For the PC The Bell Tolls: What is Real Work, Anyway?

Here are four links to articles on a theme. The first three ask, in their own way, if the tablet is coming of age: is it ready to do real work on, can it really replace the laptop for some of us? The fourth article is a link is to my piece from 2013, that posits the PC as we know it - all pervasive, in our homes, on our laps - was just a blip, and its first home, the office, should be its one and only home. To me, they are all singing the same song.


Can you do ‘real work’ on an iPad? - Charles Arthur

 “At some point, the difference vanishes. Most people never did “real work”, by whatever metric, on their computer; they were happy to browse web pages, send emails, Skype friends, whatever. Yet the redoubt of “real work” is defended valiantly, perhaps by those whose jobs depend not on the work, but on the tools used for it — the PC.”

A great article around the general derision of the use of tablets to do what people snobbishly refer to as ‘real work’.

Doing Real Design Work on an iPad -

 “Moreover, what I’ve come to realize is that the iPad is a much more elegant system than my Mac. This isn’t to say that I have no use for my desktop (more on that in a moment), but that by and large iOS software is considerably more thoughtful, more carefully considered, and more visually polished than desktop software.”

A discussion of whether with the latest generation of iPads and accessories, and the accompanying software, if designers can now build successful workflows without resorting to a PC.

Can the MacBook Pro Replace Your iPad? - Fraser Speirs

 "The fact that the keyboard and screen are limited to being held in an L-shaped configuration seriously limits its flexibility. It is basically impossible to use a MacBook pro while standing up and downright dangerous to use when walking around. Your computing is limited to times when you are able to find somewhere to sit down.”

A tongue-in-cheek ‘review’ of a MacBook Pro, set in a parallel universe where iPads came first.

Back To Where They Came From - Philip McDermott

 “The PC unwittingly really did become the personal computer. And then the iPhone happened. And we all realised that actually, that was what we really wanted when we said personal computer.”

Back in 2013 I discussed the hisory of the PC, how it inadvertendly ended up in our homes, and why I would love to see it leave again once and for all.


We are at the dawn on a computing era where we should, before undertaking any new project, be  asking ourselves: "what do I want to achieve?". Actually achieve. Not "what app should I build, what program should I wrote, what digital artwork should I create, what blog post should I write? What do I actually want to achieve?". (Yes, I just used bold-italic.) When you have honestly asked that question, then, look around, without prejudice, and pick the device or devices and tool or tools that allow you to accomplish that goal. For so many people now, finally, computing no longer needs to be the goal: it can consigned to being the magic glue that provides the tools for us to accomplish our goals and dreams.