Monday, January 23, 2012

In Praise of Old Technology

Sometimes a fading technology is a plus. I've never been able to write much during and airplane flight. A regular laptop is too bulky to use comfortably. When you open it up it’s right against the seat in front of you. If the person sitting there decides to exercise their dubious claim on your space and recline you're left with no way to see your screen as it is now clamshelled on your hands. iPads and the like have become really popular, but I’ve never been able to type particularly fast on a touch screen. By the time you attach a keyboard and such to your iPad you're well into the range of a mid to high dollar laptop. I've recently found myself among the vast collection of semi-unemployed computer geeks known as "consultants". When I left full-time employment I had to surrender the fine laptop that my employer provided me. I had to go to Phoenix for an engagement and stopped by the local Fry’s to purchase a replacement. Budget being what it is I was disheartened to find the small laptops and notepads to be beyond you economic reach... except for the netbooks! The pint sized netbook has turned out to be a very freeing experience. It fits nicely in my lap on the plane and allows me heretofore unheard of freedom to create stuff on the fly. I find that as I'm not a programmer and not a big media creator I don't need all of blazing speed of the really new stuff. What I really needed is space. Because of the acceptance of notepad computers the cost of netbooks (when you can find them) has stayed remarkably low. Sometimes it pays to buy at the end of a tech cycle. 

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