Saturday, October 02, 2010

Simplifying digital life

I got an iPad recently. The purpose was largely a business thing, so I can help out my wife with Black Swan Analysis work - I look after website analytics, etc.

I was well aware of what the apple mobile platform will and won't do, so I considered it a challenge of sorts. Would it do the job? I was pleased not to be an early adopter (it's been out since early 2010 really) as this gave the platform time to get some applications for serious use under it's belt.

I can report that it's coming along very nicely as a serious productivity tool. But the purpose of this little missive is a more general point about increasing complexity, size, and the human frailty of thinking that progress is about making things bigger.

One of the things I don't have on iPad is Microsoft office. Thankfully recent movements mean that the "doc" format is phasing out, and more third party apps exist which will use it; so I spent a whopping £5.99 on "pages" for the iPad to try it out.

Easy to use, word loads the files fine, but the biggest revelation was how little of the bloated, enormous, buggy MSWord I actually use. Pages is tiny. It costs next to nothing. And yet I reckon it handles 95% of day to day word duties I would need it for with effortless ease. Note, I'm no secretary or report writer. I do have a Bluetooth keyboard for the iPad as well, but that's portable and not essential (for instance I've been editing my homepage at using "Gusto" this morning using iPad onscreen keyboard work).

We have allowed ourselves to put up with bloated crapware which we pay a fortune for, for backward compatibilty, and made Bill Gates and his ilk very rich. Why on earth did we do this? It's viral junk!

Go openoffice (note, now libreoffice thanks to Oracle being arseholes)! Use that for your PC office needs instead.

Let's simplify our lives and keep using older machines to do the same work, instead of this relentless and destructive upgrade madness.

- Posted on the move

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