Wednesday, May 03, 2006
The future of Personal Computing ::

I've seen the future! And it might just work...

PCs are NOT "personal" that big screen that sits on a desk is highly impersonal. My laptop comes closer to being a "personal computer", I joke that 2/3 of my office is here, actually that's hardly a joke, more a statement of fact - all but the "long tail" of my office is here in front of me as I write, wirelessly at table as I eat my breakfast. Since I use email, MSN and Skype as the main means of communicating with family and friends, and since our camera uploads to the laptop, and my MP3 player downloads from it much of my personal life is here too...

But even a laptop is hardly "personal" it's still too big to take "everywhere", so my diary and phone, todo list and notes-to-self are on another gismo (PDA/Phone) that sits on my hip. it's small enough to take most places, but does not "do" everything, even with a mini keyboard I hardly ever write significant lengths of text on it...

I've friends who swear by USB drives, carry their documents around in a locket round their necks. But, with a USB drive they depend on the host computer having the software they need. Enter the ugly head of proprietary file formats...

Is there no such thing as a "personal computer"?

<digression> : Family briefing paper and collaboration
[You'll see the point of this soon enough, I promise!]

I mentioned a while back that I am trying to co-ordinate writing a briefing paper on "family". There are two difficulties: getting busy people to agree to participate and writing collaboratively. (The first is pretty much fixed, by dint of lots of phoning and emails.)

Enter Rallypoint an online Bliki*, Wiki-style several people can edit the text, and create new pages of a Rallypoint site, they can also annotate pages using blog-like comments and tagging features. Since users are limited (to five in the free trial beta version) this looks a useful way of preparing such a text.

But, since it is online it is only available when I am within reach of the Internet (at the bach where I get my best coherent uninterrupted time for writing there is deliberately no Internet or phone!), so Rallypoint's not really personal...

But suppose someone put Rallypoint, synchronisation, and a USB (or even better wifi) flash drive together? Portable data (even 1GB drives are cheap as chips now) collaboration built-in, open file-formats, and my workspace goes with me - or can be given to collaborators, and all our changes get synched next time we meet or go online... Any PC or laptop becomes potentially my workspace, and I can share it with you...

And the good news is they're doing it! I read about it in a post "Always-on-you computing" on The End of Cyberspace. Liam Breck "is a mobile & ubiquitous computing architect and entrepreneur" who gets "it" and is trying to make it real (his blog has the nice title Web 2.5 : The Always-On-You Web and the latest post may give a bit of the flavour: "Web 2.5 vs. In-Office Spam" though there are lots I'd have liked to highlight!

I even think that despite the warnings, I might download the trail alpha version of the thing... when I have time and the family briefing sheet and marking are finished ;-)

* Bliki is my personal name for a combination Blog & Wiki... [return]

SEARCH Tim's sites
Posts listed by topic
My academic CV

Write to Tim

January 2004 / February 2004 / March 2004 / May 2004 / June 2004 / July 2004 / August 2004 / September 2004 / October 2004 / November 2004 / December 2004 / January 2005 / February 2005 / March 2005 / April 2005 / May 2005 / June 2005 / July 2005 / August 2005 / September 2005 / October 2005 / November 2005 / December 2005 / January 2006 / February 2006 / March 2006 / April 2006 / May 2006 / June 2006 / July 2006 / August 2006 / September 2006 / October 2006 / November 2006 / December 2006 / January 2007 / February 2007 / March 2007 / April 2007 / May 2007 / June 2007 / July 2007 / August 2007 / September 2007 / October 2007 / November 2007 / December 2007 / January 2008 / February 2008 / March 2008 / April 2008 / May 2008 / June 2008 / July 2008 / August 2008 / September 2008 / October 2008 / November 2008 / December 2008 / January 2009 / February 2009 / March 2009 / April 2009 / May 2009 / June 2009 / July 2009 / August 2009 / September 2009 / October 2009 / November 2009 /

biblical studies blogs:

other theology/church blogs:


Powered by Blogger

Technorati Profile

Yellow Pages for Auckland, New Zealand