Mark Twain once wrote, “I’m all for progress. It’s change I don’t like.”
Though it may seem obvious to you, I recently sat next to a gentleman on an international flight who was struggling to use his notebook on the seatback tray “table”. Made worse when the guy in front of him slammed his seat back in one quick move…nearly catching the top of the notebook screen in the tray cavity. Close call I thought. Disgusted look from my row mate.
Now…extremely cramped, screen tilted back towards him at a severe angle…after a while I asked, “Would it be better if you put the tray up?” A sheepish, “Uh…yeah.” was the reply.
Now this guy seemed sharp enough and had traveled quite a bit, so you’d think it would have been obvious. But since it wasn’t, I thought I’d pass on some tips given that I have the opportunity to travel globally on a frequent basis:
- First consider whether working on your computer is the most productive use of time. I’m an advocate of creating space just to think…not work on a report, not mull over a response to an email…just think. If you’re in coach and don’t have an ultrabook or tablet (and even if you do) thinking is a better use of your time.
- Don’t plan to get computer work done on the plane. I’ve planned to “get some work done” on many flights…it’s worked out as planned exactly once.
- But if you must regularly work on a plane (in coach) get yourself an ultrabook or tablet. I use an HP Elitebook (not really an ultrabook but close) 2540p. It’s small, the battery lasts longer than I want to work on the plane, doesn’t get hot and, best of all, has an SSD. If you don’t have an SSD in your notebook, get one. Too expensive? You’ll get over the uplift in one day! Trust me…never going back to a spinning drive. This changed the way I use my notebook and (nearly) made me question why I’d carry a tablet.
- If you’re still carrying a big notebook because you’re a power user, get over it. Actually, did I mention my small notebook has an i7 processor and 8 Gb of RAM? It’s horses for courses…if you’re a frequent traveler, get on the right horse.
- Finally…if none of that works for you…at least put the bloody tray up!
“Few people think more than two or three times a year. I’ve made an international reputation for myself by thinking once or twice a week.”
George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) Irish Author & Playwright
Yeah…there’s an app for everything. But is an OS dependent app the right answer for every functional requirement?
There are questions in the engineering world about who the mobile platform winner will be …Apple, Google or Microsoft. But my guess is that it’s all AND (hopefully) none of the above.
Here’s some prognostication for you…in three years most of our applications will be browser based and the device (and the OS it runs) won’t matter. (BTW…I have downloaded 79 apps to my iPad and fully half have limited to no functionality when not connected to a server on a network or the www.)
Yes…engineering will still need thick apps on a workstation; and what Bentley is doing for Mobile i-models is hot ( SQLite based http://www.sqlite.com/ ) and will require apps initially. And, of course, there will be mobile apps for use cases where the device is disconnected from the network. But everything else will (should) run in a browser. HTMLx will give us that. That’s what I’m telling Bentley’s development teams…