Monday, July 09, 2012

[Tech] My Next Things

My Next Things: I need a new laptop. My trusty HP pavillion is on it's last legs. The fan is making tubercular heaves every now and then. It is woefully underpowered (it must be at least 6 years old). My original thought was to wait for Windows 8 so I don't have to mess with an upgrade but to their credit, Microsoft has stated upgrades from Windows 7 to Windows 8 will be about $40, which is pretty sweet. If I buy a new laptop, it will be from Microsoft Signature, a little-known business unit of Microsoft wherein you can purchase computers and have Microsoft "optimize" them for Windows. This "optimizing" generally amounts to removing all the crap freebies and/or doing a clean install of Windows with appropriate settings that the manufacturer is either ignorant of or unwilling to set on their own.

But yes, IF I buy a new laptop. That is no means a foregone conclusion. A tablet of some sort is in the running. The only problem with a tablet is that I need a keyboard. I have gotten so I don't really need internal storage on the go, I can keep all my docs in the cloud, but I do need a keyboard since I write things much longer than an email. [[Update: Microsoft Surface to the rescue?]] I couldn't do without internal storage altogether, but I could couple a tablet with an inexpensive desktop in my office to store my photos and music. Alternatively, I could move all my photos and music to the cloud, but I have an awful lot. I'm not sure how much that storage would cost, and frankly, it sounds like an exhausting project.

More worrying is my phone situation. I have a Windows 7 phone. Windows 8 comes this fall and it is not compatible, so unless I want to live with Windows Phone 7 for the foreseeable future, I'm looking at a phone upgrade. And if I'm going to do a phone upgrade, I may get myself off Windows phone altogether. It hasn't been a bad experience and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it, but there is stuff I don't like (like not being able to upgrade) and a lack of some key applications (e.g. Instagram, which I could totally dominate).

The fact is, despite the best efforts of Microsoft and Google, iStuff is getting increasingly hard to keep at arm's length. Suppose I bit the bullet and purchased an iPhone, an iPad, and an iPod nano. I would have to suffer with iTunes to manage my content, but apart from that, I would never have to do without an app or find myself incompatible with some peripheral or network. I could even mix up the colors to keep it interesting.

Honestly, when my phone contract is up, that's the odds on favorite. Android is running a close second -- that would be a Kindle Fire tablet, a top of the line Samsung phone, and I don't know what for workout music. Then of course, both Google and Microsoft are coming out with tablets, and Amazon is going to create its own phone...Why does everything have to be so complicated?

I think I'll just get a typewriter and be done with it.