We live in a day and age when most of us use more than one computing device on a daily basis. Not everyone can afford to actually own multiple computers, but many at the very least have access to a work computer in addition to their home rig. Quite a few of us have multiple machines in the house that are used either interchangeably or that are dedicated for specific purposes.
Personally have 4 devices that I use in my day-to-day affairs:
- Windows gaming rig
- MacBook Pro
- Work laptop running Ubuntu
I would like to say I use that windows box mostly for gaming, but that is actually not true. As it happens it is actually my most frequently used machine, but not because I particularly like working under Windows. The computer runs Windows so that I can play games, but it is also running bunch of other things – like Cygwin, MySysGit, Python, Ruby, ActiveStatePerl, PHP+Apache via XAAMP and etc.. For most of my coding (excluding the forays into the world of .NET) I would actually be better off using a unix machine (like the MacBook). But most of the time I work on the desktop because of comfort. The desktop has a large wide screen monitor, the Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000 and the Sidewinder Mouse and an optimal desk setup. For comparison, the laptop keyboard is cramped and uncomfortable. As much as I love the apple touch pad gestures, an actual mouse is still much more comfortable to work with.
For the very same reason my work machine almost never gets used as a laptop – it almost always works in a “desktop replacement” mode. When I get to work, I plug it into an external monitor and usb hub with an attached Natural Keyboard Elite and Logitech VX Mouse.
I put the iPad on this list because it has been increasingly taking over the spotlight from my MacBook. Ever since I got it, it has been proving itself to be a superior mobile device. In the past I would take my MBP to bed when I wanted to catch up on the online series I follow, check my email, do some redditing or even watch a movie stored on the NAS. The iPad is perfect for all of this, weighs less, has much longer battery life and boots in the fraction of the time it takes for the laptop to properly wake up. Combined with a Bluetooth keyboard it can even function as a pretty decent thin-client workstation. Few years ago I probably wouldn’t even consider classifying such device as a “computer” but frankly, it has earned its place. It is the second most frequently used device in my house.
Sometimes I almost feel bad for neglecting my costly MacBook. It is a great machine, but somehow lately I’ve been viewing it as both too small and cramped for prolonged work (as compared to my desktop with the wonderfully large and padded keyboard), and too bulky and unwieldy for bullshitting online (when I can do that on the iPad). I almost wish I had a second desk where I could set up the mac with a nice large monitor and a split keyboard.
How about you? What kind of a device do you do most of your work?
I have mentioned this before, but I haven noticed that the desktops are slowly fading away from people’s households. Geeks and PC gamers still keep them around, but a lot of other folks have replaced them with laptops years ago. I know a few people out there who actually don’t even use their laptops at home anymore. They crack them open every once in a blue moon when they need absolutely to type something up in Word or Excel, and use their iPad (or other tablet) for everything else (everything else being Youtube, Facebook and forwarding chain letters via email). It would be interesting to see how my readers fit into the big picture here. How many of you use big and bulky desktops? How do you feel about desktops fading away, and laptops slowly becoming supplanted by more mobile devices?