Boston Linux & UNIX was originally founded in 1994 as part of The Boston Computer Society. We meet on the third Wednesday of each month at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in Building E51.

BLU Discuss list archive

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

[Discuss] how much can i use a smartphone as a computer?

On 09/09/2015 01:09 PM, Chris Markiewicz wrote:
> My personal list of reasons I would keep my smartphone over going back 
> to something I only have to charge once a week [...]

I don't think a "smartphone" is going to be a good replacement for much 
of your current technology, I don't think you want to start programming 
on something smaller than a notebook, rather I think it will let you do 
new stuff.

I have a smallish Android phone and a small Android tablet. Rarely do I 
talk on my phone but I never go a day without using both for something. 
I frequently go days without talking on the phone.

Both are "Nexus" models so bloatware is not really a problem, and 
out-of-the-box I only have to trust Google's software, I don't have to 
also trust add-ons from the manufacturer, plus add-ons from the carrier 
(and with some phones, it seems other middlemen who are pre-loading 
malware!). Unfortunately the current collection of Google Nexus models 
is very limited.

On a daily basis I mostly use my Androids for "Hangouts" (Google's 
texting program, etc.), Twitter (mostly as a customized hard news 
service), and listening to distant radio stations that stream on the 
internet (real radio stations for me, not subscription services). I also 
read news and e-books, but not that much. (My e-paper Kindle is much 
nicer for book reading, and my notebook is nicer for NYT reading.)

I use the camera occasionally as a way to "take notes". Amazing how 
often a trip to Home Depot starts with a photo detailing some aspect the 
problem I want to solve.

Google Maps might be nice on the desktop, but it is /particularly/ 
useful in a portable format. I also have an off-line map program that 
works when I am out of cell range.

Web searches are also nice on the desktop, but when out and about they 
take on a new usefulness. Similarly, we like Open Table for finding 
restaurants that are appealing, near, open now (or when we want to eat), 
and have room for us.

Very nice to occasionally use my phone as a network connection for other 
devices. (My tablet only has wifi, no cell data.)

A couple weeks ago we went to DC on Amtrak for a very quick trip. From 
referring to maps, to searching maps, to ordinary web searches, to 
finding a restaurant, to being a wifi hotspot, my "phone" and tablet 
were so useful. But I don't know that I ever /talked/ on my so-called 
phone that weekend.

-kb, the Kent who also brought his Linux notebook, for trying to get 
some programming done on the train.

P.S. I don't use my Android devices for banking or brokerage accounts. 
These enormous, new OSs are too big a target, too scary. I'll stick with 
my Linux notebook for that; I run far less "interesting" software there. 
Also I don't use any password managers on my daily phone or tablet for 
the same reason that I don't trust them, rather I have a very cheap 
little brand-x Chinese Android phone dedicated to being a password safe, 
with nearly no software is installed on it, and I never let it connect 
to the internet nor to any cell systems--I don't need to trust it that 
much if I keep it incommunicado. (More likely I will use my Linux 
notebook to look up passwords. Good passphrases are hard to enter on a 
little touch screen.)

BLU is a member of BostonUserGroups
BLU is a member of BostonUserGroups
We also thank MIT for the use of their facilities.

Valid HTML 4.01! Valid CSS!

Boston Linux & Unix /