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Moving forward by moving backwards? "smart" phones n stuff - rant

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Moving forward by moving backwards? "smart" phones n stuff - rant

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  #1  
Old 01-07-2017, 08:59 AM
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Default Moving forward by moving backwards? "smart" phones n stuff - rant

I just had to find some place to vent about this.
I was there for the rise of the PC and watched software and operating systems become more advanced, capable and even pretty on the eyes.
The industry as a whole seemed to be always moving forward in this direction up unto the rise of the "smart" phone.
Now we are supposed to get excited (and indeed much of the world actually is) about "smart" phone features that were new on PCs decades ago.
I keep telling people it's like we've gone back to the days of Windows 3.1 on a 286.
For those not old enough to remember, the big deal about Intel's 80286 processor was that it was capable of mulitasking which is where you can run more than one program at a time. That was something new for the PC world back then but the problem was the most popular operating system at the time was not able to make proper use of this capability. If you were running Windows 3.1 on a 286 you could indeed have multiple programs running at once (for instance Lotus 123 and Wordstar) but you could only view and interact with one at a time.
With the 386 we were able to move beyond that.
The other thing about the early PCs was the very small field of view and resolution. Again, that changed for the better over the years, even allowing for high resolutions on multiple monitors.
The last thing was the look of the user environment. Right up to Windows 7 we had more and more eyecandy. Not essential, true, but it just made for a more pleasant experience and for some of us justified the expense of that outrageously priced video card.

Now move forward to today with our overpriced "smart" phones.
These things have 1000 times or more the memory and drive storage capacity of those old PCs. They run multicore processors with millions of times or more the processing power. They typically have displays with resolutions greater than the best that ever existed up through the 90's.

But.... While you can have multiple apps open at once, you can only see and interact with one at a time.
But... While the display resolution is quite high, typically apps will only show a tiny window of the document you are working on.
But... While we have all this processing power, storage and display resolution available, the user interface is plain, flat and simple. Boring.

Like many my age I fought the rush to get a "smart phone" and when I finally did (a Samsung Galaxy) I was underwelmed. Seriously so.

I could get more work done more comfortably on an old 386 with Windows 3.1 and running 2Megs not Gigs of RAM.
So many people in the industry are pushing the idea that we all need to switch to tablets or "smart" phones for our work. When I see that I'm thinking - ya'll don't do serious work then do you?
"Smart" phones are pretty good for facebook, youtube, messaging and email but not for serious work.
Could your smart phone deal with this? That was a typical day at work when I was trying to gather information from multiple sources to straighten out a documentation issue with one of our projects.
 
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Old 01-07-2017, 09:17 AM
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A quick breakdown of that picture:

2 instances of AutoCAD, one with the 17 dwgs for one project open, the other with 5 from another.
Solid Edge with one model open.
Adobe Acrobat Reader with only one document open (usually it's several).
Windows Photo Viewer looking at one picture (usually I have several open at once).
Word with one document open.
File Explorer cause I was trying to locate some dumb file (I will frequently have multiple instances of this running because I'm comparing directories trying to figure out if they are synch'd properly. Multiple users who each have thier own place to put stuff creates problems).
Outlook - I actually didn't have any emails open at the time.
Excel, 3 instances with a total of 5 spreadsheets open.
Portable Apps, yeah, gotta run that in the background off a flash drive because work doesn't want me installing software on this computer.
Industrios is our parts and project database program.
Firefox to look up stuff, usually have a dozen tabs open, this time only one.
Notepad, cause you gotta take notes.
OneNote again, notes.

All this was open and running at once with multiple windows tiled across multiple monitors. It made the work go much faster and I was better able to see the "big picture" so I could stay focused and organized.

There's absolutely no way a "smart" phone or tablet could have done this, never mind the fact that several of the most expensive programs I had running are not even available for android or ios.
 
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Old 01-07-2017, 10:42 AM
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I agree smart devices are not yet capable of providing an environment in which to do "real work. I own an HP tablet and slowly it has become a keyboard and mouse dependent stationary object because I can't type on something propped on the air, it moves all over the place if you don't have one hand on it while typing (which renders typing useless w one hand), and ... don't get me started.

Phablets are pretty much useless for real work involving typing/coding/clicking unless you are customer facing in your line of work and they are used to stick your product under the nose of a potential client, and for traveling repairmen (GE, e.g.) who need to bring a diagnostic program to you to fix something.

Stop making phones bigger -- if it cant fit in my front pocket, I don't leave the store with it. I only upgrade phones when they break.

Let a smartphone be a casual user device (email, text, calendar, and some other neat things. But leave it alone!
 
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Old 01-08-2017, 07:38 AM
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I usually just use my phone for making calls or sending a text. I'm a dinosaur, I guess. I use my DESKTOP computer for forums and such and my Android phone for calling and texting. Gee, I need to get with the times? I don't think so. I'm good with what I have and the way they work.
 
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Old 01-08-2017, 07:35 PM
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I don't know what I am, old I guess. I don't need a phone any smarter than I am and then only to make fone calls with it. The only time I need a portable phone is when I am in a car and driving it and my lady is with me.
I am impressed by the lap top I am now using since my computer went down and what I lost when it went. But my lap top sits here with a key board and a printer attached to it and does what I need except it has some software issues that leave me totally confused and frustrated. What the heck is a cloud and how to use one and in fact why do I even want one. It took me almost a year with Microsoft outlook 2010 to realize what it was. Maybe I can figure out how to use it but it still leaves me rather frustrated. Moving forward? I dunno, sideways maybe. It's like the Dodge Caravan in the driveway. I am impressed by the now 310HPV6 that runs the thing and the new technology 6 speed transmission is quite impressive. The car is stiffer, has better suspension and handling for what is a large box on wheels. I can carry 3/4 ton inside out of the weather or fold up 7 seats if I need them but usually it is configured to seat two and what ever I want it to do.
My computer? I still don't know how to configure it. My e-mail has weeny little letters on it making it hard to read. I have no clue how to get it to make the damned letters big enough to see
What direction is that>
Ignore me, I am griping out of frustration.
 
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Old 01-09-2017, 02:13 AM
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There should bee a zoom function inside whatever browser or program you are using to check your email that will scale everything for you. Usually in the "Settings" menu but on the top level so you can reach it in 1 click to adjust it.

look up zoom in the help menu if all else fails,
 
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Old 01-11-2017, 09:44 AM
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Thanks Derf,
Zoom was it, and it took me a while to find it, but it worked.
John
 
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Old 01-11-2017, 10:47 AM
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I kept my old style flip-phone for as long as I could. It had great reception and the battery would last at least a week, sometimes more. The main reason I ended up replacing it was because most of the people I communicated with had "smart" phones and for some reason their "smart" phones aren't consistent with the message format that they send. Sometimes it would be SMS text which my phone was designed for. As often as not though it would be some kind of media format which I would be unable to read unless I took the time and what limited data I had available to download it so I could then read it. When that happened usually it was still unreadable on my phone. Too many times this happened so I finally broke down and got a "smart" phone.
 
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Old 01-12-2017, 06:29 AM
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My "smart phone" is a Motorola that my daughter gave me. Don't laugh, it does everything I need it to do. I'm still pissed about giving up my flip phone, but for the same reasons that Jamnar stated, I couldn't get all of the texts that I was told had been sent my way.
 
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Old 01-12-2017, 07:24 AM
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What bugs me the most, and it's the main reason I put the "smart" in "smart" phone in quotes, is that they are not anywhere as convenient use a a phone as the old flip phone. You can easily answer a ringing flip phone one handed with your eyes closed. Without buying a bluetooth accessory for the "smart" phone that's not so easy to do.
 
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