Why I prefer desktop computers over laptops

I have owned many personal computers over the past 30 years… but never a laptop. I’ve used others’ laptops from time to time, but only for short periods of time. Laptops are wonderful, but almost any time I have a choice, I prefer to use a desktop. I thought it might be interesting for others to read about this one user’s rare preference for desktops, particularly from the user experience point of view. Basic ergonomics Since most laptops’ screens are attached to the keyboard, I need to choose between either of two uncomfortable positions. If I place the laptop at elbow level, for comfortable typing, I need to bend my neck down to look at the screen. If I place the laptop on a stand for a comfortable viewing angle, I need to raise my arms to type. Barring...

A better use for 4.5 billion dollars

I am shocked by the recent winning bid for Nortel’s patent portfolio.  4.5 billion U. S. dollars.  In cash! More than shocked, I am saddened to see such a large sum squandered like this.  These patents won’t spur on innovation.  They won’t make their new owners into better companies.  At best, they’ll serve as (unreliable) insurance against the artificial, legally-facilitated disasters known as patent-infringement lawsuits.  At worst, these patents will act as a weapon of mass destruction, one that can inflict the same kind of fear and damage it’s supposed to guard against.  They’re a weapon to be aimed at competitors… and ultimately at society itself.  (Likely cost to society: more monopolies, narrower concentration of...

Facebook, the Island of the Lotus-Eaters

Last night I watched Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief on TV.  (Beware, spoilers ahead.) This moderately-entertaining movie cleverly incorporates a number of elements from Greek mythology.  One of them is the island of the lotus-eaters, reimagined as a casino. Percy Jackson and his two sidekicks need to visit this casino to look for a special, hidden jewel.  At the casino, they are persistently offered and keep consuming some unusual, mind-altering appetizers.  The addictive hors d’oeuvres make them forget why they were there and what their mission was.  After a long time they manage break out of their stupor, retrieve the jewel, and resume their quest. Sometime after watching this scene, I was struck by the realization that Facebook is...

A Solomonic Response to Username Disputes

In recent months, I’ve read of the following scenario playing out on a couple of different occasions [1]: Person “So-and-So” chooses “CleverName” as their username on social-media service “Socialr” [2]. CleverName is So-and-So’s favorite pseudonym, a word or phrase with a personally-significant meaning. So-and-So starts using Socialr, and over a period of time builds up a digital identity on Socialr, an identity whose name, content, history, and reputation are associated with username CleverName. Some time later, a little-known company, “Company X”, comes along and wants to create an account on Socialr. That company happens to be named or have a product named “CleverName”. Company X asks Socialr to take username CleverName from So-and-So and give it...

An immediate hiatus

As is evident to anyone checking in, I’ve so far failed to keep up with my initial, modest goal of writing once a month.  Last year was a demanding year…  We’ll see about this one. As happened with my inaugural article, strong sentiments drew out an article from me, this very night.  I’ll post it very soon.  Perhaps others will follow...

Collide world!

Hello, world!  My name is Andrés Cabezas Ulate.  Yesterday, as I was reading one of my favorite blogs, I came across the straw that broke the writer’s block.  Long have I waited to share various ideas with the world.  I’ve been inching along with my methodical publication plans.  Today, though, I decided to go for broke, and jump-start one of the blogs I had envisioned.  A quick WordPress installation here, some minor customization there, and here we go!  Oh, and we musn’t forget the choice of a clever-but-hokey name for my blog, of course.  (Don’t worry, little blog.  You can change your name when you turn 18.) As a nascent, independent, software entrepreneur, I’d like to share various ideas pertaining to software development.  My...