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Paul Graham on Tablets



This is an interesting read that goes somewhat beyond the day to day noise in the Tablet/Slate/mobile device race. In my view, Paul Graham gets what the rough and tumble of today might mean for tomorrow.

The big picture isn’t about who’s winning what today even though that’s what we seem to focus on. The big picture is about who is creating the platform that will allow the innovation in areas and in ways that no one is thinking about today. He rightly says that this isn’t as much about hardware as it is about software and how it can open up possibilities. I’d argue it is about the combination of both.

Graham talks about the possibility of “tablets” replacing things we now know and to some degree depend on. That’s already happening on some fronts, depending on how you define “tablet.” And he puzzles on that definition as well. Would you think that “tablets” might replace reading glasses?

Definitely worth a read.

Contrast Graham’s thinking with Paul Thurrott’s extremely short sighted view that he recently published.



  1. Anonymous

    12/02/2010 at 1:36 pm

    I’ve had the Galaxy Tab for some time now and the only things I’m really missing are pen input and an app like OneNote.I think it’s all about which operating system will make it easiest to develop things like pen-centric applications and maybe other stuff besides pen input that we don’t know about yet.I was really surprised when I realized how the Galaxy Tab replaced my PC/Laptop for so many tasks. This will the future of computing, if somebody solves the “content creation” problem.Which OS will make applications like OneNote, Photoshop, Lighworks etc. possible? And how will they look and work on for example a slate device? That’s the question.

    The “content creation” problem will have to be solved. Whoever succeeds in doing that will win.

    • ChrisRS

      12/02/2010 at 5:21 pm

      Win 7 based tablet with pen solves the content creation problem. That of course means that the content creation problem, does not exist or that is can not be solved – BECAUSE EVERYONE KNOWS THAT WIN 7 ON A TABLET IS A BAD IDEA. Stick with iPad or android and ignore content creation. Problem solved! (Really???)

  2. slbailey2

    12/02/2010 at 1:45 pm

    Have you tried Evernote. It’s great! I’ve been using it since 2008.

  3. Tim

    12/02/2010 at 5:31 pm

    Paul Graham shouldn’t need to worry about the supposed power Apple could have with what he called its ephemeralization force. The iPhone has already been eclipsed by the better platform, Android.

    Tablets are niche devices, a superflicious gadget that most people don’t have a use for, between their laptops and phones

    Apps are the CD-ROMS of today, temporary band-aids on the way to a full web future as phones become more powerful, and networks get faster

    • Anonymous

      12/02/2010 at 6:10 pm

      And what happens when the network goes down? Everyone’s computer becomes useless because nobody thought to keep supporting local apps/programs?

      Sure, use the network by all means, but don’t depend on it. Otherwise, we’ll end up with another potential Danger/Microsoft fiasco, only worse.

      And as far as the tablet sitting between a laptop and a phone…well, my laptop is my tablet, and my tablet is my laptop, almost literally. I love the convertible form factor; I don’t have to give up anything (well, except for decent dedicated graphics options, but that’s where a desktop comes in handy).

  4. Rhj1947

    12/03/2010 at 8:17 am

    Tom et al:

    I already have a Toshiba convertible tablet, but use it in normal mode nearly all the time. I find it too much of a hassle to use it in tablet mode along with its heavier weight vs a slate, so I’m interested in a slate and find the Galaxy Tab comments interesting.

    So far the HP Slate 500 intrigues me, but like others I want Office and OneNote available, the latter with handwriting capability.

    My nirvana:

    – notebook or desktop at my apartment (I’m on an assignment in the Middle East for a year).
    – 15.6″+ notebook at work (another one that stays there, but can be moved around or taken away IF I want to.
    – slate which would travel with me on my commute to/from the office, Office and OneNote, VPN link for online banking etc.

    My slate would synchronise for work and critical data with apartment and office, possibly via DropBox, with my OneNote files stored/shared on the web (Windows Live?).

    At the office, the slate would be to hand for jotting down quick notes so that most (not all!) my scribblings would be retained for as long as I wanted to keep them.

    I can, but dream.

  5. BG

    04/08/2011 at 5:24 pm

    To AUTOR of this article!!!

    Are you aware that on this image is bulgarian archeologist prof. Nickolay Ovcharov with just discovered artefacts from s. Gradeshnitza and YOU HAVE NO WRIGTS TO USE IT???

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