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Changing device usage patterns

May 21, 2012

With the new job I’ve noticed that my device usage patterns have shifted. At Samsung, I’ve chosen to keep nearly all personal stuff off the work laptop. In part that’s a continuation of a trend. When I was faculty at Georgia Tech, the work laptop and the personal laptop were one and the same. At IBM Research the separation was stronger (when I was hired I actually bought a separate personal computer), but I still used the work laptop for a fair bit of personal stuff. Arguably the Samsung position is a continuation of that trend of diminishing personal use of a work device.

But there’s another factor involved. In between my joining IBM Research and my joining Samsung, Apple went off and invented the iPad. Now I have a lightweight personal computing device that’s easy to carry nearly everywhere. So this time around I’ve started experimenting with carrying my tablet to work and using that when I need to complete a personal task. So far it’s working pretty well: the tablet is more than sufficient for the lightweight tasks I perform at work and on light rail (the WiFi is generally pretty good, although it’s totally flaked out a few times), such as email, skimming news feeds, and managing my todo list. Granted it’s only been two weeks, but so far it looks like I won’t need to use the work laptop for much personal stuff at all. The one exception has been Spotify; it’s easier to listen to music off the laptop than off the tablet (primarily for the obvious power management reasons).

Of course, now that I’m carrying around my tablet a lot more, I wish I’d gotten the cellular model. Having the wifi only model isn’t a showstopper, but it’d be nice to have the cell connection to fall back on when the VTA wifi is problematic. I may activate tethering on my iPhone to see how that works, but I suspect that’ll require ditching my grandfathered-in unlimited data plan. So I’m holding off for now.

From → Mobile, Musings

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