Jobs and the environment

A few years ago I was sitting at Theo’s (the funky coffee shop close to our old dojo) catching up on some email. At the table behind me there was a pretty vigorous Mac/PC debate going on. All of the usual arguments were made (price, proprietary software, blah blah blah). Both sides were well represented, and I briefly thought about buying a PC for my next computer.

And then the conversation turned to the working environment – the PC side of the argument was that the user could tweak everything about the machine, both the hardware and the software. Total freedom. You just can’t do that with the Mac.

The Mac side of the argument was that the elegant interface inspired creativity. Not about tweaks to the machine, but about what you were doing with the machine. The working environment, and its effect on the user. (And, I wonder if the conversation that took place in a funky Eugene coffeehouse would have happened at Starbucks or MacDonalds…)

In the years since the episode at Theo’s, hauling my laptop around has been replaced by an iPod Touch. A very different environment to be sure. While I wouldn’t want to write a novel or edit video on the thing, it’s a wonderful device for access to the web, quick emails, my schedule. It’s a digital multi-tool. It’s got a camera, shoots video, works as a small flashlight, a level. It holds Gray’s Anatomy (the anatomy text, not the TV show), Sam’s PDF articles, some mighty-fine push hands reference videos, client notes. It reminds me when it’s garbage day.

Oh, and it plays music, too.

I’m bringing this up for a couple of reasons. With all of the posts about Steve Jobs and how Apple products have changed peoples’ lives, I’m wondering:

a) How do you utilize current technology in your study/training?

b) What are you reading this on? (my technology consultant is curious, since she needs to know how many folks will be reading this on mobile devices)


  1. I’m reading on an iPhone. I use it for email, scheduling, to look things up ( like class schedules, directions), my denture database is in it, it’s amazing…I do have a PC at work that I sync w/ but at this point I think a Mac would be as good (didn’t used to work w/ my real estate software, does now)

  2. Hi!
    I am reading this on and study on my laptop (and old powerbook G4.) I get noticfications on my Verizon smart phone (3G) but too busy to actually read info. Just check appts., etc.
    When I receive kung fu vidieos etc, from colleagues and my teacher, I see it on the phone but wait till I get home to really see it and/or to respond.
    Mostly, I will text if something exciting shows up and direct person to check it out and get back to me later.,
    Hope this helps!

  3. I’m reading this on my laptop. I read Tai Chi Qi & Jin by Stuart Alve Olson on my kindle and watch xing yi vids on the ipod touch. Also put everything I want to or can remember about your teachings on my blog. It’s pretty interesting to go back and re-read all the things I’ve forgotten or have been further illuminated by practice. And weird to see all the hits on the blog from all over the world. The Yang Style Taijiquan push hands curriculum cd is a superb reference to the practices from the outside looking in. (whereas in class one mostly identifies the routines internally and then is usually too tired to take in how it actually looks and this is unusual in that most tai chi classes… one takes in how everything looks versus how one feels.)
    The ability to pull in lots of info from the web on tai chi is pretty cool, The videos that were not available 15 years ago… It’s fantastic to see people like Sun Jian Yun doing sun tai chi. It’s pretty fun to do searches on key words in tai chi principles to see what pops up.

  4. I’m reading this on my laptop. I prefer it to the other “devices” I have. I use the ipod touch to demo my app and take easy photos, but that is about it. My eyes are too old for other stuff with it. The ipad is for presentations and solitaire. One day, mark my words… I’ll leave it all behind, grab a hardcover book and sit on the patio and read in the sun.

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