Tag Archives | WePC.com

Desktops? Dead? They Don’t Have to Be

I haven’t bought a desktop PC in three years–and the one desktop I still own that’s still in service spends most of its time sitting alone and unused. Nothing extraordinary there: Laptops now outsell desktops, and you’ve gotta figure that the most likely scenario is that desktops’ share of the market will continue to dwindle over the next few years until they’re archaic oddities, like floppy disks or dot-matrix printers.

Or maybe not. For my latest guest post on WePC.com, “The Future of Desktop PCs (and How They Can Have One)””, I propose six things that PC manufacturers can do to revitalize the desktop market–or at least get me intrigued by the category again. I hope you find my ideas thought-provoking enough that you’ll leave a comment over there with yours…


New Years Resolutions for the PC Industry

More year-ahead musings: I’ve written another guest post for WePC.com, and this one covers six new years resolutions that I’d love to see the PC industry make and keep. They’re entirely selfish, since they all involve stuff I wish every PC had. (Starting with a realistic estimate of the battery life I’m likely to get.)

Check ’em out–and I’d love to hear any resolutions you care to make on behalf of the tech biz.

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My CES Wish List

Most of my time at the moment is being eating up by preparations for two annual events involving shiny new toys. One of these events is this Thursday. The other one is in a couple of weeks: It’s the mammoth Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, where I’ll head to learn what the tech industry thinks is going to matter in 2010. (Well, all of the tech industry except Apple, that is.)

In the meantime, I’ve been reflecting on what I hope I’ll encounter at the show. I share some of them in my newest WePC.com contribution, Six Things I’d Like to See at CES (But Probably Won’t!). Check it out–and while you’re at WePC, you might want to investigate how to get a shot at winning a free PC.

Oh, and any of you going to CES?

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Laptops: Are More Screens Ever Better?

Four ScreensWhen it comes to laptop CPU speed, RAM, hard-drive capacity, and USB ports, more is definitely better. With screens, however, the ideal number may well be one. ¬†Many inventors have come up with multi-screen laptop designs; few have reached the market and none have been major hits. (Even Microsoft’s mundane and useful-sounding Windows Sideshow technology never took off.)

In my latest guest post at WePC.com, “A Brief History of Bad Multiple Screen Portables…and How to Improve on Them,” I take a look at the whole idea of building more than one screen into a portable computer, and try to provide some advice for making it make sense. I’m still skeptical, but I’m willing to believe it’s one of those technical challenges that remains unsolved for eons–until the moment someone figures it out.

If you read my post, share your thoughts over at WePC–and as long as you’re there, check out the contest (you could win a gaming PC, laptop, or netbook by participating).

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A Guide to Laptop Accessories, and the Avoidance Thereof

WePCI’ve guestblogged again over at WePC.com–my latest topic is notebook accessories and my preference for traveling light. I try not to carry many of ’em and have a preference for ones that are easy to tote. I also admire the thinking behind such innovations as Compaq’s built-in AC adapter, HP’s built-in mouse, and Canon’s built-in printer, even though the later two were a tad odd and none appeared to be successful.

Check out the post for more thoughts–while you’re there, leave a comment with your thoughts on notebook accessories, and check out the WePC contest. They’re giving away a bunch of gaming PCs, notebooks, and netbooks.


The Eternal Virtue of Good Old Fashioned QWERTY

We PCOne of my personal heroes in the whole history of technology is Christopher Sholes. He didn’t invent the microprocessor or the LCD or cellular communications–he’s the man who gave the world the first QWERTY keyboard, back in 1867. And even though new approaches to input such as multi-touch screens can be pretty cool, I think that QWERTY will be with us for a long long time to come.

Over at WePC.com, where I’ll be guestblogging periodically, I’ve contributed a post called Physical QWERTY Keyboards: Long May They Wave. Take a look and lemme know what you think: Is Christopher Sholes’ keyboard a gift to cherish forever, or an antiquity we should be trying to ditch?


Build (or at Least Envision) Your Dream PC

Asus and Intel have launched WePC.com, a Web site that’s a marketing vehicle, but an entertaining one: It lets you noodle out ideas for new PC designs, then publish them so that other folks can vote on them and discuss them. The designs will supposedly be taken into consideration to serve as the basis of new Asus systems, but even if your dream machine stands no chance of ever becoming reality, it’s fun to piece it together.

(Side note: The site provides a configuarator that lets you specify your computer’s specs, including the number of FireWire ports…and the minimum number of FireWire connectors it permits is one. Guess that whoever designed this configurator agrees with those who say that even the idea of a FireWire-free laptop is a travesty.)

(Further side note: The configurator doesn’t involve specifying the CPU inside your dream PC, but you get the chance to describe the machine using free-form text. I’m happy to see that some people are proposing PCs that run OS X and/or use AMD processors, even though the site is sponsored by Asus and Intel.)

I spent a few minutes at WePC roughing out a machine I’m calling the Foxbook, which continues the idea behind my series of articles about working in the browser by proposing a thin-and-light notebook that’s designed to run Firefox really well and which has enough connectivity options to ensure that you’ll be able to get online anywhere on the planet. It’s not a standard netbook, since it has a largish 14-inch screen. And I wouldn’t be stunned if it cost more than a grand, especially if it had a nice aluminum case. But I’d sure like to have the chance to buy one–and I’m reasonably confident that laptops that bear at least some resemblance to it will arrive in the not-too-distant future.

If you find WePC intriguing enough to design your ideal machine, why not leave a link in the comments on this article so we can check it out?

(Full disclosure: Federated Media, Technologizer’s advertising partner, helped Asus and Intel launch WePC.com…and in fact, there are ads for it in this site. There might even be one on this very page. But I’m not writing about it because of those ads, and I won’t make any money if you click on the ad or otherwise make your way over to WePC. I just think it’s clever enough to deserve a quick mention.)