I think I accidentally bought a Windows tablet …

For those that know I’m a Mac user and might wonder why in the world I’d want a Windows tablet, let me start with some computer background about me and the family.

I’ve been a user of Macs since 2007. I’m fairly heavy into the Apple ecosystem with a MacBook Pro, a MacBook Air, an iPad Pro, an iPhone 6s, an Apple TV, plus hundreds of movies, many TV shows, and thousands of songs from the iTunes store. And that’s just me. I’ve bought many other devices for family members.

Now, I’m not exclusively Mac. I have a fairly decent Windows desktop computer, as well as having virtual Windows computers on my MacBooks. The grandchildren use Windows computers still. All those that are double-digit ages got computers, and I’ve kept them updated every 3-4 years provided they swap them back to me. That ensures they take care of them. Not all do, but most of them do.

At work, I use a Windows computer. Not my choice, but what they assign me. I would prefer to use a Mac, but I cannot justify the extra expense to the company, so I use the Windows machine. I also log in and work remote regularly. That requires a Windows computer, which normally means my Windows desktop.

I was using a virtual machine on my Mac to log in to work if an emergency came up and I wasn’t at home … and had my MacBook with me, which I often did. However, my virtual machine (using Parallels) has recently encountered an issue with the shift key. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t. Caps Lock always works, but some characters (! @ # $ % etc) are only possible — or feasible; I know about ALT-KEYPAD but prefer to not do that — via the shift key.

Now, considering that in a year or so, I’ll be updating at least three of the grandchildren’s computers, and that it would be useful to have a reliable Windows laptop for emergency remote log in, I’ve been looking at getting a Windows laptop. The grandchildren’s computers have all been Dell Inspiron laptops, which I’ve found reliable, and, until recently, easy to work on if necessary. But, as those three are looking to finish high school in another year, I’m thinking a better grade of laptop might be better for college.

Anyway, I’ve been looking at Dell’s XPS line of laptops. I’ve never had one of those, and wasn’t sure if it would be good to get one of those, or a MacBook. Getting an XPS for me would get me familiar with how good they actually are as well as solve my immediate need for a reliable emergency remote work computer. So, I’ve been looking at the XPS line.

They ain’t cheap. But, I looked into the Dell outlet — that’s their discontinued and refurbished store — and saw some XPS machines with solid state drives at pretty good prices compared to a MacBook. So, I shopped there for a bit. I wanted at least 256 GB drive, 8 GB RAM, and at least a 13-inch screen. However, it came down to “pick two.” So, I went with the drive and RAM, and settled for a 12-inch screen, similar to what the MacBook line offers.

It came in last week, and when I opened the box, it was kinda sparse inside. A laptop and a power supply. Truly bare bones. So, I plugged the laptop in (USB-C connection for power) and let it sit for a bit while I took care of other stuff for a few hours. Then, that evening, after supper, I decided to dive in. First thing I did was open the device. That’s when the screen came off in my hands.

I sat there for a minute with what I can only figure was a really stupid look on my face until I realized that it was designed to do that. It had connection pins and magnetic alignment to ensure they were touching. It was, in essence, a 12-inch Windows tablet and a full-size hard keyboard attachment.

The touchpad works very well, as good as my MacBook keypads. At least, so far. The screen is a little small (being old sucks), but I knew what I was getting into when I started. Changing the resolution (lowering it) has helped that a little.

So, I’m using a Windows laptop, specifically a Dell XPS 12, which is actually a tablet. (Note: Windows PC and mobile operating systems are the same, unlike Apple’s macOS for computers and iOS for mobile.)

So far, so good. But I still feel a little stupid for not realizing what I was buying.

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Cartoon of the Day – Repeal

20170114MikeLester
[Mike Lester – GoComics]

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Cartoon of the Day – Bite

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[Bob Gorrell]

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Cartoon of the Day – Hollywood

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[Michael P. Ramirez]

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Cartoon of the Day – Legacy

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[Lisa Benson – GoComics]

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Cartoon of the Day – Fan

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[Glenn McCoy – GoComics]

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Cartoon of the Day – Refresher

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[Michael P. Ramirez]

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Cartoon of the Day – Done

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[Bob Gorrell]

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I got better

After a bout with … well, whatever it was … I’m much better now. Actually, I’ve been better for a bit. Only, it was one of those things where I wasn’t sure if I’d suddenly relapse or otherwise need to see the inside of a hospital again. But, I’m pretty sure I’m better. I even have the word from a doctor that I’m doing better.

Briefly, I was hospitalized … twice, or maybe three times … with the same symptoms but for apparently different reasons.

First time, I passed out at work on a Friday, possibly from food poisoning. The following Monday, a visit to the doctor turned into a visit to the hospital, and a stay for a few days because of an apparent intestinal blockage. After a few days out, and a quick return to a normal diet, I went back in on Christmas Day with the same symptoms, but with no blockage found.

So far, there has been no definite reason found for all this, which means it could be a combination of things, or a thing still not determined. I’m going with a combination: food poisoning, followed by a temporary blockage exacerbated by a hernia, followed by my body not ready to process regular food.

I’ve continued my soft diet — mostly stuff that you can either either with a spoon or with no utensils — and slowly adding items from my normal diet. So far, so good.

Now, all that explanation accomplished one thing: it gave me time to think about what it is I really want to say. I want to say “thank you” to all that expressed concerns and offered prayers, kind words and thoughts, and wished me well.

Thank you. Thank you so much.

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Cartoon of the Day – Hold

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[Scott Stantis – GoComics]

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Cartoon of the Day – Mess

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[A. F. Branco]

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Cartoon of the Day – Lame

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[Bob Gorrell – GoComics]

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Cartoon of the Day – Winner

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[Mike Lester – GoComics]

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Cartoon of the Day – Return

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[Michael P. Ramirez]

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How I spent my Christmas vacation

In the hospital

I do hope your Christmas and holiday time were joyful and a blessing. I know mine was, despite a couple of things: two hospital stays.

This post isn’t to ask for any sympathy or anything, but to explain where I’ve been. For those that noticed I’ve not been online much.

On the 15th, I had supper at Atlanta Bread Company in Columbus. I got sick. How sick? The store is now closed. Really. Apparently many Atlanta Bread Company stores have been closing during 2016, if my Google search is an indication.

Anyway, I got sick at work the next day, passed out, and they called EMS to take me to the hospital in Columbus. They released me that night. Unable to eat the entire weekend, I went to the doctor on Monday, and he sent me back to the hospital with specific instructions. They said I had an intestinal blockage. Stayed there for a few days, then was released after it was cleared. After spending Christmas eve with many of the grandchildren, on Christmas morning, I drove to southeast Georgia to spend time with the other grandchildren. And went back into the hospital that night.

After a few days, I was released and have appointments with my doctor and a surgeon this week. We’ll see how it goes.

So, despite spending many days in the hospital over the last half of December, I got to see all the grandchildren.

It was a good Christmas holiday.

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