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January 17, 2014  4:24 AM

Cross-Platform Applications Save Time, Therefore Money

Robin Robin "Roblimo" Miller Profile: Robin "Roblimo" Miller

chromeI use Google’s Chrome browser in Windows, Mac, and Android, and I use the (essentially identical) Chromium browser in Linux. Yes, I’m trusting Google with passwords and other important data, but the convenience is exquisite. I have the same bookmarks on all my computers, from my biggest desktop to my smallest cell phone. Some of my work is done for hourly pay, and some is done by the job (i.e. I get a flat price for each Cheap Computing post, no matter how long it takes me to write). When I’m working by the job, speed increases my hourly rate. So yes, time is money. And fast, cross-platform apps save me time, which means they save me money.
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January 6, 2014  10:33 PM

Why I’m Becoming Obsessed with Android

Robin Robin "Roblimo" Miller Profile: Robin "Roblimo" Miller

android-nexus7The Android OS, aside from (Yay!) being a Linux variant, may be the fastest-growing operating system in the world today. Add a bluetooth keyboard to a 7″ Android tablet, and you have a mini-notebook computer for less than $200. Add a wide-angle lens to that tablet or an Android phone with a decent built-in camera, and you have a pocket camcorder that may not be very good in low light conditions, but is fine for recording interviews at trade shows and other common video tasks. Apple’s iPhone and iPad are unquestionably the BMWs of handheld devices, but look at the cars on the road. You see a whole lot of Hyundais and Fords and Toyatas for every BMW you spot. The reason for this is price. You can now buy a decent Android phone for well under $100, and good Android tablets currently cost $150 or less, with the price point for a name-brand Android tablet with a 5MP (or better) camera heading rapidly for $100.
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January 2, 2014  5:04 PM

Acer Closing Out ‘Limited Stock’ of 7″ Android Tablets for $99

Robin Robin "Roblimo" Miller Profile: Robin "Roblimo" Miller

A110_mainI’m on a lot of “deals” email lists, including Acer’s. Today I got an email from Acer that said they had ‘limited stock’ of their Iconia A110-07g08u Android Tablets on sale for $99. I’ve seen less-expensive tablets, and I’ve seen tablets with better specs, but this Acer deal is about as low as I’ve ever seen a “name brand” tablet. I bought a new Asus tablet last week, and everyone in my family who is old enough to use a tablet has one, so I (sigh) can’t take advantage of this deal. But maybe *you* can, if you move fast enough.


December 30, 2013  7:21 PM

The Online Subscriptions Are Too Damn High (and other leftover thoughts from 2013)

Robin Robin "Roblimo" Miller Profile: Robin "Roblimo" Miller

2013-Calendar-Printable-38When the Washington Post first talked about setting up a paywall and asked readers what they thought, I said that their projected price of $79 per year was too damn high, and that I’d probably become a paid subscriber if it got down to $5 a month or less. I knew a way to read any article on the Post website without paying for it, but it was tedious. I was willing to pay — but not a large amount for an out-of-town paper, even though it was from the area where I lived before moving to Florida and was one of the most politically influential newspapers in America — and one that has paid me to write (freelance) for it, too.
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December 24, 2013  6:33 PM

Between Now and the New Year is a Great Time to Buy Cars — and Enterprise Computers

Robin Robin "Roblimo" Miller Profile: Robin "Roblimo" Miller

buy-now-blueYes, there are after-Christmas sales at virtually every big box and department store. And there are gift return mobs, too. It takes a special kind of person to shove through those crowds, and I am not that person. The same items will be on sale, probably at deeper discounts, in early 2014. So let’s talk about cars and enterprise computers, both of which are often discounted in the last week of the year.
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December 16, 2013  9:53 PM

Will Android Laptops Ever Dominate the Market?

Robin Robin "Roblimo" Miller Profile: Robin "Roblimo" Miller

google-android-tabletYou’ve read articles about how PC and notebook computer sales are dropping. So have I. And there are corresponding articles about how smartphones and tablets are selling like crazy. I’m willing to go along with this trend and make a tablet my next computer purchase, along with a keyboard for it. I’m so ready for a tabputer (a word I just made up, but probably isn’t original) that my wife laughs at me when I try to touch my current laptop’s screen as I would my phone or tablet screen, and how (or so she says) I look puzzled when nothing happens.
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December 9, 2013  9:09 PM

Tech Gifts Don’t Need to be Expensive to be Appreciated

Robin Robin "Roblimo" Miller Profile: Robin "Roblimo" Miller

41tTRrnHCEL._AA160_Christmas is upon us once again, along with many other solstice holidays, so many of us are in a gift-giving mood. Being tech-oriented people, we are likely to buy tech-type gifts for at least a few family members and friends. Expensive ones? Possibly. The stores are full of laptops and tablets and HDTVs and other items that run $400 or more. But what if we’re on a pinched budget? Or looking for small, simple stocking-stuffers instead of “major” gift items. There are still many tech gift possibilities out there.
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November 27, 2013  9:45 PM

Happy Christmas Shopping Season!

Robin Robin "Roblimo" Miller Profile: Robin "Roblimo" Miller

99cent‘Tis Black Friday, Let’s run to the mall,
Trample or get trampled, one and all.
Buy the specials — and some items
That are seriously overpriced,
Fa la la lall.

~~~~~

Ah, yes. It’s Christmas time — or “the solstice holiday” or Hanukah or whatever time your religion or personal preference dictates. In any case, it’s the season when Americans run out and buy lots of… stuff…. for family and friends.
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November 21, 2013  6:49 PM

The Best Linux Certification Exam Value

Robin Robin "Roblimo" Miller Profile: Robin "Roblimo" Miller

lpiRed Hat Certifications are the Gold Standard among Linux certifications. The problem with them is, unless your employer is paying, taking them can suck up all of your gold, and then some. There’s always the age-old question of whether certifications are worth having at all, but let’s assume for a moment they are. In that case, and assuming limited personal funds, I recommend Linux Professional Institute (LPI) certifications.
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November 14, 2013  12:17 AM

Why Tablets are Replacing Notebook Computers

Robin Robin "Roblimo" Miller Profile: Robin "Roblimo" Miller

acer I use two computing devices most of the time: a big old desktop PC for video capture and editing, and an Android phone for mobile web-browsing, checking email on the go, and as an electronic replacement for the paperback books I used to carry with me nearly every place I went. Now and then I carry a sub-notebook with an 11″ screen. But what would I do if I decided to replace my little notebook? I’d probably get a tablet. As will my daughter Katina, who needs to replace the now-broken laptop they’ve been using to run her husband’s business when they work from home instead from their office.
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