“PCs are going to be like trucks"
Steve Jobs in 2010:
“When we were an agrarian nation, all cars were trucks because that’s what you needed on the farms. Cars became more popular as cities rose, and things like power steering and automatic transmission became popular.
PCs are going to be like trucks. They are still going to be around…they are going to be one out of x people…
When I am going to write that 35-page analyst report, I am going to want my Bluetooth keyboard. That’s 1 percent of the time. The software will get more powerful. I think your vision would have to be pretty short to think these can’t grow into machines that can do more things, like editing video, graphic arts, productivity. You can imagine all of these content creation possibilities on these kind of things. Time takes care of lots of these things.”
This year, about five times as many smartphones will be shipped versus PCs, and tablets will surpass PCs for the first time. According to Jobs, the right way to look at this isn’t that mobile devices are creating a new market. It’s that mobile devices are relegating PCs to special-purpose, mostly industrial devices.
PCs, like CDs and DVDs and other ‘old’ media, are vanishing from store shelves. I need ‘big iron’ for my digital audio workstation. I can’t run Ableton Live or Adobe Premiere on a smartphone or a tablet. It has to be a workstation-class machine. And they’re vanishing to the Internet.
Sad, really. I like my ‘truck’.
Same, kind of. I can persuade a tablet to do what I need for art, if I can get Linux on it and behaving, now that GIMP is something to be taken seriously and I’ve wrapped my head around it. That certainly cuts down on system demands. BUT! I need the desktop space to shuffle my working space and reference and a browser window to find more reference as needed. Even if a 12x14 or larger tablet weren’t prohibitively expensive, it’s certainly unwieldy.
Then there’s the fact that most tablet GUIs want you to flip between full-screen apps instead of having a desktop containing multiple windows that can be resized and placed so all are visible, and I have to say, fuck THAT right in the face. And outside of getting a Cintiq, I have to say that most tablet styluses (stylii?) I have seen kind of suck.
This is actually a really interesting way of looking at what is going on with computer tech and frankly I am OK with it. My mother-in-law has asked me for help picking out computers a number of times over the past few years and I always give the same advice. “Are you doing anything other than checking your email, browsing the web, or (recently) streaming movies?” No? Then just get something affordable. For the most part, modern computers can handle most any web applications without a hick up, you certainly don’t need more than two gigs of ram to surf the web and stream movies off Netflix. For a lot of people out there, a tablet is plenty for what they are going to do with it. They don’t need a module box with 16 gigs of ram and a 5 terabyte hard drive and some people will still want it anyways, just like the guys who own huge trucks but have never hauled anything heavier than a bag of mulch. Then there are the programmers, the digital artists, the tech dev gurus who not just want, but need enough digital horsepower to make you want to grunt like a gorilla. Hopefully, I won’t ever have to answer another “What kind of computer should I get to check my email” questions, and if I do I can just tell them to get a tablet.
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