Post by SMS
In rec.photo.digital.slr-systems C J
Post by C J Campbell
They are introducing multitasking this fall. And if you really need an
old-fashioned, obsolete USB port because your IT team is still stuck in
the 20th century, you can have one.
Yeah, because nobody would EVER need to attach a peripheral to an iPad.
USB is used for more than bulk storage and network connectivity.
Oh, and the OS4 "multitasking" isn't; it's more accurate to call it
It is really funny. This is like the people who keep insisting that OS
X does not support true 64 bit processing. It is the old "moving the
goal posts" fallacy. Apple adds multitasking, then say it is not "true"
Note that these critics will never tell you what "true" multitasking
is, either. After all, people might hold the devices and operating
systems they say are better to the same standards. That would never do.
Post by SMS
The iPad is what's called an MCD in industry circles, a media
consumption device. Nothing wrong with that of course, but what it
can't be, because of the hardware limitations, is a general purpose
platform used for all the applications that a regular tablet PC is used
The market for MCDs is far greater than the market for tablet
computers, so Apple will sell a gazillion iPads. They're going to
become a very popular gaming device and movie player for kids, and a
popular web pad for adults. The processor is fast enough for these
applications, but still low power enough for the device to have
excellent battery life, something you can't get on a full featured
The HP Slate has some advantages and some disadvantages compared to the
iPad. Because of its more powerful processor, battery life is half of
the iPad, yet because it's running Windows, performance will likely be
worse than the iPad despite the more powerful processor. On the plus
side, it can play 1080p HD video, it has two cameras (the iPad has
none), and it has a built in SD card reader and built in video out
(extra cost options with a kludgy dongle on the iPad). It has 4 times
the amount of user accessible SDRAM (1GB versus 256MB on the iPad). Not
sure about 3G, it may require an external USB 3G dongle.
The thing about Apple's products that a lot of people don't get is the
very sensitive and extremely accurate touch screen. So far no one else
even comes close. A higher resolution screen is absolutely useless if
you can't manipulate it.
Post by SMS
Of course one big disadvantage of the HP Slate is that there apparently
won't be any $30/month unlimited 3G service. Since the Slate is a full
featured product running standard browsers that support Flash, there is
no way any carrier is going to give HP the same kind of sweet deal that
First of all, standard browsers do not support Flash, as Flash is not a
recognized standard. If a browser supports Flash it is by definition a
non-standard browser. Flash is not a recognized web standard. HTML5 is
a recognized web standard. But Flash is just an Adobe application which
Adobe could modify, withdraw from service, or render incompatible at
any time. There is no recognized body that regulates "Flash" as a
Not that this (or any of the supposed arguments about Apple wanting
total control) has kept Apple from allowing Safari to support Flash.
Conspiracy theories aside, if Apple really hated Flash that much it
would not be running on Macs, either. And as it turns out, there are
good technical reasons for not supporting Flash on small devices like
the iPhone and iPad.
It appears that the main reason Apple is not supporting Flash on the
iPad is that Flash interferes with multitasking. Apple's multitasking
is implemented in seven APIs. Fast Switching allows apps to be frozen
in the background so they don't use any additional system resources
whatsoever. Task Completion, on the other hand, allows apps in the
background to finish working without changing the behavior of other
apps. Push Notifications and Local Notifications let apps "sleep" while
listening for certain events. Background Audio, VOIP, and Background
Location deliver their services to apps running in the background.
Other platforms just allow any number of apps to run, draining the
battery and hogging resources whether they need to or not. It is so bad
that Microsoft removed multitasking form Windows Phone 7. It just
attempts to save state for each app it puts on hold.
Further, Push Notification means that iPhone apps do not constantly
poll their servers the way Blackberry apps frequently do, draining
battery life and hogging bandwidth.
Now, put Flash into Apple's multitasking scheme. See a problem there?
Flash is precisely the kind of resource hog that drains batteries and
takes up bandwidth that Apple is trying to avoid, and it insists on
uselessly running even when it is in the background. I mean, really, do
you need a banner ad running across a web browser over and over in the
background, perhaps even trying to grab control of the speaker at the
same time? Flash is what is wrong with other devices trying to
multitask today. People blame viruses and spyware for their computers
bogging down, but things like Flash are, in fact, just as likely to be
a big part of their problem.
It seems to me that when people say that the iPad and iPhone do not
have true multitasking then what they really mean is that the iPad and
iPhone do not have a crappy, poorly implemented, battery draining form
of multitasking like they are used to.
There is absolutely nothing that stops Adobe from developing a version
of Flash that would meet the needs of the iPhone/iPad API. Yet Adobe
does not do this. That is certainly not Apple's fault.
Post by SMS
I would wager that the HP Slate is not going to be successful with
consumers, but will gain a following among techies using it for
vertical applications. General purpose tablet computers have only
gained a following in vertical market applications. You can buy a thin
and light computer with a more powerful processor for about the same
price of an HP Slate. For gaming, you're better off with a larger
screen and a game controller than a touch screen. For general purpose
use you want a real keyboard.
And of course HP does not have Apple's marketing capability. There are
no HP stores, a much poorer support infrastructure, and no HP fanbois.
Sad, too. HP managed to steal the laser printer business from Apple
simply by building better and cheaper printers than the Apple
LaserWriter. Remember that thing? If HP actually managed to build
something that was a whole order of improvement over the iPad, instead
of another clunky "me too" tablet that is going to blue screen on you
every few days while it bogs down on "multitasking" apps, they could do
it again. Unfortunately, HP does not look like they are going to do
I once was an unabashed HP fanboy, by the way. But even I had to admit
one day that I could not keep one of their PDAs running for more than a
few days before it crashed or even gave up the ghost completely. And HP
couldn't even seem to make innovative printers any more. They were
losing business to Xerox, for crying out loud. And I have never seen an
HP computer that ran for more than a few months without developing
serious problems. My last three HPs were actually flagged by Microsoft
for having "unauthorized" copies of Windows on them! That was it, for
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