It is immensely ironic that the very people designing the desktop into oblivion are using the largest most powerful desktop computers and displays imaginable. Given the large amount of information they manipulate simultaneously, this is unlikely to change. Some of the design files take minutes to open, and over an hour to compile. While they can control the automatted parts of the process remotely through any user device, the highly interactive parts of the design require immersion into sea of design details. I suspect that as long as humans want to continue to design new things, they will desire larger displays and faster computers.
I don't do any design work anymore, and am rather embarrassed to admit that I worked on mylar when I did do design work (so you can store that as background for what I'm about to say). But I agree with you, bobjengr...I can't imagine much, if any, of the design work I ever did being accomplished on a mobile device. It just doesn't seem practical to me. And, yes, I also agree that this is a fantastic post, Alex.
I agree with BRedmond. Mobiles can never replace computers completely. For small tasks such as checking email or facebook mobiles are much more convenient as they help you save time. Things like these can be checked in the time that would normally be wasted e.g. waiting at the bus stop.
But for proper heavy work like in offices you will still require computers.
When computers came out, people thought that they will replace the televisions completely. But computer haven't been able to do that. Even still for entertainment people prefer TVs over computer.
Yes, Cadman-LT, it's pretty disheartening, unfortunately. I never really worried about it but now I'm getting older (approaching middle age) and I can really see it taking its toll. I've also been a contact-lens wearer for many years and sometimes even they are not strong enough for me to read small things. I am already nearsighted but now it seems that vision is going, too. I'm going to practice focus exercises that wheely suggested and see if that helps.
Yes, please do Elizebeth, & don't just look at something, focus for a few seconds, concentrate on a detail of something. Another thing I do when I'm home setting on the deck, (usually sipping a nice beverage) excercize your eyes by focusing on something close, something about 20' away, then something across the yard or past, repeat a few times. The key is focusing, bringing out the detail.
I'm sorry that my second paragraph sounds so sarcastic, but people need activity & seem to avoid it at all costs.
In reality the whole topic is a bit silly and it is probably the creation of someone who is promoting it for personal gain. Design work that requires any amount of thought and concentration will be done on stable platforms with adequately sized screens that will allow seeing a larger portion of the picture. Word pressesing functions such as writing documents of more than a few dozen characters will continue to be done mostly on devices that allow an autor to see more than a few words at a time. Just how comfortable is it to type on a micro-sized keyboard? And most work that is worth hanging on to for longer than a typical device battery charge period will be done on some less mobile platform. So there is a lot of work that just is not as easy or enjoyable to do on some portable device.
But for surfing the internet, especially for those afflicted with the milliseconds attention span, and for all those who can't focus their attention on any thought requiring more than 140 characters to express, a small screened portable device is just right. A mobile device able to deliver a display of a restaurant menue and waiting line is just fine, anything bigger would be excessive.
The whole discussion has chosen to avoid the question of "what would it be used for?" Just as in selecting tools or test equipment, the firs question has to be "What is to be done?" We would not consider driving nails with a screwdriver, nor would we hope to measure current with a function generator.
The fact that a whole lot of people will probably never choose to creat anything more profound than a tweet does not mean the end of those who write books and design things. Creaters are not going away. But the mass market has changed a bit. And as always, many companies can only follow the mass market, since their product is exclusively aimed at the masses.
There are two types of platform- content creation and content consumption. Mobile devices are 99% content consumption. Desktop systems (or decent notebooks) are content creation platforms. On these, you can install and use Abobe Creative Suite, any type of CAD, and a myriad of other large, comnplex content creation apps. Until there are powerful mobile systems that can handle this effectively, the desktop isn't going to go away.
What will happen though, is that desktop systems will become very expensive. Supply and demand. They will cease to be commodity, but will have a steady market demand. Desktop users that create this type of content must have these systems, and will pay a premium for them.
Hank--I agree completely. The design work I do cannot be accomplished on a mobile device. I'm not saying that day will never come but mobile devices will have to be changed considerably for that to happen for a working design engineer. I use daily Solid Works, MiniTab, MachCAD, etc etc and these are just not suited for use with mobile devices. Great post Alex. Very informative.
Like some others who have posted, I feel this article is way too general. I would opine that the suitability of tablets, etc. depends largely on the application to which the computer (in whatever form) is being put. As an engineer, I simply can't fathom that ANY tablet will displace my dual-screen system for schematic design, PCB development, and the like. I would also guess that accountants might also prefer a classic desktop configuration when dealing with (sometimes large) spreadsheet files. If you are actually doing development work in the hardware realm (e.g. interface boards), then you will almost assuredly need workable access to the inside of the computer. Try that with a tablet.
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