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Thread: I'm thinking about a tablet.

  1. #1
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    Default I'm thinking about a tablet.

    I really don't know much about them.

    Long story shortened is that I'm thinking about getting a tablet and using my old T-Mobile phone account for an internet data plan. I know T-Mobile sell tablets now that you simply spread the payment over 24 months but, in the long run, it's cheaper to just buy a tablet outright from Walmart or Best Buy or something and put T-Mobile's SIM card in it. Fine print mentions that it needs to be "unlocked" or whatever to bring your own tablet.

    T-Mobile sells the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 (2014 edition) and the iPad Air. They also have a couple lesser tablets, an ALCATEL One Touch Pop7 (whatever that is) and the Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 8.0.

    So.... what in the hell do I get? Is there laser stuff available for tablets? I know I hear about some people using lighting control and maybe some laser control using a tablet and I know I've seen some sound guys for bands walking around in an audience using one to control their mixers.

    And of course all the stupid people I see holding up these big things to take pictures/video at wedding receptions and such.

    How about for business related stuff? Docs, spreadsheets, presentations and so forth? Battery life tips? How much memory and storage tips? I just don't want to buy the wrong thing if I decide to do this.

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    Hi Brad

    It might be worth asking this question on the Facebook group as well as here. I know there's a few 'techy' types on there that don't seem to post much here these days.

    At one point I was also looking for a tablet, but I eventually went for a large touchscreen PC instead. The Microsoft Surface Pro 2/3 were very highly recommended. You can run the full version of Beyond on these apparently.

    Cheers

    Jem
    Quote: "There is a theory which states that if ever, for any reason, anyone discovers what exactly the Universe is for and why it is here it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. There is another that states that this has already happened.... Douglas Adams 1952 - 2001

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    the MS surfaces are full on computers in tablet style, they are ace but expensive.

    most other tables run android or IOS
    Eat Sleep Lase Repeat

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    We have an iPad for our daughter and I'm really yet to use it for anything other than browsing when I want to use a website that's not good on my phone. Otherwise I use a desktop or laptop. I would maybe find a reason to get one first, than get one and then try and justify it's existence.
    Frikkin Lasers
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  5. #5
    Bradfo69's Avatar
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    ^ That's kinda what I'm thinking too. Lord knows I have way too many laptops so, I don't know what advantages a tablet would have.

    Here's a touch more backstory. I've had an account with T-Mobile for a cellphone for about 10 years. It's a basic plan that's about $35 per month and I have a simple flip phone that just makes calls. My work provides me with an iPhone that I've had for years and use for for everything. I only kept my personal account in case anything ever happened with my job, at least I still had my basic phone with a very inexpensive plan that's no longer offered. I realized I haven't even turn on my personal phone for about 8 or 9 months and thought, why am I continuing to pay $35 per month for something I don't even use. Well... since they're now offering a reasonable data/phone/text plan at only a couple dollars more per month, I though I might go ahead and get either an android based phone for personal stuff and carry two smart phones (dumb perhaps) or... get a tablet and forget the phone altogether.

    Or... just cancel the damn plan and have another $35 per month for lasers!

  6. #6
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    One dude's opinion here -

    Unless you just absolutely need a tablet that can serve as a laptop replacement, you're probably going to find the largest number of apps available with the iPad.
    As far as lasers & lighting are concerned, I use mine more as a lightweight, portable "supplemental" controller / remote, versus depending on it to actually run all the DMX and laser software. Wi-Fi only for me - if I just "must" access the internet while I'm traveling, I'll either call it up on my phone, or wait until I'm in a location with local Wi-Fi access (which is becoming more and more commonplace...)

    Concerning remote control, there seems to be quite a few apps available for different lighting systems, but IMHO the biggest versatility is probably going to come from using the tablet to remotely access PC software that is MIDI-enabled (such as QuickShow, Beyond, and many DMX software suites). There are quite a few iPad apps around that act as MIDI controllers, and some (like the "MIDI Designer" app I use) let you build completely custom touchscreen controllers - relatively easily, I might add - that can control virtually anything on your desktop that is MIDI-enabled. Also, there are several MIDI interface available for iPads that let you basically link directly to your desktop, so you don't necessarily have to depend on a wireless connection, unless you want to.

    FWIW, I'm still using an iPad 2, and have used it with MIDI Designer, both wired & wirelessly, to control DMX fixtures and lasers through QuickShow -
    works great!! Mine is Wi-Fi only, and on the rare occasion I want to operate wirelessly, I just fire up a cheap Wi-Fi router and use that as an access point into the PC.

    I'm currently "building" a MIDI Designer app that can be used as a touchscreen for Beyond, which can be used alongside the APC 40 (or other) controllers as a 2nd workspace grid controller (inspiration from SELEM...) I believe it is actually going to work out quite well, but since I'm trying to emulate the APC functionality as much as possible, I have a bit of "behind the scenes" programming to tackle.

    Here's the app I'm using ~
    Take a look at the examples - it is one powerful piece of software, and you can pretty much make it as simple or complex as you want!
    (I have one on the site I built as a controller for some of my Moog synthesizer gear)

    http://mididesigner.com/

    Shoot me an e-mail or PM if you wan to discuss offline...


    Randy
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    Used the ipad for work. MS office is availabe on ios now though there is a cost to making use of it. Given we were on enterprise setup I dont know the details, but before it was release I was using the Apple versions (Numbers=Excel, Pages=Word and Keynote=PP). These are free now and I found them to be as useful for basic day to day stuff once you get used to them. More advanced things in excel like Macros dont work to my knowledge.

    The ipad was also email/web for both work and personal use but beyond that I found I didnt use it for much. Doing much typing was a bit annoying. The onscreen keyboard meant being hunched over (great ergonomics). I did get an external keyboard in the end.

    Out of interest sakes last night I was looking at how you could intergrate it as a touch screen for a computer and came across Air Display.http://www.avatron.com/applications/air-display/
    It has a cost (about $10 US) and seems like you could use it as a second monitor (ie extend the desktop) which gives touchscreen capability also. Can be used for both OSX and Windows (7 or 8) though how well I dont know.
    The one thing that sucks with ios imo is you have to buy to try; no way to check if something works first...

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    If you're looking at the iPad, wait a few weeks; rumor has it that new models will be announced this month, which may drive prices on existing and refurbished models down.

    You can get refurb iPads directly from Apple at about a 10-15% discount off new, with the same warranty and 14-day return privilege.

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    As far as laser use is concerned, touchOSC or Lemur are great for controlling Beyond or Quickshow (with some work). Another very useful tool is remote desktop / vnc to your laser control PC.

    Buying a tablet such as the microsoft makes little sense to me as you'd still need to physically plug in the fb3's anyhow. The remote desktop / vnc however works amazingly well over a fast wifi network. The biggest advantage however is how easy it makes zoning and setup of complex venues, such as those which are multi-leveled, lots of stairs and outdoor show, as it gives you the ability to walk around and make adjustments from other perspectives which would usually take walking to have a look, walking back to make a change, walking back to have a look, repeat as necessary. This may not be that much of a needed feature as your shows are specific to one venue, but for those who do a lot of mobile shows it can be a great tool

    It can also be used as a separate touchscreen monitor, sending the cue grid to it for example.

    Aside from laser related uses, I personally wouldn't have much of a use, however can be handy for browsing and checking email if on the go a lot.

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    I have a Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1. A good device but forget about using it for business. Yes you can read and write excel, word etc, but it's only really usable for viewing.

    I will be using mine with VNC for a Laser performance in a few weeks, will report back as to how it fairs.
    This space for rent.

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