– (stands boldly on soapbox)
Why is it that each person feels compelled to take sides? Why do we have to make one thing right and one thing wrong in even our technology choices? Why, when we see a product, service or idea that does not meet our need, our fancy, or our opinion do we feel led to disparage the other side? I just finished reading some “news” stories that I won’t even link to, just because it is silly how people get sucked into this great debate about bad, good, better, or best, and predicting demise with great eloquence, yet no evidence.
I have been involved in the Tablet PC arena since about September of 2002, a couple of months before the first Tablet PC’s were available. I got involved because I really liked the idea of inking on a computer screen. I bought an HP TC1000 just because I wanted to be an early adopter, and to experiment with the technology, not because I thought it would be the end all of computers. As an early moderator on TabletPCBuzz.com, I policed conversations that got so heated it left the realm of polite and became public brawl over which one was better. I shook my head each time. As I have worked with Tablet PC’s over the last 3 years, I have seen some things that worked well, some things that did not. I liked some more than others, but saw how the ones I did not necessarily care for met someone elses needs and applauded that success. I have seen some people adopt the technology, and seen others fail to do so after honestly giving it a go. I can accept either one of those scenarios. The one I struggle with, is the one who sits upon the Internet, in some cases behind a screen name or other anonymous method, and trashes the technology by pontificating on the lack of ways this device will succeed. That is not what I would call a “Naked Conversation“, it lacks honesty. Sorry to those who feel Tablet has been a flop – it HAS succeeded for me and a lot of others, so that argument is over. If it did not work for you, then that is the breaks, it is not for everyone. I do not own, nor do I want to own an IPOD. But I appreciate the technology — it’s pretty cool.
Now it is certainly not just Tablet PC’s that have suffered from this, it is many new products, but it still makes me shake my head. Now I am watching threads go around about Ultra-Mobile PC vs. Tablet PC, or why the Ultra-Mobile PC will “flop”. Why are we wasting time here? Why does it have to be one better than the other or have to meet everyone’s needs to be a “success”? I honestly believe I will use both in my personal and family life, and that is fine with me. I will have to do the best I can making choices on which Ultra-Mobile PC to buy, and I may make a bad one. If you cannot afford both, then make a choice based upon the greater need and your budget. My compatriot Rob has tried many different tablets, and he has not been shy about publicly commenting on what he liked and disliked, but you know what? At times I disagree with his comments, but so what? They are his, he is allowed to have them! His life is not my life, we have differences. We will voice our opinions here at GottaBeMobile, but not negate the opinions of others.
So anyway…. The reason for the soapbox comment is to wonder out loud why people cannot be open minded, be honest, but also be fair in comments, and wait out some things on Ultra-Mobile PC’s as they arrive? No, battery life is not going to be what we want right out of the gate. No, they will not all have view anywhere type screens and screaming processors, and you know what? They will not be for everyone. That does not however mean they deserve to be trashed because they do not meet my individual needs. This is great technology. It needs a chance to mature and find it’s place in the market, so let’s celebrate it’s birth. When the first Origami videos leaked out before CEBIT (remember the young folks with the Ultra-Mobile PC’s looking so happy?), I thought they were pretty cool. But you know what else, I had seen that same video in a trip to Redmond last summer as a sort of intro to the concept in a meeting at Microsoft. When I saw it then, I kinda got it, but after thinking it through for like 6 months, now I REALLY think I get it. No, it will NOT replace my need for a nice Tablet or laptop, but I really see a place for this in my lifestyle. I still have a Dell desktop that I use a lot as well (gasp). It has it’s purpose. My Toshiba M200 has it’s purpose. My Ultra-Mobile PC will have it’s purpose. I manage to find money to have all three because they all have a purpose. But if you do not want multiple devices, or you cannot afford them, then the answer is simple.
Make a choice. Or do nothing.
But don’t trash my choice.
(Dennis steps down)
UPDATE — Update!
I love it when someone makes a post that proves my point. Check this one out on Ultranauts that I did not see until after this post, and you be the judge. Entitled to opinion — yes. Serves a purpose? What do you think?