Home Theater PC Speculations

So last week I detailed my experiences with a sort-of Home Theater PC (HTPC), namely a laptop where I got experimental.  I noted that I would discuss their place in the economy and the career implications.  This of course, is that column because hey, I promised.

And here’s the answer: Not yet because there are way, way too many possible use cases and no real settled technologies, and what comes eventually will be gradual.

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The Future Of Computing Is Maybe

So a few trends came up we’re going to need to follow, progeeks:

First, yes, as everyone not comatose under a rock in an alternate dimension knows Microsoft announced it’s own entries into the Tablet wars, Surface. Er surfaces.  Anyway, read the article, once you wake up and crawl out of your other-dimensional Rock

Of course this doesn’t surprise anyone since there have been rumors and speculations for awhile, and since Windows 8 and even the X-Box looked awful tabletesque.  Rather strong design however, though we really do NOT have a lot of information whe you look at it.

Also, the question remains how does everyone else on the planet feel who makes Windows boxes?  Since Microsoft sort of became their rival/enemy all in one go.

Secondly, if you didn’t follow the Wired teardown of the new MacBook pro with Retina display, you need to.  Yes, the thing is basically a brick, but there’s a larger point they make.  Mac is essentially trying out systems that can go two ways – the sealed unfixable/unhackable system (that probably is “repaired” by swapout), and a more open system.  Mac really is following consumer lead, and upcoming choices will likely focus their efforts – so what are we going to choose?

This makes perfect sense, but there’s part of a larger picture – what Mac does is going to affect what other people choose to do.  Like say . . . Microsoft.

We’re going to need to pay attention.  How we use devices, develop for them, repair them, etc. may come down to consumer decisions we’re not expecting because we’re making different ones . . .

It would be an interesting time with just one of these announcements.  With two of them, well, I’m going to have to process this for awhile.  But my thoughts:

  • If you work at any company that makes Winboxes, watch what’s going on. Microsoft could be your enemy, or your friend, or a trendsetter.  Or they may not know.
  • If you’re a developer and you didn’t think you’d be “thinking tablet,” well, you’re thinking tablet now.  Get used to it.
  • The Apple trend bears watching and we should see if sealed/unsealed systems change in popularity and who follows the trends (as it could give competitors an in – or they may just follow suit).
  • I’m not sure how powerful the Wintabs are going to be, which may affect the apps they use.  I don’t think these are exactly gaming machines.
  • The Wintab design looks pretty solid to me – it’s “beyond tablet,” and I expect it’ll be influential if only because it’s what a lot of people want anyway.
  • Google will do something.  The question is, what . . .


– Steven Savage

Steven Savage is a Geek 2.0 writer, speaker, blogger, and job coach for professional and potentially professional geeks, fans, and otaku. He can be reached at https://www.stevensavage.com/


Media Size and The Changing Media Environment

(Last week I posted to a link on an article about rejected SF and Fantasy novels, and one of our regulars noted that Dune had been rejected for length at one point – and then noted how some series and books seem to be overlong.  That got me thinking and this column is the result).

What is the ideal length of a book?  A series?  A TV episode?  A movie?  A movie series?

You have an idea in mind.  Publishers, TV executives, authors, and everyone has an idea in mind.  I daresay you could, with little prompting start quite a conversation – or argument – about the ideal length/duration of any form of media.  We all have ideas about such things, some held quite passionately.

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