Post-PC World: Bah! Humbug!
Are PCs passé? To make up a moniker, "Post-PC", is at best an over simplification and a sloppy choice of words.
We are entering that time of year where Christmas carols play at all the retail outlets and decorative garland is suspend from every fixture, all in hopes that we will open our pocketbooks just a little wider.
And despite being in this festive frame of mind, every time I hear a reference to the "Post-PC World", I feel like I am channeling Ebenezer Scrooge when he exclaimed "Bah! Humbug!"
PCs, or personal computers, have been around for a long time. With the passing of Steve Jobs many tributes spoke to the 1977 Apple II as the first successful mass-produced personal computer (but not necessarily the first personal computer.)
I would argue that a personal computer must have a number of attributes to be both personal and a computer. From a computer perspective, it must be digital and programmable via software (not necessarily by the end user). From a personal perspective, it should be inexpensive enough to be affordable by an average professional and small enough to be transported by an average person.
I have owned and still own many personal computers and they have looked very different over the years:
I didn't own this but rented one when I was a teenager.
Commodore gave me this computer to develop video games on. The screen featured 23 characters across! 5K of RAM.
Also from Commodore, used to create Jack Attack game. A 40 character wide screen and a whopping 64K of RAM.
Luggable; given to me by Commodore. Very small screen; almost as small as an iPhone's screen.
Loaned to me by a friend's father.
Apple Canada loaned me one of these. It came in a huge metal box that made it look like I was transporting radioactive material.
Loaned to me by a company I was writing software for. I had three or four terminals set up in a small apartment.
The first laptop (really a luggable) that I bought. I think it was $8,000. 12MHz 80286 CPU. It had 1MB RAM and a 20MB hard disk drive, orange gas plasma display.
Toshiba Satellite Pro 400 CDT
My first true laptop. Around $6,000.
Dell XPS 15
One of my current laptops.
Original version. I haven't shelled out for an iPad 2 yet.
Samsung Focus Windows 7 Phone
So far it has been my most favorite mobile device. I love how it integrates personal feeds from LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.
Really these phones belong to my wife and daughter but I did buy them.