Now? You want to do this now? I have a right to know! I'm getting married in four hundred and thirty years!
Wednesday, October 31
Out Damn Singularity!
So my still-new Nexus 7 and my even newer New iPad are now both obsolete, replaced by the more capacityful New Nexus 7 and the fasteriffic New New iPad.
And here's the Nexus 10, just to complicate matters: One of the first Arm Cortex A15 devices to reach the market, 2GB RAM (twice as much as the Nexus 7), 16 or 32GB of flash (twice as much as the Old Nexus 7 but the same as the New Nexus 7), 2560x1600 display (vs. 1280x800), starting at $399. So cheaper, faster, and higher resolution than my Old New iPad. Which I only bought last month.
There's a problem, though, with the Nexus 7, Nexus 10, and the Nexus 4 - and shared with the iPad, iPad Mini, iPhone, and iPod Touch: Not one of these devices has any expansion capability. Between them, they have a total of zero micro-SD slots.
Given how fast these devices are coming out, how cheap SD cards are, how much Apple and Google charge for incremental upgrades, and how fast I filled up my Nexus 7, that's simply not good enough.
I was thinking of replacing my 16GB Nexus 7 with the 32GB model and giving the original to a family member, but now that Google has crippled the Nexus 10 and Nexus 4 the same way, I'm just getting ticked off.
The Asus Transformer Infinity is kind of expensive, but it has 64GB of flash built-in, a micro-SD slot in the tablet part, and a full-size SD slot in the keyboard dock. So I could have 256GB in total, today - and more later. Other expandable candidates include Samsung's Galaxy Note 10.1, Galaxy Note 2, and Galaxy S3. The Note 2 isn't available in Australia yet, but I can add the S3 to my sim-only mobile plan pretty cheaply.
If I could expect a new device to last more than a few months without becoming obsolete, I wouldn't mind so much. But since that's not the case, I do. Mind. So much.
Update: For crying out loud... I posted this yesterday. Since then, the Note 2 has been announced for Australia (November 14 release date) and now it looks like there's a Note 7 coming out. I'd much rather have a Note 7 than just a larger capacity Nexus 7, so I'll put that on hold. But if iiNet get the Note 2 (and they already have the Note and S3, so it's highly likely) then I'll get that as a phone, and there's a question of whether I really need a 5.5" phone and a high-end 7" tablet. Want, yes. Need... Probably yes. But then the Nexus 10 launches on November 13....
If Samsung can merge the Note 2 with the Nexus 7 for a Note 7 (preferably 1080P), and the Note 10.1 with the Nexus 10 for a Note 10.2, I'll happily buy all three sizes, because that would tick every box on my wish list. (32GB, SD card, stylus, brighter colours, higher resolution, and HDMI out.)
I actually have a couple of new wishlist items after using the Nexus 7 for longer: 2GB RAM (already implemented in the Note 2 and Nexus 10) and a Cortex A15 (found in the Nexus 10). The memory needs became apparent when I found that the simple puzzle game Cut the Rope was using 100MB of memory - even when I wasn't playing it. The CPU requirements are mostly from browsing complex web sites - Chrome on the Nexus 7 is maybe 5x slower than my desktop PC.
Those "obsolete" tablets are still as good as they were after the announcements. Its not like they are any less useful for the fact there are newer models.
Granted it irks to have my iPad3 be the one dropped totally. My money was on the iPad2 but for some reason people keep buying them apparently. More so then the iPad3.
I prune pretty much all apps that don't get used frequently. With content like books and comics I'm nowhere near capacity. Still 11Gb free on 64Gb. Mind, I don't have much video on it though.
The master for everything resides on servers (Amazon, Comixology) or my laptop.
I'm not familiar with Android but I've read that expansion cards are purely storage. Programs can't be run off them. As for content I can only guess.
The iPad3 is dead. Long live the iPad4. If the fates are cruel then that will be early next year.
Wait. Microsoft Surface. Shiny !
Posted by: Andrew at Wednesday, October 31 2012 10:31 PM (Ob5uo)
I wonder if Amazon will put a micro-SD slot in the new Fire?
Andrew - I've heard that argument. It's only made by bad people.
Seriously, though, my Nexus 7 is 90% full, even after pruning my downloads and uninstalling my largest apps. A micro-SD slot adds only a tiny amount to the cost of a device like this and greatly extends its useful lifespan. Google and Apple (and Amazon and B&N) have multiple reasons for leaving out this capability, but from a consumer standpoint, they're just a bunch of jerks.
Posted by: Pixy Misa at Wednesday, October 31 2012 11:23 PM (PiXy!)
Steven - very unlikely. Even more than Google and Apple, Amazon isn't in the tablet business, but in the selling you stuff to go on your tablet business. Anything that might distract from that gets cut.
Removable storage is also problematic for DRM - makes it much easier to break the protection.
At least the Kindle app lets me read my books just about anywhere, and Baen and TOR are DRM-free.
Posted by: Pixy Misa at Wednesday, October 31 2012 11:35 PM (PiXy!)
Why not go for the Samsung Galaxy 2? It's got the micro SD port.
Posted by: Avatar_exADV at Thursday, November 01 2012 04:27 AM (GJQTS)
An old trick with some devices was to open 'em up and upgrade the ram or flash--with my HP iPaq or the NSLU2, you could solder a second set of RAM chips on top the first one to double the memory. I wonder if that'd be possible with these tablets.
Posted by: RickC at Thursday, November 01 2012 11:42 AM (WQ6Vb)
Avatar - if you mean the Galaxy Note 2, they just announced that it will launch in Australia November 14. If my carrier gets it (and they have the original Note) then that's what I'll get.
Rick - wouldn't want to try it myself, but it might be possible (particularly if it's a standard interface like eMMC).
Posted by: Pixy Misa at Thursday, November 01 2012 03:23 PM (PiXy!)
I'm not sure if I'd want to try it either, but the people at Sparkfun keep saying that SMD soldering isn't that hard. In the Pocket PC era there were companies that would do it for you if you shipped your machine to them. It cost quite a bit, of course, but given how memory-constrained those devices were, I bet it would help a lot. (I really liked my iPaq, an hx4705, which had a 500MHz CPU in 2005, but it only had, I think 32MB of RAM.)
Posted by: RickC at Friday, November 02 2012 01:47 AM (A9FNw)
They can still run out of diesel fuel or get submerged in the flood, once the surge starts rolling back.
Posted by: Pete Zaitcev at Tuesday, October 30 2012 02:53 PM (RqRa5)
True. If they eventually have to shut down following a storm of this size, I'd understand that.
For the new server rollout I've gone for four small servers to replace our current one large server. (Total cost is about the same, and total capacity is much greater, yay technology!) Two are in New Jersey, and the other two in Dallas, with backups between the two sites. So if something like this happens once we're live on the new hardware, in theory I'll be able to just switch over to the other location.
Assuming DNS behaves itself, no major internet links are down, the backups and database replication are all up to date, and so on...
Posted by: Pixy Misa at Tuesday, October 30 2012 03:34 PM (PiXy!)
They report they have three days of fuel on-site. That should be enough - by then, either power or fuel should be available.
Posted by: Pixy Misa at Tuesday, October 30 2012 04:26 PM (PiXy!)
Gotta love the old, let's put the backup generators in the basement, meme. What could possibly go wrong with that?
PS. Commenting still has the problem of losing (note to programmers the world over, it's not spelled <i>loosing</i>) name/mail form fields on preview (for me at least, using Chrome).
Posted by: Tombei The Mist at Wednesday, October 31 2012 06:58 AM (hGCqM)
Obi Wan Pixy, I hate to tell ya this, but I'm getting the "bandwidth exceeded" message when I try to read Blather Review. Any way of making my wonderful world of crossword solving available again? Pretty please with a cherry on top? :-D
Posted by: Tuning Spork at Tuesday, October 30 2012 12:51 AM (fSf9N)
The box in the first vid, I've seen on...ugh, I can't believe I can't think of the domain at the moment, geeksomething.com. I'm sure you know it.
The last one is even funnier than bowlercoasting, which, for those who haven't seen it, is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uQrC_C6SexI.
Posted by: Rick C at Saturday, October 27 2012 04:24 PM (WQ6Vb)
Hey Pixy, I always forget you have a blog! I love the drifting video. I think I has that guy last time I took the Green Line in Boston.
Posted by: Truman North at Sunday, October 28 2012 12:21 AM (I2LwF)
So, we can expected a Kickstarter drive for a Master of Magic-style fantasy turn-based strategy game for the PC appear any minute now....
....Is this thing on?
Oddly enough, there is a Kickstarter drive from a developer in Poland aiming to make a sci-fi turn-based strategy game for the PC a la Master of Orion 2. It sounds promising but the lack of actual game development experience among the team is not a good sign.
Oh yeah, and the new XCOM is a good, but sadly not great, game.
Posted by: cxt217 at Friday, October 19 2012 01:23 PM (pYv3v)
Opened the door expecting to scare off a raiding possum, but found a rainbow lorikeet instead. I think it my have flown into the window and dazed itself. It was skittish but not panicked when I approached to check on it, so the neighbours may have been feeding it.
It wasn't obviously hurt, so I put out a little dish of peach slices for it and left it to recover. Not sure what else to do, and calling the local wildlife rescue volunteers seems a bit excessive given that they not exactly rare hereabouts. (They flock in the trees near the railway station, and the collective noise at sunset in summer is astounding.)
Update: Lori was still there this afternoon, so I called WIRES, the Australian wildlife rescue service. Sadly, Lori passed away before a volunteer could arrive to help. I donated $100 in her name. Well, in my name, since lorikeets can't get credit cards, but in her memory.