It’s just a very ordinary Dell D620 but there area couple of things about it that make it the key tool that supports my professional development at the moment:
- it is provided by my workplace
- I have administration rights
- I get to take it home at night
The admin rights are the IT policy of my organization (I know- you could have knocked me over with a feather when I found out). They mean I can install and trial (read “play with”) whatever I like without asking permission all the time. Mind you I am trusted then to know how to fix it too. Non SOE is not officially supported by the IT help desk but they are usually understanding. I also need to be aware that there are reasons that I must not install certain things (like IE7- not compatible with in house financial systems).
Being able to take it home was a consequence of working at multiple sites not a deliberate policy. But using the same lappy at home and at work means that I get to use the same configuration and keep trying things out where ever I am. It gives me more time for online reading. I don’t have to bookmark or install things twice. If it is time to go home or to work and I am half way through something I can just shut the lid and resume after I get there. My kids will tell you that it means I am working more but conversely I can easily work from home without prior planning if I or they are sick.