The New Tablet Workstations; Portability and Power  


surface-pro-3So, I’ve finally decided to make the next big leap.

Originally it was the transition from a laptop to a tablet… but while I enjoyed reading news, articles and social media on the tablet – it wasn’t a replacement for a real computer; it was really felt more like a smart-phone on steroids.

In my adventures, between tablets and various computers however, I discovered that my portable “computer” need not be the latest, greatest and most powerful model.

Utilities like GoToMyPC and PCAnywhere allowed me to have a largely “disposable” portable platform with me, while my “real”computer (including its files, applications, etc) we’re safely at home.  I could use these utility programs to set up a virtual terminal session that, for the most part, was indistinguishable from actually being on the computer itself.

This would allow me to access my computer and files from pretty much anywhere.

Now there are risks; you need to have confidence in the security of the product/vendor you are using.

Likewise, you need to know that your terminal “session” is encrypted – so people cant readily  watch your data – but with the right, mature product – its not a bad compromise*.

So what is the leap I’m making today?

With the more powerful tablet computers, we are going from a suped-up smart-phone to an actual computer platform (Microsoft’s Surface comes to mind).  With optional (and light) keyboards and other peripheral devices, we can finally have the ultra portable computer platform we’ve desired.

I still like the remote access concept, but with these new tablets we finally have access to a machine that can do some of the heavy lifting we’ve been putting on the remote workstation, without the potential risks of losing data or access to someone exploiting your remote workstation.

Of course, you still risk losing key data if you drop or lose the new tablet, but with today’s “find my workstation” solutions – you can use software to locate your device, communicate with someone who may have found it, and ultimately wipe ass data on the unit if necessary.

Meanwhile, when not writing articles like this, I can still disconnect my new tablet from the keyboard and read my extensive e-book library, surf the web, and read various periodicals and news feeds.

I am, however, running out of excuses not to work.




* Other provisions you may want to include are:

  • only running the remote terminal software when you know you are going to need access; shut it down all other times
  • don’t put your most sensitive information on a remote PC; as with “cloud” computing – you are still trusting a 3rd party with the keys to your kingdom… go apply good governance and minimize risk to your most essential assets.
  • regular password changes and ideally two-factor authentication or other robust access controls.
  • some kind of tracking/reporting on when your system was last accessed remotely; check those logs and make sure it really was YOU using your machine.
Author: Stephen Holton, PMP, CISSP, SSGB, ITIL, CD

After completing over twelve years service in the Canadian Armed Forces, Stephen moved to private industry where he was employed as a Director of Information Technology, Director of Operations and CIO for a number of private sector companies before finally electing to become an independent consultant in 2000. Since then he’s served as a management consultant, project/program manager and business analyst/solution architect in a number of industries and organizations - including a big-5 consulting firm. These industries and organizations have included the airline, railway, telecommunications and banking industries, the Canadian and US Governments, as well as mandates in Brazil and Bermuda. Presently Steve lives in Ottawa, Canada.

5 thoughts on “The New Tablet Workstations; Portability and Power  

  1. Dorcas Lagadinos

    Howdy would you mind sharing which blog platform you’re working with? I’m looking to start my own blog in the near future but I’m having a tough time deciding between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal. The reason I ask is because your design and style seems different then most blogs and I’m looking for something unique. P.S My apologies for being off-topic but I had to ask!

    1. Stephen Holton, PMP, CISSP, SSGB, ITIL, CD Post author

      No worries. I’m using a standard WordPress installation on my own domain/host. You can find a number of organizations that can set that up for you – or I can offer a solution through my company as well (my hosting division is still getting up and running, but we can still talk). Reach out to and we can discuss further if you want.

  2. Hebergement web

    Mass storage devices store programs and data even when the power is off; they do require power to perform read and write functions during usage. Although flash memory has dropped in cost, the prevailing form of mass storage in personal computers is still the hard disk drive .

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