What’s a PC?

So what’s a PC any more, anyway?  I just realized that I have seven personal computers that I actively use for their own specialized tasks.

– The desktop PC, a quiet computer which runs constantly, and I mostly use for watching movies.

– The personal laptop, a tiny, slow netbook that I use for writing.

– The work laptop, a powerful machine I write code on.

– The gaming PC, which has a decent setup, but I only use rarely.

– The mobile, an HTC / Android which I use to communicate with people, (by phone if necessary).

– The mp3 player, a 160gb iPod I use clever iTunes playlists to fill.

– The tablet, an iPad, which so far seems to be good for at least three things: Reading newspapers, reading Twitter, and as an iTunes remote control.

All of them fill a niche.  I could do with fewer, but I don’t want to.  Four of them are actual PC’s, but they probably don’t all have to be.  And what I notice is that the more specialized these computers become, the less it feels like I’m using a computer.  Rather it feels like they’re part of the environment.  One might expect that having seven personal computers that you actively use would be more stressful than having one or two.  But to me it’s far less.  Every new computer seems to reduce the cognitive load.

I wonder how many more there are room for.

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