What the Media Has Told You About Computing is All Wrong (Part 1 of 3)

Windows 10 will launch in about 6 weeks, provided that everything goes according to Microsoft’s plan. Windows 10 will scale across all computing devices in our current milieu…phones, tablets, and PC’s of various form-factors. When it goes down, a lot of journalists are going to try and tell you whether it is good or bad. But there are several areas of computing over the past few years where tech journalists have been wrong. So, c’mon. Let’s go for a walk, shall we?

A frequent topic that I am often at odds with the mainstream media over, and even the tech journalist community as well,  is what defines productivity. That conflict frequently comes from, or springboards into, what defines a device that is suitable for productivity. My contention is that what most people spend most of their time doing on a computing device actually requires very little muscle. To make a device in the fieldproductive is really often no more than a matter of applying the right kind of accessories. Beyond that, it is more typically a matter of orienting yourself in the right mindset and taking some uncomfortable steps into realms that may not represent your traditional work models. But being willing to work in a low-power computing environment can prove very powerful if you let go of what the tech media has taught you to believe.

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media workWhen tech journalists say that a tablet is only a media consumption device, and is not suitable for productivity, they are speaking from a skewed perspective. They are making a statement based on their own daily workflow, which frequently requires juggling a lot of media, This includes images, audio, and video, and intermixing that with text. In fact, I have to question just how much time online writers spend actually writing. As a blogger, I can pound out articles fairly quickly. It is the post-production, juggling images, resizing them, enhancing the lighting, monkeying around with YouTube and cloud services and so forth that really eats into my  time. But that is not what I spend a lot of my time doing in my day job, and I think that daytime activity is what is more typical of the mainstream office worker. So “productivity” for me is driven by being able to do my work at my desk and in a boardroom, not by what I do on the web. I spend a lot of that day-job time communicating, and a bit of my time modeling systems and software. And for that I do not necessarily always need a Core i7 monstrosity with a 27″ or larger display.

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iPads and Android tablets are enough for me 90% of the time, as long as I have a keyboard and, for an Android device, a mouse is also helpful. You know another thing that is great for my productivity? A Windows 8.1 PC, with modern (Metro) apps that provide a full-screen interface so that I can write and draft without the clutter of a bajillion apps open in my systray and emails constantly streaming into Outlook. But of course, the mainstream tech media would also have you believe that Windows 8 is a failure, as well. But hold on to that thought until tomorrow night.

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