I've come to the conclusion that I'm getting old. I get cranky, I can't eat, drink or sleep nearly as much as I used to be able to, and yet none of those things is ever quite enough either. I certainly can't work as openly as I used to.
In years past I've always coveted, and owned laptops. I have loved the idea of being a road warrior. I can work anywhere, losing almost[^1] no performance and with an ever increasing battery life. I don't need to carry another device. I don't need a keyboard or mouse or ethernet cable. I don't need a DVD drive. I am self-contained, flexible and ready to work.
As I started working on larger projects that required more management I started working more and more from a single location. I found my warrior stance was causing all kinds of pains and took measures to reduce these strains. I thought I'd nailed it; a laptop in clamshell mode, with a nice big display, ergonomic keyboard, mouse... But it's not the same.
I want to walk into my office, sit down and have everything ready to go. I want it already connected to my other equipment (wired or otherwise). I don't want to reach awkwardly scratching at the case of my computer each morning, trying to plug a display in. I don't want to find the ethernet adapter has fallen out, or that my cable mess has fallen down the back of the desk and taken my desk phone with it. I really don't want to sit on the server room floor for hours longer than I realise, making do.
While a laptop is pretty well necessary for work, and information on the go is important, I am getting closer to not needing it. With modern remote access tools, better sync & cloud tools and most importantly iPhones, I am getting closer to the dream of having a desktop computer again for the first time since 1997 (that's nearly 20 years!).
A big, solid desk. A proper, comfortable chair. A split keyboard and room for a mouse. Permanent networking. 24/7 access to the machine. Overnight updates. Screen real estate. True power. Longevity. Readiness. A personalised, permanent place to work, and only work, without mixing data and settings. This is the future of computing for me, and I hope it's closer than I'd realised.