Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Post PC May Be OK For Some, Not Me

I often read in the media a premature obituary about the death of the desktop and how mobile gadgets are taking over the world. Maybe that is so. I know that a lot of my friends use mobile phones, although many also use desktops in addition to or instead of mobiles.

Although I'm sure mobile gadgets are useful for highly mobile individuals, such as salesmen and executive types, for the average person, I'm against mobile gadgets. If you invest in one of these traps, have fun buying a new gadget every two years when the old one has a minor glitch and has to be completely replaced with a brand new one. Gadget-makers do not encourage repair or tinkering. Gadget-makers do not design using the modular approach. Gadget-makers manufacture disposable items with planned obsolescence, which is bad for the environment and bad for the economy, because people have to keep buying the same products over and over. Me, I'm sticking with desktops, for several reasons, foremost of which is that if something goes awry, the modular design of the desktop allows me to swap out the bad part, like a bad hard drive, and plug in a good part. So I can "upgrade" for $100, tops, whereas those using mobile devices have to buy a whole new thingamajiggy. I have used the same case, scanner, and printer for over ten years. Ten years! It could have been even longer, because desktop cases simply last forever and ever. My desktop's other parts were not thrown away, but instead sold on Ebay, offsetting the cost of new parts. I never have to buy more than about $100 of parts to maintain my desktop. For the most part, nothing has ever broken--no piece of hardware has ever fried or burned or gone silent. The only reason I swap them out is to improve performance or increase storage. I find that desktops are more reliable because they are based on proven technology that has withstood the test of time. To a certain extent, even laptops enjoy something of this reliability, in comparison to less reliable phones.

My desktop can do about a hundred times more than a mobile ever could, because my desktop has high definition resolution, a real mouse, a real keyboard, real speakers, storage space measured in terabytes, and peripherals such as a printer, scanner, camera, microphone, and a network of other computers. When I go out, I like to experience the world, not tinker with my gadget--I do quite enough of that at home and need a break once in a while. The farthest I've gone towards mobility is buying a used $95 laptop, which works great with Linux Mint 14 KDE.


scott said...

Hey Igor,
I would have to agree with you on the mobile gadgets, since I don't have a fancy iphone type device. But people love them. Now give me an iphone type device that I can install a linux distro of my choice and plug into a dock that is connected to an external monitor and mouse. So I have my phone and computer in one package. Sold.

So I see Kubuntu annoying you. The problem is we have to many choices. You might consider attending DHA (distro hopper anonymous.) :-)


igor said...

I like my phone simple and dumb. I've never felt the slightest temptation to get any kind of i-gadget.

Kubuntu was actually a stopgap solution to allow me to play the latest stable version of Wesnoth. I'm mainly a Linux Mint fan, because Linux Mint's devs seem to understand the end user's perspective. I think Kubuntu should shamelessly copy everything Linux Mint has done instead of standing on point of pride. Unless I can get Kubuntu working the way I think it should work, I'm moving to LM 15 KDE when it comes out.

I don't consider myself a distro hopper, because I've only tried a couple distros. The only non-buntu distro I've tried has been Open Suse 12.3. I wrote a review, but Distro Watch wouldn't link to it, probably because it lacked screenshots. I think they require screenshots. I'm pleased and flattered they linked to my Kubuntu 13.04 review. That link's traffic has surpassed Google's.

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