  13. Richard Lee

    Richard Lee Member
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    You may be able to use your TV for the interim - check if your computer has a digital out port or a HDMI (almost all will these days) - you can get a converted to HDMI if you only have the digital out port on your PC. Then you plug it into your TV's HDMI In :)
     
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  14. Joss Brown

    Joss Brown New Member
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    I much prefer a laptop over a tablet. I really like a physical keyboard. I view tablets more as an entertainment device.

    I also still prefer physical books over an e-reader. I know that there are popular and in many ways more practical. My niece a Kindle Fire as a Christmas gift two years ago. She has always had problems with it. She no longer uses it. She reads books on her phone via the Kindle app.
     
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  15. Michelle Stevens

    Michelle Stevens Active Member
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    Thanks for the suggestion. Unfortunately my computer and TV are in different rooms and I'd rather not move either of them. The size of this monitor isn't a huge problem most of the time, so I'll just have to cope for a little while longer. I'm sure some people would be perfectly happy with the monitor I'm using now. I know I was a few years back :)
     
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