Thanks, but I already have a tablet

Recently, I got an email from my local T-Mobile representative advertising that the HTC Flyer, which… wait for it… you can write on.  You can edit documents!  You can record audio with notes!  You can manage your calendar!  You can write. on. the. screen.  Oh. my. God.


I’ve been doing all this and more since 2005 on my Lenovo Tablet PC.  Forgive me, world, but I’m frustrated with the idea that writing on the screen is something new.  I’m frustrated by the idea that we’re actually having to decide between touch, pen, and built-in physical keyboard.  I have all 3 in one machine.  Will that machine fit in my purse?  No, but I like a small purse and I already have a smart phone.

I work in education.  I’ve taught with technology for 12 years and started my school’s one-to-one tablet PC initiative in 2005.  I got the 55th tablet IBM/Lenovo made.  When I selected the Tablet PC for my school, we didn’t lose any functionality.   The Tablet PC took the laptop and added the ability to capture electronic ink without a separate graphic device.   We didn’t lose anything, but we gained a world of technological capability.  With our most recent round of Lenovo Tablet PC’s we gained touch screen capability – a triple threat of the tech world.

The current crop of tablet devices all seem represent some loss.  iPad – no integrated pen, and no keyboard, and no easy projection capability.   HTC tablet – pen is separate, no built-in keyboard.  I don’t like clutter and I like to have all the option to do anything I need to do wherever I am.  So, I don’t need a third device with limited capability.  Maybe I’m unusual (heck, there’s no maybe about it), but I’m happy with one computer and my smartphone.

To be clear, I’m not hating on the iPad, Samsung Galaxy, HTC Flyer or on people who love them.  I’m just saying that I’m not going to drop an all-inclusive technology that I know works for me in favor of something with more limited capacity. I’m intrigued by the idea of a smaller, lighter, G4 device that integrates all of these things and Windows 8.

Folks, it’s not that new.  After all, I’ve been able to write on my screen since ’05.


Hang up and…

Once, in college, I was given a tiara.  I was given the title “Queen of Multitasking.”  It was a very small ceremony and the tiara was made of carbon atoms from my Organic Chem molecule building kit.  So, know before you read the rest of this that I have been known to multitask.  Often.  I once gave a full AP Computer Science tutorial while working out at the school gym on an elliptical machine.  I kid you not.

That said, I really want people to hang up.  You do not need to be using a cell phone at all times.

I saw a guy biking down a fairly busy street the other day.  He was texting.  With both hands.  He clearly has better balance than I do, but this just seems unwise.

A few weeks ago, I waited several minutes to get cheddar slices at Target.  Why? Because the woman standing in front of the cheese was on the phone oblivious to the polite attempts of others to reach the cheese. This trend continued in the cleaning products and in produce.  If you want to shop with a friend, bring her with you.  Or better yet, go have coffee and leave the grocery store to those of us who can fill our carts and be out in less than 20 minutes.

Other places that your shouldn’t be on the phone:

Fitting Rooms:  Being trapped in a cubicle with fluorescent lighting and then having to listen to you talk about your hernia is adding insult to injury.

The bathroom: Seriously.  No one wants to talk to you while you do your business.  No one.

In Line:  Any line at all.  I do not want to listen to the details of your argument with your friend, husband, wife, neighbor, co-worker, boss, cat, dog or potted plant.

Stores:  While shopping, phone calls should be limited to one of the three following calls:

  1. “Honey, was I supposed to get apple juice and oranges or orange juice and apples?”  “Okay. Thanks. Bye”
  2. “Can I call you back in 15 minutes?”  “Okay. Thanks. Bye.”
  3. “You have a wrong number.” “Okay. Thanks. Bye.”

Restaurants: Just eat.  You talk with your mouth full when you’re on the phone.  You think you don’t, but you do.

Bonus rudeness points to anyone talking on a speaker phone in public.

And to quote my husband, “If I have to think, ‘hang up and walk,’ you’re doing something wrong.”

So, what does my rant have to do with tech/life balance?  Tech isn’t life.  Needing to be connected all the time isn’t balance.  Simple daily tasks can just happen.  Save your multitasking for when you’re not disturbing others.

Hang up and…

Note: This post was originally part of my previous blog entitle “Tech Life Balance.” and this year’s Super Bowl ad

Note: This post is from a previous blog about teaching technology at an all girls school.  That blog was entitled “Girls. Technology. Action!” and ran during 2008.

When will the advertisers and executives at learn?  Women design websites.  Women own domain names.  Women buy web hosting.  In case there is any doubt, let’s visit the statistics.  This moment, The Center for Women’s Business Research, reports that 10.4 million firms in the US are considered “women owned.”  Among women who own businesses, 83% are “personally involved in selecting and purchasing technology” for their businesses.

Taking all of this into account, I can’t figure out why keeps trying to use breasts to sell web services.   Just last month, I had to select a web services provider from which to buy two SSL certificates. was the cheapest option, but they aren’t interested in my money – I’m a woman.  I refuse to fund this company and encourage you to withhold your funds as well.  If we want young women to consider careers in technology, this type of company sets us back and mocks our goals.   Let me be clear, my issue here is not with the use of sex to sell a product.  My issue is that blatantly ignores the fact that women could be their customers.  So, I won’t be one of theirs.  Digicert, here I come with my business and credit card!