Why I Still Have a Desktop Computer


Legacy is the only reason I continue to have a desktop computer.  The old way of managing devices hasn’t withered enough to rely completely on IoT devices.  In other words, I still see some value in my current old stuff to keep a desktop around.  This will not last forever and I give it a maximum of two years.

So what’s this old stuff?  My digital camera (2011) and bicycle GPS (2012) are the popular ones.  I can likely connect them to an iPad or mobile phone, but a desktop is much easier because they are designed to function across a USB cable.  However, as I replace these devices with IoT devices, there will not be a need for a desktop.

Familiar access to storage is another reason to keep a desktop.  With 400gb of digital photography stored on my desktop, I can access them quickly as well as have them integrate into other software.  For example, I can email my Mom pictures of my kids directly from Picasa, which uploaded pictures from my digital camera.

Of course, this is legacy hardware imposing itself on legacy software.  That is to say, I can much easier send pictures taken from my iPhone of the same kids to the same mom.  It’s when I try to access mobile from desktop (or the other way around), it becomes less easy.  It is like I’m living two lives.

As an IT professional I know many shortcuts around these difficulties.  But why bother?  Until cloud storage is really, really cheap, I will keep the 70,000 pictures on my already-paid-for desktop.  But I know ultimately it will all be in the cloud.

And the cloud is where the biggest changes are being made.  All the storage-with-mobile-access cloud services are not yet there for someone like me.  I want convenient access to my images and documents.  I’m using CrashPlan to backup my images, but accessing them on my mobile devices is clunky.  Adobe, Google, Apple and Amazon all have cloud storage with mobile access offerings, but they cost money and require faith in their service.

Which brings me to probably the most important aspect: faith.  Will these services not lose my data and keep it secure?  Will someone else be able to view my images?  Will a company trick me into giving my images for them to resell?  Will my images become corrupt?  I had a serious problem with Carbonite’s supposed business backup service that, in short, appeared to work, but did not actually backup my data.  Bad, very bad.

This post will become incredibly obsolete in as quickly as six months.  All the big cloud service companies are working very hard to provide image and data storage with mobile access.  This fits in nicely with less devices needing desktops to function.  I foresee the majority of people like myself going fully cloud by 2020.

The future of my home office will essentially be a living room TV that can stream what is on my phone, which in turn can access my data via apps.  I’ll still need a nice chair.

(For what it’s worth, I barely use the desktop: I work off my laptop 99% of the time!)

Andre Preoteasa is the founder and CEO of Drinks Technology, the first and only IT services company for the beverage alcohol industry. He’s a technologist into everything from blockchain to big data to snapchat filters. New Jersey resident with two young daughters, he would be a historian if it paid as well as tech.

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