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In the years since the episode at Theo’s, hauling my laptop around has been replaced by an iPod Touch.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)