The rise of the Laptop
People have been saying it for years: Laptops are going to replace desktop computers, and back in the day it sounded plausable that it could happen eventually but it didn't look like it would happen very soon. But now the time is upon us, the question is: is Linux ready?
I've only recently come to realise that the time of portable computing is upon us, and that Linux will probably never take over the home desktop like some of use would dream about. This is because everything will be portable by the time Linux takes over.
In one of my CS lectures this week the lecturer showed us a graph of the number of computers on campus. It showed a steady increase until 2003 after which it sharply leveled off. The reason for this is not that there are less computers being added to the netowork, but that the college are now having trouble counting the computers. Up until now an increase in computers ment new computer rooms but now it can also mean an increase in handhelds and notebooks on campus. That graph showed us that there has not been a falloff in the growth in pc nubmers on campus, but that the current growth is in portable computing.
There is also loads of incidental evidence - lots of people I know are buying laptops nowadays because they are not that much more expensive than pcs and have equivelent specs and even have extras that a lot of desktops don't (firewire, flash readers), and are of course more flexible, protable and compact than computers. They can easily be put away or moved etc..
Linux on the Laptop
I recently commented on some nice features that XP has for portable users, so I'm not going to go further into what linux needs to do for portable users (yet). [The issues that spring to mind are PnP hardware and networking as well as suspending to ram and disk and fast bootup and shutdown times. Also support for Step-up-Step-down processors]
For my own computing needs I expect to have mostly migrated to a new laptop (maybe this one) for my day to day computing by the end of the year. I will be using the one I have more and more once I get wireless access in Uni at the end of the month. I will probably still use my workstation as a file server and for compiling Gnome betas to test. I think that in the future the workstation will resume the role it had in days Gone by as a tool for people with really heavy computing needs - but if you are just a "user" then laptops etc.. will be the way to go.
There is increasingly more and more interest in Linux technology that can make Linux on the laptop viable from both users and developers and it looks like the future is bright.
Been pretty wrecked this week. Managed to get to all my lectures but didn't do anything else of note. Have been sleeping 12 hour nights and waking up tired. All part of the healing process etc... I'm still 7/8 kg lighter than I should be and so look pretty gaunt. Only lost the weight over the last month and mostly likely will take about 6 months to put it back on.
On the up side I heal real quick and my doctor says I'm an advertisment for his work: Starting Uni 13 days after having a lung removed :)