Project Overview – Information Work Online Experiment
3 April 2008 2 Comments
With the Information Work Online Experiment project I hope to determine whether I can work productively with an unmodified inexpensive device like an ASUS Eee PC acting as a thin client over an Internet connection. This will very much be in the spirit of the Google Docs’ team blog entry about moving from the desktop to the cloud or as they put it ‘bringing the cloud with you’.
At the outset I see the following project stages that inevitably are likely to change as the experiment progresses:
- Plan the ‘work’ components: the types of information to include and the aspects of manipulation on that information
- Establish one or more online data stores: create a series of zero- or low-cost information repositories accessible on the Internet in a form that allows documents to be created, edited and deleted on the Eee PC
- Discuss alternatives and final choice(s) for each work component: use a lightweight (re)search and trial method to locate cloud-based services for all the identified information work
- Dogfood the work components: across the locations of office, home, meetings, travel and conferences limit work to the Eee PC alone for designated time periods that may extend to a few days
- Blog all stages of the experiment: record all experiences including beneficial and negative outcomes as a series of entries in this blog
For the present I will be the only experimental subject using my own information work needs both personal and institutional. However a number of my colleagues are or soon will be Eee PC owners and I welcome the inclusion of their own experiences.
It is interesting to note that the sub-$600 laptop market in Australia has suddenly become red hot since the introduction of the Eee PC for $499. We now have a choice of more than five 15″ laptops with 512 MB memory, wireless, adequate processor and HDD, and Vista Home Basic from the major laptop suppliers. None of the competitors are able to match the small size, weight and the SSD robustness of the Eee. However all competitors are more than capable of acting as thin Internet clients as are virtually all laptops sold so the outcomes of this experiment will apply to all.