Major laptop crash a week ago last Saturday. New laptop arrived yesterday, and I have much of my programs reinstalled. I also have a migraine — either the weather or too much excitement from getting my software back.
One of my Christmas presents was a Nook Tablet. I should say, technically it was a Christmas present, although I’ve been using it for the last 4 weeks. I had previously owned a Nook Color (my DH now owns that device), so I was familiar with the basic operation of the device. I decided to upgrade to the Nook Tablet for the sharper screen and increased capacities of the device.
I was surprised at how much sharper the screen was. I didn’t have any complaints with the Nook Color screen, but the Nook Table screen is so sharp that I almost don’t need my reading glasses to use the device. It’s that easy on my eyes. I watched the first episode of the original version of “The Office” on Hulu Plus last night. Nice clear screen, good audio.
I’m finally getting to the point where it is no longer just an e-reader. I am now exploring the computer-like components of the system. I can read a couple email accounts on the device, use Facebook, and browse the web as long as I have a wi-fi connection or I have my cell phone tethered to it.
My main complaint with the Nook-Tablet-as-a-computer is the keyboard. One finger typing, seriously? I’m a (semi-sloppy) 55 wpm typist. So other than short responses on Facebook, I don’t use the Nook Tablet as an input device. Maybe this is the intention of Barnes and Noble: output vs. input. However, that feels like they are limiting the device’s usability — it’s just dying for a standard keyboard attachment or a keyboard that you can Bluetooth to it. Even the first iPad had a keyboard attachment for those who prefer that type of input device.
I give the Nook Tablet a solid B. I really like this device, but just one small change would put it over the top for me. Barnes and Noble, get the Nook Tablet a keyboard.
There was a reminiscing thread on my tech writers list this morning, recalling the days of DOS and old word processing programs of the past.
I realized that it was 22 years ago, April 1987, when I first became really interested in computers.
I was writing procedure manuals and training materials using the department IBM Selectric. I would sit at it for days at a time, because I was creating the first training materials for the branch loan processors. When a procedure would change, I’d have to retype the whole page from scratch.
About 3 months before, a new manager had gotten an IBM PC/AT for our department. Another area had an original IBM PC with dual floppy disk drives they used for customer form letters.
After watching someone use the computers, I got curious, and asked if I could use it for my manuals. So, I learned Word 2.0 for DOS, learned how to tear a computer apart to change/upgrade components, and the rest is history.
That AT opened doors that I had nailed shut. By college, I had decided I was never going to work with computers. I had no need to learn about computers, they had no relevance to my life.
Now, I feel lost if I don’t have some kind of keyboard and software to push around.
It’s been wild, living on the near cutting edge of technology. While I’m not an early adopter, I am close to the front of the pack. The things my kids take for granted, like Firefox and the web, I remember what it was like before they existed. I even used Gopher and BBS for a short while at home, before the web became more mainstream.
The biggest lesson I learned from all of this was to never say “never”. That’s like an invitation to have my mind changed. It’s been more interesting to say “well, maybe” and see what happens.