February 2nd, 2008

default, pepper

Brief thoughts from the road

I'm taking an unnecessary expedition into San Francisco for coffee (from a specific shop, more about which later). Since this will involve a bit of downtime spent riding BART, I'd normally consider bringing my laptop, telling myself I could get "something done" on the train. This is, of course, a lie.

Yet here I am taking the downtime to write this little note. I've realized that since I got the iPhone, I've been carrying the full notebook with me less often. In reality, most of what I get done on trips is a bit of web surfing and maybe a journal post, and this device does that. And fits in my pocket.

This isn't a claim of unique power for the iPhone, but more musing on a threshold it crossed that the Sidekick never quite did with me. Other devices might cross the same line (and future ones surely will). Yet I'm not quite sure what that line is. It's not a given feature or convenience or form factor usability, although it encompasses all of those.

I think what it might be is the science fiction line. I grew up with home computers and cell phones and things that were the science fiction of my parents' generation; this is the sci-fi gadget of mine. It's easy to envision Picard whipping out a gizmo that looks, well, exactly like this thing.