Dec 10th, 2013
I had an interesting (well perhaps) thought the other day. It was related to what in the tech line I would carry about with me if (for example) I was going away on a two day trip – business or pleasure – and how this has changed over the years.
So 1992 – I am a junior support technician with an IT consultancy.
Business – nothing. I am way too junior for a laptop which are still an executive preserve. I am thinking about perhaps having a mobile phone but they are quite expensive and I certainly wouldn’t have one supplied with the job. When I am on call I have a pager.
Pleasure – again nothing – I have a desktop PC at home and a server to practice networking – but no mobile kit.
1998 – In Server support for an insurance company. Somewhat come up in the world because I don’t crawl around under desks any more.
Business – Nokia mobile phone – bought it myself but can charge calls to company. Still too junior for a laptop but my boss has one.
Pleasure – The same Nokia mobile phone.
2002 – Messaging team for a multi-national Pharma
Business – IBM Thinkpad Laptop, Nokia mobile phone supplied by company.
Pleasure – The same mobile – they seem happy enough to pay for all my calls and I am not arguing about it. I wouldn’t take the laptop because it is heavy and the internet is not that interesting.
2007 – Head of Messaging team for same Pharma Company
Business – HP laptop. Blackberry.
Pleasure – Nokia mobile (my own because I don’t want the BB on holiday with me thanks).
2010 – Immediately before I leave corporate life – Associate Director with same Pharma
Business – Thinkpad, company IPhone (replaced BB)
Pleasure – IPhone, IPad (my own first tablet).
2011 – Starting our own company.
Business – Thinkpad, HTC Android (worst phone I have ever had for shortest period of time), iPad.
Pleasure – As above – can’t be disconnected on holiday with a new business
2012 – Company well established now
Business – Thinkpad, Lumia 800 WP7, Iconia W500 Windows tablet (my first Windows tablet with preview version of 8 on it)
Pleasure – As above but don’t actually need Thinkpad unless I need a machine with a lot of punch.
2013 – Company established and doing well
Business – Surface Pro, Surface RT, HTC 8X WP8. I need to have both Surfaces because the RT can’t run all the software I need, and the Pro’s battery life is not great.
Pleasure – Surface RT, HTC 8X. For pleasure trips I can get away without much desktop software as long as I have Office.
2014 – Now.
Business – Surface Pro 2. Lumia 1020
Pleasure – Surface Pro 2, Lumia 1020
So the point of this very long post is that for many years the trend was ever upwards with kit getting ever heavier and more burdensome to carry about. Even the advent of the IPad and other consumer type devices didn’t help that much if you were travelling on business with a need for full on content creation type software. Then last couple of years along came Windows 8 tablets and matters were greatly improved. But until the Surface Pro 2 I never had a single device I could travel with that fulfilled all the qualities of functionality, weight and battery life such that all I needed to go with it was a phone. The last 20 years shows a graph where we started off carrying nothing because nothing was worth carrying, went up to a point where we were carrying tons because the tech was not very portable, and has now come right back down – to where we don’t have to carry much because a little goes a long way.