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December 2009
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February 2010

January 2010

In Praise of the Unitasker

Later today Apple is expected to announce a tablet computer that will CHANGE THE WORLD! It’ll play videos, it’ll play music, you’ll be able to read magazines on it. Plus it is going to save the publishing industry, the TV business, and maybe… just maybe… the human race.

I have no idea what Apple will or won’t announce today, but a lot of smart people who I respect are predicting an Apple tablet. And some of them think that tablet spells doom for Amazon’s Kindle (and one supposes Barnes and Noble’s nook, the Sony line of Readers, and the host of off brand eReaders announced at CES this year). Why? Because the Kindle, and its ilk, are examples of what geeky types call unitaskers.

What the heck is a unitasker? A device, or object, that is designed primarily to do one thing, and one thing alone, is a unitasker. Examples of common unitaskers include:

  • Books
  • Glasses
  • DVD Players (well, at least they used to be unitaskers)
  • Blackberries (come on, no one does anything on their Blackberry other than email)

Those are just a few I thought of off the top of my head. The tablet, and computers in general, are not unitaskers… they are Swiss Army Knives; one device that can do lots of stuff pretty well.

image from www.flickr.comI say the Kindle’s death knell isn’t upon us. Sure, the tablet (or whatever the heck it will be) is going to be able to do more than a Kindle (despite Amazon’s slightly odd SDK announcement). Keep in mind that I really like the Kindle. I wrote a book about them, I own three of them, and over the last year I’ve probably done about 85% of my book reading on an eReading device of one sort or another. I am not the typical user.

I am a typical reader (ok, that’s not true since I am pretty sure I read more than most folks… but I am a typical book lover. Read ‘em. Buy ‘em. Love ‘em.). I’m a voracious reader, and I am crazy about books. I’ve been reading for a long time (my mother tells me she taught me to read when I was around 4 years olds by reading the street signs to me as we drove around, and I haven’t stopped reading since) and what I really love about a good book (or even a bad book, frankly) is getting lost in the prose. The only thing I want to concentrate on when reading a book are the words on the page or, in this case, on the screen. I don’t want to know that I have a new email waiting, I don’t need a popup to tell me that my newsreader has been updated… I just want to READ.

When I’m reading on my Kindle the Kindle just sort of disappears. It fades into the background and allows the book to be the star.

An Apple tablet will offer me up infinite distractions from reading, and if you ask me that’s a bug, not a feature.


2009 in pictures (and video!)

Last year you got 2008 in pictures, and now you get 2009 in pictures (aren't you lucky!):

January 2009

I went to Macworld (I didn't know it at the time, but it might have been my last Macworld trip! Though who knows what the future will bring):

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I took a picture wearing bunny ears that I use for my Twitter picture:

I'm a hoppy bunny

I started my new job at Comcast and took a picture of the view from my office (I'm not in that office any more, so the view has changed):

View from my office

February

I bought some candy (must have had a slow February!).

Vanilla & Cherry Tootsie Fruit Rolls

March

Took my picture with the World Series trophy.

Scott with World Series Trophy

April

Saw the cherry blossoms in DC:

Crowds

Got my fancy new business cards:

My business card

Gruber admitted he has a man-crush on me (you have to read the Flickr comments to get this one):

Silver Daring Fireball shirt

May

Drank some Pepsi with real sugar in it:

Pepsi throwback

Went to Lancaster and visited Central Market:

Marisa in Central Market

Took this cool picture:

Diebold

June

Bought my wedding ring (Marisa's took a bit more effort):

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Visited a bunch of cool places in Philly:

Looking into the old room

July

I had a lovely 4th:

Lobsters went on vacation before I did:

Lobster vacation

August

Marisa bought me a nice keychain:

I like you

September

I saw a tiny frog:

Ahh, right, I got married:

The Happy Couple

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October

We went on our honeymoon:

The Inn

I had no cell service in Vermont (grr!):

No Service

I had lots of pancakes and maple syrup:

Maple Sugar and Vermont Spice

I had a cow (HAHAHAAHA):

Moo 2

We stayed at a fancy pants resort that Marisa really liked (against her hippy roots):

Huge cabin

We visited Albany and saw the Egg:

The Egg

We slept in an Airstream (wouldn't recommend it):

North to Alaska

We were super cute:

The Married Couple!

I went back to work and created this video:

November

I bought yet another camera and took this neat picture:

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I broke my iPhone and had to get a 3GS to replace it:

This is why I got an iPhone 3GS

Barcamp! W00t.

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I saw some 3D stuff:

About to enjoy the Comcast Holiday Spectactular in 3D

December

I enjoyed the Yulelog in HD:

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And got some geeky ornaments:

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