Connect with us


Why Do I Love Imperfect Platforms? Let Me Count The Ways



I guess it could be argued that I’m:

  1. A glutton for punishment/frustration
  2. A sucker for shiny new things
  3. A hopeless optimist

No matter which of the above labels fit, I find myself loving imperfect mobile devices and platforms. Without laying myself on some anaylsts couch, I’ve been trying lately to examine the reasons why. Here’s my thinking.

First up is my long standing love affair with the Tablet PC. I’m hoplessly smitten here. Not only does this imperfect Mircosoft solution offer me a way to take notes in my work and allow me to be less tied down when I do so, I really enjoy the freedom and flexibility it gives me when I use a computer for relaxation and fun as well. There are several things that I cannot imagine giving up on, should Tablet PCs ever cease to exist.

  1. Taking notes in meetings and rehearsals
  2. Web browsing in slate mode on a Tablet PC
  3. Brainstorming using MindJet’s MindManager and a pen
  4. Jotting off a quick reply in email using Ink
  5. When creating a new project or schedule being able to mark up what I’ve previously done with the pen

I’ve also picked up a new relationship with Apple’s iPhone 3G and find the allure there to be just as powerful and from early indications, far from fleeting.

  1. Browsing the web in places that even a Tablet PC is too inconvenient to lug around (this has become my go to stall surfing device)
  2. Quick replies to emails when I’m out and about
  3. Fantastic media consumption platform
  4. Uh, oh, I find myself enjoying gaming again (This could be big trouble)
  5. Quick photography and blogging of same (even though the camera is a pitiable excuse for one)
  6. The location aware apps are starting to offer me some new found fun as well

But both platforms are fraught with woulda/coulda/shoulda’s. Many of which I’ve chronicled here on GBM before. Microsoft has yet to fully embrace the Tablet PC and Inking within its own walls and seems hopelessly confused on how to advance it. Strange, given that scribbling notes is something that everyone does every day, and that mobility is what is on most people’s minds these days when it comes to computing. Apple either doesn’t have the capability to add some essentials (uncrippled BlueTooth, cut and paste, decent camera, MMS, etc….) to its iPhone platform that have existed for some time on others, or just doesn’t care. I’m beginning to think it is a combination of both.

Of course it can be argued that no platform or technology is perfect, nor is any relationship. But the fact that I find myself drawn to, and wrapped up in, both of these imperfect wonders drives me a bit nuts at times.

Perhaps the key to both is that that even with their flaws, they provide me with a sense of freedom, and as I’ve said many times before, a sense of enjoyment in how I work and play with them. They also both provide me with a sense of discovery on any given day, even if I’m using the same tools day in and day out to accomplish what’s in front of me.

As mobile computing continues to evolve into whatever it will become, I’m sure some other gadget will come along and replace one or both of these two current dalliances. But for the moment, I’ll continue to dance with both partners happily, even though they offer great propensity for tripping over their own feet.



  1. Sumocat

    12/08/2008 at 10:39 am

    Well, it’s not like you have many other options for mobility. Can’t carry a desktop around. Laptops are no good without a flat surface to type on. Plenty of iPhone alternatives though.

  2. Artem Marchenko

    12/08/2008 at 2:01 pm

    Sounds very interesting. I find similar pattern in myself (though I am into imperfect Nokia smartphones rather than into iPhone).

    Warner, how do you use MindManager with ink? I know it is technically possible and I tried it with MM8, but.. it is rather slow and MM has very nice keyboard shortcuts for creating subtopics. Is InkMapping (can that be a word?) in slate mode faster for you? Any chance for a [possibly short] InkShow? ;)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.