October 9, 2011

These tablets are for consumption

I got lucky and came up with a witty title for this one despite sleep deprivation. I could probably go on some sarcastic diatribe about how we happily pay half a thousand dollars for a magazine-consolidating bathroom reading device while people with TB lack necessary medical supplies; but, surprisingly, my goal is not to torture you, dear reader. Mostly because you've got it going on.

In reality, I just wanted to confess to the world that I get it now. Work recently lent me an Asus Transformer tablet (sans fancy keyboard dock thing I've heard about) in order to debug a JS problem in OS X cross compiles. So, I took the plunge, trying to figure out what people actually use these things for in their daily lives.

For me, the answer was pretty simple: streamlined content consumption.

I quickly learned that I can't create anything of value on a tablet in its natural habitat — at least, until the demand for "world's funniest pot-roast-fisted input device typing error videos" goes mainstream.

At first, I found this infuriating. Most of my typical computing time is spent creating things — things of questionable value though they may be. But then, a docile sense of calm and well being washed over me, like that inexplicable clump of undissolved Koolaid powder licked off the lips of a siren or a wildly misfired tranquilizer dart.

I don't have to try to produce things all the time. I can chill.

Reading books in the book reader, catching up on bug mail, knocking down a few cool and refreshing feed reader entries on one of California's patronizingly delectably prodigiously warm October days.

Sure, all the cross country runners care about now is training, but if you entice them to run in a giant hamster ball, how much more likely are they to stop and smell the roses?

(Presumably the aforementioned hamster ball has large air holes that you could potentially smell flowers through.)