When to replace the computer? (I want a Notion Ink Adam!)
I currently work from three–yes, three–different computers in various parts of my life. There’s the 8 year old Dell Inspiron laptop that won’t hibernate and which, whenever I run into the letter “L”, I have to work much harder to get to work. There’s my 5 year old bought-used Toshiba netbook, which still works fairly well but which appears to have a toasted sound card, a component which on this particular model is integrated with the motherboard and which thus would be much more expensive and wasteful to replace. And the battery lasts only about 15 minutes unplugged at this point. And there’s my work desktop, which is ancient, slow, and takes literally 20 minutes to boot up in the morning.
There is a new computer in my future somewhere, hopefully not too far down the line.
Thing is, I’m actually managing quite well with what I have, it just takes a little more creativity and memory. I have to remember to go to the Dell when I want to listen to anything and/or work on my music notation software. And not to get into anything that can’t be easily shut down, because the Dell won’t hibernate and it just runs nonstop, which is a waste of power and hard on the motor. For most work, including blogging, I use the Toshiba, because it’s smaller and quicker and types the letter “L” with greater ease, essential especially whenever I refer to the “public library” or other such entities.
My work computer–well, what can I say? I spend enough time at my desk there that my boss and colleagues know I’m there and can find me to chat about things and discuss what’s going on, to answer and return phone calls. But I save most of my serious computer work for home, because the dinosaur on my desk is just sort of worthless.
None of the above is all that relevant, I guess, but I wanted to mention it to sort of explicate the reality that while we sort of have a tendency, when something doesn’t work “right,” to go, “Okay, this needs replacing!” I’ve been limping along with this situation for the past year or so, and my productivity has been just fine, thank you.
The other reason I’m not replacing yet, though, is this new technology on the fairly visible horizon: it’s geek-name is “Pixel Qi.” (Very geeky, but a good name!) It’s a trans-reflective computer screen that combines the e-book’s ability to use very little power with a standard back-lit computer screen for use in other environments. You can use it outdoors in direct sunlight, you can turn the backlighting way down for lighter indoor use, and you can use standard back-lighting like we all have now.
The first product that seems to be making its way to market is the Notion Ink Adam, though it’s not here yet. A few people have tested the prototype and can’t stop raving about it; unfortunately, the release date keeps getting bumped to later and later–first it was April, then June, now November. And a bunch of other manufacturers are working on a similar product, so they’d better get their butts in gear if they want to beat out the competition in the Christmas rush. But this device sounds really nice, and hopefully will change the computing landscape the same way the iPhone changed the smartphone landscape.
I’m waiting. Patiently. We’ll see.