My problems have also been compounded by the hard disk in my Macbook Pro deciding to stop working. The laptop is currently in my local Apple store for repair. As a long time Mac user I've always seen reliablity as one of Apples virtues, however that seems to have changed. This is the third problem I've had with the Macbook, the mains leads stopped working, the fan had to be replaced and now the hard disk. Before that I had problems with an iMac.
It seems to me that the smaller computers get the more problems will surface. My laptop is incredibly powerful, but everything is crammed into a very small space. The chips need cooling and the relatively small hard drives have to do a lot of work. Considering that they are probably the most vulnerable part of the machine anyway, its always going to be a problem.
Small is obviously useful as far as technology is concerned, and I don't think anyone wants to go back to brick mobile phones or only have the choice of desktop computers, but things have gone too far in some aspects of what we have to choose from, as far as I'm concerned. Without internet access I tried to use my Blackberry to check on some websites and also to write something here. Even with its pull out keyboard, which is of course very small, this was incredibly difficult. Putting in passwords took me several attempts, and numbers and capital letters are a real problem. Being a musician I have a certain amount of dexterity but I really do struggle. It seems pretty obvious why "text speak" got invented.
It does of course apply to cameras. I write often about how certain cameras are just too small for me. Even the Olympus OM-D, which is a really nice size in many aspects, has some incredibly small function buttons which I'm prone to missing. Plus of course the problems of hitting buttons and touchscreen functions by mistake. I've often mentioned Ben Stiller in Zoolander with his mobile phone the size of a book of matches, but some things aren't that far away. I'm also not convinced that we should all have to practice using our phones cameras and other gadgets, surely they should be easy to use and the right size for us to work comfortably with straight out of the box?
I'm writing this on a PC Netbook I have, and that is also just too small to work with comfortably. Its cheap certainly and considering that and the size the quality of the screen is just amazing. But its a question of constantly scrolling up and down web pages because of the screen real estate which isn't great. So its all very well being able to get a lot into a small space but the important question is does it work well, is it easy to navigate and do the compromises result in us having to make compromises too? I think in a lot of ways much of the tech. we get these days doesn't work. Small sleek designs flatter to deceive in many cases. Because design is about function more than its about looks. A film critic on a review magazine many years ago used to describe some movies as "Visually stunning but ultimately hollow" and unfortunately thats how I see a lot of todays tech. Aesthetically pleasing it may be and a triumph of micro engineering, but are we getting useful tools that give us useful and creative opportunities? I fear that often we aren't, and in many cases we are being conned into thinking that just because something is a "cool" piece of gear that it does the job its supposed to.
Function or form? Give me function every time.
Finally, apologies for any typos and punctuation errors,(or more than usual!)