Portable Computers

This is something I’ve wondered about for a long time.  There was some validity to the idea back when Compaq first made the idea of a portable computer popular, but that was back before personal computers were ubiquitous, and before the world was networked.  When Microsoft discovered networking in 1995 the idea of a portable computer should have just withered and died.  In a time when a very serviceable workstation computer costs less than the desk to put it on, much less the network infrastructure to support it, why in the world would anyone want to lug the damned thing around with them and risk it being dropped, broken, or stolen?  Particularly if it has “secret” files on it, or files that are not easily replaced?

If the problem is that one’s computer is personalized, well come on now.  That’s a problem that’s easily resolved with a USB flash memory.  Or better still, something like the Plan 9 filesystem, that was proven technology over 20 years ago.


Categories of lusers

With respect to interaction with computers, there are engineers, programmers (hackers), and people who should just stay away.

It takes engineering to make high-reliability software, like what you’d want to operate the engine of your car.  It takes an aptitude for programming to use scripting tools to get quick and easy solutions to problems, and it takes yet another kind of mindset to just keep clicking the mouse and watching the hourglass in rote patterns.