Just when I think this subject has been dealt with, finished, over and done … it pops back up again. For reasons that remain a bit murky to me, a few large software and other organizations still believe the tablets and mobile phones are going to replace computers. Laptops and desktops … gone. Everything now gets done on tiny little thingamabobs.
About four years ago, tablets were the thing. Articles everywhere explained why tablets — and other small devices — would replace computers. The laptop and desktop are dead! The techno-pundits agreed: no one would need a computer because everything would be done on a small, portable device.
The short-sightedness of that statement still echoes in the air. Of course it didn’t happen. Sure, everyone bought a tablet. Or two or more. But no one threw out their computer, either. Turns out that each device has a purpose and an appropriate use. It isn’t and never will be “either-or.”
I don’t have anything against portable devices. I have a smart phone. Sometimes, I even use it. I have a couple of tablets and have had as many as four, including an iPad. I didn’t like the iPad (gasp!) and gave it to my granddaughter who had a valid need for it in school. The others, I passed on to people who didn’t already have a tablet or three. The price of tablets has dropped so much — frequently offered free when you buy a cell phone or laptop — it’s getting hard to give them away.
I have a terrific gaming 14-inch laptop on which I’m working right now. I also have a desktop with a big HD monitor. I rarely use the desktop, but I keep it because you never know. Garry has one too. Ditto.
The big desktop monitor is a touch screen. It used to go nuts if a fly or a mosquito walked across it. I eventually gave up and turned the touch functionality off. It was a viciously difficult angle at which to use ones fingers, especially if you have a semblance of fingernails. It killed my wrists and shoulders.
WHAT ARE TOUCHSCREENS GOOD FOR?
Not much, actually. The little ones are good for checking email and making brief responses … and sending texts. Taking a quick glance at a website. Reading a book. Looking at (but not editing) pictures. Listening to music.
SO WHAT’S MISSING?
The ability to create anything or do any actual work. Too small for a spreadsheet. Without a keyboard, no writer would try to do anything longer than a paragraph or a quick typo fix.
And then there’s the inaccuracy. You cannot edit a photograph — or anything really using a touchscreen.
YOU CAN’T DO “BIG” USING “TINY”
Those who extol mini devices as a total computer solution have never designed a book, made a movie, edited a photograph, used Photoshop (or any Adobe product), converted a book to a PDF or edited a manuscript. I know this because it’s impossible. All other problems aside, little devices are too small.
This is not my opinion. It’s fact. Mac, PC, Android, Linux — size matters. You can argue this until you’re blue in the face. It won’t change anything. Oh, and some of us really can’t read tiny type. Like more than half the population, for example. Far-sighted people and anyone over 40. Just saying.
VIRTUAL KEYBOARDS ARE FOR VIRTUAL TYPISTS
I read an article that explained how you can type just fine on a virtual keyboard. No, you can’t.
IT’S A BIG WORLD
I like choice. I like having different devices for specific tasks. You can’t replace everything with one thing and there’s no reason you should.
Diversity makes life interesting. We don’t have to go to the same church, read the same books, believe the same stuff … or use the same computer
One size never fits all.