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My Lifestyle transition from 'Big Iron' to 'Mobile Man'

By Steve Withers, in , posted: 18-Jun-2011 11:44

I worked on the Big Iron (mainframes) in the 1980s as a mainframe operator and systems programmer. I moved to PCs and servers in the 90s. In the Naughties I became a citizen of Laptop Nation. Each step enabled me to be more free and more mobile and to access more "stuff": multimedia, Internet.....anything digital. 

Now? I'm Mobile Man. If the device can't transmit, I don't want it. Dead weight. Why would I want a camera that can't instantly send edited images to wherever? Or a PC I can't just put in my shirt pocket? 

I gave away my laptop over a year ago to my uni-engaged daughter. My main computer, camera (still & video), stereo (nice old word), comms device of all types (email, txt, FB, Twitter, phone), is my (multi-tasking, access any data anywhere, any time) Android smart phone. 

The last bastions of PC required-ness are the touch-type keyboard for lots of words in a short space of time; playing big games on a big screen; and video editing....and even then it's a close-run thing on all counts. 

The SlideIt "swipe" soft keyboard I got from the Android Market for lunch money allows me to quickly type a lot of words very accurately by just swiping my finger around the screen. I'm writing longer and longer things this way.  

My phone has an HDMI out port, so if I had an HDMI TV ( I don't - my bad), I could already be playing phone games on a huge screen.  

For video editing. "Vid-trim Pro" lets me do basic selection of the chunks of video I want. Usually thats all I need anyway. The PC still does the heavy lifting. 

But on all counts....I can see the day very soon when a large screen phone or phone / tablet / netbook device will do it all. 

When I get my hands on one of those, I'll be Liberated Super Mobile Man. If you get on that bus first, save me a seat. I won't be long.

My ambition now is to travel overseas with what I'm standing up in, a spare shirt / undies / socks, my wallet, passport  Light as a feather. Won't even need carry-on. 

Comment by kiwitrc, on 19-Jun-2011 07:39

I think Slideit has used naughties instead of nineties, could have been worse though, nighties :)
Interesting read as I am just about head overseas for 5 weeks business/holiday and have decided that I am leaving my laptop at home and taking my SGS2 and newly aquired Asus eee Transformer (which is impressing the hell out of me). I could probably get away with just the SGS2 but small steps... Also my wife is coming and likes to read so the Asus with a few downloaded books can be her library.
I have downloaded all my music to the phone (48G memory) plus with OTG I have cheap USB memory for as much other stuff as I can use. I realise I can stream music if need be but the phone will also be used in the rental car while we trip around the south of France.
Worst case if need be I can get my work desktop turned on and use the phone or tablet to access it with Pocketcloud, but I don't think that will be necessary.
Really feels like a Geek version of Man vs Wild :)

Author's note by Linuxluver, on 22-Jun-2011 11:47

Kiwitrc: "naughties" was meant to be the years 2000-09. :-)  SlideIt worked just fine. You should (Please?) write a blog post about how your trip goes using the SGS2 and the ASUS Transformer.  

Comment by kiwitrc, on 22-Jun-2011 13:59

Yeah I wondered about that but I was using a god awful Toshiba laptop in the nineties and thought you must have been then as well.

Yeah I might do that (Blog), I have been using the ASUS at home for the past week, the keyboard arrived yesterday and really transforms it (realised its a pun after typing that). I have sorted out what data sim I need in France, got a Vodafone 3g to wireless mobile wifi and looking pretty good to go.

Just need to figure out how to get the Android VPN to work back into the office.

Author's note by Linuxluver, on 22-Jun-2011 19:41

I use the VPN on my SG-S to get into an MS Exchange environment where I work. It does PPTP and L2TP (at least). This varies by phone somewhat, I think. There is a baseline, but some vendors add more. The Exchange support on my Nexus One was better than the Exchange support on the SG-S. Particularly around handling meetings.  

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Steve Withers
New Zealand