One of my personality traits that makes me doubt my vocation as an evangelist is a general dislike of going to trade shows. The general hubbub being on my feet all day is my idea of purgatory. Fortunately I don’t have to stand, and the we’ve had a good ratio of interesting questions ("Can you show me photosynth ?" … "Can I ? Try to stop me !") to daft ones ("Why do you produce software with a new version number in it – new versions stop some applications from installing ?")
Someone parked a Version of Asus’s eee on the technical desk and it’s been quite the little crowd puller. A low cost – low weight, low cost (and it must be admitted low spec) PC, it’s shown up already running Linux. Asus have said a version running Windows is on the cards , and we’ve been told that version as we’re showing it is due in just a few weeks.
This is not a device I’d want – I couldn’t live with the 800×480 res screen, but then it’s a useful reminder that my needs from a PC aren’t the same as school pupils. I’m happy lugging my "desktop replacement" around – but that would be totally unsuitable for my daughter’s school bag. So it will be interesting to see how much of a niche this form factor carves for itself.
I thought I had written about form factors here before, but I can’t find the post. Basically devices have mixture of abilities to display, store, retrieve and process. Against these you have to balance weight, battery life and cost. A bigger display and more powerful graphics chip it needs demand a bigger battery to get the same life – so different compromises emerge.
What I do enjoy (and reassures me that I’m not in the wrong job) is seeing people look at a new technology and think "Hey with one of these I could …"