5 Things - Week Ending 11/2/12

This is the 28th post in a series called 5 Things. Each week I will share a combination of technology articles and apps that I have discovered and liked in the past week. Anything highlighted in blue is a link to an article, an app, or another section of my website.

Disruptions: You Know You Can’t Live Without Apple’s Latest Glass Rectangle

Nick Bilton:

Even so, my first iPod still plays music. My laptop from four years ago can still browse the Web. And my first e-readers can still display books.

Nick Bilton takes a look at how technology companies today are using planned obsolescence just like the auto industry did in the 1950s.

The reality is that your computer, tablet, or smartphone doesn't need to be upgraded everytime a new version comes out. My parents are still using a Mac that is approximately nine years old and they can still surf the web, check email, and edit documents on it.

My Microsoft Store Experience

Harry Marks:

The employees were generally friendly and welcoming and, more importantly, seemed to really stand behind Microsoft and the Windows brand. They didn’t sound like Mac users who couldn’t get seasonal jobs at the Apple Store at the opposite end of the mall. These were guys (and almost all the employees were guys) who honestly enjoyed using Windows and I can appreciate that. What’s more, they didn’t talk to me like I was some Luddite who should’ve known the difference between a shell and a kernel. The guy helping me was not condescending and I gave no hint that I was someone who covered tech on a daily basis. I didn’t mention my site, nor my podcast - I was just some ordinary customer there to look at Windows 8 on this Samsung tablet.

Harry Marks shares his recent experience at the Microsoft Store. I have had similar experiences at the Microsoft Store at the Mall of America. The people are friendly, helpful, and knowledgeable. The Microsoft Store is a great resource for anyone that is a PC user.

If These 5 People Who Tried Windows 8 Are Normal, Microsoft Has A Big Problem On Its Hands

Henry Blodget:

Now that it will apparently require a lot of effort to learn how to use Windows 8, many Windows users who have always been tempted to try Macs but haven’t because they don’t want to learn a new system now have a perfect excuse to finally make the jump... because even if they stay with Windows, they’re going to have to learn a new system.

At the end of October, Microsoft released Windows 8, which is the successor to Windows 7. It is a radical departure from the traditional Windows interface. The New York Times had five people sit down and play with Windows 8 and the consensus was that it was confusing and difficult to use. Check out the video below to see what the five people had to say.

iPad mini review

Joshua Topolsky:

And it does raise the floor here. There’s no tablet in this size range that’s as beautifully constructed, works as flawlessly, or has such an incredible software selection. Would I prefer a higher-res display? Certainly. Would I trade it for the app selection or hardware design? For the consistency and smoothness of its software, or reliability of its battery? Absolutely not. And as someone who’s been living with (and loving) Google’s Nexus 7 tablet for a few months, I don’t say that lightly.

The iPad mini hasn’t wrapped up the “cheapest tablet” market by any stretch of the imagination. But the “best small tablet” market? Consider it captured.

I bought my wife Britta and iPad mini on Friday. Even though I have only had a few minutes to use the iPad mini this weekend, I can agree with Josh from The Verge that the iPad mini has captured the best small tablet market.

For the past six months, I have used a Samsung Galaxy Tab (provided to me) while doing some contract work and there has not been one moment that I enjoyed the experience.

The iPad mini can do everything the full size iPad can do and it does it more affordably. Britta seems to love the smaller form factor as it is much easier for her to carry it in a bag or purse.

Review: Letterpress is an excellent iOS word game

Lex Friedman:

The truth is, none of my suggestions would impact how fun Letterpress is, which is to say: very. Fans of word games won’t be disappointed. If you’re starting to tire of Words With Friends, or just want additional word-focused fun, Letterpress deserves your attention.

Letterpress is my new favorite game. If you like word games you will love Letterpress! It will take a few games to get use to the strategy, but once you have it figured out you will be hooked!

The game is free to download. If you want to play more than two games at the same time (you will), then you will have to spend $.99 to unlock that feature.

If you download the game and want to play against me, my GameCenter nickname is mikepahl. Find me on GameCenter and ask me to be your friend!