The Tablet PC Project

I’m writing this post out on my new, very old tablet PC.  I know this is supposed to be a cycling blog, but I’ve been finding myself interested in other stuff lately and I’m going to write about it.  It is hard to write about cycling everyday, especially when nothing about cycling is all that exciting to me right now.  I’m not saying I’m losing interest in riding, I just don’t have any cycling thoughts or experiences worth writing about now. 

I thought the tablet PC format was really cool for a long time but the very high price of the hardware kept one out of reach.  Craigslist charged that, thanks to a previous owner ditching an old tablet and me picking it up for a very reasonable price. I did have to spend about ten hours figuring out how to reinstall windows XP Tablet PC Edition, finding drivers, and generally learning how this thing works.

Specifically the tablet is a Motion Computing M1200, it was made in 2002 and one of the early consumers Tablet PCs.  It’s 8 years old and very under powered in today’s environment, but it runs XP just fine. In fact it does almost everything just fine. The only time I notice its slower processors is to decompressing a zip file, but I haven’t done too much with it yet.

This tablet cost 2800 dollars in 2002, I paid 5% of that.  It’s hard to believe how cheap computer stuff has gotten since I first started using it.   Dad bought me my first computer when I was 14, it was a Packard Bell and easily cost what 3 computers would cost today.  Most home computers today rarely use more then a fraction of their computing power, gamers may be maxing out their CPU, and those doing lots of video editing, but a majority of CPUs spin their virtual wheels idling while their owners read email and browse the web. 

My point is that older computers are more then adequate for peoples needs, and available for almost nothing.  I think the biggest driver of computer sales is ironically Malware and viruses.  Windows gets infected and sometimes nearly impossible to repair, computers rarely come with system disks and most people don’t know what to do with them anyway.  You could pay some joker to fix your computer, or you could pay a little more and just get a new one.  We live in a disposable world. 

One final thought today, I looked up the word that means a specific product so popular that all examples of that particular type of product are known by the specific trademarked name, for instance calling any brand of Soda a Coke. I knew there had to be a word for it, its called Genericide.  

  • There have been mp3 players for 12 years, but no one knew what a mp3 player was until the ipod became a mainstream market success and moved music into a whole new distribution model. 
  • There were ebook readers have been around just as long, but now I hear people beginning to refer to them as Kindles no matter what the brand. 
  • Finally tablet PCs have been around for 30 or more years in some form, and have been standardized since 2001, yet everyone who has seen my tablet thinks its an Ipad.  Ironically the Ipad is an overgrown cell phone without the cell phone parts.  You can’t even connect a printer to it, though you can use it to conviently buy lots of apps from the Apple app store. 

We live in a disposable, generic world.


About Matt Gholson

Cycling, school teaching, husband.
This entry was posted in lifestyle, Rants, Stories and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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