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Humanist Archives: Nov. 26, 2018, 6:23 a.m. Humanist 32.223 - limitations of devices

                  Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 32, No. 223.
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    [1]    From: Jonathan Reeve 
           Subject: Re: [Humanist] 32.219: limitations of devices (45)

    [2]    From: Jim Rovira 
           Subject: Re: [Humanist] 32.222: limitations of devices (55)

        Date: 2018-11-25 15:54:43+00:00
        From: Jonathan Reeve 
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 32.219: limitations of devices

I'll jump in. I agree with Jim's point about distinguishing 
between device and app limitations, and want to add that 
it's also important to distinguish between device and operating 

These days, the way computer hardware is almost always sold with
pre-installed software, it's too easy to be led to believe that 
the limitations of our devices and our software are coextensive. 
We are led to believe that our devices will only run the operating 
systems that come with it, and that, especially on devices like an 
iPad, that if it's not in the App Store, it's not possible with that 
device. But ultimately, it's your device, and you get to decide what 
software it runs.

Most computer users I talk to refer to their software limitations 
in terms of their hardware. A complaint like "I can't run that, 
because I have a Mac" implies that MacOS is the only operating system 
it's possible to install on Apple hardware. Not only is this not true, 
but usually MacOS is the worst OS to run on Apple hardware. A 
Linux-based OS, which is the product of thousands of hobbyists, 
is almost always going to be more stable, more efficient, and more 
secure than MacOS, which is made by comparatively few Apple employees.

(Not to mention, given the recent class-action lawsuits against 
Apple, that quite credibly allege that Apple has been purposely 
designing their OS updates to be more resource-intensive, in order to 
drive sales of new hardware, it seems like you'd want to get your 
software from a different company than the one that sold your hardware.)

Every time I buy a new device—laptop, phone, or otherwise—I erase 
the hard drive and install my preferred operating system and 
software stack. While I realize that this is not for everyone, the process 
is not as difficult as one might think. The only skills required are 
following directions and googling around if problems arise.

What I've seen happen with commercial OSes over the past couple 
decades is: for every advance in user-friendliness, there is a setback 
in user-centrality. That is, we can use our fingers to swipe around 
on a screen, which is undoubtedly convenient, but manipulating text 
files with tools like `sed` is becoming much less common. So while new 
interfaces might be friendlier, friendly is not always better for us.

-Jonathan Reeve

        Date: 2018-11-25 12:12:23+00:00
        From: Jim Rovira 
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 32.222: limitations of devices

Intelligent enough to have an opinion, but not enough, unfortunately, 
to tell the difference between a recommendation for an app and a 
recommendation for a device or a company. I was recommending an app 
that I assume is cross-platform.

If you think you can own any device with a screen and not be complicit 
with bad labor practices, you're kidding yourself. 

(The following is a list of Foxconn's present or past major customers; 
their country of origin or base of operations is in parentheses)

Acer Inc. (Taiwan)[74]
Amazon.com (United States)[11]
Apple Inc. (United States)[75]
BlackBerry Ltd. (Canada)[76]
Cisco (United States)[77]
Dell (United States)[78]
Google (United States)[79]
Hewlett-Packard (United States)[80]
Huawei (China)[81]
InFocus (United States)
Intel (United States)
Microsoft Corp. (United States)[82]
Motorola Mobility (United States)[78]
Nintendo (Japan)[83]
HMD Global (Under Nokia Brand)(Finland)[75][84]
Sony (Japan)[85]
Toshiba (Japan)[86]
Vizio (United States)[87]
Xiaomi (China)[88]

But I guess that scrappy little mom and pop store Barnes and 
Noble is inherently more virtuous than the evil empire Apple.

Jim R

Sent from my iPhone
Date: 2018-11-24 07:37:13+00:00
>        From: Dave Postles 
>        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 32.219: limitations of devices
> Depends on whether you want to promote a gross global tax avoider, which
> has had persistent problems of workforce conditions at, e.g. Foxconn, and
> has an astronomical markup price. Personally, I'd prefer my Nook and
> Bookeen, which can do most of those actions, and not support a company
> like Apple. Still, we're all different, I suppose.
>> If you're in a position that reading large quantities on a tablet would
>> be a convenience, I highly recommend iAnnotate. It works best with a
>> pencil or stylus, costs a little bit, and takes a little time to learn,
>> but it was worth it to me.
>> Jim R

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