For the second instalment of my ‘Gadget history’ series of posts I thought I’d look into the personal and home computers I’ve owned and/or used. I added the ‘or’ in that sentence because the first two computers I used extensively weren’t mine. Not even my dad’s. They were the property of the local University, and the only reason I got to play with them was because I was friends with a professor’s son.
More Gadget history: Personal computers
Wired recently did a great story on how and why netbooks became last year’s big tech trend. “The Netbook Effect: How Cheap Little Laptops Hit the Big Time” starts with the OLPC and ends with cloud computing. It explains why these little laptops defy every rule in the business, and why many of the big brands were late to jump on the bandwagon.
…Netbooks violate all the laws of the computer hardware business. Traditionally, development trickles down from the high end to the mass market. PC makers target early adopters with new, ultrapowerful features. Years later, those innovations spread to lower-end models.
But Jepsen’s design trickled up. In the process of creating a laptop to satisfy the needs of poor people, she revealed something about traditional PC users. They didn’t want more out of a laptop—they wanted less.
While the are a few factual errors in the article (MSI did have a laptop business prior to its first netbook), this is the best article I’ve seen on the netbook phenomenon. Recommended.
This might turn into a series of posts. I thought it’d be cool to list the gadgets in a certain category that I’ve actually owned and used, and do a sort of short hindsight reviews. I’m pretty sure there are people out there who’ve used a some of the same devices and share (or disagree with) my experiences. First up: mobile phones.
I’ve had seven up until now, if you count the first one which I actually shared with my girlfriend. Cell phones, and the contracts that came with them were terribly expensive back then. Both the first and last ones are from Nokia, but that’s just about the only thing they have in common.
More Gadget history: Mobile phones