Skip to main content

An iPad for all occasions

I have been a hardware geek as far back as I can remember ... and I have been predicting the iPad 13in for about 4+ years. At the time I was the director of a small software development  department for a payments company headquartered in Alabama. Since I was responsible for everything that had a CPU in it I also contributed to the design of the call center. At the time we were experiencing rapid growth with not much of a disaster recovery plan.  My hope was that Apple was going to expand their tablet offering so that we could (a) deploy a wifi network anywhere we needed it to be including just generally remote with a VPN (b) in-house we could reduce the cost of wiring phone, power, and wired networking (c) the enterprise support for managing users and remote destruction of corporate assets was a huge plus (d) by looping Apple or our hardware leasing company into the DR plan we could have hardware at the ready for on demand deployment to the DR location.
And now here is the iPad Pro in all of it's 13in goodness.
While the iPad of 2010 would have been sufficient the iPad Pro has a lot to offer.  The CPU, RAM and Storage are good. It also has better support for multiple foreground applications... and I'm certain all of the other enterprise features are still there.

But there are some weaknesses.

  • Since it is not supporting the USB-C standard we can expect to see a refresh in the next few releases. Or at least yet another dongle.
  • Lightening is a fine connector, however, the HDMI and DisplayPort adapters are sub par. There are issues with resolution control of external displays. (a) there is only support for one at a time (b) does not add audio (c) mirror mode only (d) no touch.
  • If I buy the 128GB pro then I need a lot of iCloud storage for backups.
When comparing the iPad Pro to the Google Pixel my intuition make some recommendations:
  • the operating cost between apps and cloud storage leans to the Pixel. iCloud costs $20 per month and over 3 yeas that's $720. Google normally charges $10 per month or half of Apple's price. Just on that alone that negates the $300 price difference between the iPad and Pixel.
  • The iPad only has the one port.  The Pixel has 2x USB-C and 2x USB-2 and 1 SD card slot. The Pixel even offers a slow charge from a USB to USB-C adapter cord. (but it's really slow) The one iPad port means that accessing media cards might require disconnecting the external monitor etc...
  • And of course there is the 10s boot time on the Pixel
  • Lastly you can also install any alternative to ChromeOS.
  • not forget beta and dev modes... so much easier than Apple.
The Pixel does not have tablet mode. Ratts! Actually who cares? I have an Asus Flip and it's just too f*cking heavy to use it like a Kindle Whitepaper.

What does my professional hardware look like:
  • all of my day to day interaction with my development servers, in the cloud, is thru my ASUS Chromebox [MU075 16GB RAM] (twin 27" monitors)
  • When I have to work on the road, library, or Starbucks I use my Pixel (sometimes around the house too)
  • My ASUS flip is very rarely used. It's a rescue machine when I'm remote or when I visit family and friends. I can never tell when I'll be called on to rescue someone.
I rarely use my MacBook or iPad; although I recently deployed a dashboard on an iPad so I had to use an older device that I want to give my kids.

I wouldn't mind a better Pixel that get's closer to the iPad Pro but I hope Google does not go too far.

UPDATE - I just looked up the actual pricing of the iPad Pro.  First of all Apple does not offer a 64GB model. Only 32 and 128GB models. I would like to choose the 32GB model for comparison, however, many of the ChromeOS models start at 4GB storage so 32GB storage for the iPad Pro model would to be too optimistic. Keep in mind that iOS keeps everything local and that the applications are mainly Objective-C binaries. While the ChromeOS applications are mainly javascript, css and html which offers a higher compression ratio. (android uses java and other languages)... so the point I was making here is that the base price for an iPad Pro is going to be $1300 for the 128GB iPad with the pen and keyboard. I still get more use-cases out of my Pixel.


Popular posts from this blog

Entry level cost for CoreOS+Tectonic

CoreOS and Tectonic start their pricing at 10 servers. Managed CoreOS starts at $1000 per month for those first 10 servers and Tectonic is $5000 for the same 10 servers. Annualized that is $85K or at least one employee depending on your market. As a single employee company I'd rather hire the employee. Specially since I only have 3 servers.

The pricing is biased toward the largest servers with the largest capacities; my dual core 32GB i5 IntelNuc can never be mistaken for a 96-CPU dual or quad core DELL

If CoreOS does not figure out a different barrier of entry they are going to follow the Borland path to obscurity.

UPDATE 2017-10-30: With gratitude the CoreOS team has provided updated information on their pricing, however, I stand by my conclusion that the effective cost is lower when you deploy monster machines. The cost per node of my 1 CPU Intel NUC is the same as a 96 CPU server when you get beyond 10 nodes. I'll also reiterate that while my pricing notes are not currently…

eGalax touch on default Ubuntu 14.04.2 LTS

I have not had success with the touch drivers as yet.  The touch works and evtest also seems to report events, however, I have noticed that the button click is not working and no matter what I do xinput refuses to configure the buttons correctly.  When I downgraded to ubuntu 10.04 LTS everything sort of worked... there must have been something in the kermel as 10.04 was in the 2.6 kernel and 4.04 is in the 3.x branch.

One thing ... all of the documentation pointed to the wrong website or one in Taiwanese. I was finally able to locate the drivers again: (it would have been nice if they provided the install instructions in text rather than PDF)
Please open the document "EETI_eGTouch_Programming_Guide" under the Guide directory, and follow the Guidline to install driver.
download the appropriate versionunzip the fileread the programming manual And from that I'm distilling to the following: execute the answer all of the questio…

Prometheus vs Bosun

In conclusion... while Bosun(B) is still not the ideal monitoring system neither is Prometheus(P).


I am running Bosun in a Docker container hosted on CoreOS. Fleet service/unit files keep it running. However in once case I have experienced at least one severe crash as a result of a disk full condition. That it is implemented as part golang, java and python is an annoyance. The MIT license is about the only good thing.

I am trying to integrate Prometheus into my pipeline but losing steam fast. The Prometheus design seems to desire that you integrate your own cache inside your application and then allow the server to scrape the data, however, if the interval between scrapes is shorter than the longest transient session of your application then you need a gateway. A place to shuttle your data that will be a little more persistent.

(1) storing the data in my application might get me started more quickly
(2) getting the server to pull the data might be more secure
(3) using a push g…