Except for the U-Scan store checkouts, the vitamin information panel at a local pharmacy and ATMs, I generally don’t like touch devices. It is difficult to get into a mess with the three types mentioned, although some still manage it  These devices work well, having appropriately sized screens, large buttons, and reasonably clear labelling.. I have no problem using them and will always use U-Scan in stores.There are no complex procedures, and do not require the user to have fingers like tooth-picks. One has to remember too that they are set up for one task only.

Touch screens start to fall over when there is too much displayed for the size of the screen in use. Smartphones can be really awkward if you need to make changes, and swiping often opens up anything except for the item that you actually want. Samsing Tablet 1

This is a Samsung Tab 10.1 and is available running Android 4. if you buy from a computer store, or Windows 8 if you buy from Rogers here in Canada..

The OS shown in the photo is Android 4 and the initial screen is not too bad. Note the useful ‘back’ button at the lower right corner. Along the base of the screen is a too//taskbar with basic functions and the time too.

Why couldn’t Microsoft have done that with Windows 8? Why the desire to completely eliminate the taskbar? I had a few minutes on a Windows 8 tablet yesterday, and there isn’t one, just like there isn’t on the PC versions, and it doesn’t look like Windows 8.1 has a taskbar either unless in desktop mode perhaps.

I also have a big issue with cost. The tablet shown can be bought for around $400 but the Windows 8 version which has more RAM, more storage, a faster processor etc. costs $600, and the top Windows 8 devices cost $1400. A back cover which doubles as an easel stand costs $60 and a keyboard dock complete with touchpad costs $130.

The Android tablet would not be too much use for me, performance probably not much better than my three year old Netbook and no ability for me to load the software that I like to use. The Windows 8 tablet would be much better, but at the prices shown is way beyond what I would ever pay for a device which I would find difficult, just as with my Netbook. I could put together two desktop systems or buy a very good full size laptop for that kind of money.

The only facility that I lose by using a desktop and aging Netbook combination is being able to ‘compute’ in a small space. That’s fine with me because I don’t like confinement. My personal space extends to at least five feet in all directions, and if I can’t get it, I don’t go there.

Next, cloud computing. We have been working with basic cloud computing for years. Remember email? Trouble is that cloud computing is going to cost over and above what we pay out now. It is easy to see why there is a push for tablets and clouds. It’s a mega business with huge potential presently, and there are enough people subscribing to the idea who can’t ever see too far in front.

On the subject of subscribing..

How many of you subscribed to Kinect? I see that it has moved on from being marketed as an interactive gaming device.