I know what he was up to. He was a powerful man seen as a visionary, and was using his influence to try and force a self-fulfilling (and self-serving) prophesy. But years after Steve Jobs boldly proclaimed us to be living in a post-PC world, it still isn’t so.
Not that I haven’t tried along with the rest of the world to prove Jobs right. I joined the throngs who purchased an iPad, and marveled at its capabilities. But just try and type on one. Sure, you can add a keyboard, but the combination of keyboard and touch screen just doesn’t work all that well: as soon as you incorporate a keyboard, the tablet, by necessity, needs to be farther away to accommodate two-handed typing, and the touch screen is moved out of comfortable range. The Surface, which is in even more need of a keyboard, has the same problem. A pointing device becomes necessary.
Suppose you do add a keyboard, and a pointing device. There’s still the screen size to contend with, and this is where I’m going to say something I haven’t heard others say yet. It needs to be said. You can only get so “cute” with a user interface. Developers have tried to overcome the dinky screen problem by using clever hidden or nested user options that make learning new programs a royal pain. Every time you get a new app, you have to figure out where the devs have hidden everything. I hate it. We already have enough menu fatigue these days without having to contend with dozens of apps that each have their own little cutesy feature symbols and buried functionality. But even if they overcame that somehow, and all got on board with a common menu structure, the physical size severely limits the kinds of things you can work on.
I have the perfect solution, though. It’s a tablet that will do it all. Add a keyboard and a pointing device, and make the screen bigger, give it a consistent user interface across applications, and call it…oh, that’s right, it already has a name, doesn’t it.?
Tablets are great for what they’re great at, such as using the Internet, reading, specialized workplace applications, and hunt-and-peck e-mailing. But when I want to get down to business and get some work done, give me a laptop or a desktop PC every time.
When people criticize Haiku for being a desktop environment, I just chuckle, because I’ve used the alternatives. We have a great desktop in Haiku. It’s snappier than most other desktops, works with big screens, fast keyboards and good old, user-friendly optical mice. Now we just need some solid applications for it.
(NOT sent from my iPad)
The hype continues. See the article, and then read the comments. The media isn’t convincing real people with all their hyperbole about the death of the PC.