Monday, February 7, 2011

(Xoom Xoom?)

To make up for a lack of... well... pretty much *anything* for 2+ months, I was going to do a super mega-post, but then I decided there's pretty much two topics on my plate at the moment. My WoW account expired, so nothing on that front, lol. There's basically the Motorola Xoom, and *everything else*, so I'll cut this down to the middle to allow for consolidated "on topic" commenting, with the promise that there will be a followup sooner than later on a more personal front.

The Motorola Xoom. Hoo boy, where to start...?

Let's start with "I want one" and go from there, I suppose.

The Xoom is a tablet, but it's not an iPad. For a while I actually considered getting me an iPad, until the Mac admin at work told me to not bother. I had recently purchased this ridiculous Acer laptop as a gift for my father, when he realized that his G5 Macbook Pro was officially stuck behind a hump in the road, and couldn't run the Adobe CS5 suite. He's an illustrator by trade, and having a long-in-the-tooth G5 was becoming more of a hassle than it was worth. I decided to surprise him with a retardedly overpowered PC laptop that cost a fraction of the price of a brand new Macbook Pro, but he simply couldn't wrap his noggin around Windows 7. He was dragged kicking and screaming from illustration board, paint brushes, and honest to god PAINT to delivering PSDs to his clients, and he'd be damned if everything he learned was going to have to be learned again. The fact that he *still* can't use the OS (Mac OS or otherwise) was lost on him. "Photoshop is Photoshop", I said, but he ran out and bought a MBP regardless.

So then I had some crazy Acer beast of a laptop I didn't need/want. I sold it for a grand, and told myself I'd buy a tablet with the money.

This is when Matt, our main Mac guy, said to not bother with an iPad. His wife had one, and it was pretty much a neat little toy. I had hopes of actually putting it to work, and it didn't really fit that bill.

Let's get this one thing out of the way, so it doesn't cast a dark cloud over the rest of the post: I don't hate Macs. Under my desk at work, I have a Mac Mini, and love it for everything it does. Under my desk I also have two dual quad core Xeon boxes, though, one running Win7 Enterprise, and the other running Server 2008R2, and hosting my own little farm of Hyper-V 'boxes'. I'm primarily a Windows admin, and I do things like manage Windows Deployment Services and keep our AD Domain humming along. But my Mini is awesome, and I drool over the prospect of having something like Apple Remote Desktop available for managing all the classroom PCs. I'm actually working on a Python script that can dsquery Active Directory OUs and push a file out to a specific path on each machine found within, because that's one of the more useful features I find myself doing with ARD all the time on the Mac side.

THAT SAID, the biggest gripe I have with Mac users in general is not that they choose to run a different flavor of OS or hardware, it's the uppity attitude that comes along with it. Whenever staff ask for a new machine, they always beg for a Mac, because they have this idea that "it's just better". They come into my office and start conversations with "Jesus, I hate computers; they're so dumb. Maybe you can help me". Although they roll their eyes at BSODs, a spinning beach ball that does nothing for 20 minutes at a time, or a grey screen of death telling them to shut their Mac down in japanese is somehow a step up from that.

I'm not racist, I hate everybody. Similarly, I don't give a shit what OS / hardware you run, they all crash and burn eventually.

SO ANYWAY. The Motorola Xoom, right?

I wanted a tablet, instead of a 20 lb beast of a gaming laptop, so I sold it (the laptop). Our main inhouse advocate of all things Mac, said not to bother with an iPad, so I took his word for it. The Xoom had just been announced a while back, and it then proceeded to backhand pimp-slap everyone at CES this year. The excitement was building, until about yesterday, when Engadget released a one two punch of how the Xoom was to be priced at $799, and if you wanted to use Wifi only, you still needed to sign up for one month of service for 3G, and then cancel said service.

Engadget exploded, and at last check, the "one month of 3G" article had 1200 or so comments, 98.9% of which were OMGAPPLERULEZorz vs ANDROIDFOLIFEMANGz. Jesus christ, talk about rabid dogs. It hasn't been this warm on the internet since the Xbox 360 vs PS3 debate first heated up.

There were two main themes to the 'discussion':

1) a comparable iPad sells for way less

2) demanding users to pay one month of 3G service was the last straw.

to which I'll say:

1) there's no such thing as a comparable iPad (yet). They were taking the ONBOARD MEMORY (only!), and using that as the compar---ator. Comparisonozor. THAT BY WHICH THEY COMPARED THEM. The Xoom has 32gb of (storage) memory onboard, and the 32gb model of the iPad goes for WAY LESS THAN $799.


Nevermind that the Xoom has 1gb of RAM, a dual core processor, an expansion slot for MicroSD cards, HDMI out, or cameras.

Jesus, I'm not even trying to say the Xoom is better, here. I'm only saying how ridiculous it is that these are even being compared at all. When the iPad 2 is finally revealed, we can begin to make honest comparisons. Ranting and raving about it now is just... silly.

2) adding 20 bucks (1 month of 3G) on top of an 800 dollar purchase, and then throwing your arms up and getting all pissy about it is just dumb. Why not complain about sales tax instead? If you don't want to use the 3G service, then don't. At least you can shut it off after you leave the store with your tablet; you aren't tied to a two year contract of it. This is the exact same pricing scheme Verizon did with the Galaxy Tab, and the exact same thing Verizon does to iPad purchasers with their Mifi thing. Yes, you can buy a Wifi only version of the iPad, and the Xoom will probably follow suit eventually.

I haven't mentioned the OSes these run, because it's pretty much irrelevant. The main thing I'll want to do with these at work is take over servers or query AD, and both of them have remote desktop apps that can dial into a Windows machine, so there you go.

The tipping point for me will probably be once I get to a point where I want to begin writing apps for them. I have the Android SDK already installed on my PCs at home and work, and have made the basic Hello World stuff just to get my feet wet. iPad development requires you have a fresh Snow Leopard mac on standby to develop on. This is a problem for me, as I don't have a Mac at home. I even considered my father's old G5 that he outgrew, but the highest that will go is 10.5.8. Yes, I could code at work, but it's a bit presumptuous to assume I would just stay at work, when I have two young ones and a wife at home. I'm typing this post at 10:15 pm with the kids happily asleep in the other room, so there's that.

Ugh... what's the point of this post? Flame wars are silly? Tablets are tablets, and regardless of where they come from, I better get ready to be disappointed? It's late and I feel like tanking, but my account ran dry after never having made it to 85. Warrior at 84 (christ I couldn't even quest, queues were instantly instant for prot), priest and lock at 83, rogue sitting pretty at 80 with a mailbox full of new greens.

I need a new distraction. Bring on teh xoomz.


Larísa said...

I have a 2-months-without-updates limit before I remove blogs from my blogroll in the belief they're dead. But you were never even close. Weeks to go!

I'm glad you're still alive, though I must admit I miss you in the WoW community. The techno-babble-thing is a tad over my head.
Still ixo is ixo!


Anonymous said...

How do you find the OS on the Xoom? I think a tablet would be perfect for my wife but she's addicted to Sunshine Ranch, a Flash game on Mixi, so an iPad is no good for her.

Rich said...

I have a DroidX, so Android is good by me. So far Honeycomb (Tablet Android) looks really clean.

There are some issues with Flash on handhelds, though, if the game requires any kind of hovering... how do you do a mouseover with your finger, when touching the tablet is considered a "mousedown" (click) event?

Tesh said...

I don't have much to say, just "hello, Ixo!"

Good to hear you're getting a little time to tinker when the kids go down. That's about all the time I have these days, too. :)

Geoffrey said...

Good luck at work. I thought you hated IT admin stuff, but it sounds like you are doing well with it now. Take care.

Nikola said...

Ixo, i hope everything is ok regarding this earthquake in Japan?

LivingWriter said...

I really like it whenever people come together and share thoughts. Great post, keep it up.
Book Writing App