Surface rescue: How I adopted an unwanted tablet

Summary:Sometimes a piece of consumer electronics needs a good loving home.

Although it appears I have an arrogant, gruff and obnoxious exterior, I have a soft place in my heart for unwanted things. 

surface-petfinder

(Credit: Petfinder; ZDNet)

For the past 13 years my wife and I have been adopting dogs. We don't have any children, so having the furry and slobbering ones around have made our lives so much more enriching.

I can't imagine how life would be without our three adopted miniature poodles, who give us unconditional love.

Over the years, Petfinder.com has been an excellent resource for us when looking for new pets to adopt. It's an excellent website with a great search engine, that allows you to set parameters for what kind of dog, cat, or other animal you are looking for, how old the animal is, how far away it is, and whether or not it has special needs.

If you are considering bringing an animal into your home, I strongly reccomend this site, because it is hooked into all the local adoption agencies so it is a good consolidated source for finding pets.

While three pets in this house is plenty,  I heard about another critter that was in a bad situation with its current owner and I felt obligated to intercede.

Now, tablets, like any other pet, have special needs and need to be matched with the right kind of owner if it is to enter a proper loving and caring relationship. I myself own several tablets, including an iPad 4 and a Nexus 10, so I know exactly what is involved in their care and feeding.

I felt the Surface RT would make a great addition to the household, because I had been wanting one since Microsoft had announced it a few months ago.

I didn't buy one when the product was released, because I already had a desktop Windows 8 PC, and it didn't fit in with my (then) current work environment at IBM, since our corporate messaging ran on Lotus Notes and we used Java apps, and I needed a travel tablet that would integrate with that.

At the time, my iPad and Android tablets were (reasonably) good solutions for my work environment.

surface-poodle
(Credit: ZDNet)

But work conditions change. In December, I joined Microsoft . While my iPad works perfectly well on Microsoft's corporate network, and I can access my email and calendar with it, and it is a pretty good presentation and web access device and has lots of great consumer apps to play with, it's not an ideal tool for what I need a business tablet for.

The Nexus 10 is cool too, but it's even less useful for business work than the iPad. 

Since moving on from IBM, the work circumstances of my job have changed, in that my business travel requirements in visiting partners and customers are going to be more of the one- or two-day type of affairs than traveling for an entire week at a time where I need a full-blown laptop and am dragging a lot more kit with me.

I need to travel light, so everything I bring with me on a trip including my clothes and gear needs to fit into a backpack. The Surface RT, with built-in Office functionality and the ability to do presentations with integrated HDMI out, USB 2.0, Bluetooth 4.0, and its snap-on keyboard cover fits the bill nicely.

Plus, it runs the full-blown version of IE 10, including Flash capability should I need it, so there are no compromises on web browsing.

It also has an RDP client that I downloaded from the Windows Store so I can access remote desktop applications on the Windows 8 and Server 2012 systems on my home network if I need it as well. And if I really want to, I can even RDP into my Mac system if I purchase some third-party integration products for it.

The original owner of this particular Surface RT spent a lot of money on it, only to find out that his needs and actual work situation did not match what he actually wanted to do with it.

He's a consumer, and was heavily invested in using Google's cloud tools whereas I work in a very Microsoft-centric environment. Different needs entirely, requiring different solutions.

I was happy, however, to put up the "adoption fee" and give the Surface RT a loving home, where I know it will get good use.

How come Petfinder doesn't put up tablets for adoption? Talk back and let me know.

Topics: Tablets, Microsoft, Mobile OS, Windows 8

About

Jason Perlow, Sr. Technology Editor at ZDNet is a technologist with over two decades of experience with integrating large heterogeneous multi-vendor computing environments in Fortune 500 companies. Jason is currently a Partner Technology Strategist with Microsoft Corp. His expressed views do not necessarily represent those of his employer... Full Bio

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