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Humanist Archives: Nov. 21, 2018, 5:01 a.m. Humanist 32.208 - limitations of devices

                  Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 32, No. 208.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
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    [1]    From: Brian Maher 
           Subject: Re: [Humanist] 32.206: limitations of devices (16)

    [2]    From: davep@davelinux.info
           Subject: Re: [Humanist] 32.206: limitations of devices (19)

    [3]    From: Andrew Taylor 
           Subject: Re: [Humanist] 32.206: limitations of devices (52)

    [4]    From: Patricia Galloway 
           Subject: Re: [Humanist] 32.206: limitations of devices (6)

    [5]    From: Jim Rovira 
           Subject: Re: [Humanist] 32.206: limitations of devices (70)

        Date: 2018-11-20 10:11:33+00:00
        From: Brian Maher 
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 32.206: limitations of devices

The iPad Pro is an odd cookie. It’s now reached the point where Apple’s 
hardware engineering division has steamed past their rather lacklustre 
software counterparts. The net result is a device which is more powerful 
than most laptops on the market, with faster graphics performance than 
current gaming consoles, but with a badly adapted mobile phone operating 
systems with unnecessary limitations.

Steve Jobs, when launching the original iPhone, said that current (ca. 2007) 
mobiles phones have “the baby internet” (back in the days of WAP sites), 
whilst the iPhone was ahead of the curve with its ability to render desktop 
pages. I feel the iPad needs a similar breakthrough - it’s a fantastic device, 
limited by the “baby apps” it can run. It needs to be freed of its shackles 
and allowed to be the powerful machine it can be (especially at the prices 
Apple charge!).

        Date: 2018-11-20 07:44:51+00:00
        From: davep@davelinux.info
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 32.206: limitations of devices

I still use an old netbook. I replaced the 1Gb RAM module with a 2Gb one
and replaced the operating system with Devuan Linux (32-bit). If I'm being
sophisticated, I use Cherrytree, but mostly I just use LibreOffice
(demand-heavy, I know, but I prefer it to Abiword and it runs fine with
2Gb RAM).

I have a BQ Aquaris M10 (Ubuntu) tablet with a bluetooth keyboard, but I'd
never use it for more than recreational stuff.

http://www.historicalresources.myzen.co.uk (research and pedagogy)
I use Lilo web search: no tracking and social good (Firefox add-on)
This machine runs on liquid Linux
Often coming to you via TOR (The Onion Router)
De Havilland Fellow, University of Hertfordshire

        Date: 2018-11-20 10:31:50+00:00
        From: Andrew Taylor 
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 32.206: limitations of devices

Dear Willard,

Here's one visualization tech's take on tablets versus PCs or paper.  A
tablet is a consumer tool, good for reading and looking at still and moving
pictures, but a lousy creation tool, and for myself not a particularly good
task-management tool either.

What it is good for is looking at images and reading online content
generated specifically for the web. and physical books are better for
books.  If I am reading a long article, I prefer to print it out. It's
really hard to scribble notes on what you are reading on a tablet, or
create a "dog-ear."

BUT...a tablet is a monitor you can hold in your hand and manipulate.  It
is great to be able to turn the device, and therefore turn what you are
looking at, and the pinch-to zoom is very effective.  I love being able to
adjust the straight-on, up-is-up viewing system of the desk monitor. For
simply looking at extremely large jpegs, the tablet is better than the
desktop or laptop.

The deal-breaker for me for using  was always that I always want to use the
mouse pointer tool, with it's hover-over images or tooltips and its two
options for interaction (left- and right-click).

floatover images and text (called "toolips")did not work at
all on a tablet, a real In recent iterations of the iPad operating system,
I have found that the floatover images I was using for a digital publishing
project now work with a single tap - sometimes.  Previously, they didn't
work at all on iPads, but now my floatover images I use for a
Zoomify-driven project do come up with a finger-tap, most of the time.

One solution is for "creatives" is to get a Microsoft Surface Pro, which is
basically a portable Windows computer that doubles as a tablet.  For
creation purposes, I  use a "gaming laptop"  because it is powerful enough
for media creation programs like Adobe Creative Suite, ESRI ArcGIS and
Unity 3D. I can't draw, so I should add that for me the pen tool is no
better than a mouse.

The animated GIF in this tweet illustrates my effort to juxtapose
historical images, optimized for a desktop/laptop setup.

You can try out the floatovers yourself here (they are stimulating but not
ideal, as the pixel resolution of the floatovers is very limited)

Incidentally, you'll see I included an "info" link below one of the
floatovers because the image floatovers prevent the user from clicking on
related hyperlinks. A shortcoming.

Cheers, Andrew Taylor

        Date: 2018-11-20 15:02:56+00:00
        From: Patricia Galloway 
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 32.206: limitations of devices

I scribble all over my books. They cost the same these days as ebooks, 
plus if I need more context it's right there.

Pat Galloway

        Date: 2018-11-20 19:22:18+00:00
        From: Jim Rovira 
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 32.206: limitations of devices

Ha... yes, I did assume a keyboard and the pencil, but then there are
personal preferences and work habits too. I did my last bit of research
using iAnnotate on my older iPad and I never want to do any other way now.
My daughter is into graphic design and prefers a high end Surface to any

Jim R

On Tue, Nov 20, 2018 at 1:39 AM Humanist  wrote:

> Thanks to Jim Rovira for his optimism about the design of tablets. But
> it was the iPad Pro (2018) that I was complaining about -- or, rather,
> struggling with, and complaining about the struggle. My main point was
> that the device, excellent though it is, was designed for a different
> purpose, and I was fighting against its design. The experience improves
> greatly with a fold-out keyboard, and somewhat more with the Apple
> Pencil or similar device, which allows more accurate positioning of the
> cursor, but still it's a mistake to think the iPad can replace the laptop.
> Taking notes may be a different matter for some, especially those who
> like to include diagrams and then preserve the notes in the way one
> preserves any text file. But try as I might, I cannot manage to do
> better with the iPad than with a 3x5 slip of paper. The physical
> operations are simply simpler. One of the apps, Notability, is
> advertised as being great for taking lecture notes, but the notes I take
> are while reading a book (i.e. codex). But I realise that note-taking is
> a highly individual thing.
> What do others do for note-taking? Does a tablet figure into it?
> Yours,
> WM
> --
Dr. James Rovira 
Bright Futures Educational Consulting

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