On technology

I walked into a meeting today while holding my Droid, and one of my coworkers said something remarkably poignant: “You have a Zune and a Droid? You really don’t like Apple, do you?” It caught me off guard a bit, but I said, “Well yeah, that’s part of it.”

And it is just part of it. (As a sidenote, I’ve been meaning to write a post like this.) I’ve thought a lot about it, and my view on technology can be summed up thusly:

When making decisions on technology, I generally prefer to go with either the underdog or the less cool option.

I’ve never owned an iPod; I had a Creative Zen before my Zune, and my next player will be a Zune HD. Admittedly I owned an iBook, but I’ve since had two Lenovo laptops. And like I said before, my phone is a Droid. Yes, the Android operating system was built by one of the largest companies out there, but they’re still pretty far behind in the smartphone world (though they’re on the way up in a big way). And maybe Lenovo and Microsoft aren’t the underdogs exactly, but it’s more of just a general distaste for Apple. All the cool kids are using Macs these days, but I’m over the hype. I prefer to have options with hardware, and I don’t need one company controlling their whole product from the top down.

But every single computer I’ve ever built for me has had an AMD processor, and as most people know, AMD is perpetually second to Intel. My new camera is a Panasonic Lumix GF1, which is built on the Micro Four Thirds standard. M4/3 is a relative newcomer to the field and it’s had some good reviews, but it’s not widely supported and it’s in big competition with other systems like it, so I consider it to be somewhat lesser right now.

In some places, though, I can’t go with the underdog. For example, I used to use Scriptaculous for all the Javascript I wrote, but recently I’ve shifted to jQuery – and I can’t go back. It’s so elegant and beautiful to write, its userbase is really active in writing plugins for it, and more companies are using it for their websites. In that case, though, I made the switch because it interferes with my career.

Oh, I actually just thought of another place: I use and actively support Firefox. A fair amount of people have jumped ship and use Chrome now, but I’m going to stick with Firefox because they’re the underdog. IE technically has a majority share, but Google’s browser is moving up, and Firefox is getting hurt by its relatively slow speed (though personally I’ve never had an issue with it.) There’s actually another component to that: I don’t like to give any one company a near-monopoly on my life. My phone, email, search engine, RSS reader, company email and phone browser are all Google, so I don’t need them having a hand on my browser. And yes, for the record, when Firefox Mobile is ready, I will use that as well.

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010 11:12 pm - technology

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