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  • iPad - no USB, no CNC

    The early reviews are coming in:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lQnT0zp8Ya4

    We have to wait for the Slate.

  • #2
    Here too

    I've seen better "wobbly throwers" chuckin' 'em right here.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by dp
      We have to wait for the Slate.
      "Hitler" does throw the best wobblies.

      On my recent three-week trek across Germany and Belgium I wanted what I thought the iPad was going to be -- a device for reading and composing email, and for storing the 1.5-lb Rough Guide to Belgium I was toting, and one for Germany which I wasn't. Instead I had to rely on (ever scarcer) cyber-cafes, and cope somehow with the German and (worse) French non-QWERTY keyboards.

      I was hoping for something about half the weight of the iPad, and with an accessory fold-out keyboard. Now I'm still waiting.
      Allan Ostling

      Phoenix, Arizona

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      • #4
        Have a look at this Allan. It has a touch screen and a virtual keyboard, two memory card slots, wireless and USB and isn't bound to proprietary content formats.

        http://www.e-readerfeeder.com/sony-d...er-prs900.html
        Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Evan
          Have a look at this Allan. It has a touch screen and a virtual keyboard, two memory card slots, wireless and USB and isn't bound to proprietary content formats.
          Evan,

          That looks promising, but it lacks the one thing I really want in an electronic reader: a color screen. The maps in the Rough Guides are in color, which provides an additional layer of essential information. The Kindle is also monochrome.

          I've read that touch typing on an onscreen virtual keyboard is a miserable experience. I haven't tried it, but I can believe it.
          Last edited by aostling; 02-02-2010, 10:10 AM.
          Allan Ostling

          Phoenix, Arizona

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Evan
            Have a look at this Allan. It has a touch screen and a virtual keyboard, two memory card slots, wireless and USB and isn't bound to proprietary content formats.

            http://www.e-readerfeeder.com/sony-d...er-prs900.html
            Other than the form-factor, they're very different devices.

            The Sony eBook reader, and the Kindle (which is a superior device in many ways) are just eBook readers. The iPad is an ebook reader, a cell phone, and a laptop rolled-up into one. So there's a GSM Sim card, and you're constantly connected to the Internet via AT&T's (miserable) data service.

            In theory, the iPad will be a superset of the Sony and Kindle eBook readers: like Kindle you can subscribe to magazines, newspapers and buy books from Amazon. Apple has partnered with the various publishers so students can purchase textbooks for the iPad. But it's also a cell phone, Internet browser, and a platform for iPad apps (presumably, with some kind of Office-compatible suite).

            But as noted, the eBook readers use black/white "electronic ink" (E-Ink -- a special purpose ferro-magnetic display) which has very low eye-strain on text compared with a conventional LCD displays.

            But the big problem is that the iPad requires a separate phone line -- I called AT&T customer service yesterday, and they said they wouldn't allow you to share the line between a conventional cell phone and the iPad.
            Last edited by lazlo; 02-02-2010, 11:19 AM.
            "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did."

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            • #7
              The iPad as I see it is first and foremost a smart terminal for the iStore, iBooks and iTunes. After that I think they didn't give it much thought. It is a second gen iTouch without the camera.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by dp
                The iPad as I see it is first and foremost a smart terminal for the iStore, iBooks and iTunes. After that I think they didn't give it much thought. It is a second gen iTouch without the camera.
                Agreed, I was underwhelmed with it as well. I was due for an equipment upgrade with AT&T, and I was waiting for last week's conference to hear news about the 4th gen iPhone (I currently have a 2nd gen). But there wasn't a hint of anything except the iPad, which like you say, is a supersized iPhone

                So I bought a 3GS, and I'm going to wait 'till WWDC in July and see what Apple launches this year for the next gen iPhone. Rumors are humble: 5 Mpixel camera with a flash, faster processor and more memory. I want a keyboard like the Droid, dammit!

                By the way, the iPhone OS does support multitasking. I've played around with it in the Objective C SDK. That's why you can listen to MP3's, voicemail and phonecalls while you're surfing. But Apple won't allow 3rd party apps to run simultaneously, for some reason. But that's the Apple way: "Job's Way or the Highway"
                "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did."

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                • #9
                  Other than the form-factor, they're very different devices.
                  Yes they are. But the Sony reader comes close to doing what Allan wants. As soon as you make it a multi function device you lose the huge advantage of the reader which is the battery life. The battery life is measured in page turns, not hours and the Sony can do 10,000 page turns on a single charge. The image remains on the screen at all times even when the device is not powered. Depending on how you use it you might get by for a year between battery charges.

                  The display was orignally developed by Xerox quite a few years ago. Because of the way it works it is nearly impossible to make one like it to display colour, unfortunately. Just making it display gray scale reliably was a major advance.

                  Any superiority of function that the Kindle has is completely overwhelmed by the tight coupling to proprietary DRM only formats imposed by Amazon. The machine is utterly useless to me in it's present incarnation. The Sony Reader OTH, is looking extremely promising as a portable reference library that I can stuff full of my own pdf documents or even sketches, parts list, shopping lists and images to use to show a moron parts droid what a part looks like.
                  Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

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                  • #10
                    But Apple won't allow 3rd party apps to run simultaneously, for some reason. But that's the Apple way: "Job's Way or the Highway"
                    It goes deeper than that. Apple won't allow any app to run at all that resembles a machine emulator since it is perceived as a threat to the DRM.
                    Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

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                    • #11
                      Citrix has Windows 7 on the iPad, but of course it's just another smart terminal - Windows is not running native:

                      http://blogs.zdnet.com/hardware/?p=7117

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Evan
                        The display was orignally developed by Xerox quite a few years ago. Because of the way it works it is nearly impossible to make one like it to display colour, unfortunately. Just making it display gray scale reliably was a major advance.
                        Someone clever has created a hybrid that uses epaper technology with flat panel color technology to allow (perhaps badly) some of both worlds. In bright ambient light it uses the black/white display and as the light dims it autoswitches to active display.

                        http://www.engadget.com/2009/05/29/p...es-e-ink-with/

                        I think too it's not in production anywhere, yet.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Evan
                          Any superiority of function that the Kindle has is completely overwhelmed by the tight coupling to proprietary DRM only formats imposed by Amazon. The machine is utterly useless to me in it's present incarnation.
                          Proprietary is good. PDF is proprietary. Apple has made it's empire on proprietary

                          Seriously, Kindle currently has over 45% of the eBook reader marketshare, and Sony less than 30%. That's because Kindle is owned by Amazon and partnered with Barnes and Noble, so you have access to every modern book.

                          The restricted use of multi-tasking is rumored to limited the reliability impact to the iPhone/iPad. 99% of the iPhone apps are crap, so you really don't want a proliferation of poorly written background apps running, as the Droid users are finding out.

                          Shame that they can't have a WHQL-type setup for multitasking compliance.
                          "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did."

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by lazlo
                            By the way, the iPhone OS does support multitasking. I've played around with it in the Objective C SDK. That's why you can listen to MP3's, voicemail and phonecalls while you're surfing. But Apple won't allow 3rd party apps to run simultaneously, for some reason. But that's the Apple way: "Job's Way or the Highway"
                            There's a lot of multitasking going on on these systems - email, audio, camera, and who know's what. It is probably more like the old TSR programs than preemptive multitasking, though. I'd be surprised to learn there's not a primitive coprocessor to handle the actual audio processing as trashy sound is not normally something you can avoid in an interrupt-driven OS.
                            Last edited by dp; 02-02-2010, 01:04 PM.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by dp
                              I'd be surprised to learn there's not a primitive coprocessor to handle the actual audio processing as trashy sound is not normally something you can get avoid in an interrupt-driven OS.
                              Could be. On the Objective C SDK, you mark the thread object as multi-threaded, so the OS implementation is opaque, but it's certainly possible that they implement it with TSR's.

                              By the way, all OS's implement preemptive multithreading with timer interrupts. Are you thinking about cooperative threading with yield instructions, or user-level threads?
                              "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did."

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