Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Enough with the holy wars already!

I’ve been using my Palm for just more than two weeks now and I am pleased to say that I am enjoying it quite a bit. I have largely adjusted to the small nuances that bugged me at first and have found an actual increase in my productivity with the Palm. I find it very interesting that Microsoft’s support for their own office documents is so weak in the Pocket PC world (or even more surprising that there have been no real changes to the applications since they were first released). That’s another post though.

Thinking about the switch-over has returned me to a long-standing question about the technology holy wars that so many people propagate. I have worked in the IT industry for years and if I hear even one more Windows vs. UNIX vs. Macintosh discussion, I will probably just fall over dead on the spot. Then there’s MS Word vs. WordPerfect or Intel vs. AMD or Pocket PC vs. Palm. I have even heard people debate firewire vs. USB 2.0. Is there no end? Let’s get over it people!

I have said for a long time that there is no point in arguing who is right, but only what is right. In the world of computing, my simple rule is, “If it works for you…use it.” Well, truth be told, my real rule is probably something more like, “If it’s new…I will wish I had it” – but I digress. Just because I prefer using a PC doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t consider Macs (I actually enjoy using one every once in a while down at school). In reality, the computing world has never been this cross-platform friendly. Go ahead and try to name a word processing program that won’t allow you to save in RTF…I dare you!

Nobody has a perfect product. They all have their own strengths and weaknesses. Use what works best for you and leave the next user to their own opinion. Just remember that not everyone thinks that your Zarus PDA running Linux that you connect to your OS 2 system to download OpenOffice documents is cool.

There you have it – my two cents on the technology holy wars…what’s yours?

1 comment:

Josh Bancroft said...

I agree. I find that I love learning a new platform or new technology, and I like to take advantage of the benefits of each. Sometimes I even get the urge to switch to a completely different platform (like your jump to PalmOS), just for something new.

I read something that Robert Scoble wrote about building credibility as a tech "evangelist". He said that you have to use and know ALL the platforms, and be able to discuss them intelligently, if you're going to have any credibility at all. If you're a Windows guy that's never used a Mac, you're never going to get a Mac person to listen to you. But if you're familiar with both platforms, and can discuss the pros and cons of each, you're going to be able to reach a lot more people.

I'm a Windows/Pocket PC guy, but I am interested in all platforms. I play around with Linux (and love it), and I'd love to get my hands on an iBook to play with Mac OSX, because there are so many geeky people that I respect that use it (Adam Curry, Phillip Torrone, Dave Slusher, etc.). I'm considering making my next phone a Treo 650, partly because it's a great device, and partly because of the itch to use a new platform, and see what it's strengths are.

Can't we all just get along? :-)