I already posted some comments from the first 24 hours, so the observations below are further comments and ruminations as I enter this strange new world of apps and internet connectivity sans laptop. :)
I got my case, stylus, and screen protector on Saturday.
The stylus has been great (and can double as a pen!), though I do manage to click in ways I don’t intend because my coordination is sometimes lacking and I don’t always remember that I can make a webpage bigger rather than trying to click on the tiny links. ;)
The case does help with holding it, yay, and I got one that automatically puts it to sleep when I close the cover, so that helps the battery life.
It took me several tries (and two screen protectors) to get the screen protector on and smoothed out properly, but I appreciate the anti-glare look of the one I chose.
I used my tablet in a meeting, and it was nice. If I’m going to take a lot of notes I’ll probably need a bluetooth keyboard, but for situations where I’m mostly listening, this is great. I was able to pull up a webpage to look at something we were discussing, and I also passed a bit of time with Candy Crush (and finally defeated level 65 after two and a half weeks of trying!!).
I read most of a book on my tablet and I am totally sold on the general convenience of ereading. (Case in point: I couldn’t fall asleep Wednesday night, so I switched to the Night view—white text on black background—and finished my book without having to turn on the lights. Awesome.) I just wish that all of the books I currently have checked out from the library were available in ebook form!
I still haven’t tried doing anything with ebooks via a library (the book I read was public domain so I got it straight from Google). When I do, that will be a post of its own.
The tablet is fantastic for those times when you want to look something up quickly without bothering to turn on your computer (i.e. the weather, when you’re picking out clothes for the next day/the weekend). It’s also great when your computer is otherwise occupied by someone or something else.
It still occasionally locks up/crashes. These instances seem to occur when it’s updating in the background and I’m trying to do something else and I guess it gets the wires crossed or something. Can be annoying, but so far it hasn’t been a terrible inconvenience.
I installed Advanced Task Killer, and it has been fascinating to see what apps will start up without any action on my part (and it’s fun to kill them when they do :-) ).
The lack of arrow keys and the tab key is throwing me off, especially when inputting text. I haven’t gotten the hang of using my finger/the stylus to put the cursor where I want it.
I decided months ago that I wanted to get a tablet (not an ereader, a tablet), and settled on the Nexus 7 as the best choice for my wants/needs. I finally actually purchased the thing, and it arrived yesterday.
Comments from the first 24 hours:
Overall, I’m very excited to finally have a tablet! And can I just say I love my mailman—he managed to get the package into my mailbox so I didn’t have to go to the post office to pick it up. <3
I’ll be posting again about my tablet once I have a chance to experiment with library ebooks—I already know I’ll have comments on that subject. I might also have thoughts on web browsing and library resources once I devote some time to that, but we’ll see.
The difficult thing however about predicting the future of reading is that everything i’ve said so far presumes that what is being read is an “n-page” article or essay or an “n-page,” “n-chapter” book,” when realistically, the forms of expression will change dramatically as we learn to exploit the unique affordances of new electronic media. Ideally, the boundaries between reading and writing will become ever more porous as readers take a more active role in the production of knowledge and ideas.
Although we date the “age of print” from 1454, more than two hundred years passed before the “novel” emerged as a recognizable form. Newspapers and magazines took even longer to arrive on the scene. Just as Gutenberg and his fellow printers started by reproducing illustrated manuscripts, contemporary publishers have been moving their printed texts to electronic screens. This shift will bring valuable benefits (searchable text, personal portable libraries, access via internet download, etc.), but this phase in the history of publishing will be transitional. Over time new media technologies will give rise to new forms of expression yet to be invented that will come to dominate the media landscape in decades and centuries to come.
With the current popularity of hackerspaces and makerspaces in libraries, library hack-a-thons, and hacking projects for librarians; it is clear that library culture is warming to the hacker ethic. This is a highly positive trend and one that I encourage more librarians to participate in. The reason I am so excited to see libraries encourage adoption of the hacker ethic is that hackers share several core values with libraries. Working together we can serve our communities more effectively. This may appear to be counter-intuitive, especially due to a very common public misconception that hacker is just another word for computer-criminal. In this post I want to correct this error, explain the values behind the hacker movement, and show how librarians and hackers share core values. It is my hope that this opens the door for more librarians to get started in productive and positive library hackery.
Here’s something to add to the ‘ol RSS reader (or twitter @crunchgov if that’s your thang. TechCrunch, one of the better sites for news and information about tech and the tech industry, today launched CrunchGov to track on government and tech policy-making. The site will have 3 three initial CrunchGov products (report card, policy database, and legislation crowdsourcing). Read more about it on their post explaining the CrunchGov roll-out as well as their methodology/FAQ behind the site.
While “the cloud” may be the tech buzzword of the year, many Americans remain foggy about what the cloud really is and how it works. A new national survey by Wakefield Research, commissioned by Citrix, showed that most respondents believe the cloud is related to weather, while some referred to pillows, drugs and toilet paper. Those in the know claim working from home in their “birthday suit” is the cloud’s greatest advantage. The good news is that even those that don’t know exactly what the cloud is recognize its economic benefits and think the cloud is a catalyst for small business growth.
Considering the difficulty people have with other technology-related terminology and concepts (one of many possible examples: the internet is a series of tubes), this doesn’t surprise me at all.
If meebo was any indication, even established, long running technology services can go away without much advanced notice. What is a library to do with incorporating third party applications, then? There is no way to ensure that all the services and applications that you use at your library will still be in existence for any length of time. Change is about the only constant in technology and it is up to us who deal with technology to plan for that change.
Digital goods have costs.
I’m not talking here about just things like the cost of electricity, which should be enough on its own to disabuse idealists of their vacuous notions of what makes the world go around. I analyzed this at length in another post earlier this year. Even beyond just their power requirements, digital goods have particular traits that make them difficult to store effectively, challenging to distribute well, and much more effective when handled by paid professionals.
It means that I’m never truly off. I’m always able to contact or be contacted. Both the bane and boon of the technological grad student life.
That is why it is so important to shut off sometimes. Always being able to check our work email or be contacted means that we never fully relax. Try turning off more; it will not only make you more relaxed but less dependent on your phone.
I have to say, one of the great things about my current job is that I cannot access my work email from anywhere except work. I’m also less likely to check Twitter and my real-name Gmail account when I’m not at work (since I primarily use those for library-related purposes) and I’ve found it quite helpful to have that time of being disengaged and doing other things I want/need to do so I can better devote my attention to work when I’m at work.
Security4Lib is a Drupal based website, wiki and email list for the discussion of issues relating to IT Security in libraries, including, but not limited to, web sites, email, networks, servers, passwords, services, mobile, wifi, and apps.
I don’t know if this will be of use anyone but me, but I was trying to go over the Computers in Libraries sessions (both those I attended and those I didn’t) to find what I could of the presentation slides/handouts/blog posts and I was getting bogged down in links and files, so I made these lists of links. If anyone knows of stuff that could be on here that I missed, do let me know (use the ‘ask me anything’ link).
Come, Let us go Boldly into the Present my Brothers & Sisters
Michael Peter Edson (Director of Web & New Media Strategy, Smithsonian Institution)
(doesn’t make policy, not a spokesman)