State of the state

As my tech ecosystem spirals out of control, I’ve spent more than a few minutes trying to figure out what it would look like if I could build it from scratch. Here’s where I am right now:

Hardware-

Phone: I want my phone to go back to being a phone, mostly. I want it to do things that are useful for something that I’ll have on me almost all the time. I want to take calls, read emails, and have a simple browser for reference. GPS makes sense, too. I don’t need it to run a boatload of apps or want to do real computer work on it. The screen is too small, the battery life is to precious, and the processor is too weak. Not to mention, these buttonless glass monoliths are crap to hold when you’re on a call.

Tablet: This one’s getting interesting. Can I work on it? We’re getting close. As soon as we get one that has a non-bulky, typable keyboard, we’re in business. The new Microsoft (they don’t want you to call it a) tablet looks like it’s very close to where I want it to be. I want battery life, I want a keyboard, I want portability, I want a screen big enough for me to display a remote computer’s desktop.

Laptop: I want this to go away. A lot of people see the tablet as occupying an awkward spot between the laptop and the phone. I see it more as the laptop being in that spot between tablet and desktop. There are too many compromises for this to be an attractive option to me: It’s heavy, it’s got crap battery life, it’s fragile (so long as it uses a hard drive), and the components are going to keep it more expensive than a tablet (I think). Given a choice between working on a laptop and a desktop, I’ll take the desktop every time.

Desktop: Yeah, I still see value here. The desktop is your best bang-for-the-buck option, and it’s the most durable, which means it’ll have the longest life span of any of the hardware. I like getting to sit in a comfy chair, in a comfy space, and have a big ol’ monitor in front of me. The interface peripherals (keyboard/mouse) are always going to be the best you own because they don’t have to be portable. I don’t see the desktop going away any time soon.

Social Networks-

Twitter: I may be in the minority here, but I love Twitter. Short, sweet, cheap, and bi-directional. Sure, it’s short, but you can do your real stuff elsewhere and just alert people on Twitter. I’m surprised that this has worked as well for me as it has.

Facebook: I hate this piece of crap with a passion that is almost beyond my ability to express. The weight of the user community is so large that it’s hard to completely abandon it without leaving behind some lines of communication that are genuinely useful to me, but man, do I hate feeling like someone else’s product.

Google+: This is a lot of fun, but it’s a mess and I don’t think it really works as a social network. I have some thoughts on what I want it to become from a service standpoint, but I don’t see that happening any time soon. It may wind up being more of a file repository than a social network for me. We’ll see.

Blogging: Man, I miss the community on LJ. That was amazingly good for me. I think, for long form, social networking is problematic. Actually, MySpace (of all sites) was pretty good at it. G+ should be since Google owns Blogger, but their integration is not good an all goes in the wrong direction.

MySpace and Friendster: Miss you guys. Good luck with the comebacks.

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