Sturdy and Reliable

Business Week has a spot-on article about Obsolete Computers that Still Do the Job. Despite the misnomer – these computers are certainly not “obsolete” if they deliver continued value and efficiency as described in the article. This is sound advice that unfortunately goes up against the perfect storm of “newer is better”, “in gadgets we trust”, and “lets spend, spend, spend to get the economy going again” or other such flea-lite arguments. But with economic times such as they are – sturdy and reliable certainly make more than cents. Unfortunately, vendors in the hardware and software market spaces entrenched with huge market share are working triple overtime to convince people that Wow is what they have available and what you need and frankly can’t do without. And just straight prudence has been disregarded for so long.

This imprudence is the only way I can guess why the $300 Asus Eee netbooks aren’t completely replacing the $1000 notebooks. Or  people pay $200 for MS Office that is essentially free online from Zimbra, Zoho, and Google or on the desktop from OpenOffice. Or that businesses pay big buck for BI when SugarCRM, Pentaho, Birt Reports,  and many others are free.

Okay so I have Dreamweaver  and Photoshop on my machine. Eclipse, Notepad++, and Aptana are slowly weaning me off of Dreamweaver(plus Dreamweaver’s inability to render  and preview the latest CSS+HTML+DOM properly. And I have to concede the value add of Photoshop is hard to find in Gimp, or PhotoFlexer or Splashup.  But the out migration is getting started. But look MySQL, SQLite, and PostgreSQL, are my databeases; Apache and Tomcat are my webservers; Drupal, Joomla and WordPress are my CMS; Firefox+add-ons and Safari are my browsers; R  is my statistics tool; Notepad++ and OpenOffice are my text editors; NetBeans and Eclipse are my development tools; Dojo, EXT.js and jQuery are my JavaScript frameworks, and iZarc and AVG free are at the core of my utilities.

Oh and Windows is halfway out the door. Linux is on my desktop and soon will be on my second notebook. If Photoshop and Flash were delivered on Linux, I would switch the lights out on Windows forever.