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Author Topic: To SDR or not! That is the question!  (Read 23743 times)
KE5JPP
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« Reply #75 on: January 05, 2013, 05:21:41 PM »

The blade servers are certainly much closer to the desktop PCs as far as hardware than they are to tablets and their hardware.

Of course I imagine you know that the Android OS on Tablets is also a variant of Linux..

So don't try to paint only one group as having the majority of the smarts.   I see through your comments and what you are attempting to do.  You paint me, an engineer, as having no common sense and no connection to the real world in an attempt to avoid arguing with my valid points.  

We all know you are smart Gene as you constantly remind us every chance you get. My point about Engineers being in a different World was brought up because of your obvious disdain in recent comments about "end users". You many comments here on "end users" and the way you talk down to hams here reminded me so much of past Engineers I have known.

Stan K9IUQ

What exactly does the operating system have to do with desktop PCs going away 'soon'?

Do you have some kind of problem or chip on your shoulder with people you perceive as 'smart'?  You are the one who called me a 'smart guy', I have never made such a claim.

In your own words: "With apologies to Shakespeare, "Thou doth protest too much, methinks""

Instead of deflecting by attempting to imply something about my personality or manner, how about answering some of my questions, such as how your voice recognition is going to replace the keyboard and make the desktop PC extinct?  How is it more productive than a real physical keyboard?

Gene
« Last Edit: January 05, 2013, 05:29:27 PM by KE5JPP » Logged
KE5JPP
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« Reply #76 on: January 05, 2013, 05:25:00 PM »

I don't see tablets replacing PC's in businesses anytime soon.

Exactly right.  Despite Mark's and Stan's myopic view from their little corner of the Universe, government, military, universities, and commercial businesses buy desktop PCs in such quantity to insure that the desktop PC will not be going extinct any time soon.  To believe otherwise is just foolish and not looking at the big picture.

Gene
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KE5JPP
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« Reply #77 on: January 05, 2013, 05:25:59 PM »

The tablet has changed my life!  I am even writing my next books on my tablet.  Lol, no keyboard either, all touch screen.

I can type at 120 WPM on the real keyboard attached to my PC -- how fast can you type on the touch screen of your tablet?

AMEN!

Gene
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WD5GWY
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« Reply #78 on: January 05, 2013, 05:27:50 PM »

Amazon had a MAJOR outage recently
with their Cloud Services that caused Netflix to go down for hours.
WD5GWY

Much has been made of this in the press. Amazon confessed it was operator error that deleted some important Netflix files. Stuff happens when humans are involved. It was most embarrassing for both companies because of when it happened.  Wink

As a Netflix streaming customer for over a year who watches their service a lot I gotta say it is a fantastic and very reliable service. At only $8 a month (unlimited streaming) it is unbeatable for value. FWIW I also have Amazon Prime which among other perks includes a video streaming service similar to Netflix. At this point in time it is vastly behind Netflix both in content and usability.

FWIW I rarely watch video (especially Netflix) on a Tablet. I want my movies on my 55'' LED TV, along with glorious DD5.1 sound going thru my wall shaking theater sound system. Tablets are great for a lot of my activitys but watching movies is not one of them.

Stan K9IUQ
We have been a Netflix customer for quite some time too. Have both streaming video and
DVD/BluRay as well. Even at $19 a month for both, it is a very good deal. And my wife
loves her movies and TV series that she missed for so many years working. She's retired now
and is trying her best to catch up!  Grin
  I use a Nexus 7 tablet for reading quite a bit. I do like it and the fact that is has other uses besides reading books. BUT, I'm still not 100% digital. I still like real, paper books. And the prices on Amazon , Barnes & Noble, and Google Play, for books are still too high in my opinion. WalMart beats them on a lot of book prices. It's hard to want to pay $9.00 (or so, with tax) for an ebook
that I cannot trade, give away or take to Half Price Books and let someone else enjoy them.
I think the prices of ebooks are much too high. For current bookstore prices for print books, the
ebook prices are the same. It kind of irks me that a digital copy of a book can be as expensive as or even in some cases, HIGHER that print books!! I recently bought an ebook (checked all three sources) for $8.00 plus tax and a few days later, found the print version on sale at WalMart for
$5.50!!!
  I love the Nexus 7, but, I looked a long time before buying one. And still, sometimes I have to
wonder, if I really am getting the most for my money.
(but, I have downloaded several free ebooks too..............Huck Finn            years since I've read that one!!!)
james
WD5GWY
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NI0Z
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« Reply #79 on: January 05, 2013, 08:12:12 PM »

Ok guys, I think you are taking it a little too far here.

All I am saying is that PC usage is seriously going to shrink and many of the things we felt we needed a PC for can now be done from the comfort of your bed, like writing this post on a tablet.

What I am saying is fact, it's already happening.  I hardly use my personal laptop any more.  why, because the tablet makes surfing, reading, writing, ect so easy from anywhere.  Light as a feather compared to the average laptop.

I know for a fact corporations are actually working hard to get rid expensive computing devices.  I could do my job on a windows tablet today without any loss of productivity and probably a gain on productivity.

Like I said, I get a bad reaction when I tell people PCs are going to fade away.

Oh, and no, I can't do 120 WPM on a tablet, but I can't do it on my PC or laptop either.  Yup, I hunt and peck a whopping 30-35 WPM on all my computing devices including the touch screen. And most of the developers that work for me don't type near as fast as me.  The issue for developers is being able to test and debug their code.  That will happen in the cloud in the future.  Not to mention that developers, corporate and non corporate are starting to write and gravitate towards..... Drum roll...... Apps... That run on..... Tablets, phones, ect.

It will be ok, lol.  I actually just gave away the last Commodore 64 I still had about a month ago, it was an SX 64, remember those?  Yes, I played with the TRS 80's the Atari 400/800, my first was a Vic 20 and I remember how I lusted for a Sinclair.  He heheh fun times.

Just keep in mind that a tablet is a computer as well.  Computers are changing.  Nothing to get bent out of shape over.

I had a fun day hamming today.  Windows 8 on yes, a mega PC is working out great for me!

73 Gents
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K9IUQ
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« Reply #80 on: January 06, 2013, 04:25:55 AM »

I still like real, paper books. And the prices on Amazon , Barnes & Noble, and Google Play, for books are still too high in my opinion.  

It's hard to want to pay $9.00 (or so, with tax) for an ebook
that I cannot trade, give away or take to Half Price Books and let someone else enjoy them.
I think the prices of ebooks are much too high. For current bookstore prices for print books, the
ebook prices are the same.
james

Personally I much prefer e-books because the fonts are scaleable and much more readable for my old eyes. I agree e-book prices are much too high thanks to price fixing by the Publishers and Apple. This is going to change however as a couple of months ago the Publishers lost a lawsuit for price fixing. Look for lower prices this year.

I buy e-books from Amazon and the first thing I do is strip the DRM from the book. This is perfectly legal. It is done by a free (PC) Program called Calibre along with a plug-in. After the DRM is gone I convert the e-book to an ePub - also done by Calibre. Once you have the ePub you can do whatever your conscience allows.  Smiley
http://www.ismoothblog.com/2012/07/calibre-free-drm-removal-for-amazon.html

I do this primarily because I dislike the Kindle app for reading books. Once you have the ePub format there are many better readers to use - I use Mantano. Mantano also excells in reading PDF's which is fantastic for Radio Manuals and such.

Stan K9IUQ  
« Last Edit: January 06, 2013, 04:34:51 AM by K9IUQ » Logged
K9IUQ
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« Reply #81 on: January 06, 2013, 05:17:42 AM »

how about answering some of my questions, such as how your voice recognition is going to replace the keyboard and make the desktop PC extinct?

Voice Recognition is already finding many useful applications.  I can think of many right off the top of my head. Have you ever had to call a company for support? Chances are you are going to get a computer voice asking you what you want to do. It uses voice recognition for your commands. My new car is another good example of Voice recognition at work. FWIW the Voice system in my car is designed by Microsoft.

My Tablet has Voice Recognition built in. Instead of typing a query into Google I just say the words I want to search. The Voice Recognition gets it right most of the time and if it is unsure gives you a list of choices. IMO it works very well and is only going to get better in the future.

 Or how about this: "Substantial efforts have been devoted in the last decade to the test and evaluation of speech recognition in fighter aircraft".  I could go on and on but instead of me giving you the answers, use Google to find them for yourself.

Voice Recognition will only get better and used more and more in the future. Why? Because it is the Ultimate interface between man and machine. Will it eliminate the keyboard? Yes.

And let us not forget that great precursor of Voice Recognition foreseen many years ago - HAL in the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey     Cheesy

Stan K9IUQ
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KE5JPP
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« Reply #82 on: January 06, 2013, 05:50:55 AM »

Ok guys, I think you are taking it a little too far here.

All I am saying is that PC usage is seriously going to shrink and many of the things we felt we needed a PC for can now be done from the comfort of your bed, like writing this post on a tablet.

What I am saying is fact, it's already happening.  I hardly use my personal laptop any more.  why, because the tablet makes surfing, reading, writing, ect so easy from anywhere.  Light as a feather compared to the average laptop.

I know for a fact corporations are actually working hard to get rid expensive computing devices.  I could do my job on a windows tablet today without any loss of productivity and probably a gain on productivity.

Like I said, I get a bad reaction when I tell people PCs are going to fade away.

Oh, and no, I can't do 120 WPM on a tablet, but I can't do it on my PC or laptop either.  Yup, I hunt and peck a whopping 30-35 WPM on all my computing devices including the touch screen. And most of the developers that work for me don't type near as fast as me.  The issue for developers is being able to test and debug their code.  That will happen in the cloud in the future.  Not to mention that developers, corporate and non corporate are starting to write and gravitate towards..... Drum roll...... Apps... That run on..... Tablets, phones, ect.

It will be ok, lol.  I actually just gave away the last Commodore 64 I still had about a month ago, it was an SX 64, remember those?  Yes, I played with the TRS 80's the Atari 400/800, my first was a Vic 20 and I remember how I lusted for a Sinclair.  He heheh fun times.

Just keep in mind that a tablet is a computer as well.  Computers are changing.  Nothing to get bent out of shape over.

I had a fun day hamming today.  Windows 8 on yes, a mega PC is working out great for me!

73 Gents

Well, I guess we are going to have to wait and see who is correct provided it happens in the next 20 years or less.  Cheesy  Some of us don't have a long time left to wait.

I'd be interested in hearing your projection when exactly you believe the desktop PC will have reached the point in sales volume to where it could be considered to have faded away?  How many years?

Here is some very interesting observations about the predicted death of printed books:

http://mobile.slashdot.org/story/13/01/06/034205/death-of-printed-books-may-have-been-exaggerated?utm_source=rss1.0mainlinkanon&utm_medium=feed

http://www.roughtype.com/?p=2296

I tend to believe it will be the same for tablets - they will complement the desktop PC, not replace it anytime soon.

Gene
« Last Edit: January 06, 2013, 06:00:35 AM by KE5JPP » Logged
WD5GWY
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« Reply #83 on: January 06, 2013, 06:41:41 AM »





And let us not forget that great precursor of Voice Recognition foreseen many years ago - HAL in the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey     Cheesy

Stan K9IUQ
Yep!! That one turned out well too!!!  Grin
james
WD5GWY
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K9IUQ
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« Reply #84 on: January 06, 2013, 07:36:22 AM »

Well, I guess we are going to have to wait and see who is correct provided it happens in the next 20 years or less.  Cheesy  Some of us don't have a long time left to wait.

I'd be interested in hearing your projection when exactly you believe the desktop PC will have reached the point in sales volume to where it could be considered to have faded away?  How many years?

Opinions of course are like butt-holes. Everyone has one and they all stink except yours.  Wink
The Desktop is already fading away, Laptops already out sell them. The Tablet market is only going to accelerate that. I do not project me getting rid of mine anytime soon for the simple reason is I like a huge monitor. That will change as Tablets get bigger and more compact. I project a 15" tablet soon. The limiting factor is size seems to be the battery size. One of the Tablets biggest draws is its mobility and bigger screens and batterys will probably limit how big they will get. Unless of course a different power source is developed that is smaller lighter and more powerful than present battery technology.

A better power source would also mean more powerful processors for the Tablet. Ok, I project I will not see the complete demise of the Desktop PC in my lifetime but Mark will.  Wink

Perhaps Microsoft has the better crystal ball. They have bet the farm on a new OS that favors Tablets and touch screens while minimizing the value of desktop use. They may lose part of the Farm because so far the majority of consumers are not jumping at upgrading to Win 8. Nor are they buying New Desktop PC's with Win 8. I have demoed Win 8 on a regular desktop PC, non touch and I see little value in upgrading from Win 7 on a Desktop PC.

The demise of printed books has been argued over and over. I believe that certainly printed books are in decline compared to e-books. It is going to continue at a rapid pace. Printed Newspapers have already lost the battle. No self respecting (under 30 yrs old) youngster would ever buy a  paper Newspaper. They all get the news free on their Tablets and iphones. even old guys like me are starting to shun printed papers. I held out for a long time and only subscribed to a Newspaper the last couple of years because my wife wanted the coupons and foodstore flyrs. After I showed her how to get all that on the net it was good bye Newspaper. The Tablet has hastened the Newspaper decline tremendously. It is their death knell because it is so easy to read on a 10" Tablet..

Stan K9IUQ




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KE5JPP
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« Reply #85 on: January 06, 2013, 08:39:01 AM »

Well, I guess we are going to have to wait and see who is correct provided it happens in the next 20 years or less.  Cheesy  Some of us don't have a long time left to wait.

I'd be interested in hearing your projection when exactly you believe the desktop PC will have reached the point in sales volume to where it could be considered to have faded away?  How many years?

Opinions of course are like butt-holes. Everyone has one and they all stink except yours.  Wink
The Desktop is already fading away, Laptops already out sell them. The Tablet market is only going to accelerate that. I do not project me getting rid of mine anytime soon for the simple reason is I like a huge monitor. That will change as Tablets get bigger and more compact. I project a 15" tablet soon. The limiting factor is size seems to be the battery size. One of the Tablets biggest draws is its mobility and bigger screens and batterys will probably limit how big they will get. Unless of course a different power source is developed that is smaller lighter and more powerful than present battery technology.

A better power source would also mean more powerful processors for the Tablet. Ok, I project I will not see the complete demise of the Desktop PC in my lifetime but Mark will.  Wink

Perhaps Microsoft has the better crystal ball. They have bet the farm on a new OS that favors Tablets and touch screens while minimizing the value of desktop use. They may lose part of the Farm because so far the majority of consumers are not jumping at upgrading to Win 8. Nor are they buying New Desktop PC's with Win 8. I have demoed Win 8 on a regular desktop PC, non touch and I see little value in upgrading from Win 7 on a Desktop PC.

The demise of printed books has been argued over and over. I believe that certainly printed books are in decline compared to e-books. It is going to continue at a rapid pace. Printed Newspapers have already lost the battle. No self respecting (under 30 yrs old) youngster would ever buy a  paper Newspaper. They all get the news free on their Tablets and iphones. even old guys like me are starting to shun printed papers. I held out for a long time and only subscribed to a Newspaper the last couple of years because my wife wanted the coupons and foodstore flyrs. After I showed her how to get all that on the net it was good bye Newspaper. The Tablet has hastened the Newspaper decline tremendously. It is their death knell because it is so easy to read on a 10" Tablet..

Stan K9IUQ


Yep, I have not subscribed to a print newspaper in over 5 years now.  The last time I touched a newspaper was in the airport and that was because it was on my seat.  I no longer watch the news on TV either.  Or the weather.  All that I access on my tablet.  The only physical books that I purchase are technical books with diagrams and books with a lot of high resolution pictures since those are more easily read in print than in eBook format on a tablet.

The problem with predictions of demise of a technology is that the predictions are usually way too aggressive and off my an order of magnitude.  History has proved this time and time again.  Some things stick around for a very long time because they just work.

Gene
« Last Edit: January 06, 2013, 08:43:10 AM by KE5JPP » Logged
W6RMK
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« Reply #86 on: January 08, 2013, 10:31:30 PM »

They have said that they will make available an API for outside developers  to write interfaces(apps) that can be used on all those different devices.


I would wait to see that API implemented, running, and documented before leaping in. There's a very small population of customers who actually would use it, so it's more likely that development effort will focus on the non-API parts of the software, and on new features for the 95% of users, before features like an API for the 5%.
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WD5GWY
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« Reply #87 on: January 09, 2013, 10:09:13 AM »

They have said that they will make available an API for outside developers  to write interfaces(apps) that can be used on all those different devices.


I would wait to see that API implemented, running, and documented before leaping in. There's a very small population of customers who actually would use it, so it's more likely that development effort will focus on the non-API parts of the software, and on new features for the 95% of users, before features like an API for the 5%.

  I'm pretty sure that Flex will want as many people building applications for the new radios as
they can get. The more "cool" stuff that is out there for the radios, the more they will sell.
Completely closed, no 3rd party applications would be a mistake in my opinion. As for the API
that is something they would want for their own developers as well. What will be interesting to
see is, how much of that API they expose to outside developers. Microsoft was well known for
not documenting a lot of functionality to outside developers in their various API's for Windows years ago. (and probably still leaves a lot out) There was a lot of complaining over that too.
  I am sure that they are working on the internals of the software for the hardware itself. And
the Client software too. (saw some of that in the recently released video of SmartSDR)
But, again, if they limit 3rd party development too much, "I think" that the new radios will be an even tougher sell. I would like to have one. But, I don't normally like paying that kind of money
to be a beta tester!
james
WD5GWY
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NI0Z
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« Reply #88 on: January 09, 2013, 03:12:06 PM »

Oh, sorry, guess that writers, photographers, artists, producers, musicians, accountants, technicians in the field, they all don't do real work on tablets. Fact is, few jobs today that require physical desktop PCs won't be able to transition to tablets.  Remember, a tablet can be a terminal to a cloud super computer infrastructure as well.

You are twisting the statement around to suit your argument.  The fact remains that any of the applications that the  writers, photographers, artists, producers, musicians, accountants, technicians in the field, do on their tablets DO SO WITH SOFTWARE WRITTEN FOR A TABLET ON A DESKTOP PC.  

All those apps that you are using on your tablets are not written on tablets, they are written on desktop PCs.  I use a tablet every single day and I also write apps for my tablet.  A tablet is no substitute for a desktop PC and no voice recognition or touchscreen keyboard is going to replace the mouse and keyboard on the desktop PC anytime soon. Why do you think that many of the controls on the first cars, such as the model t first released in 1908, still exist in the same form on modern cars in 2013?  It is because it is the best input device to get the job done.  Voice recognition and touch screens have been around for decades now and they have not displaced the computer keyboard and mouse.  People trying to get work done do not want to talk to their computer.  They do not want others to hear what they are doing (or typing) while they are working.  In some cases, it would not be possible to accomplish anything with hundreds of people all dictating to their computer in the same space!  Keyboards, whether touchscreen or physical, do not benefit by becoming smaller and smaller, unless the human hand and fingers evolve to become miniature appendages.  Unfortunately, human evolution and adaptation take millions of years, the evolution of technology takes several orders of magnitude shorter time.  Still, at this point, humans are the end users of technology.   Unless that changes soon, technology will fit human physical requirements, not the other way around.

A tablet is just a tool, enabled by software written on desktop PCs.  Making things smaller, such as the screens and keypads, is not productive and a step backwards in many cases.  A tablet is not a general purpose computer like a desktop PC is, its processor is designed to do specific things that a tablet is required to do.  There are practical reasons why things stabilize around a certain point.  People who predict the extinction of the desktop PC are like the authors of the old Popular Mechanics magazines that predicted that we would all have miniature nuclear reactors powering our cars by the end of the last century!  I want my nuclear powered car!  The internal combustion engine did not go away even though people predicted its extinction more than 50 years ago.

Again, only those who don't do real work on their computers think desktop PCs are going away anytime soon.  Yes, tablets will displace the desktop PC for many consumers because it does what they want to do and it entertains them - but there will remain the need for desktop PCs for quite a long time in the future for the reasons stated above.  If you think I hold this position because I am old, set in my ways, and resistant to change, you are incorrect.  To say that I am is dismissive and an attempt to not deal with the facts.   I have been a leading edge user of many new technologies including SDRs as I think I have demonstrated by my technical posts related to SDR on this forum.  

Gene

Gene, I understand your argument here, however, I disagree with it.  I believe software development will be able to be done on tablets.  I briefly explained this in an earlier post, however, let me elaborate a bit more.

There are several movements that are already occurring right now that will impact this.

The first is cloud computing.  Developers are already able to develop websites and apps on tablets and push code to test clouds, test, version, and work towards a final delivery.  The biggest requirement for software development and desktop computing resources is usually having enough resources to run both a server and a development environment on a local machine.  The notion of development servers and environments has already been changing this for lots of development languages.  

Open source movements also help reduce these requirements as you have more developers collaborating to develop sophisticated web based applications.  Again, web based applications can be tested on a web based test server.  

Virtual machines have greatly reduced server footprints by allowing multiple applications and environments to be hosted by a much greater number of servers.  This makes servers much cheaper and thus helps the momentum of moving development environments off of desktops and laptops.  Code is merely text and editors don't really require much computing resource.

You have tablets that are becoming more powerful.  Look at the new windows surface tablets.  You even have USB ports, memory card slots, ect.  They are in essence PC's in a tablet form factor.  Enough said on this one other than to say. That tablet battery life usually far exceeds laptop battery life.

We have just begun to turn the corner again towards simplification.  This will be a controversial  statement, however, for many years we have been building on a make things more robust mentality.  A heavy message sitting in CIO inboxes today is that simple is better.  Why? Because applications should be intuitive and easy to use.  That ultimately will equate to more lightweight code, fewer function points and thus fewer points of failure on all levels.

Developing in structured environments allows for better development.  Check-in, check-out, versioning, it's all so much safer and less risky that way.

Next you have a generational movement.  I see it in my kids.  They are growing up on small computing devices and game consoles.  As us old folks die they will simply begin to out number us.  This is inevitable.

I don't have a precise prediction on when PC die.  They will be around simply because some people will collect them and will refuse to change.  Lol, while vinyl records haven't been manufactured in a while, people still sell and buy them.  I have a bunch myself and recently parted with a great number of them.  So it is with CD's,  I own probably 1000, but it's been a few years since I bought a CD because apple and amazon give me the music in electronic format and store it in the cloud for me to access any time I want.  I have also ripped them all to MP3, it's just easier to use them that way today.

It use to take a large set of hard drives to hold it all.  Same with all my photos.  Today many people store and share their photos from a cloud.

Refuting change is a lot like standing on a live set of railroad tracks and believing a train will never flatten you.

There is usually a point where change accelerates after critical mass is reached.  We are quickly getting there on the tablet verses laptop and PC horizon.  Once the scale tips it will fall fast and then level off.  That's my limited prediction.

Everything is going to change and yet in some ways if you really look at the bigger picture, it's not that great of a real change.  It's all just going to be a little different.

Again, you probably won't agree with all this, and I respect you standing your ground.  Hopefully though you don't think I have been merely dismissive of your questions.  Sorry if you still believe that, this will be as good as it gets from me.

Ding... Did you hear that?  Lol, another tablet was born!  Hopefully you'll laugh at my joke!

Last but not least, this post was created on a tablet while I am stranded in the Houston airport.  

« Last Edit: January 09, 2013, 03:22:36 PM by NI0Z » Logged

WD5GWY
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« Reply #89 on: January 09, 2013, 04:24:47 PM »

I agree that change is coming. (it's already here in so many ways) But, tell me, how much code
are you writing on your tablet?  I attend, when I can, a developer's group in Ft.Worth. (monthly and sponsored by Microsoft) And the vast majority of those developers still develop their company's software on laptops and desktop systems. Some are developing apps for end user devices like tablets and cellphones. But, that is not the main focus that I have seen.
  If someone were to make a development environment like Visual Studio for Tablets etc. then
I would be interested in that. As it is, Microsoft provides emulators for different devices for developers to build and test applications for tablets and phones, to use in Visual Studio.
Personally, I'm not interested in using a text editor for software development. I guess I have been spoiled by Visual Studio and all that it brings to the table. ( for various reasons, I don't do much software development anymore , anyway)
  One thing you keep mentioning, is Cloud computing and storage. As I mentioned in an earlier post, should you loose your internet connection or the servers fail, then you loose access to everything you have stored in the "Cloud". Netflix customers experienced that recently.
  I still think (however old fashioned it may be) that having data stored in the Cloud is risky and
people should still have some sort of local backup. I have a friend in the bailbond business that
got talked into switching to a cloud based software package for his business. He likes it when it works. When it does not, he wishes he still had his older system running. At least that way, he has access to his client records.
  Either way, it will be interesting to see where all of this goes.
james
WD5GWY
 

 
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