OK, I know, that does catch in the throat a little. But let me explain. Yes, I find nearly everything they make displeasing on a number of fronts-- software and hardware. From horrid aesthetics to predatory business practices to just plain buggy programs. But I just bought a bunch of Winbook 7" tablets at our local MicroCenter. They come with a 1280x800 touchscreen, Wifi, Bluetooth, two USB ports, and Windows 8.1.
They retail for $70 (I bought open-box returns for $50).
The idea for this post came from the feeling this purchase gave me. It reminded me how I felt about "IBM-compatibles" vs. Apple when I first started messing with motion control 25 years ago, and needed to get "inside the box." For all its warts (apparent then as well), it was Microsoft and its DOS world that allowed me the access I needed. And now that I am developing the user interface for a home-version of Sisyphus, a small, capable, and incredibly priced computer running Windows feels like this same kind of "access." There are other "better" options, for sure, but none come even close in terms of expense, both in terms of development time and hardware.
(not saying a Win machine will be in the final release, but for rapid development, these are a tremendous help to me)