Diary of a Lazy SysAdmin

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Desired Tablet – < $200 [$100-130 would be best]

7 March, 2012 (13:27) | Blog | By: ender

I find it surprising that none of the tablet makers have done something like this as an entry-level or kid-friendly tablet, something without un-necessary features [like a back-camera]. It seems that it would sell well [if priced right and built well]. I know I’d happily buy such a tablet for my kiddo.


Desired Specs:

  • ~7″ capacitive multi-touch screen [at least 600×1024 – 800×1280 if possible at price point]
  • thin as possible at price range, but even as thick as a Kindle Fire would be acceptable.
  • 7″ because it’s easier for a kid to handle, and I think is just a better form-factor for entry-level. Other sizes could be made as well.
  • dual-core 1+Ghz ARM CPU
  • 512MB RAM [1GB if possible]
  • 4-8GB Storage
  • MicroSD slot
  • VGA front-facing camera [for Skype/Tango videochat]
  • WiFi a/b/n
  • Bluetooth [only because it’s practically free with the wifi.]
  • Speaker [single or dual, doesn’t matter]
  • Android Ice Cream Sandwich
    • With full Google App Market support, not some lame 3rd-party app market.
    • For a kid-friendly version, can have parental ability to lock out App Market. Can still have a 3rd-party kid-friendly moderated market, but parent should still be able to install an un-moderated app if necessary.

    I do think that such a tablet would sell well, esp if the right accessories were available. It seems all the existing small tablets either try to cram too many features and thus cost a fortune, or don’t support the full app market and are tied too heavily to one source of content [Amazon/Nook], or pull TOO many features out [use resistive non-multi-touch screen].


    Am I alone in thinking such a tablet would sell well? Is that too much to ask?


    Biggest slice of pizza I’ve ever eaten…

    13 December, 2011 (13:35) | Blog | By: ender


    This was easily the largest single slice I’ve seen in a restaurant. This is from Serious Pizza in setup Deep Ellum… The picture really doesn’t do it justice. I believe it comes from a 30″ pie.

    Giving up TV – Now what?

    5 August, 2011 (18:37) | Blog | By: ender

    After some serious soul-searching and internal struggle, I returned the new TV, BR Player and Xbox 360 I had purchased. I’ve long been thinking that my life has too many needless complications in it, and could use some simplification. As a result I’ve decided I’m going to minimize the amount of time I waste doing unconstructive, mindless things. Too much of my life has been spent zoned out in front of the TV when there are certainly many more interesting things I could be doing. I will also be cancelling my cable and most likely selling my Tivo. I’ll get rid of the large entertainment hutch I have currently, and replace it with a smaller table containing only a stereo. This should also give me more room for bookshelves. I can’t quite give up the computer, since I do work with them as a career, but I’m also dropping down to a single desktop [plus my work laptop], and will be selling/trashing the rest of my unnecessary gear. I will be trying to use the computer as a tool instead of “something to do when I’m bored”.  I do still intend to do *some* gaming. Some of my friends don’t live nearby and gaming together online [usually coop] is one of the few ways I can ‘hang out’ with them. Plus there’s no way I’m going to be able to stop myself from playing Diablo III when it comes out. :) Still, it is my hope to avoid mindless web-surfing just as much as mindless channel surfing.

    I have no doubt that there will be a period of adjustment [aka withdrawal], so I’ve decided to preemptively list some things I could do instead of watching TV.


    • Read – I love reading of course.
    • Family – I’d love to spend more time with the kiddo actually doing something instead of zoned out in front of the tube.
    • Photography – I’ve got a nice camera and enjoy taking pictures. I enjoyed the Photography class [B&W Film] I took a couple years ago, and would like to continue improving my technique.
    • Learn to play Guitar – I have 2 guitars and it’s high time I actually learned to play the damned things instead of mashing buttons on Guitar Hero.
    • Learn to play Drums – This will probably come later, but it is something I’d like to do eventually.
    • Learn to Program – Another thing I’ve been wanting to learn for many years, and never felt like I had to time to dedicate.
    • School – I’m still [very] slowly working toward a degree
    • Exercise – Yeah, it’s time to drop a few pounds, no? I can go work out, or ride my bike at the lovely park that’s across the street. At least when it stops being a billion degrees out!
    • Write – While this rambling blog post may not serve as much of an example, I do have the ability to write fairly well and I’ve been told repeatedly that I should write. Perhaps I’ll actually participate in NaNoWriMo this year.
    • Cook – More time spent cooking will probably help with the pounds vs eating fast food.
    • Hang out – The few friends I actually have, I hardly ever see; even the ones that live nearby. I’d like to spend more time hanging out, and doing stuff with friends.
    I’m sure as time goes on I’ll come up with many more things to do that don’t normally occur to me because I’m zoned out in front of the TV, but that list should get me started. Feel free to let me know if you have any other ideas for me. :)

    How people see me when I fix their computer…

    21 July, 2011 (16:50) | Blog, Humor | By: ender

    This is one of those “It’s funny cuz it’s true” things…

    How people see me when I fix their computer

    How people see me when I fix their computer

    Best Father’s Day Card EVER!

    17 June, 2011 (11:36) | Blog | By: ender

    Kiera made this as my Father’s Day card. The drawing depicts me helping her get to barbie.com on her computer. :)

    Winter Solstice Total Lunar Eclipse – untouched photos

    21 December, 2010 (03:47) | Blog | By: ender

    Here  are some of the better shots from tonight’s eclipse. These aren’t touched up in any way, just exported to 1024 rez images from Picasa.

    New Wheels for the Acura

    27 April, 2010 (13:59) | Blog | By: ender

    So thanks to the fine work of Texas Department of Transportation, two of the wheels on the Acura were bent pretty badly, and a third wheel was bent a little bit.

    Acura is a little too proud of their OEM wheels, so there was no way I could afford to buy three of them, and having the wheels straightened was more expensive than many custom wheels and could leave the wheel in a weakened state.

    So, I spent a few days combing the net for deals on wheels. After much deliberation, a new set of pretty wheels has been put on the Acura. I was a little worried since it’s hard to tell what they will look like once you actually put them on the car. I’m happy to report though that they look better than I thought they would.

    Check ’em out…

    Scarborough Faire 2010

    20 April, 2010 (08:43) | Blog, Pictures | By: ender

    These are the pics I’m considering sending in for the Scarborough Faire photo contest. Not all of them, but trying to decide which ones to send in. Most of these are from the Joust, mainly because the lighting was good and I was in a good location so they came out the best.

    Snow Storm – Later in the day

    14 February, 2010 (02:36) | Pictures | By: ender

    As promised here’s some more shots of the snow storm from later in the day. Unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to go out looking for actual “good” shots, this is just what I took standing in front of the house.

    I missed opportunity for some awesome photos, for sure. But this will give you an idea of how much it was snowing. It was coming down like this for pretty much the entire day! Unheard of here…

    Snow-storm 2010 – Early storm pictures

    12 February, 2010 (12:10) | Blog | By: ender

    We broke about every record in the books for snowfall in Dallas. Here’s some teaser pics from early in the storm [4″ snow]. I’ll take some more pictures this afternoon of the final snowfall…