How not to get stuck in dying technologies like the Nook

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Jim's picture

I think is safe to say that Windows will be around for a long time too! A strategy with PCs:

  • Buy a very good one that is enterprise class (Like a Lenovo T-series)
  • Plan on keeping it for 42 months (more is bonus time)
  • Have a good anti-virus product and keep the subscription current
  • If a laptop NEVER leave it unattended in a public place. Use some kind of cable lock to a table leg
  • When carrying, always carry in a padded case of some kind
  • Follow the manufacturers recommended patch cycle 
  • Purchase with a current operating system (eg for Microsoft it is Windows 8.1) and plan on a possible upgrade mid-cycle
  • Use standard format files (like .xlxs ... etc)
  • Keep your data in the cloud (eg Dropbox or Google Drive). (or at least important data)
dcbii's picture

EditorModerator

The advice here sounds a lot like "bet on the market leader," which is certainly not generally bad advice. It's kind of like the old saw about nobody ever getting fired for buying IBM for computing power, and Cisco for networking. It's always easy to know who to bet on *after* they succeed.

I think it's pretty obvious that you are less likely to lose your data if you bet on one of the biggest hardware manufacturers, the biggest name in internet services, the biggest name in ebooks, and the biggest name(s) in cloud storage. It's always a risk to go with a smaller name, but that can pay off over time. I've been using Apple hardware since 1985, including through the "bad" years where everyone told me to sell and buy PC, and I started using Google in 1998, when Yahoo was much bigger/more respected in search and gmail before most people I knew had ever heard of it and were still using HotMail or AOL. Of course, those choices might not have paid off, so it's good to have a backup plan.

And remember, something could come along that could easily disrupt Apple or Google under the right circumstances, so even if you think you are "safe," I'd still prepare to move quickly so that you will have a head start when things change dramatically.

Glad I'm not dependent on the tech industry for ultimate security!

Dave Barnhart

Susan R's picture

EditorModerator

To VHS and Betamax. You never know what is going to rise to the top. Remember when Yahoo was all the rage? 

I just got a Chromebook to replace my old laptop. I researched my choices for over a month, and made a list of features I wanted - HDMI, Bluetooth, solid state drive, . . . and shopped until I found a deal I could afford. It is less and less important for me to have all the features of a bells-and-whistles laptop. With cloud storage and streaming, I'm good to go with this puppy at less than $200. It even fits in my purse (ok, my purse is a messenger bag the size of Nebraska). Even though I can't download Office (we use Office 365 since we have so many computers) I can still use SkyDrive. 

As for Kindle and Nook - I have the Kindle app on my phone. Haven't yet felt the need to get a dedicated e-reader.

JohnBrian's picture

I have a Kindle and also have the app on my phone.

I download books to the Kindle and articles, via Amazons Send to Kindle, to my phone (used to use klip.me).

I don't have much time to read articles on my computer at home, so use waiting time when I'm out to catch up on articles.

CanJAmerican - my blog
CanJAmerican - my twitter
whitejumaycan - my youtube

dmicah's picture

Susan R wrote:

To VHS and Betamax. You never know what is going to rise to the top. Remember when Yahoo was all the rage? 

I just got a Chromebook to replace my old laptop. I researched my choices for over a month, and made a list of features I wanted - HDMI, Bluetooth, solid state drive, . . . and shopped until I found a deal I could afford. It is less and less important for me to have all the features of a bells-and-whistles laptop. With cloud storage and streaming, I'm good to go with this puppy at less than $200. It even fits in my purse (ok, my purse is a messenger bag the size of Nebraska). Even though I can't download Office (we use Office 365 since we have so many computers) I can still use SkyDrive. 

As for Kindle and Nook - I have the Kindle app on my phone. Haven't yet felt the need to get a dedicated e-reader.

How's the Chromebook working for you? Functional for a 6th grader? Got an 11 year old pestering me about a laptop. I've looked at them, but not closely.

I also agree with you. It's difficult to predict the future when it comes to new tech. Easy to armchair these things looking back.

dgszweda's picture

I think the author misses the point.  He talks about product names, but not the decisions behind it.  Namely you shouldn't buy the latest greatest thing, and you shouldn't buy something that locks you into that single technology if you don't want to get stuck.  In addition, there isn't necessarily anything wrong with buying the latest greatest, you just have to understand the risk.

Susan R's picture

EditorModerator

I love my Chromebook. It's light and very portable. I got the Acer 720 http://us.acer.com/ac/en/US/content/series/c720. Nice battery life- definitely lasts 8 hours, and probably much more. I like using Google Drive, and all the apps I use most work very well on it. And it opens immediately, which is AMAZING. Biggrin

If your 11 yo is at all computer savvy, I can't imagine that they'd have a problem using it. 

PLewis's picture

I love my Kindle  - I'm sad tho' because I know when this one bites the dust I won't be able to get the one with the buttons to "turn" the page.  I'll probably go with the Paperwhite (if it's still around).  I like having the separate device - plus I don't have to lug around my laptop.. (even tho' it's reasonably small and light - Mac Air).

Why I like my Kindle:

- Can read it outside or on the porch with no glare. This is HUGE for me.

- Carry it on trips without having to lug 5 books along

- Basically fits in a purse

Also have the kindle app on my Mac Air - 

One thing I don't understand is reading on the phone ( everyone else in my family does it..) I just find it annoying .. way too small a screen for me.

dgszweda's picture

Susan R wrote:

I love my Chromebook. It's light and very portable. I got the Acer 720 http://us.acer.com/ac/en/US/content/series/c720. Nice battery life- definitely lasts 8 hours, and probably much more. I like using Google Drive, and all the apps I use most work very well on it. And it opens immediately, which is AMAZING. Biggrin

If your 11 yo is at all computer savvy, I can't imagine that they'd have a problem using it. 

 

Just keep in mind dmicah, that you need to "buy" into Google ecosystem.  If she needs certain things done for school those may not be compatible with Google's office suite.  It can be quite good, but I have seen some people burned by not understanding what they had to buy into.  They thought they could just start installing programs like Microsoft Word.  As more and more things move into the cloud this will become less of a problem, but Google is maybe a bit too far ahead of the curve, since not everything is out there yet.  In addition, you need to be connected to the internet to access a lot of the elements, because this is a Cloud computer.

Susan R's picture

EditorModerator

When I went into Best Buy to get mine, the sales guy wanted to make sure I understood I couldn't run programs like Office. I assured him I knew that (hello, it's a CHROMEbook, duh). But he still kept looking at me like he wasn't sure if I knew what I was doing. I had to throw around a few geeky terms, like HDMI, cloud storage, USB ports, Chrome OS, SD slot for memory expansion, solid state drive - before he would just go get the thing off the shelf for me already. He must have had some bad experiences with people who didn't know what they were buying.

And I personally love cloud storage, and being able to access all my stuff from anywhere.

I didn't get the touchscreen version, by the way. Don't need it, wouldn't use it. I wanted to stay under $200.

By the way, I just read on c|net that Google and VMWare have partnered up to allow Windows-only enterprise software, such as accounting applications, to work with Chrome OS.

I was a bit nervous about the small keyboard, but after using it for a few days, I think it's comfortable, and it has a nicely responsive touchpad. To do a left click you press on the keypad with one finger, and a right click by pressing 2 fingers. I'm used to it already. 

You can't use Android apps on a Chromebook yet, and there are only a few programs that will still work offline and then update the next time you connect online. 

We have a family desktop for all the usual stuff, like school-related software, Photoshop, and Office. I"m not completely dependent on my Chromebook for everything, but it lets me blog anywhere, shop online, pay bills and balance the checkbook, make shopping lists, clip electronic coupons, stream and YouTube. . . oh, and check in at SI! Biggrin IOW, all the things I regularly did on my laptop I can do on my Chromebook. 

dgszweda's picture

Longterm, the Chromebook model will most likely be the long term model for computing.  More and more items are being moved to the cloud and more and more items no longer have client software, but can be access solely through a web browser.  In terms of overall compatibility, Google Chrome is still one of the best out there.  That is clearly the trend.