Let’s talk about tablets and smartphones, and the first thing to understand is that it is not about the device, it is about the data. Hand-held devices do not store large amounts of data, and this is where the “cloud” comes in.
You know where it’s all headed eh? Disposable tablets.
That’s right. Tablet PCs are being produced so cheaply in India that they are starting to become a single-use device. Companies there are currently selling these machines for as low as $30 US apiece, and predict they can bring them down to $10. So it isn’t hard to imagine a world where, for example, conference attendees receive their delegate packages burnt onto flash memory in a tablet PC.
So instead of killing trees, we’ll be littering our planet with discarded equipment.
And what about paper? Remember all the talk about the paperless office? Read more
Towards the end of each summer, I participate in the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada’s “star party” at Smiley’s Provincial Park, a weekend of camping, star gazing, and lectures. It allows my inner geek to roam free, unencumbered by the constrictions of the corporate world, and it feels good.
I’ve said many times that I cannot believe tablet PCs have never really sold well. They are such great devices.
So I was intrigued by Shane Schick’s slideshow 10 Tablets That Never Quite Took Off, and I went through it looking for the tablet I’ve been using since it came out in 2006 – the HP Compaq tc4400. Although I use it every day and love it, I only ever saw one other person with a similar machine, so I naturally assumed it hadn’t “taken off”.
One of the great things about having a technology column is that you get to play with
cool toys. The latest one to cross my desk is an ultra-slim DVD reader/burner for
people on the go.
For a while now computers have been made without any diskette drive and many laptop
computers come without a DVD drive. Because so much of your data comes via online,
there is not often a need for a removable media device.