There’s a scene in Monty Python’s ‘The Life of Brian’ in which a character asks ‘What have the Romans ever done for us?’ This is then followed by a host of other characters giving many useful things that the Romans HAVE provided for the people of Palestine.
I was reminded of this sketch when I encountered this article about Apple’s Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook in which he comments that there isn’t a single thing that a Netbook does well. Time, I have some bad news for you, sunshine; there are lots of things that Netbooks do well – however, they’re probably things that Tim Cook doesn’t do. In the last week or so:
- I used the Netbook to test an ADSL connection at the point of entry of the phone-line to the house.
- When out and about I used it to write a blog article whilst waiting for an appointment.
- Hooked it up to my amateur radio gear to decode some weather fax images.
- Downloaded some code from an SVN repository, made a quick fix and uploaded it again.
In other words, stuff I couldn’t use my Blackberry for, and stuff that I needed a real keyboard for – whilst the Crackberry is great, I don’t fancy writing 500 words of blog post or trying to debug code on it.
But it’s real, genuine work being done, and not stuff I could do on a keyboard-less, USBless iPad. Sorry Tim – here on Planet reality we’re not all managers and critics and reviewers and surfers. Some of us actually do real work on the move, which at the moment (and probably will do for some time to come) requires a real keyboard and a piece of kit that I can actually install software on – not a closed garden that looks good but is at the same time too big to put in my pocket and too small to act as a sensible paperweight.
I love teh concept of the Pad – but this sort of arrogance from Apple – following on from their recent attacks on development toolkits and the serious limitations in connectivity of the iPad – really makes me wonder whether the bods at Cupertino ever spend time in the real world watching how people use technology.