Saturday, November 28, 2015

Distracted by a New Toy

Last July, +Dick Eastman wrote in a post about a Kickstarter project he was backing.  I looked into it and decided to become a backer of Remix Mini by Jide Technology.  

Remix Mini.   Yes, it is truly this small.

The Remix Mini was promoted as the first Android based PC.  At that point the only thing I knew about Android was that it is the primary operating system for most smartphones and tablets.

Although we're both techies, my husband and I are waaaaaay behind the curve when it comes to handheld devices.  We use our phones only as phones. I get and respond to an occasional text - less than once a month - from one my kids or my brother. As for tablets, the iPad is not in our budget; nor has been any other tablet that has a screen that we feel is big enough.

Finally, now, prices of 10 inch tablets are coming down to our level. So the question becomes which OS to choose.  We've both been Microsoft users since way before Windows and still are. (We managed to avoid Vista and Windows 8.)  Should we stay in the Windows family with a tablet, or should we look at Android devices?  The Remix Mini looked like a good opportunity to get to know Android, and to consider what our next PCs might be when ours finally bite the dust.

My Minis arrived this past week (I got two of them) and I've been exploring Android. So far, I'm very favorably impressed.  Remember that I'm looking at this device as a possible full PC replacement, not as a small mobile device.

My verdict, thus far, is that it could work - mostly.  The lack of a hard disk is negated with the use of flash drives and mini SanDisk memory cards, a local network drive, and cloud storage. I suppose the lack of a CD/DVD device could be taken care of with an external device. Of course there is still the issue of major software applications like Photoshop, and most genealogy software.  But Android's design for small devices means that it simply is not as robust as operating systems designed for large systems.  Android is easy to navigate and very intuitive.  I am still in the early stages of exploration and learning so I'll reserve judgement on the OS for now.

I am writing this post using Google Docs on my Mini.  I'll get back to genealogy before too long.

#Android #Remix Mini PC #Dick Eastman


  1. ! Wondered why you chose it over all the Windows mini/micro PC's out there which are better, if you are looking to do work with the apps you know and love, plus most of your legacy peripherals would plug right in. I've got a Mac Mini, a 13" Compaq laptop, a 10" WinBook Tablet, an iPod Touch, a 7" Samsung Android Tablet, and a 5" BLU Windows phone. They all have their strengths and weaknesses, but overall in my opinion Windows 10 based systems are the winner if you're interested in doing any productive work. FYI my 10" WinBook Tablet cost $149 + $49 for a snap-on keyboard case. My experience with Apple products is mixed: While IOS is definitely the best designed touch driven interface, their habit of obsoleting "recent" versions of their software/hardware is annoying and expensive. My Mac mini is underwhelming and frequently crashes. OS X continually leaves previous hardware and software versions orphaned. But it must also be said that certain functions are better on a OS X than Windows. My experience with my Samsung Android Tab2 Tablet has been tiresome, it slows down, becomes unresponsive, and generally is a pain to use - I now only use it as a book reader - That works well.

    I hope I haven't bored you with all this! And of course the Android version in the Remix might be much better than in my older Samsung.

    To bring a smile to your face - I've just sold my TRS model 1 !!!!

    Remember the old days!

    1. +Paul Vincent – Thanks for your comments. You packed a lot of great information in a short message. I suspect that we’ll end up with a Windows tablet.

      The truth is that I backed this Remix Kickstarter project because I wanted to see what a $20 computer could do. I ended up buying both the 1G and 2G memory versions because they were so cheap. For that price I could check out Android’s capabilities without a big investment. The big investment came when I had to buy an HD display; but I use that with my laptop, too. (I thought that my 17” laptop display was very good until I got a 20” display.) And I’ve discovered the usefulness of having dual monitors.

      I suspect that the Remix Mini might serve many people very well as their main computer, but I’m not one of them. I use too much software, including Photoshop and genealogy programs, that require the features of a bigger system.

      On the other hand, I’m having fun learning a new system and it may become very useful over time.

      I can’t believe you still had a TRS 1. What an antique!