Written by Gerald Boerner




Another cold night has passed. Temps got down to somewhere in the upper 30s, but with my heavy sweater on and my toasty comforter protect me from that cold. Today, the rain has pretty well cleared up and the temperatures are predicted to go up into the low 60s, but they only got up to about 58. But, it was nice enough to go out on the patio in my new power chair (a “Jazzy”). It was great getting out of the house, if only for fifteen to twenty minutes at a stretch. Tonight it’s supposed to return to the upper 30s. I’ll let the weather people keep track of all of that; I’m going to be asleep.

Pasadena Storm Damage

Also, the winds are gone for the time being, but there is some talk of SoCal getting another blast of winter winds and more rain by the end of the week. I’m afraid that ‘Ol Man Winter is literally nipping at our noses! The mountains got their layers of snow. The winter sports people, the skiers and snowboarders, should be in paradise, albeit a cold one.

Well, Grace had a doctor’s appointment this afternoon. It was scheduled for yesterday, but the doctor’s office called and rescheduled it. Don’t know why, but she was just as happy to delay it until today. We are going to Kaiser again tomorrow morning; I hit my leg on something over the weekend and it broke the skin. On boy, here we go again. Need to go into Urgent Care to get the Home Health Care started again. I’ve found that catching these things early, with a “Una Boot” compression dressing gets it under control quickly and gets it healed up. Fortunately, it’s on my right leg, which has much stronger skin than my left calf which has had all too many open wounds over the past 20-some years. Hoping for the best!

Tropical sky background

Since I don’t have a lift or platform for transporting my new Jazzy and Grace & myself, we needed a plan. We could do as we’ve been doing for my appointments over the past several months — Grace would drive me there, I would use one of their plain wheel chairs, sit outside while Grace parked the car, call the hospital’s Transportation Services to have them push me to the appropriate office. After my appointment, we would call Transportation Services once again and reverse the process.

But another solution came to mind — call RTA, the local transportation agency, and check on their Senior/Disabled Services Shuttle Bus (we’ve seen it at Kaiser on previous visits to the doctor’s office). So I called RTA and they looked me up, and I was still in their system. They checked on the availability of getting the bus, but we live too far from the regular bus routes; they could not help us. But they referred me to their special services group. Several years ago, when I first got my scooter, I had gone through the qualification process and was qualified to receive ADA services, including transportation for only $2.00 per way, per trip. I called them and found out that I was still on their system even though my card had expired. The long and short of it was that we have the shuttle picking us up tomorrow morning, taking us to Kaiser, and then picking us up for the return trip. And Grace rides free as my support person!

So, we are in for a whole new experience. I’ll be able to finally get out of the house! This will open up a whole new world to me. I’ll finally get out of the house again and see the world. I’m on the trail of an external platform for use on my Sequoia, which would let us get out of town. (The RTA shuttle only operates within limited areas, so no museums or other experiences that I’ve been longing for over the past two years.) I’ll update you after it’s over…  GLB

These Introductory Comments are copyrighted:
Copyright©2011 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved

[ 1675 Words ]


Quotations Related to Tablets:


“The seven-inch tablets are tweeners: too big to compete with a smartphone, and too small to compete with an iPad.”
— Steve Jobs

“For too long, decisions have been taken behind closed doors – tablets of stone have simply been past [sic] down to people without bothering to involve people, listen to their views or give them information about what we are doing and why.”
— Peter Mandelson

“I think right now it’s a battle for the mindshare of developers and for the mindshare of customers, and right now iPhone and Android are winning that battle.”
— Steve Jobs

“Now that digital lifestyle devices, tablets, wireless phones, and other Internet appliances are beginning to come of age, we need to worry about presenting our content to these devices so that it is optimized for their display capabilities.”
— Mike Davidson


Thinking about the New Slate of Tablets (Part 1)…


Over the next few days I’ll be exploring some of the new Tablet-style computers coming into the market. Of course, the “class of the class” has been the iPad and iPad 2 over the past two years. They are just plain “NEAT” to play with and they are great for dealing with images and online resources. Yes, they have their quirks, such as limited cameras, no FLASH apps, and you are tied to the iTune store for your apps. You get only those apps and services that Apple decides, its role as the “Almighty Big Brother”, what you need. Thank you, uncle Steve! (‘May you burn in ****, Mr. Jobs.’) Apple gives us a great little tool at their prices and with their services. It sounds like some tracts that some groups give out in their evangelistic fervor.

kindle-fire-vs-ipad_smallBut, there are new players entering the marketplace. Of course, there is always the next version of the iPad itself on the horizon in the early Spring, so it is rumored. It is said to have higher resolution cameras, like the iPhone 4s, higher resolution screen, and Apple’s quad-core processor. But rumors don’t always show up in the delivered device. But, being the third generation of this device, it will have had an opportunity to get rid of many of the bugs always found in new form factors and implementations of a technology. If you need serious apps for photo processing and word processing, the iPad seems to be the device of choice at this point. It uses the iOS, which is a more mature operating system that supports the most apps of any of the devices, thanks to its little brother, the iPhone. So, it remains the one to beat.

But there are some serious competitors in this holiday season’s marketplace. Most of these are based on Google’s Android operating system for smart phones. More Android smartphones are being sold than iOS devices combined. Apps for these devices are available at both the Google Android Marketplace and at the Amazon App Store. There are lots of apps available for these Android tablets, but none are fully up to the test of the iPad. For instance, you can get apps for e-book reading, accessing your social networks (Twitter, Facebook, Google+, etc.), and running some basic apps. But if you want to do some writing, forget about it. No real app is available. Plus some of these tablets, the Kindle Fire for one, lack a built-in microphone or line-in jack for an external mic. Also, the better photo processing apps are only on the iPad at this time.

kindle-fire-vs-samsung-galaxy-tab_smallBut, these tablets have very attractive price points. Whereas the iPad ranges from $500-850, depending on accessories, the Kindle Fire is selling for $199. The HTC Flyer and Barnes & Noble Nook Color are in the $250-300 range. The Samsung Galaxy 7” sells for about $400. So on price, the Androids beat the iPad; these are all 7 inch screens instead of the 10.1 inch screen on the iPads. The Galaxy Tab has a 10 inch screen, but it is still in need of some refinement. So these Android tablets are coming to market, and the Kindle Fire is selling like crazy, but people are discovering some of its shortcomings. We will explore more of this in coming days.

kindle-fire-vs-nook_smallSo an amazing new world is opening up. It started with our smartphones which have morphed into mini-computing devices. The iOS and Android operating systems are dominating the current market, and when is the last time that you head of shopping for a new desktop system? We have notebooks that are every bit as powerful as desktops used to be. We have netbooks that are as power as notebooks used to be. So, over the next few days, we will have some fun investigating these tablets. Please join us for my musings and reflections on these devices, especially if you are considering buying one for Christmas (or even have already purchased one)…

Photo of the Day:

On a more soothing note, my wife’s cousin, Bon, posted a picture that she caught yesterday during a break in the rain showers. It shows a beautiful rainbow as well as a good look at the cloudy sky. I find scenes like this very soothing and rewarding. Thank you, Bon, for this lovely photo. I always look forward to your next capture. As we continue through this holiday season, let us remember those without all that we have blessed with and think how we can share. The true message of “A Christmas Carol” is appropriate here. Think about it…

_Rainbow Pix by Bon

Rainbow and Sun during December Storm. Photo by Photos by Bon.

[ Copyright©2011 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved ]




Background information is from Wikipedia articles on:

Tabletmoz.com: Can Amazon Kindle Fire Challenge its Counterparts? A Complete Review…

Tabletmoz.com: Kindle Fire vs. iPad- Is There Any Comparison Between The Two Gadgets?…

Brainy Quote: Tablets Quotes…