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 Techy stuff, new toys etc. 
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Joined: May 17th, 2010, 9:15 pm
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Location: Gloucester
Tablet computer: A1CS V10 (aka Superpad, Flytouch) using X220 processor and with various "hard drive" sizes.

I have just spent about three months mad money on a tablet computer. Can't afford the Apple so I went for an Android job, less than a third the price of the iPad.

Following on from a short conversation in London (can't remember with whom - I had a brain once) here are a couple of examples as English-as-she-is-not-spoken from the manual:

"Avoid strong beat, the collision of the product."

"This product should not be dripping or splashing, so should not be placed near the product category, such as a glass filled with a liquid items."


The manual is about A5.5 with only 18 printed pages - just enough to get going, there is no other manual available on the Internet - so that's it!

It's often difficult getting the hang of a new system but I seem to be having more problems with this than usual, at least all the Windows systems are sort of similar. After an afternoon of mucking about I still have not managed to get it to access my email, download any apps, etc. etc. Part of the problem is that none of my passwords for the mail system or for Google or Amazon seem to work - looks like I am going to have to open whole new accounts.

Though Amazon do a Kindle reader for the PC they do not do one, nor do they sell a third party one, for Android machines - you have to look in the App Market. It is also not helpful that many apps sellers seem to think all Android devices are mobile phones - constantly asked to scan the QR code (or for the number of the phone on one occasion).

Also very few decent office type apps available, no Open Office as yet unfortunately (except a document reader with no editing facilities.)

I will, no doubt, get the hang of it eventually but am not impressed at the moment.

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March 7th, 2012, 9:58 pm
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Dave, I did the same last April. I bought a Flytouch Android Tablet on ebay for £135.00 because I couldn't afford an ipad.
Tried to use it for months - as you say the "instruction manual" is in pigeon English and is difficult to follow.
Some aspects of the tablet were great - reading books on there was easy. However things like watching a youtube video on there was a nightmare -the thing would "freeze" halfway through the video. The camera on it left much to be desired - it took awful photos, and who can travel round carrying a camera thats 10 inches long by 5 inches wide?

I gave up in the end - sold it on ebay and bought a "Barnes & Noble Nook Tablet", another Android Tablet, but made by a reputable manufacturer. Not cheap - I had to import it from the USA as it's not sold in Europe yet - it ended up costing me £250 - but the difference is amazing! I had to "root" the tablet, which took a bit of time, following an instructional video on youtube, but the effort was worth it. I now have a super, solidly built, sturdy, ergonomically designed Android Tablet, which I can watch films on, read magazines and books on, and keep up to date with emails and current world news. It was well worth the money. I definitely recommend it.


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March 9th, 2012, 4:41 pm
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I am thinking the same way, Steve.

I can see the advantage of these things for the travelling Twitter/FB/emailing etc. type who also wants to book flights, taxis an so forth. I have found about three apps I want so far (all readers) but had trouble getting logged into some things. It will not access my email, it does not recognise my Google account name and pass-word. So it looks like I will have to open a whole new set of accounts just for this device.

It's use as a word processor is hanging by a thread at the moment.

This one has GPS built in and an antenna supplied, but have not found any suitable apps as yet. This is not mentioned at all in the manual.

I think a big part of the problem is that Android seems to have been developed mainly for mobile phones and the apps are almost all aimed at that market - something in the jacket pocket not the bag. No doubt time and the increasing number of tablets will change this, but I am not holding my breath!

Advice: if anyone is thinking about buying a tablet computer consider the uses you wish to put it too then find a friend who will demonstrate it to you.

With regards to the, so-called, user's manual: I suppose most of the info one wants is about Android itself and there are a number of books etc. on using that - even developing your own apps. But this device has two USB ports and I cannot find out whether or not I can simply connect it to a PC and transfer . . . what? Files (what kind), apps . . .? Do I need an Android simulator for the PC? And lots of other questions that there may be answers to if I surf every forum and FAQ page I can find!

I was very surprised that the manufacturer had no further info on it's website. Very odd that in my estimation.

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March 9th, 2012, 5:33 pm
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I have an HP Touchpad, withdrawn by HP weeks after it was launched and remainder of stock sold off at a knockdown price. I bought it from an American eBay seller for rather more than the knockdown price, had it delivered to my brother in the USA and collected it when I was there in November.

The Touchpad cost me £150 and it is very good. The HP WebOS software is very good but is unlikely to be further developed, so my son has installed Cyanogen's version of Android Ice Cream Sandwich on it. That's not as smooth as WebOS (which is still there) but it has access to the Android Market so there are lots of applications, including free games that are good for my three year old grand daughter.

The Touchpad is probably not as good as a Samsung Galaxy Tab or an iPad but it works and cost me about a third of the price of those.

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March 9th, 2012, 7:36 pm
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Interesting, Lewis.

But perhaps I should have looked more into the functionality of the beast before spending my pennies. I do usually use my laptop for mainly "office" functions, Word, Excell, Powerpoint, PagePlus, DrawPlus and so forth. These, of course, do not work on Android and, so far, there are no equivalents (since few people do office work on their mobile phones!) There is a rumour, I found today, that Open Office may be in development for Android - the Linux version is as good as the Windows one, even with only basic functionality it would serve my purposes - providing the files where compatible over platforms.

I was impressed by the whatever it was you were using at the pub in London. This job I have has WiFi but no Internet capability.

Horses for courses I suppose - I am just on the wrong track at the moment - but I will give it a chance.

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March 9th, 2012, 8:14 pm
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Dave B wrote:
I was impressed by the whatever it was you were using at the pub in London.
That was a Samsung Galaxy SII phone, Dave. It runs internet off the mobile phone network, or wifi if it's available. It's free with a £25 a month contract, a small part of which my work pays. The phone works very well and does all sorts of things. There's even a free musical instrument tuner application, though I keep a Korg tuner in my pipe case, which is better. I have posted to TH from it a few times, such as on Monday morning when I was at the airport.

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March 9th, 2012, 10:14 pm
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Like Lewis, I like WebOS (I has a Palm Pre phone until recently), but have now moved to Android, which I find really klunky by comparison (I have an HTC Wildfire S phone, free on a £13.50/month contract -- nice to be able to use the phone as a WiFi Tether). Just over year ago, I bought a Galaxy tab for my wife (for a "significant" birthday), who has long been an Android afficionado. She uses it a heck of a lot, for all manner of 'net access and as an e-book reader. Was not the cheapest, but has proved to be incredibly useful.

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March 10th, 2012, 8:18 am
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Quote:
She uses it a heck of a lot, for all manner of 'net access and as an e-book reader.
Horses for courses again, I think, Steve. My main use of the web, apart from accessing this excellent forum full of interesting people of course, is email and info-search. Not really a web-socialite in terms of Twitter and Facebook, as I said before. They seem (to me) to be stuffed with so much totally shallow and trivial stuff that it is hard work getting to the useful bits!

But others have their needs . . . And I recognise that both those networking systems can be quite powerful in shifting opinion and useful in doing support work or research. I can imagine the politicians having not only the press briefing but also the Internet briefing each morning before they decide which 90o, if not U, turn to make today!

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March 10th, 2012, 10:44 am
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Dave B wrote:
Quote:
She uses it a heck of a lot, for all manner of 'net access and as an e-book reader.
Horses for courses again, I think, Steve. My main use of the web, apart from accessing this excellent forum full of interesting people of course, is email and info-search. Not really a web-socialite in terms of Twitter and Facebook, as I said before.
Ah, I think you misunderstood -- by "'net", I meant "Internet", not "networking". She uses it for reading the news and information/research.

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March 10th, 2012, 11:01 am
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Thanks for clearing the point, Steve. I can see that - especially if 3G enabled - the device is slightly more useful for info-searching (even if the virtual keyboards are a bit of a pain). Mine is WiFi only so I cannot use it in most of the places where I work - that is part of the "h for c" pattern I suppose, buy the right tool for the job! Annoys me that the Kindle is 3G enabled but so slow and such a pain to use Google on.

I think that I have managed to get a new Google account going on the device but seem to be only able to access the US Google and Amazon sites without entering the addresses for the UK ones every time. I see that Firefox is available for Android, will have to look into that next.

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March 10th, 2012, 12:10 pm
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Managed to get Frefox loaded but a lot different to PC version. Synced with the laptop Firefox. At the moment Seem to have to step back to get out of email -can't be right. This is fom the tablet.
This virtual keyboard is hard work!

Added: Blimey, that was definitely hard work and s l o w also hard to type accurately (practice needed.)

But, another little barrier surmounted.

I am finding that this tablet's WiFi link with the (four feet away) router is very fragile - takes ages to find it and then loses it at the slightest excuse - usually half way through something online! All other devices using it have no problems.

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March 10th, 2012, 3:33 pm
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I was in the apple store a couple of weeks ago and tried the ipad. Ooooh! It was very nice! I have no idea what all the tech speak means, but it was shiney and coooooooooool!!

I may have to speak to santa.

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March 12th, 2012, 12:08 am
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Yes, there is something almost sensuous about a simple, smooth slab of plastic that you touch and stroke to stimulate into producing picture in bright, shiny colours! :D

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March 12th, 2012, 10:33 am
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I'm not doing too well at the moment. Two things I would like to be able to do is to read PDFs and ebooks. I managed to download one ebook reader but haven't yet found out what happened to the Adobe Acrobat and Kindle apps I downloaded. Both the tablet and the laptop insist that I have installed both of these but they do not appear anywhere on either device!

So far it looks as though a netbook might have been a better idea - less sexy and not so easy to use standing up but I know they work, played with one!

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March 13th, 2012, 10:33 pm
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Is a netbook like a teeny tiny laptop?

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March 13th, 2012, 11:09 pm
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getreal wrote:
Is a netbook like a teeny tiny laptop?
Yes. Mainly for Internet browsing, but I'm not sure what else they can do.

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March 14th, 2012, 12:56 am
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Netbooks can do most things that a laptop can do, although most don't have an optical drive. Having small fingers helps when typing on one though! They are quickly losing favour, being replaced in the market by tablet computers.

Netbooks are not all that good for book reading. They are awkward to hold and tend to get hot. Their tiny fans can get noisy also. I have an EeePC 900. It's great for traveling and visiting internet cafes. Skype works well on it. I run Puppy Linux on it (from a USB stick).

I'll probably purchase a Kindle for books, as my PDA has finally gone kaput. It'll be nice to read on something larger then a 3 inch screen!

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March 14th, 2012, 2:59 am
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I'm using an Asus UL30A, which is a good compromise. It has a 13" screen and about ten hours battery life. It has no optical drive but I have a USB drive that works just fine. Before that I had an 11.4" netbook (which was good but a bit slow) and a 17" Toshiba. Both of these were from the Argos Bargain Store on eBay, refurbs, overstocks or returns. The netbook was missing the drivers for the wireless card but was perfect once I had done the five minute job of installing them. The Tosh was perfect. However, I sold both and had plenty to pay £300 for the Asus. I can use it in comfort at home or take it travellling, though I often take the Touchpad instead or just rely on the phone.

27 years ago, my children bought an Acorn Electron in a sale. It had 8Kb of RAM and you loaded programs from a cassette tape. How times have changed. :smile:

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March 14th, 2012, 10:19 am
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Quote:
How times have changed.
You are dead right, Lewis! I was talking to an interested but non-techie friend and showed her the 16GB micro-SD card out of my phone. She was somewhat surprised to learn that that had a million times the capacity of the first Space Shuttle, which 16k memory was probably the size of a paperback book. I have not worked out the bytes per cc difference yet!

And from what I have seen netbooks can run apps like Word, Excel, Powerpoint etc. - virtually anything a laptop can handle - but yes, they are slower and need more careful typing on those little keyboards!

Edit: I took that ratio in memory sizes from a memory of a magazine article read a long time ago - decided to check up on it (memory not being what it once was). Found this.

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March 14th, 2012, 10:41 am
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Alan H wrote:
I'm not sure what else they can do.
Display presentations and slideshows (via external monitor or projector), drive a telescope, control astronomical imaging setup, capture and process images.... pretty much anything a laptop can do. Best if you add an external optical drive, wireless mouse and keyboard, plus decent sized monitor if you are going to use it as a "desk" setup.

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March 14th, 2012, 11:19 am
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