Bin your computer, you don’t need it

It’s safe to say that there’s been a seismic shift in the way we use and access the Internet. Back in the old days you’d go and buy some incredibly overpriced PC and then spend several years upgrading it, installing apps from DVD’s and suffering those “interesting” Windows issues.

Now everything has changed. I’m writing this on an iPad in my kitchen. Later I might use my smartphone to check some websites out on the web, then I’ll use my poor, battered laptop to write a review. Microsoft are currently pushing hard with Windows 8, but it seems that people are almost confused by it. Why? Well, the touch-screen interface works well but some laptops don’t have that touch-screen capability. The result is confused people tapping around on random laptops in PC World. It’s a touch-based GUI. It needs to have a touch interface, doesn’t it?

Well, maybe not, because we have Android appearing on devices without touch-screens. Those small media players from China that plug into your TV run the Android OS. They don’t have touchscreen function, but people seem to be buying them instead of upgrading to a “Smart TV”.

Is it time to chuck your traditional PC in the bin and replace it with one of the many other options? Perhaps it’s time to bolt one of those “other options” into your traditional desk and have that as your “PC”? This guy did. He’s stuck a HDMI cable, a mouse and keyboard into his Galaxy Note II and squirted the lot onto a big monitor.

Sure, there’s no touch screen, but it still seems to work pretty well. Games, music, internet and – although you don’t quite use it in the same way as a regular PC – the setup seems to work well for Coldfustion. Maybe it could for you too..

My thoughts? Well, I’ll put it this way. Some time ago I purchased one of those unloved, low-powered netbooks. The battery life is epic but it can’t cope with anything too CPU intensive. There is, after 3 years, absolutely nothing installed on it bar the OS. Nothing. I don’t use apps because absolutely everything I do on it is through the web. If I need to edit a document I use Google Apps. If I need to tweak a photo I use Pixlr. Email is through Google Apps too. Gradually we’re progressing to a place where more and more is done on the web, and apps are for the most part portals into web services or sites (Facebook, Twitter, WordPress, Google+, Dropbox).

Sure, I know that some of us need special apps and OS-specific apps, but for the majority – those who sit in front of a screen and browse the web, post updates to Facebook and watching videos on YouTube, why are you still using a PC?