I've high demands on the aesthetics of the hardware I'm using, it needs to stimulate all my senses, be a joy for the eye and inviting to touch. Apple delivers with the iPhone, iPad, Macbook Air and an 27" iMac the perfect set of devices for many different situations. They are beautiful, sexy and not unimportant they just work.
- The iPhone is by far the most sexy phone on the market, unlike all the other black plastic boxes it just sticks out in the crowd.
- The iPad delivers unbeatable battery life and fills the 'I'm waiting three minutes for the bus' productivity gap.
- The Macbook Air is slick, fits in a fashionable bag and offers sufficient power for the form factor.
- The iMac fits my office, has the best screen I've ever seen and combined with the magic track pad it's awesome to use.
I've also high demands on convenience and services need to be focused on me, the user. Convenience in my vision is delivered through the cloud, I don't want to manage, control and maintain anything. Google delivers this level of convenience with a broad set of software services, all accessible based on a single account.
- My personal domain aadjemonkeyrock.com is powered by Google Apps, providing me with email, calendar and documents. It's easily accessible, even on a public computer while traveling, hassle free and I don't need to worry about backups etc. For a chaotic person like me, the incredible search capabilities are essential, it's the only way I can find stuff from the past. I use this for all my personal productivity and with my plans to start some independent freelance work it becomes even more important.
- This blog is powered by Blogger, the feeds with Feedburner and the analytics with Google analytics. I earlier wrote about simplicity versus complexity or Blogger versus Wordpress, but the key advantage of Blogger is the convenience provided by the tight integration with other the services and Google account integration.
- Google reader is still my home base for consuming news and sharing information. News consumption has been enriched with various micro blogging services, but the core of consumption is still in the time shifted nature of feeds. Especially when living in Europe and consuming a lot of US based news the real-time nature of micro blogging is not always the most convenient way to consume news.
- Google AppEngine powers some of my hobby projects like my life stream aggregator and is currently also being considered for a start-up project I'm working on. Google AppEngine is simple, convenient and still very powerful. There are no entrance barriers and it has almost unlimited scaling possibilities.
- Picasa and YouTube play a role in sharing family and vacation pictures, although my favorite travel blogging service has become OntheRoad.to
- Google Chrome is also the default browser that powers my Macs. It's again about simplicity, convenience and power. The sync feature is simple, but adds and enormous about of convenience when using multiple devices for your daily work.
How about Microsoft?
I still have a Microsoft Media Center, as a result of a hobby project. I love the concept, it works reasonable but is far too complex. It's a computer and not a living room device. I'm afraid Google is also missing the boat here, due to too much complexity and Apple doesn't want to ship to Europe (As usual with new product and I absolutely hate this). I haven't decided yet how to move this forward, for now I keep it running on an older version of Windows.
I like Windows Phone 7 and Windows 7, however with my strong preference for really nice and sexy hardware I haven't found a pretty device yet. Besides Windows 7 really need to fix their sleep resume problems. It needs to work 100% of the time, not 98% because that is still booting once a day!
Further Microsoft's strength lays in Enterprise solutions and I'm an individual consumer with simplicity and convenience being a lot more important than sophistication and maximizing productivity. For organizations Microsoft delivers excellent solutions and I'm confident they will also help organizations moving their business towards the cloud.
Btw, I do also have a PlayStation 3, but maybe an XBox 360 would have been more appropriate, especially when thinking about my media center. Maybe one of these days...
What else am I using to make my life complete?
I'm curious how you have organized your personal IT.
Image credit: Thorsten Becker
Image credit: Thorsten Becker