Desktop versus Mobile Computing

Despite my best attempts to avoid the desktop, I can’t seem to completely avoid it.  Not that I can’t in practice.  Rather the desktop proves to be mindbogglingly useful as a productivity platform.  For one, typing with a full ten fingers really gets things done.  Second, screen real estate is cheap and allows for vast expanses for a UI to cover.  I can not understate the joys of working on a widescreen with a large resolution.  The only greater joy is working on multiple HUGE widescreen monitors with massive resolutions.  At work, I envy the graphics folk who get the large screens.  Coding and graphics works becomes a joy.  Third, the desktop or notebook out-competes in terms of sheer computing power.  Thats one aspect that I fear will always plague mobile computing platforms.

The last advantage is *gasp* openness.  Thanks to open source and open standards, I can freely arrange my desktop computing experience as I see fit.  Yes, there is always room for improvement but mostly it comes to avoiding some icky technical limitations.  And most of that is thanks to legacy code.  Ugh.  On the mobile, well… I tried to connect two apps together: a web browser and an office suite.  Fail.  Most likely a Symbian faux pas.

I have great hope that platforms like Android and Maemo along with more powerful and robust smartphones, will make mobile computing be as comfortable as desktop computing.  But for now, hold on to that desktop… you’ll still need it at least as a harness for your mobile gadgets.