Cutting the Cord to the PC


If someone walked up to you, grabbed your laptop, and threw it in the lake, would you panic?

Much has been written lately about the “death of the PC“.  But ask anyone who works in an office and you’ll know that this is a huge exaggeration. We’re still using PC’s at work, not iPads.

photo courtesy: Remko Van Dokkum on flickr

Remko Van Dokkum flickr

None the less I’m intrigued by the idea of dumping the PC for personal use and replacing it with simpler mobile devices. Beyond just the hardware, however, is the concept of cloud storage and cloud applications. I would like to be free of these things:

  1. Worrying about backing up data.
  2. Needing expensive Microsoft software.
  3. Clunky MS Windows  – which always slows down over time.

I “run” the Cord Cutter Guide  blog from an old  ThinkPad which is showing its age. An online colleague of mind told me recently   “I run my entire business   from a $199 Chromebook .”  The Chromebook is not much more than a tablet with a keyboard! But it apparently starts up in seconds and runs purely as a web based device, satisfying all three of my goals.

Now in an analogy to cable cord cutting I need to ask – what would I be giving up? Based on what I’m reading, not much. The biggest thing might be the ability to use local programs on local files.  Occasionally I want to edit a more complex Excel, Word, or PowerPoint file.  But Google Docs has substitutes for all of these.  The only gotcha is when I have no access to the internet. The scary reality is that these days that’s almost never.

Another concern might be over  data security, i.e. the flip side of having your entire life floating out there in this so called cloud. Can I really trust Google to safeguard all my personal files and photos? It seems unlikely that Google’s hard drives will crash and lose my data. But for peace of mind I’m thinking of combining this cloud based concept with a good old fashioned external hard drive. Critical files will be backed up FROM the web TO my local drive.  And hopefully I can automate this so i satisfy goal number 1.

Have you already cut the cord to the PC ? Let me know in the comments below.

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4 Responses to Cutting the Cord to the PC

  1. Len Mullen says:

    I’ve purchased three windows desktops in the last twelve months. My kids have returned to desktops from consoles for gaming and I needed a computer that could stream Playon and Plex without impacting interactive use.

    I won’t do any important computing on an unencrypted device that can be forgotten or stolen. I prefer my privacy to be protected by walls and locks. My *really* important data is stored on encrypted usb devices that are only attached when I am working on that really important data.

    I’m not paranoid, but it is easy and inexpensive to be safe so I prefer to be safe.

  2. Augustine says:

    Since getting a tablet, I’ve used the laptop less. However, when I’m going to type a lot or edit pictures or videos, the laptop is the best tool in the shed.

    And I wouldn’t worry about Google going out of business. If it does, you can always request a backup from the NSA. 🙂

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