Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Novelty vs. Utility vs. Reality pt.6


Yes, I’ve been avoiding reality.  This whole thing started over my Spring Break, when I had all this time to sit around and browse craigslist for toys.  I traded my beloved Viliv S5 for a Sony Vaio P.  The Viliv was one of my longest running toys at almost 9 months before I got rid of it.  I would have happily kept it, but this opportunity to trade it for the P came up and I went for it.  I have gotten more into writing since discovering, and had been pining for a keyboard.  The Viliv was great for content consumption, but I found that even for just email, I would set it down and go to the laptop to type.  I enjoyed the ability to handwrite notes into Evernote, but I’m still faster typing that trying to get stuff in with handwriting recognition.  I enjoy the keyboard on the P so much that I finally started the blog I’ve had in my head for so long.

But then, reality hits.  As much as I love the Vaio P, it still can’t replace my hackintoshed HP Mini 311 as a “work” computer.  Now that I’m back to full time teaching and heading into the busy season of performing, I have less time to play with toys and need to get more directly to work.  I’ve taken the P to the studio a few times, but didn’t really use it.  It doesn’t run Smart Music.  As it turns out, Smart Music is the one tool that really gets used regularly.  No matter how neat it would be to have music on a lightweight tablet than can be set on the stand, I will still have to haul the laptop if a students needs to play with accompaniment.  I’ve also had some requests to try more assessments.  It would seem that some students enjoyed that more than I had thought.  Smart Music has fairly hefty processor requirements, which is rather annoying.  It won’t run on Atom hardware unless it’s over OSX, like my hackintoshed Mini 311. 

The Mini is over 3 pounds, which may not seem like a lot in the context of laptops, but I really feel it my teaching bag.  I’ve managed to trim down the amount of music I carry with me, but I still carry a heavy bag already.  I can throw in my nook or even the Vaio P without noticing the difference.  The 3 pounds of Mini does make a difference.  That means, I would ideally find a device that’s under 2 pounds with enough horsepower to drive Smart Music.  I’m not sure why that extra pound makes such a difference to me, but it does.  Ideally, it would be a slate that could be set (safely) on the music stand.  As it is now, getting the Mini to music height for students is not easy.  9” screens can display Smart Music readably, but 11” is better for PDF sheet music.  Actually, a Smart Music iPad app would be fit all those requirements.  Let’s see if Make Music can get an app out before some hardware manufacturer can build a Windows box that will do it. 

No comments:

Post a Comment