The pyramid principle

PyramidI used to be one of those “everything on my laptop” sort of guys until I started working from home.  Now I use the device pyramid principle, which is another way of saying that I exploit the strengths of 3 devices to offset the weaknesses of those same three devices.  I works like this:


600C_127dialpad_medMy least powerful, but most accessible device is my Treo.  I can access anything on it with a couple of clicks, and its up and running in a second (actually its always on but it takes a second to activate the screen).  Because it’s my phone I never leave home without it.  The information I carry on it is the basic stuff:


  • Contacts
  • Diary
  • Email
  • Todo
  • eWallet

But because it’s always with me it’s important that I also have stuff for entertainment, (music, books) and work to fill in any otherwise dead time (RSS feeds, tech conferences, email).

Tc1000Next comes my Tablet,  it’s much bigger, takes a couple of minutes to get going, and even longer to find what I am looking for.  However being more powerful it has everything that the Treo has plus:

  • All my scanned documents
  • All my current work
  • Everything I am reviewing
  • My notebook
  • All the eBooks, documents and web pages that I am reading
  • My NetSnippets library
  • All of my music
  • Tech Videos I have downloaded to watch
  • Instant messaging via Trillian Pro to AOL, MSN, SameTime and Jabber

I only take my Tablet with me when I know I will be sitting around,  when I go out for a walk (I always stop off for a bite to eat or a drink), when I go swimming or take the kids to some event or when I go into work or travel.

DeskWhen I get home out come my Tablet and Treo,  they then take on their home roles.  The Treo in its cradle diverts its calls to my home phone network (and hangs on my belt during housework) the tablet next to my keyboard for note taking during conference calls.  The Tablet is wireless so it quietly syncs in the background.

At home for serious work I use my desktop and labs, they have everything on my Tablet and the following additions:

  • A video library
  • Much more screen real estate
  • A top quality keyboard and mouse
  • All of my archived documents
  • My extensive software library
  • Everything full text indexed X1 and MSN Desktop Search
  • A range of virtual machines for testing, evaluation and secure access into my company
  • All the backups

The key to making this work is as follows:

  • As the devices get bigger and slower/less convenient to access they get more powerful
  • Each device suites it’s environment and I manage the type of work I do in those environments
  • The tablet has everything the Treo has and more
  • The desktop has everything the Tablet has and more
  • Every device is naturally in sync with the other, automatically, or in the case of the Treo with a single button press
  • Every device complements the other, and offsetting its weaknesses so their is little compromise

Any downsides:

  • It’s more expensive
  • There is more to go wrong (but if any device fails I can live with just the other two for a while)
  • It took a little setting up

Steve Richards

I'm retired from work as a business and IT strategist. now I'm travelling, hiking, cycling, swimming, reading, gardening, learning, writing this blog and generally enjoying good times with friends and family

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