Partial Transcript: Episode 30 (Death of the PC?)

Andrew: I think the reports of its demise have been greatly exaggerated.

Virginia: Nick is the one that brought this topic to life.

Nick: I watched a Google meetup of the Verve.  If anyone has ever seen the Verve blog, it’s a big tech blog.  One of the editors said that PC’s are pretty much dead.  He doesn’t even use a PC anymore.  He does all of his work on a tablet.

Andrew: Well, if you’re only job is email and web surfing, I can see a tablet.  Not for me.  I’m a Linux admin.  I have to SSH into stuff.  I’m also doing PHP programming.  I can’t do that on a tablet.

Nick: You can actually do all of that on a tablet.

Andrew: I can, but it’s not easy.

Nick: I only requires a text editor and a browser.

Virginia: You need a terminal.

Andrew: I use like three monitors whenever I’m actually programming.

Nick: You could have three tablets.

Andrew: The workflow is a lot different on a tablet.  As much as they want to pretend you can multitask, it’s still single-application focuses.

Nick: As soon as like near-field becomes a bigger deal, we’ll start seeing game changing tablets.  Passing things through tablets like they’re one system will change things.

Virginia: Then what’s the point?  Why not just get a monitor?  What I’m missing is, “What defines a PC?”

Andrew: It’s getting blurrier.

Nick: I’m going to say keyboard and mouse.

Virginia: My mom has a keyboard for her iPad.

Andrew: Here’s an example.  In front of me is an Asus Transformer.  It looks like a laptop, but it’s really a tablet.  It’s a tablet, but it has a keyboard.  It has a touchpad.  But, it’s not a laptop.  I can’t use it like a laptop.  In a lot of ways, I feel like having a full desktop OS like Ubuntu is superior for the kind of stuff I want to do with a device like this.

Nick: I think the phone OS’s are pretty limiting.  You either have to write your own apps or hope that someone builds something that does exactly what you want it to do.  After that, you’re just at someone else’s mercy.  Surf the net, check your email, and play Bejeweled.

Andrew: I alt-tab a lot.  There isn’t really an equivalent to that on Android.  It’s just not the same.

Nick: You haven’t figured out the alt-tab gesture yet?

Andrew: Is there one?

Nick: The new Windows Slate is supposed to have new gesture things.  Windows 8 is supposed to give you the same OS on your phone as on the PC.

Virginia: For me, what made the difference was when I was in an elevator during a work trip.  I used to carry this super heavy laptop.  This guy has his iPad and a newspaper.  I asked him how he liked it, and he said that he wouldn’t need to carry his laptop if he could access the Office suite on his iPad.

Nick: I’m going to attack this.  I have an iPad that has those things.  The problem is that it separates you from your files.  It’s nearly impossible to move things from one program to another because you can’t control the file structure.

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