Not so long ago all of us pretty much did our computing either on a desktop or a laptop. Those were pretty much our only choices, unless servers are included and they’re pretty much desktops without…well, a desktop.
These days we have all sorts of computing devices available to us, with more options being added daily, or so it seems. Although many media outlets evidently want us to believe that the traditional computer is on the way out, I don’t think that’s what’s happening. As The Motley Fool would say, were only seeing a market correction.
With the advent of the Internet, many people began using computers not because they liked computers but because they wanted to use the Internet. We used to read about these people often, folks who only used computers to surf, check email and occasionally do a little word processing. This group of users was quite large and until a few years ago was probably the majority of home computer users. Nowadays, however, mobile offers this group an easy option, resulting in desktops and laptops being abandoned in favor of more user friendly mobile devices.
We thought it might be time to run a poll to see what the people who visit FOSS Force own and use in their homes. Because our readers are overwhelming FOSS supporters, we figure we might see a little different mix than what we’d see from a more mainstream site.
Server We included server as a category in our poll because we figure we have a pretty savvy audience and that some of you will probably have an old box set up somewhere that you’re using as a file server. Most likely, some of you are even serving web pages through a broadband connection, bypassing the need for a host. FOSS users are a very ingenious lot.
Desktop: Also because of our audience, we figure we’ll find a higher percentage of desktop users than the national average. Since Apple changed the game with the introduction of the iPhone and iPad, the desktop is no longer the default computing device in consumer computer space. These days, desktop and laptop users are people who actually need to get some work done. With the right monitor, a desktop can also double as a widescreen TV.
Laptop or Notebook: Although a laptop pretty much serves the same function as a traditional desktop, a laptop’s portability makes it much more convenient since it’s not anchored to a single location. However, just about anything that can be accomplished on a desktop can be done on a laptop–you can just do it at Starbucks. By our way of thinking, Chromebooks are included in this category.
Netbook: For a very brief period about six or seven years ago, it appeared as if the netbook, basically a laptop clone with a crowded keyboard and limited specs, would be the next big thing in computing. This was a star that quickly fell to earth in favor of mobile devices. However, there are still a few of them being made and some folks continue to like and use them.
Tablet: My roommate was given a Nexus 7 for Christmas, which has been my only experience with tablets. It’s a very nice device, great for watching videos, listening to music, checking emails or playing games. They’re not very good for work, however. For example, while it would be possible for me to write this article on the device, I’d probably still be working on the first paragraph. Mainly they’re just a way to consume entertainment and spend money with Google.
Smartphone: I’ve never owned a smartphone and have very limited experience using them. They have a lot to recommend them, especially since apps can turn them into devices that’ll do just about anything while on the go. One example, nobody ever wants directions to my house anymore. They just want the address. Their smartphones get them here. They come with a hefty monthly fee though–too much for my blood.
Other: We’re starting to see all sorts of hybrid devices. Mostly these are laptops that can do double duty as a tablet.
So what devices do you have in your house? Take our poll. Feel free to comment below.