Thursday 6 January 2011

Holiday Snaps: Suffering for being hip

Wi-Fi for social settings

My hotel provides wireless connectivity for Internet access (Wi-Fi) in the main lobby which means people are not locked up in their rooms being anti-social surfing the Net when they could be half interacting with other guests.

I am glad the hotel took my suggestion to provide this service in 2007 and decided not to charge for the privilege – only the Radisson hotel chain on mainland Europe offers this service free of charge, most others charge a fortune for it, it is like being fined for taking a breath having just survived a drowning – Outrageous.

Works for me

My trusty NetBook – Toshiba NB100 with a non-standard 2GB of RAM running Windows 7 – is the ideal travel computer, small enough not to create excess baggage but useful enough to allow me do all I need to do. 17” screen luggables pretending to be laptops are definitely not holiday baggage, surely, but I have seen quite a few of those.

My phone which is a Windows phone – HTC Diamond Touch Pro 2 – has a touch screen and a stylus that I use for Grafitti script a carry-over from Palm Pilot/Handspring days and it works for me but I rarely do much on the phone in terms of writing apart from entering contacts, sending SMS messages or scribbling in URLs, the rest is a swipe, a scroll, a tap and I am fine.

Books are not for kindling

Now, a good few tech-savvy guests have their Kindles and they have been busy reading their novels with ease, I probably should have bought myself an e-Reader too but something about the flipping of pages of paper, the smell, the feel and the fact that you can see how far you have gotten from the binding means a e-Reader would soon wear out its novelty just as my electronic Sudoku toy did – I prefer the Times Sudoku Puzzle books, ink pens and writing to the electronic version.

More so, there are people with Apple iPads, I do not think I have made all my views known about those devices, in fact, most of which would make my blog almost a frontispiece for yellow journalism at best and bordering on the illicit use of words in polite society though it can be put quite subtly, it is not as practical as Always.

Typing like watching bad porn

Whilst I have been fascinated by the iPad, touched it, handled it, ogled at it and half wished for something like it, it cannot replace either my NetBook or my phone and it really cannot do the work of both.

Typing text on a touchscreen has to be worse than watching badly made Manga porn, no clicking keys and no feedback – I do a lot more text than other kinds of media, it just would not do; whilst the direct contact with a touchscreen is definitely more fun than the restrictions of a little mouse tracking pad, the fact is the gadget shop at Schiphol airport is seeing a good deal of iPad accessory keyboards fly off their shelves.

Evidence that something is missing that could make the iPad very useful and fun to use, but let us just say the iPad came with a stylus too and Graffiti Script was added with the ability to write straight to screen than just to a portion of the screen with the necessary technology to convert that handwriting recognition to proper text, the iPad might well be onto something and might just have the chance of replacing other gadgets I have.

However, Apple gives us what they think we must have rather than what people really might want to make their lives easier – for bloggers like me, my review of the Apple iPad might still be consigned to watching other people suffer the pleasures of being hip but quite close to silly too. Alas!

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