Idea: The Notebook Superdock

Right before I left on vacation, a few employees at work were about to get upgrades of new laptops, with laptop docks.

During my vacation, I saw this article about a laptop where the screen can be popped out to operate as a low power tablet.

So…. I thought to myself, why can’t we do things the other way? I am sure there are plenty of people that have both workstations and laptops, so why don’t we create a dock that not only provides instant connection to ports, but also provides access to more CPU, RAM, Hard disk space, etc?

Some advantages:

  • Lower maintenance issues, as the user doesn’t have to ensure that multiple systems are up to date.
  • No need to configure multiple systems, as you are literally taking the same system with you everywhere, just having it work better when you are in a non-mobile workspace
  • Provides the convenience of a laptop, with the power and upgradability of a desktop.
  • You could have it so that your laptop’s files are synched to the dock’s storage when you dock your laptop, making for easy backups.
  • Building on the above – reinstalling/dual booting wouldn’t be as big a deal if the bulk of data is stored/replicated to the docks, as restoring data would be trivial.
  • The above two operations should be faster than USB/NAS solutions.
  • Given the assumption that files are replicated to the dock, in the event that the laptop is lost/stolen/accidentally left at work, you could conceivably boot your system anyway (without the latest files of course) given that you could have a keyboard, mouse and monitor attached to the dock, and the dock basically would be a computer system.

I could see this being valuable for a number of people: namely anyone who has to give demos and meet with clients, but still needs a beefy computer for the non-demo portion of their job. Off the top of my head, this could include animators/graphic artists, and software developers.

To those who know there history, something similar was done with the Powerbook Duo Dock, which added more cache and RAM, but obviously did not take off. Maybe now that people are focusing on small, lightweight laptops, the idea might be worth a second look?


Just Walking Along…

Wow, hard to believe I haven’t written anything here for over a year now. Not that there hasn’t been anything to write about, what with that trip to Ireland and Scotland I took shortly after my last post, but… for the last year I just haven’t felt inspired to really write about anything (two server migrations, one which resulted in losing some data might have contributed to this). Obviously, as I am writing here, that has changed.

I’ve recently returned from a fantastic trip to the states. First was a short trip to Chicago/Indiana to visit my cousin Amelia, who is still not allowed to leave the US if she wants to get her Green Card. A good visit to be sure, we generally hang-outetry, a trip to Notre Dame (where I was inspired to write a narrative tale of Touchdown Jesus and also created the theory that the university was contructed by giants), a trip to the biggest (but I was assured still quite small) flea market I have ever been to (where I scored a signed copy of Cory Doctrow’s “Little Brother” for $2), and a trip to the awesome cheese factory (over 20 varieties of delicious cheese, with free samples!). Oh right, I also walked Chicago’s “Miracle Mile” and managed to go all the way to the top of the John Hancock Center, to take multiple photos of the tiny skyscrappers below.

Second was the main part of the trip: a visit to my friend Mark in the San Francisco Bay Area. Some highlights:

  • Going to the area that Starfleet Command will eventually be (fun fact, in that area is a Khan Playground, and a Halleck Street)
  • A 5.5 hour trip to the Exploratorium with Casey (we got to see them disect a cow eye and learned that Casey is easily amused with sand)
  • An equally long trip to the California Academy of Sciences (they had penguins! And chameleons!)
  • A cruise under the Golden Gate Bridge and around Alcatraz
  • Maker Faire, half the reason for the trip, which was everything I thought it would be and more (and contained far to many things to detail here). Funnily enough, at one point, there were 5 Dalhousie graduates all at the Faire at the same time (of course, I was the only one who doesn’t currently reside in California.
  • attended the JavaOne Conference (also too much to put down right here)
  • and of course, much awesome hanging out with Mark and co

The weather was fantastic, like a good day in Halifax every day, and given that I was struck down with a cold immediately after returning to Halifax, obviously I wished I had stayed in California.

Just as important as the awesomeness of the trip, I have started having some cool ideas again and even been inspired to start writing about them. Let’s see where this goes.