Tuesday, April 8, 2008

The Inverse Penis Relation

I'm a bit of a nerd but the computer gadget rarely grabs my attention. When someone creates a coffee pot that makes a more perfect cup of coffee, or an autonomous robot vacuum cleaner, rarely does it get more than the casual "huh, thats kinda neat" from me. I've just never had a mind for that level of granularity in my products. I almost never shop for a minute improvement, of a product that I own, if it already performs well. My Dyson vacuum is the exception its unbelievable. Nor have I really been anal about any sort of esoteric detail. Audiophiles piss me off when they refuse to listen to CD's, and Overclockers will go out of their way to buy a cheap CPU, then spend money to watercool it to make it perform better. I've flirted with overclocking, I've created a subwoofer enclosure. But the multiple tweaks for the minuscule gains have never felt worth it. They call it a hobby but I call it a fetish. Spending time and money to make the ordinary item, extraordinary, has never held much allure for me.

One area withstanding, Sub-Laptops. I call it the "Inverse Penis Relation". The theory of the IPR is that as certain products reach "palm size" or "as big as my hand" the more desirable they become. Cell phones went through this in the late 80's early 90's, television remotes, external hard disk recently, and of course in laptops you cant get too thin, too small, too light. This market that is finally making a splash here in the states and it is really exciting to me. In some meetings and conference's Ive been to, too often do I have laptop envy. I met a Korean lady with a TINY laptop, it was brand new, and glistened. Built in camera, high res, large (for its size) screen, full keyboard. Ive been quietly watching the OLPC develop with high hopes of it sparking an interest in large companies to release a tiny sub 500$ laptop for me to run Linux on... I think the Asus eeepc is winning this leg of the race but I don't know if it will be the one I buy. Unless everything else is way more expensive.