Time to mix it up a bit to keep things interesting. Watch and see :) Lots of great commentary tonight. Times are a changing and it is going to be an amazing time to watch it all go down. I will be on the road for the next two weeks, will likely have guest hosts for the next two shows enjoy.
On Saturday’s morning tech show, we talked about this for a minute. I have not been a tablet fan. I tried for the TouchPad when it was dramatically reduced, but that was because it was under $100. I personally don’t see the advantage of having a $500 tablet, and here is why:
Computer Speed of a Tablet
This is the biggest reason why. I have 4 machines in my arsenal. A MacBook Pro, an HP GX series laptop, a home build desktop with ASUS motherboard and AMD Phenom II chipset and a Dell D610.
The two computers I use the most are the desktop and the MacBook Pro. My Macbook Pro sports an i7 processor and boot camp to Windows 7 keeps me productive. The Desktop is a stable spot – I seem to get more work done on that station than I do any notebook. So when I need to “Bear down” on a project, you will see me at the desktop.
The HP used to be my main machine, but got replaced because it didn’t handle video production as well. Whereas it takes 20-30 minutes to process a 15 minute video on the MacBook Pro, the dual core HP (with Intel Graphics) would take up to 2 hours. When I’m on the road, that is just not acceptable. The Dell is used for very minimal needs – like a Twitter client or web browser.
Today’s tablet matches that between the HP and Dell. So at best, it would be my #4 computer. I could do minimal video editing, but I can also do that on my iPhone.
Let me know if the iPad3 will support a 2.0 GHz Quad-core processor and 512 MB of video RAM, then we’ll talk about a tablet
Storage of a Tablet
When will Apple finally put a standard card slot on their machines? I want to put in video to edit video, or have the tablet upload my videos to a source. It does work well when connected to the cloud, but you then need a WiFi signal (unless you have a 3G or 4G tablet). The 16 or 32 GB models would hold some of my content, but I would constantly be pulling stuff off the machine and only if I have it connected to the laptop or desktop.
The 10 inch tablet is just not for me. I loved the idea of a 7″ tablet – it feels better in the hand and fits in the pocket. I can put it in the side pocket of my notebook bag and give me everything that I need out of that device.
I got to play with the Sony Tablet S (which I will be showing on a video later today). The “Folded magazine” feel fit better in my hand, which I was impressed with. I still would like to see a 7″ tablet with that same feel.
BTW – I didn’t get to see the flip version in Sony Tablet P, but I am very interested in trying it out.
My iPhone Does a lot and fits in my Pocket
In all reality, the order of computers goes like this – MacBook, iPhone, desktop, HP, Dell. So the tablet would most likely be the 5th device most used. The best part about the iPhone is it fits in my pocket, so it’s always in reach. The tablet would be in reach if I had my laptop close by.
I have talked to many tablet owners. It’s surprising how many people are now leaving it on the coffee table. They might pick it up for 5 minutes when watching TV to browse the web, but besides the 35 minutes of use, leave it to be a fixture in the house.
It’s not to say that some people use it as an integral tool – If you cannot live and breathe with it, then more power to you. But I can live and breathe without it right now.
An OS I can use
I know this is going to piss off some fanboys, but I live in a Windows world. In fact, I use Windows 7 on my MacBook Pro more than I use the Mac software. But this is more about using a full operating system on a tablet. Whether Windows or Mac, I need a tool that could match my computers. I want to put on software that I use on a daily basis. I don’t want a different experience on my tablet.
Can I see myself with a tablet in the future? Yes. But I would either need the device to be powerful enough for me to want to carry around, or more cost efficient. For $500, I can get a laptop that doubles the power of a tablet. Even if someone put out a $1000 tablet that has a powerful multi-core processor, 1 GB graphics, 4GB of memory and a hard drive of 500GB, then I can start looking at the tablet.
In the meantime, I just don’t see it a part of my daily use. That is why I have an iPhone.
I talk about different podcast models and why there is room for multiple flavors in the space. I also share with you some personal info that I hope will help some of you that listen to the show. Lots of tech as usual!
If you cannot beat them Join them. A federal judge who worked as a lobbyist for the RIAA has already ruled pro RIAA as compared to other judges reviewing similar cases. This is a major win by the RIAA and will obviously go badly for any that draw her as a judge. I talk about this and a lot more. I also announce some upcoming format changes as we look forward to the next 5 years in where this show is going to go. Obviously the Ohana are going to weigh in as I make these changes and we will see how they go.. I have decided it is really time to focus on the format as the shows has not changed much in the past 6.5 years.
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One of the problems with watching video podcasts as an alternative to conventional television is that you have typically and deliberately watch one video at a time. On longer videos it’s not as much of a problem, but with short videos that last 5 minutes or less you have to keep manually restarting the next video after the previous one has finished.
I now have three Mac Minis – one is an old somewhat underpowered Power PC Mac Mini that I’m using as a video podcast aggregator. I have that machine’s iTunes database located on a much larger shared drive that’s available to every machine on my home network. I’m subscribed to a variety of tech podcasts, most of them in the highest resolution file sizes available.
I have two other Mac Minis that are of the latest design. I have an “Eye TV” USB HD tuner connected to one that’s connected to a substantial external antenna. Depending on atmospheric conditions I can receive up to 18 channels counting the various digital sub channels. This enables the Mac Mini to function as a DVR.
The second Intel Mac Mini is in another room and the Eye TV software also loaded on it is able to work from the other Mac Mini’s shared recordings.
Today I discovered by accident when playing around with iTunes on one of the Intel Mac Minis that the shared videos show up in the shared playlists from other iTunes databases. So, in other words, I can pick a shared iTunes list from the Power PC Mac Mini’s shared iTunes and a list of video files shows up. Since the videos are in the list just like audio would be, I am able to start a video file playing and when one file ends it will immediately start playing the next video file on the list. This is particularly useful because I can start videos playing as I do other things and it will continue to play just as if it’s a TV station. This is quite a handy capability to have. The lack of an ability to set up continuous video playback has long been one of the Apple TV’s biggest shortcomings.
Periodically I go to the Power PC Mac Mini and delete the video files that have been played, since iTunes keeps a play count, so I always have fresh material to watch.
If you depend on moving a lot of data around and are looking for ways to move it faster then the Thunderbolt technology (formerly Light Peak) is something that should be of interest to you. Companies and individuals who work in the area of video editing and transfer will be one of the first groups that will take advantage of the Thunderbolt technology. The Thunderbolt technology was developed by Intel in collaboration with Apple. The technology supports both data and display protocols simultaneously over a single cable. The Thunderbolt technology outperforms all other method of transfers by a mile.
Task that previously took a workstation will soon be performed on a consumer compact device. The new Macbook Pro is the first computer to take advantage of this technology. One of the first companies that has created a device that takes advantage of the technology other then Apple is La Cie. La Cie first show case the Thunderbolt technology at the Intel Developer Forum in September 2010. Since then it has worked even more closely with Apple and Intel to develop various storage solutions and peripherals that take advantage of Thunderbolt technology and to bring them to market. This close cooperation between La Cie and Apple is nothing new. La Cie has been working closely with Apple for over 20 years developing innovative and cutting edge products. La Cie specializes in hard drives including desktop, mobile, network storage, Raid and Multimedia Hard Drives. Their newest product called the Little Big Disk will be coming out summer 2011. The Little Big Disk was built to store large amounts of video and audio files. The integration of the Thunderbolt technology will allow that data to be transfer far quicker then any other technology. This in turn will speed up the process of both backup and editing. Task that used to take hours will now be completed in minutes without any effect on bandwidth performance. Multiple Little Big Disks can even be daisy chained together to expand storage. You can also connect other peripherals like cameras or high resolution displays. The chairman and general manger of La Cie said it best: