Looking for advice on a Tablet for digital modes.

Discussion in 'Computers, Hardware, and Operating Systems' started by AB7RU, May 25, 2019.

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  1. WF7A

    WF7A Subscriber QRZ Page

  2. AC0GT

    AC0GT Ham Member QRZ Page

    Does your computer still have a parallel port? A SCSI port? The trend of removing ports goes way back. The old USB-A ports are going to be next on the chopping block, Apple is just a "wee bit" ahead of the curve on this.

    I like the new USB-C ports. They have no "up" or "down" and so plugging them in when there's little light or the view is obscured is much easier. USB-A is limited to 12 watts (perhaps a bit more if someone violated the spec) while USB-C can charge up a laptop, power a full sized display, and more. Any old USB-A device (again assuming they stayed within the spec) can be plugged into a USB-C port with an inexpensive adapter.

    If you cannot fathom buying another computer that lacks USB-A ports then I expect you will soon not be buying any new computers.
  3. KA8NCR

    KA8NCR Ham Member QRZ Page

    They didn't eliminate standard USB ports, they quit using deprecated ones.
    AC0GT likes this.
  4. KC9YGN

    KC9YGN Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    I "cannot fathom"? My, we do like to make unwarranted assumptions about people, don't we? I know exactly what USB-C is and I don't have a problem with it at all. I know the advantages and disadvantages. The last three computers I built all have USB-C, but they also have standard USB ports as well. The point is that none of the equipment I need to use on a regular basis works with USB-C without extra adaptors that I don't want to have to lug around with me. Until USB-C is embraced fully be accessory makers, I want a computer that will connect to the equipment I need to use. Period.
  5. AC0GT

    AC0GT Ham Member QRZ Page

    That is what you stated, is it not? I could have used a different word than "fathom", I suppose. Would "cannot savvy" be better?

    USB-C is a standard USB port. I'm assuming you mean USB-A.

    "Lug around"? I have a USB-A to USB-C adapter here on my desk next to a common Sharpie marker and both are about the same size and weight. I carried a laptop with me quite often and I kept a small zip-loc bag of accessories in my messenger bag. In that zip-loc bag was a power supply, mouse, and a few other items. The mouse had the USB-A style plug but I just stuck a cheap USB-C adapter on the plug and pretended it was just part of the mouse. If I felt I needed to keep a spare adapter then it'd put it in that zip-loc bag or in one of the pencil pockets of the messenger bag.

    By that logic laptops would still have parallel ports.
  6. AB7RU

    AB7RU Ham Member QRZ Page

    These manufacturers should be locking down the hardware (into common standards) and focus on longevity and repairable machines that can be fixed easily when one part fails. That surprises me that Apple would ditch regular sized USB ports but whatever maybe they have a giant crystal ball in Cupertino that they look into and can see, "aha! The future only has small usb ports! We must embrace tomorrow not today! Think different!"

    I think for now I will just keep my older Dell going, and deal with the weight issue.
    KC9YGN likes this.
  7. AC0GT

    AC0GT Ham Member QRZ Page

    I recall reading an article many moons ago about how there was quite a few people that held on dearly to their TRS-80 Model 100 computers. One of the early "tablet" computers. It's simple design and use of many off the shelf components made it exceedingly easy to repair. By using 4 AA alkaline cells, or a common barrel connector for 6 VDC input, it was not that difficult to find power for it. For people that needed a simple word processor to take notes, a calendar to stay on schedule, a calculator, and a few other applications it served well for people on lengthy trips to places far from "civilization". Input and output was with a serial port, parallel port, and audio I/O which with some creative use of hardware and software allowed for interfacing with all kinds of devices through the years.

    That was a device that cost $1000 or so when it came out (which is something like $3000 today). Now people can get similar functionality, and far more, with an old iPad that could be had for $300 or less. Unless someone is planning a trip to the moon there is little need to keep something so inexpensive as long lived and repairable as possible. Even then keeping spares on hand is a quite light and cheap solution.

    Apple wanted a port that could be used for low power and slow data rate devices like a mouse, as well as for high data rate and high power devices like a 4K display. That means a Thunderbolt port with USB 2 backward compatibility. The future is not "small USB ports", it's Thunderbolt. Thunderbolt just happens to also use the small USB-C port for connectivity. It sounds like Thunderbolt will become part of the USB standard with the coming USB4 spec.

    To each their own. Sounds like a better idea than "lugging" around a couple USB-A adapters. :rolleyes:
  8. WA4SIX

    WA4SIX Ham Member QRZ Page

    I got a Dell G3 refurb for $640. Small scratch on the lid.
    Hex core I7, 8G RAM, 1060TI video card, 2-USB3.X, 1-USB2.X, DP, Thunderbolt ports.
    Upgraded to 16 G RAM & an NVME drive.
    I use it mainly for SDR work & the video card helps by offloading the hard math.
    Full tilt with 24 Broadcast FM stations, under 15% OF cpu, ram & video card usage.
    In reality, if I was a gamer, I could play high level & have 24 BFM stations at the same time.

    With the NVME drive, it now more than doubles the benchmark of my workstation (Dell T5500- 2-4 core Xeon 3.2GHz, 72G Ram & 2 960 video cards)

    It's slim, light & enough ports/features to last 5+ years, as a viable high performance computer.


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