Umpcs_08Considering that I’m the anti-mobile or home user of mobile technology, some of you may find it strange that part of my portable gadget collection includes the six UMPCs you see here. Why do I need even one UMPC when I work exclusively from home primarily on my Vaio TZ notebook? It’s a question that pops up every now and then in my inbox, usually from new readers who aren’t familiar with my gadget mania. In my responses, I often mention how my shopping habits are ruled by instant gratification, how I value "want" over "need," or how I’m just an average, run-of-the-mill technophile who refuses to seek help for my addiction.

All of these replies are true, but recently something dawned on me that was even truer. Instead of anything profound or at least useful like I’m sure many of your reasons are for liking/using them (e.g., lightens the load, allows you to work anywhere, etc.), one of the main reasons I’ve been attracted to UMPCs since they were still H/PCs goes back to my childhood.

Ever since I can remember, I’ve been fascinated by and obsessed with miniatures. I don’t know why, but anything in miniature form was just something I was immediately drawn to.


I still have all of my Micro Machines from the late 1980s!


And don’t get me started on my collection of miniature dollhouse foods (or ask me why I have them when I’ve never even had a dollhouse).

My wedding favors were keepsake boxes that looked like miniature silver presents and three-tiered weddings cakes, a handful of mini animal figurines sits on my desk, I just bought a silly finger drum set, I keep mini tubes of lip gloss in my purse . . . and I love mini computers. Plain and simple. Sometimes there’s no rhyme or reason to why we like things; we just do.