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News & Views

Missing the point
By Terry Freedman
Created on Fri, 19 May 2006, 18:22

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Here's an interesting thing. Whenever someone dares to doubt conventional wisdom (I use both words in that phrase guardedly), someone counters by saying that they've missed the point.

The latest example I came across of this was when David Jakes doubted the efficacy of tablet PCs, Will Richardson started off by saying he (Jakes) was missing the point. Well, it's an interesting way of countering an argument, but at least Will goes on to produce evidence to support his case.

Still, I suppose I have missed the point too, and interestingly enough was chatting with someone about it only this morning. I've tried tablet PCs and I think they're not "it" for me: I find them a little too cumbersome and heavy (even the lightweight ones), and would rather have a proper laptop or a notebook and pen.

I may have found a compromise: I am trying out a digital device that lets you write on ordinary paper and then transfer your notes to a computer, where the handwriting recognition software kicks in. I'm evaluating it, and so do not want to say too much too soon, but so far I'm impressed. I've written notes whilst travelling, and that has not only saved me a lot of time, but it's also given me peace of mind. Given the general lack of intelligence of the average London mugger (usually on the level of Neanderthal Man, including the grunting), it's unlikely that they would recognise it as a device worth having, whereas a tablet PC or laptop actually looks pretty cool, and therefore places the user in a highly muggable position.

Here is another thing I have no doubt missed the point about. What is so great about someone blogging about your talk as you're giving it? Personally, I like people to think about and reflect on what I say, not sit there typing. In fact, I think it's downright rude: I wouldn't have stood for kids passing each other notes in my lessons, so why would I want someone blogging about me while I'm trying to talk to them?

What do you think? Please leave a comment.