You don’t realize how hard it is to type when you open your palm and insert your face.
Meg Whitman, who took the reins of Hewlett-Packard after being trounced in the 2010 California gubernatorial election that cost her and her campaign roughly $43 per vote, decided to bring back the HP consumer hardware, which was a good thing. I even ate some crow, with salt, yesterday in manning up to say something nice about Meg for making this decision.
Today I can thank her for something else: Thank you, Meg, for restoring my confidence in your incompetence.
Now Californians who voted against her — yours truly raises hand here — can be smug about not electing her to Sacramento for a typical Meg move.
An article today states that rather than include the already proven WebOS on the HP Touchpad tablet — which is what it came with until former HP CEO Leo Apotheker had what can best be described as the most profound brain fart in human history in dumping HP’s consumer technology — Meg wants to run the tablet with, wait for it, Windows 8.
Don’t take my word for it. The article by Tom Krazit is here, if you dare.
This blog, and all other blogs by Larry the Free Software Guy and Larry Cafiero, are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs CC BY-NC-ND license. In short, this license allows others to download this work and share it with others as long as they credit me as the author, but others can’t change it in any way or use it commercially.
(Larry Cafiero is one of the founders of the Lindependence Project and has just started developing software in his new home office. Watch this space.)
Larry the Free Software Guy — who, when the occasion arises, always leads off his blog in the third person, rather than to just say “I” since that would be too easy — was about to write about another topic this time around. I owe Jeff Hoogland a blog item on Bodhi Linux, which I tried and liked (more in a later item), as well as the original topic of this missive, which was my take on the new and, um, improved desktop environments in Natty Narwhal and Fedora 15 which are getting a lot of play lately. More on this in another blog, too.
But yesterday I got sidetracked. Blame Android.
Recent history: Kyoko dropped her HTC G2 twice and it went a little loopy, so off to somewhere in Pennsylvania it went for a few days. Meanwhile, I gave her my unlocked Palm Pre 2 to use while it was being repaired and she has taken a liking to it. So we switched phones and I got the HTC when it was returned. As it turned out, rather than blogging, I spent yesterday getting used to my new phone with Android.
I like Android. I mean, I really like it. While I was starting to warm up to WebOS and while I think the HP offering has much in the way of potential, Android is just head and shoulders over WebOS. It is just a great OS for the hardware it’s running on.
This is where the love affair comes to a screeching halt. No matter how great it is, it’s on a phone. It’s running on hand-held hardware which, when looking at it, is still only a phone, when all is said and done.
I know it does a lot of other stuff. Let me explain why I say this, and I’d gladly plead “guilty” to the fact that this is purely generational.
Doing things with the HTC yesterday — calling, texting, checking out the GPS (a very, very cool feature) — was thrilling and filled with “hey, look at this” moments. However, it appears for what I would use the HTC for — primarily using it as a phone and possibily an occasional text message — leaves much of Android’s abilities on the bench, so to speak.
Not only this, it begs the question: Why would I use Gmail or Facebook on such a small screen? Is surfing the Web really a viable option on hardware like the Palm Pre 2 or the HTC? I mean, you can do it, with a lot of pinching and expanding of the screen, but how efficient and logical is that? Do you really need to be that connected?
For all the cool things the HTC G2 does, and for all the cool things that Android does for it (and, again, the GPS is really cool), it is still only a phone. I’ll keep connecting with the wider Internet with the laptop and desktop, thank you.
(Fedora ambassador Larry Cafiero runs Redwood Digital Research in Felton, California, and is an associate member of the Free Software Foundation. He is also one of the founders of the Lindependence Project.)