Business Installs

Because I’d really forgotten what a typical business laptop looked like, I thought I’d not make trouble and just have my new job give me a standard business laptop. You know, being the new guy, I didn’t want to ask for all kind of weird blogger crap.

It’s been kind of an interesting experience, because I am so used to only having a home laptop, I’d forgotten how streamlined your average corporate machine is:

  • No integrated webcam
  • No SD card reader
  • No integrated micrpohone
  • No pre-installed movie editing software

I don’t think this is unique to my current situation, mind you. I’m sure most universities have quite similar default machines.

And I take full responsibility for not thinking through my request for a default install — other than the absence of new media features it is a sweet machine, and I found an old webcam to throw on it and I’ll buy some movie making software and screencasting apps.

But isn’t it funny we live in a world where business machines have MS Access and InfoPath installed by default, applications that only 2% of the end users will utilize, but things like movie making software and webcams and screencasting apps are still an oddity on business machines?

Might one of the simplest things to do at a university be to talk to your IT department about what a modern default install and hardware config might look like? Just in case a professor *does* get an urge to Skype someone or hang out in Second Life or webcast her class?

If we are serious about participatory media, it belongs in the base spec.

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