Bright Stove

Reflecting information risk journey

Joy of technology

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It often excites me when new technology is made available to make my daily work and lifestyle more digitally enabled. The Personal Information Manager (PIM) devices are one of those innovations, and have now converged to become one with the mobile phone, camera, voice and video recorder, music and video player, and continuing to grow to become an Internet device for web browsing, and GPS device for location finding, and in the very near future, location-based services. But as the device capabilities increase every so often, the reliability and stability of the machine seems to often take a back seat. So we kind-of always in the cycle of waiting for the next version of the device so that it becomes more reliable and usable, and when the next version is introduced, due to new features/capabilities, even though previous features have become better, new capabilities kill that and we are back to the waiting point again. Writing this, I’m actually missing some of the older devices that I could only hope that they are still around but in a form that is more stable, reliable, and usable. One of them was the Psion machine, and the other the HP Jordano. Both PDAs were great for keeping track of schedules and to-dos, and also for taking notes and writing stuff on the go. However, both no longer exist, and the beefed up version today is the UMPC. While UMPC has very rich functionality–since it is running Windows Vista, it takes a much longer time to boot-up and restart from either sleep or hibernation mode, and the worst case is that the battery lasts only a fraction of the simple PDA devices of the past. The Palm Pilot was meant to take their place a few years ago, but again seemed to have got sucked into the features/functions quests and now disappeared apparently.

Sometimes I wish that the technology providers or someone would just realize the importance of making simple, usable, and reliable devices instead of competing on having a longer list of features, and get us back to the basic, so that we could enjoy those yesterdays’ innovation with today’s standards and quality of productions to get things done more efficiently. Having said that, I still love to try out a new gadget when I see one. So perhaps we need to have two types of providers, one to continue to make yesterdays’ innovations better without adding new stuff unless really useful/needed for the purpose of that device, and can be done reliably, and the other to bring the future now, with the expectation that the future is full of unknowns and uncertainties (i.e., can be unreliable, insecure, and inefficient as a result). This would probably give us the best of both world. 🙂


Written by mengchow

September 6, 2008 at 2:55 am

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