Talking Tech

It has been a while since we’ve had a conversation about technology here. At present I use a number of devices that are antiquated if not obsolete, including a laptop which I rarely use because the battery doesn’t charge and the hard drive freezes if it is on for too long. And so I hope to at least take a close look at some more recent developments in the near future, with the aim of eventually replacing items that are bordering on becoming junk with new ones that are at least as useful if not indeed more so.

I’d value input from those who have used various newer devices and have opinions about them. People who have used netbooks or Kindles, for instance, and those who have used an iPod touch for reading ebooks or running Bible-related software. If one gets an iPod touch, would it mean you have no real need for a Kindle? How well does the new Kindle deal with pdfs of various sorts? Can you use it for writing effectively or does it let you down if you use it for anything other than its primary purpose of reading books? And when it comes to software or apps for Hebrew, Greek, Syriac and other Biblical, ancient, and foreign-language texts, which ones have you tried and which have you been most satisfied with?

I presume that sharing such experiences can benefit not only me but a wide audience, and so I invite anyone with any knowledge or experience of any technology current or soon-to-appear (like the iPad) to speak their mind. Let’s talk tech!

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  • Tony

    A Sunday school class at my church has started experimenting with software such as Skype to bring people who are unable to be physically present into the conversation.A few thoughts on the Apple technology. * The New York Times' live-blog of the iPad event listed several features not present on the iPad that I find baffling–most notably, a camera. Still the new iBooks app sounds impressive and its use of the open epub format is to be complimented. * I use an iPhone. A free core feature in the operating system is Zoom, a screen magnification software. As someone with a visual impairment, I appreciate this feature enormously. I'm able to use the cellular phone in ways others have for years. I still can't type effectively on such a small keyboard. A bluetooth Braille keyboard for it would be great. * I still do not see the need in the iTunes software because it adds software to my computer that could easily be done by existing software on my computer–file browser, web browser, and music player.I also enjoy the Flock web browser for its "Web 2.0" smarts.

  • TB

    I excited about the iPad for a few reasons;- The books store looks great. I'm especially interested in text books getting in there, as my kids carry backpacks that are far, far too heavy and they're going to need their own computers for school soon anyway.- The $499 price tag. Dropping our two iPhones and taking the free phones that come with a phone contract would free up money spent now on the digital part of our contract that could go toward paying for the tablets. Don't really use 3G that much when there's wifi almost everywhere we need it.- All our iPhone aps would work on it, and we like our iPhone aps.- The larger screen.

  • James

    iPad is it! Watch the video at Apple.comI believe it is going to replace almost everything we do, and improve it as well. Just amazing!

  • Arcaemede

    I use Kindle for iPod almost every day for work and my passion of ancient history and Bible related topics. The iPad looks fabulous but I'm going to wait to upgrade because it still suffers from the iPod/iPhone limitation of only running one thing at a time.

  • James F. McGrath

    This is very useful. Arcaemede, do you know if the issue you mention is similar to the 'one program at a time' situation on a Pocket PC? Or do you actually have to close a program to open a new one? On a Pocket PC, whatever you run fills the screen, but if you then open Word or Internet Explorer again (for instance), it still is just as you last left it – unless you actually go into "settings" and stop it running.I'm also intrigued by the Kindle's free 3G.Has anyone tried taking notes for a book review while reading a book on Kindle, or jotting down notes in lecture preparation, or anything similar? If that is easy enough to do on a Kindle, that may make it a very attractive option.

  • TB

    iPhone software 4.0 (it's at 3.x now) will allegedly address multitasking.I imagine it was too hard to address for the phone, but maybe not for the pad

  • Tony

    The iPhone will require you close a program before you open another, but most of the apps will allow you to return to it just as you left it.I imagine the iPad has long term implications. In a future that is sure to have smaller Solid State Drives with greater capacity at lower costs, it is conceivable one will be able to carry around one's iMac and then use a docking station with a keyboard, larger screen, etc. as needed.