Chris J Powell

What Are You Using That “Device” For?

There is a growing trend that we all need gadgets and devices to be able to do the things that we do. I myself have 3 Tablets, a Smart Phone, a Laptop and 2 Desktop PCs but what am I using all that Computing Power for?


he reality of Consumerization is that the devices we have, serve different purposes and many times it may look like certain companies are running away with all the glory (take the iPad line with a 40% market share in total devices but account for over 80% of the Tablet internet traffic). I was looking through an article by Gale Gruman titled “When a smartphone is not a smartphone and a tablet is not a tablet” and it struck me that the devices that I use to surf the web, do research, build spread sheets and play games are all different but all the same in many ways but at the same time…VERY, VERY different.

So I took a step back and looked at what I do on each of the devices that are uniquely connected to me.


My Nexus 4 is my primary device, there is no denying it because it is always with me. I read emails (and occasionally send them but after a request got sent to the wrong address…I don’t do that nearly as much), I read articles from Zite and Flipboard and do quite a bit of instant gratification web searching on this device. It is not so much a phone as it is an extension of my immediate need for entertainment and information. While on the road, it is my navigator, communicator and safety net. It is also a way to document my life both with quick notes and Social Media Posts but with a really good camera…it lets me take that quick pic and save it for posterity. At night it is also my soothing master of information as I listen to podcasts before bed.


As I mentioned I have 3 tablets, 2 of which really just sit around and have for some time because they have not been updated by the manufacturer HP in quite some time. The HP Zeen got my interest in the 7” tablet peeked and when an opportunity to get a VERY affordable Acer Iconia P-710 for under $100 I jumped at it. It is zippy and with the 7” screen it lets me do things that my phone will not…but the primary use of the device is for reading and that is what 80% of the storage is used for. Sure I surf and I play games on the device but it is not a primary device…but still wanders around the house with me on a regular basis (the added greatness is that there is a GPS unit built into it so it will become my in car navigator). It is also a great way to connect and watch TVs and Movies as the form factor is just right!


I didn’t figure I would miss my Netbook that I recently sold but when it comes to doing some work in front of the TV after hours…my smartphone and tablet really just don’t cut it so I brought back into service an older Toshiba A-10 that was donated to me to do some Linux Testing. The battery is non-existent so it is tethered to the wall but with it now running Pear Linux…I can take my work from the basement to the living room and do some more structured web searching when I need to move from phone to tablet to something more physical and visceral.


With 2 Desktops one might question why I need two…well the one is not really used for work as it operates more as a testing server for other work that I do and actually operates as more than just a Web/Media Server…it does a pretty good job of running the complexities of my life in the background for me.

Where I spend most of my time and energy is with my custom built (by me) MonstaPuter. This is where much of the Magic that is Krispy happens. Its 6 cores and 16GB of RAM and more than 8TB of storage, it functions as my connection to the world from 6AM until 5PM and occasionally after hours (but I try to spend time with the family and not in the basement). I built this work horse to do everything that I could possibly think I would want a computer to do and be for some time. It has operated as a Gaming Computer, Word Processor and Big Data Number Cruncher for the past 2 years flawlessly.

So as you can see, from the time that I wake up to the time I go to bed…I am connected. Good bad or indifferent, I am exactly the person that Google built Marketing Research Paper titled “The New Multi Screen World: Understanding Cross Platform Consumer Behavior” for and about. I take my content and information from one screen to the next and with modern browsers like Chrome, this experience can be translated from 4” to 7” to 15” to 19” and even to 51” as I occasionally connect to my TV with the same connection. It is a beautiful thing…but I do from time to time think that I need some disconnect time…the real question is…who has the time to get caught back up?



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