The Netbook EffectBy zeh • Feb 24th, 2009 • Category: Other news
Things are slow around here while I’m preparing a more mature release of Fnk that will include changes specially tailored towards making it a better standalone application (that’ll be 0.2) and while I get my stuff together to move to another country (something that should hopefully happen in a couple of months). In the meantime, however, I’d like to point readers to this great article by Clive Thompson on Wired Magazine: The Netbook Effect: How Cheap Little Laptops Hit the Big Time. It talks about how Netbooks came to life, what niche they’re filling – surprisingly, not just the “poor net user” category – and what sort of impact Netbooks and web-based applications can have. The latter is the part that interests me the most.
Maybe this is not so obvious in this website, but one of the most important aspects in my defense of the Fnk project during my final college presentation was how we’re moving to web-based applications to many of the common tasks we’d only usually find in expensive standalone programs, so it’s refreshing to see I’m not the only one who think there’s a silent revolution forming up. That’s not to say I believe we’ll completely replace standalone applications with web-based ones, but I can see a large number of web apps taking over.
Ironically, to me, this is a full change of mind from how I saw things around 4 years ago; I used to laugh at the idea of someone editing text documents online, but my own college experience has made me open my eyes. That’s because during college, I normally needed to do some tasks like edit documents or spreadsheets from different computers – from different operating systems – just about all the damn time, and almost never using the same computer. Remoting to my home computer (through VNC) was a problem due to firewalls and lack of speed; portable, thumb drive-based applications were too slow (and I needed both OSX and Windows versions of those). But when I started using applications like Google Docs, things just snapped into place. It just clicked, and I started using Google Docs every day for college-related stuff.
I certainly don’t think this is a solution for everyone, but for some, web applications is just perfect, and this is also something I hope to defend with Fnk.