Under this heading, I have collected my listings of places on the web where you can purchase computing, mobile telephony and photographic equipment. As per the title, these apply to the U.K. because I have yet to import anything from beyond the shores of the island where I am writing these words. While I cannot claim to have patronised all of the emporia that are listed, the hope is that there’s enough there to enable some price checking and sourcing of goods that otherwise may not have wide availability. You never know but they even might come in useful.
As you might have guessed from the names, we are not just limiting ourselves to computers, phones and cameras but include the accessories too. In fact, since the explosion of mobile telephony and digital photography, a major crossover has development between formerly very separate business areas. The fact that many mobile phones carry the same processing power as desktop PC’s did not so many years over a decade ago rather forces the issue.
When film held sway, photography was a very analogue affair with most of the magic being made in the camera and in printing labs, including personal darkrooms. A scanner was an essential item for digitising any images. Film still lives on but the convenience of digital capture has won me over, particularly with its thrusting the processing back on my shoulders instead of paying someone else to do it. That costs time instead of money but the latter quantity is less plentiful this times. Just as my interest in desktop computing continues to persist into an age when everything is getting more and more mobile, the art of photography hasn’t been automated out of existence because it always has been the photographer that was the most important actor in the discipline.
Then, there’s the upsurge in mobile computing. While I may have been late to the game with my purchase of a BlackBerry and an Asus Eee PC in the last few months, it’s not unclear where things are going with the gadgets becoming more and more appealing. Now, it’s hard to believe that it was just under a decade ago when most mobile phones were for making and taking voice calls along with sending text messages. Yes, PDA’s were about but they didn’t seem to be as commonplace as smartphones are today. Still, it seems that mobile phone technology is going to continue evolving so it’ll be interesting to see where things go, especially with the advent of cloud computing.
With all of the changes that are in train, desktop computing is likely to continue in one form or another. We may be in the heart of a technological revolution brought on by mobile and cloud computing but there’s still something more productive about sitting at a desktop and working a machine with a mouse and keyboard. My hunch is that desktop computing is going to itself alter over the next few years with touchscreen monitors already becoming available. That development could get interesting if combined on a full specification laptop that rarely spends any time away from being plugged into a power socket.
All in all, it feels as if we are moving through a period of massive change in the world around us after a period of what felt like prolonged stability. Even in an economic downturn, it feels as if all hell has broken loose in the world of technology with old certainties being overthrown and it looks as if it is going to stay that way for a while. There may be a time of consolidation yet but the trick at the moment is control any temptations until we find any use for new shiny things that attract massive attention. Then, the listings that I have collected here might have a use.