Pointless Tab

What do you do when you are trying to keep symmetry in your device, but only have 2 speakers and a volume rocker to fill the spaces? If you’re HP, you’ll hide the serial number barcode on a popout tab in this fourth space.

Naturally, they could have done something useful with the space. Placing a SD (or micro SD) card slot in this location comes to mind. Possibly, this was going to hold the SIM for the 3G version that was never released. Regardless, it is still odd.

-John Havlik

[end of transmission, stay tuned]

Cisco Valet Connector (Model No: AM10)

It seems like whenever Woot is selling a very cheap, or somewhat decent USB WiFi adapter I’ll end up picking one up. In the past I’ve picked up two Netgear WPN111 USB WiFi adapters, and a Netgear WG111t. I’ve never been a fan of either model, but they did the job and were super cheap. A few weeks back, Woot had the CISCO valet connector (Model No: AM10), in new condition, for a decent price (almost went for 2).

Continue reading

Thoughts on the HP TouchPad

Two weeks ago, HP managed to create intense interest in a device that was more or less ignored by consumers. Slickdeals redefined the SD effect, taking down every merchant that offered the fire sale price. Several oversold their stock. One in particular, way oversold through Amazon. I attempted to purchase one from this vendor. Like the many other slickdealers, my order was cancelled. Unlike the others, I was only trying to purchase one tablet.

Continue reading

Flash on the Droid

In the past few weeks Verizon pushed out an Android update to Droid users that allowed the installation of Adobe’s Flash Player for the Android browser. I received my update about a week ago—the first update that actually pushed to my Droid properly. While the Flash Player application/plugin is still installed on my Droid, I have already disabled it in the browser.

If I were to sum up my opinion on Adobe Flash player on Android in one sentence it would be: “You forget how much you did not miss Flash until you install it.” Flash in itself is not too slow, or so bad (when used correctly). However, the constant misuse of it makes it more of a liability than asset.

The Good

The best thing about Flash player is that the Android browser lets you selectively disable it—oh wait, that’s an Android feature not Flash feature. Ok, so you can now play those flash games, see the flash charts (e.g. what WordPress.com stats use), and visit the flash based video sites that don’t have a native app. All of these are nice things. Finally, you now technically get a “full” web experience on an Android device—unlike the fruitier phones out there.

The Bad

Many websites with multiple flash objects run very slowly. Scrolling around on the page is slow on these sites. Thought, pages with a ton of animated GIF images are no different.

The Ugly

Advertisements. I understand that content producers need to get paid, and that advertisements provide this income. However, I can not stand intrusive advertisements. There are so many poorly written, flash advertisements on many websites. The browser feels lethargic on these websites.

Flash, in general, is a victim of its own success. It is so popular that it is frequently misused (and attacked), which is the source of many of my gripes against it. Admittedly, this is better than people abusing CSS and JavaScript, as I can actually disable Flash (websites can be quite bland without CSS). The verdict? As I stated in the beginning, I have disabled Flash on my Droid. I feel it is worth keeping installed, but it is not worth having it enabled all the time.

-John Havlik

[end of transmission, stay tuned]

Froyo on the Motorola Droid

So, Motorola and Verizon rolled out Android 2.2 onto the Droid at the beginning of the month. My Droid never received the update. This did not surprise me much—I had to do a forced 2.1 upgrade earlier this year. Motorola’s Froyo mix brings some some cool new things and some pitfalls, and at the same time, it is missing some features.

Continue reading