It’s just data

Think Different

Tim Bray For creative people, this device is nothing.  Tim also is quite concerned about losing access to emacs.

In the 70s, text ruled.  In the 90s, GUIs and mice ruled.  In the 10s, touch.

I can get to the Internet from my server, from my desktop, from my laptop, from my netbook, and from my phone.  While my next phone will undoubtedly support touch, my current one does not.  None of my other devices do, and frankly, they should not.

Imagine a 2.66GHz Intel computer with five USB 2.0 ports, one FireWire 800 port, a mini-DVI port, and a DVD burner.  Comes with a wireless keyboard and a 9.7 inch wireless display.  The display is fully touch enabled, and can even support a virtual keyboard.  Yes, this system runs EMACs.  It also can run J2EE, Ruby on Rails, and Django.  The display connects to the base station via 802.11, and supports both canvas and AJAX.  Comes with OS/X, but you can also install Windows 7 and/or Linux alongside it if that is your preference.

Would such a system be worth $1,200?  If so, you can have it in 60 days: $599 + $499 + $69 + $25 + $5.

Even better, the system is modular.  You not only can connect to your base station, but to any node on the network, be it in a humble printer or the glorious cloud.  In fact, if you already have one or more of nodes that you are interested in, you can omit the base station and keyboard, and get started for half the price quoted above.

In short, I’m with Yehuda.  If you wish to be open, you simply need to be creative.  Best of all from my perspective: I’m confident that everything the iPad has to offer, plus video camera, plus VoIP will be available from multiple sources in the $200-$299 price range by late 2012.  See also Charles Nutter’s take.