Great the iPad mini is here. What just changed in the world of technology? Nothing really. I have been involved in professional type computer applications for quite a while now. My first Linux install was in 1994. I have known some really great computer minds. One thing that always stood out was all the great computer minds I knew were always making due with older technology.
One of the greatest things about older technology is it forces you to be creative. Suddenly how you use memory and how much disk space you have becomes important. It means you have to give much more thought to how things are laid out and what you do with them. These limitations will force you to become creative and to better understand what you are using.
We seem to have evolved to a point where people buy technology and hope to find uses for it later. Buying new technology should always be about buying it because you have a problem you can not solve with your current setup. Buying it because its new or flashy is the worst reason to be doing it.
One of the debates people seem to engage in digital photography is Mac vs Windows. I am going to tell you that it doesn’t really matter and here is why. Adobe Photoshop is written in a programming language called C++ (I am sure with lots of C as well). Much of the Photoshop code base is the same. Take for instance the Unsharp Mask tool. The code that drives it is the same regardless of operating system. Because both Macs and Windows are run on Intel hardware it gets compiled into the exact same code.
Operating Systems exist to let programs access hardware, organize our files on physical media and let our programs run at the same time (multi-tasking). The whole point of the operating system is so programs don’t have to worry about all the little details. If you do not understand what these details are or why they could be important you really are not in a position to call one operating system superior over another.
If you are always upgrading without having to learn any of this stuff then you never will learn it. You become much more removed from the technology and are less apt to understand it. Understanding technology is less about memorizing keyboard shortcuts and more about understanding technology and why it does the thing it does. Why does a new hard drive need a filesytem for instance?
Before you rush into buying the latest and greatest new product ask yourself what need do you need do you need to solve. Might it just be cheaper to add a new hard drive or more memory to the technology you already have? In many cases the answer is yes. I understand that technology needs to go forward and its great companies are trying to do better but you as a user need to do better and understand what you have.
You need to be aware that going forward can introduce all sorts of risks as well. Windows 8 is going to be released soon and I can tell you its going to have all sorts of security holes that the bad guys are going to exploit. Is it really worth it to have a new OS knowing that all sorts of malicious software nobody knows about yet is running undetected on your system?
Do more with what you already have. You owe it to yourself if you really want to be good at technology.