And Disposable Laptops Have Arrived (short piece 14)


I had to do something with my laptop and found it easier if I switch to my other laptop. I was learning networking a few years ago when I purchased two identical laptops (one for backup) and they have been very good over the years. I switched the hard drive to the new laptop changing bodies but using the same machine basically. The screen of this laptop has not been in the open for so long it looks brand new. Yesterday was Black Friday and also a great day for Netbook computers. The tiny but powerful mobile machines had their biggest day in 2009 on a rainy Friday (at least in SF). Are they the new generation of computing that will save us and progress will continue? What will the world be without progress? God forbid that we actually get to stay where we are and live for some time. Thank God or whomever progress will not allow this and we will be saved. Netbooks have saved us in time. Cellphones arrived only a few years ago and already the market is saturated. Are cellphones so important? A cellphone by definition (on the part of those who make them and market them) is a credit card. A credit card is sold as a convenience tool but has intrinsic flaws making it subject to abuse. That is the purpose of the credit card business. Cellphones were designed, as mass market products, to be either expensive in cost by regular billing or be open to possible abuse. They were the new credit cards for many Americans. Too many credit cards in wallets had saturated that market. Cellphones were a great new angle into the pocketbook until they became sluggish. Smartphones did very well expanding on the basic cellphone market until they became saturated also. What is next to save us, America and the progress of our lives? How about Netbooks?

A Netbook is sold as a tiny laptop that is light, fast and able to be mobile and connected. The price is close to that of a cellphone and the connection plans are very lucrative for the cellphone companies. Is Netbook really a laptop or maybe a large size cellphone. The original cellphone got big and more capable in the form of a smartphone. The smartphone lost its market also by becoming saturated. Netbook is a larger size smartphone and not a small laptop. Netbook has all features of a smartphone in a larger size. The screen, the keyboard, the sound, the video, the camera, the movies, the Internet, the speed, the mobility and so on. It fails not. It is even sold with a one or two year airtime plan as the cellphones are. The business is not about the new mobile tiny laptops but about the expensive airtime plans on a contract and remember the plans have limits that if violated will be costly. The good old credit card is back in a new package. This time it is called a Netbook until the market is saturated. The small size and being portable means the units will get banged around and one year is a long time to haul anything without some damage. Even if the technology has mercy on us and does not change much, the wear and tear will and we will be very motivated to UPGRADE. The units cost very little and are by nature disposable.

Progress does many good things and does a great deal of damage also. If Netbooks are here and are to stay here, maybe we should make them conversation-capable and let them rival the cellphones. The more people can buy and use Netbooks, the better are the chances more of the units will be available for disposal by year end. There is hardly anything wrong with these units except normal wear and tear and slight technology change. Since they cost so little in the first place they make for great donation pieces. If the cellphone companies systematically take them back and replace them with the new model, the older ones will be great machines for anyone who is student. They can get banged around for a few years and thrown out. If Netbook can eat away into the cellphone and smartphone market, it actually can be a lifesaver. Billions of cellphones will be deposited into the Earth sooner or later. If we can switch to Netbooks by combining the unit with some handset or some design, and get rid of the cellphones, we will have truly mobile office for business and those who are in education (hundreds of millions of people in US) and get to dispose of toy cellphone and smartphones. These combined units will have a long life beyond the technology by being useful on many levels and we can have universal mobile connectivity without any cost on a practical level. How about that?

*This post belongs to this week’s edition of Wine by Cush Magazine blog and published early in World of Cush also.


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