Oh Desktop PC, how I’ve missed you!

Tonight the wife is out with her friends so its just me and the baby home alone. I had some things to do online tonight and I already put my baby to sleep for the evening so instead of using my MacBook Pro, I’m using my 5 year old HP Desktop PC that I haven’t used in a really long time for a prolonged period of time since I have been booted from my office since I’m not home often and my wife works from home. I gotta say that I really missed this. As much as I love using my MacBook Pro and my iPads, there still is something that I love about using my desktop PC. I think its the awesome Bose sound system that my wife bought me many years ago and the 23″ screen that I’m using right now to write this blog post. Compared to my MacBook Pro, my PC is looking a little sluggish but I also think its because there is just so much crap on this computer that needs to be cleaned out and I just haven’t had the time to do it.

There isn’t much that I can do on my PC that I can’t do on my MacBook Pro but one of the things that I can’t currently do is play my music really loud of my Bose speakers which is still pretty awesome after all this time. I’m currently playing some music on Winamp (good lord that takes me back) since I actually still prefer it compared to iTunes. Since the entire family is pretty invested in Apple gear these days (never thought I’d ever say that) it makes sense for me to use a MacBook Pro at the moment. I just need way more storage (something along the lines of 2TB would do nicely) than I currently do on my MacBook. I can use external hard drives and everything but that almost takes most of the portability out of having a laptop.

I don’t think I could ever get away from not having a desktop PC but I certainly am trying. I think the biggest thing about owning a desktop these days is the larger screen and using my Bose. I think I can get rid of everything else thats attached to it or find some other use. As an example, I have a secondary DVD writer, printer, and external drive that I still have to hook up to the desktop. I think I could get away with hooking everything up to a my wireless network at some point but that would require investing more money into my technology setup which I’m not prepared to do yet. The tech I use is still kind of old but I don’t believe in upgrading my tech anymore unless something is truly not working anymore. Thats a big switch from just a couple years ago when I needed the latest and greatest gadget on the block. My entire setup except for my router and my monitor (both of which needed replacing) is over 5 years old now and the fact that they’re all still working quite well is pretty amazing.

There aren’t a lot of opportunities for me to use my desktop PC but its nights like this that let me enjoy the power I used to have when I ruled my office and the equipment in it.

Looking for a smaller tablet

The tablet wars a definitely heating up this year with some strong contenders in the form of Amazon and Google coming out with some great tablets in the form of the Kindle Fire and the Nexus 7. I’m already an owner of the iPad 1 and iPad 2 and I don’t regret either purchase. The next tablet purchase actually isn’t for me, it’s more for my wife. Recently my wife has really gotten into reading ebooks but she doesn’t like my iPads because they’re too heavy and too big for her to use while she reads in bed. I can sympathize with this because I don’t read in bed much either with my iPad 2. My wife mostly reads her books on her iPhone but she has recently said that it would be nice to have a bigger screen to read her books but not be as big as an iPad. In addition to the iPads, we have a Kindle 3 that I bought for my wife a year or so ago that she used to use but since you need a light to read the e-ink screen she doesn’t use it as much as she used to.

Enter my new dilemma. There are going to be 3 tablets for me to consider (well possibly 3) for the fall or the Christmas season at the latest and this new tablet wouldn’t be for me but for my wife to read books. From what I hear the two “new” tablets that might be coming out that I’m going to have to consider will be the Amazon Kindle Fire 2 or an iPad Mini. I almost know for a certainty that the Amazon Kindle Fire 2 is a certainty but it’s all a matter of what version of the software is on the Kindle Fire and what it will being to the table. I’m partial to the a Kindle Fire since a lot of the books that we buy and read use the Kindle app. What concerns me the most is upgradeability of the new Fire a d how long it will be usable beyond a year. Right now the iPad Mini is just a rumor and I don’t even know if this will be a reality. What is intriguing is if this becomes a reality. I am pretty heavily invested into the Apple ecosystem right now with the iPhones and iPads that I have currently. I an iPad Mini became a reality I could use all of my apps on it that I have already purchased over the last 3 years.

My current front runner is the Google Nexus 7 that was just released. While I am not the biggest fan of Android devices given my previous experience with them, I have to admit that the Nexus 7 definitely fits the bill. Right now it’s at a decent price point and delivers everything I want in a tablet, it has different ebook apps which I need including the Kindle app. It has the right form factor that I’m looking for, but the only thing it might not have is the familiarity that my wife will probably want since she has been an iPhone user for so long now. I think I can wait a couple more months to see what Apple decides to release to market regarding a new iPhone and a possible iPad Mini. If the Kindle Fire 2 is really cheap, and I mean cheaper than anything from Apple and Google, then I might get that. Right now only time will tell!

The Death of my Desktop PC (almost)

My five year old HP Pavilion Desktop is slowly but surely starting to die. I received a call from my wife today and she said that my computer was asking to go back to one of my system restore points. I can’t even remember the last time I used a system restore point so I’m a little afraid to do it but I most likely will do it just to see what happens. In addition to that issue I think that the video card is starting to fail me. I think two weeks ago we were using the desktop and all of a sudden the video blacked out on the screen. I did numerous reboots but it wouldn’t work. Luckily I know how to take my computers apart so I ripped the video card out, got rid of 3 years worth of dust and put it back in and it seems to be working ok but I know it’s only a matter of time before it totally fails me. I think just 2 years ago I replaced one of the hard drives too since I know the total storage is now order 1 terabyte.

If my desktop dies, I’ll have a choice to make. I either replace it or I don’t because I have a MacBook Pro that I bought last year. I like having my desktop because I hook up the Bose sound system my wife gave to me and the 23″ screen is nice as well. On the other hand I don’t really use the desktop anymore so if I got rid of it, it would be the first time since I was 16 that I didn’t own a Windows based computer that wasn’t owned by work. I still run Windows on my work computers but at home I would be reduced to my MacBook and my iPads which isn’t really a bad thing. What I might do is finally get a NAS so I could unload all the music and video that is sitting on my MacBooks hard drive.

One option that might remain open is waiting for Windows 8 and getting one of those new Surface computers that Microsoft unveiled this year. My desktop would have to last that long and die at the right time but I’m generally not wanting for more computer power. I’m also doing a lot less on my computers and I can do most of what I want on my iPad now. I guess we’ll see what happens. If anything I’ll salvage the hard drives and recycle the tower but keep my Bose and my monitor so I can use it for my next computer or some other device that can use the parts.