Earlier this month, the folks at the Harvard Law School's Berkman Center for Internet and Society interviewed me via e-mail to find out what it was about mashups that has inspired me to write about them so much and ultimately, to take on Mashup Camp as a side project (Doug Gold and I are the organizers of Mashup Camp and Mashup University). In my answer, which appeared in the July issue of The Filter, I questioned the bill of goods that the "technology establishment" has been selling us for so long:
For as long as I can remember, the potential for thin-client (or browser-based) computing to dethrone the desktop as we know it has fascinated me. I often wonder to what extent everybody has been hoodwinked into believing that technological evolution requires bigger, more powerful and complex operating systems, applications, and computers. To this day, we buy this stuff, spending billions of dollars, and rarely ask whose best interests it's in to constantly refresh our technology with stuff that's harder to manage and often times just as or more expensive than what we had before. Today, you can buy a decent notebook computer for less than you ever could. But when you ask that computer to run the new generation of operating systems and applications you're back on an expensive technology treadmill that, quite honestly, would be a conflict of interest for certain vendors to stop.
Today, CNET Reviews has a review of a new notebook -- Fujitsu's Lifebook Q2010 -- that epitomizes the idea of that expensive technology treadmill, if you ask me. Wrote Andrew Gruen fo the ultraportable:
The Fujitsu LifeBook Q2010 ultraportable laptop is small enough to fit in even the most cramped coach seats, but at more than $3,000 for a well-configured model, anyone who can afford one is probably flying first class anyway. It's lighter than other ultraportables, such as the Dell Latitude X1, the Lenovo ThinkPad X60s, the Panasonic ToughBook W4, and the Sony VAIO TX. If you demand the utmost in portability--and are willing to spend quite a bit to get it--consider the LifeBook Q2010. Otherwise, look to the Editors' Choice award-winning ThinkPad X60s, which is only a bit thicker but much faster and more than $1,000 cheaper.
I happen to be in the market for a notebook right now. Not only does the cost drive this machine right out of any possibility of contention, the fact that it has no pointing stick (a Trackpoint in Lenovo's parlance) eliminates it from my list as well. I know it's a matter of personal preference but I find that having to move my fingers away from the keyboard to move the mouse-pointer is a productivity killer (yes, I know that some people can do this with the their thumbs.... but I can't and I rarely see people using anything but their index fingers).
Stop the treadmill. I want off.