Friday, January 04, 2008

Next-step technology you know, techno-evolution

I am all for company's displaying future products. Cars and computers are very similar in that they are user dependent. So company's will entice you with prototypes and visions. The real mystery is how do we get there? We are still waiting for a Jetson's future with flying cars and picture phones. By the way, you could solve the video phone problem is by designing an avatar double to stand in for you when your appearance is not up to snuff. Flying cars, the logistics are just too over whelming. But in all, the art of projecting eventualities is kind of fun. Technology seems to mirror the companies that produce them. First they make parts, then assemblies, then integrate it all together, then new stuff comes out and we start all over again. Company's specialize, collaborate, merge, then split off. Watching the big picture is hopeful but exasperating because you the user must endure the changes. You might take the risk to be the first on your block to get that big screen TV only to be burnt because some waited and got one better and cheaper. Ah, but you where first! Or you won't give up the old technology because it still works just fine, thank you. User casualties are just part of the gadget life, we survive it, sort of.
The tech magazines have all made their year end ratings of past products and predictions about what's coming. Projections tend to be a couple of years off and companies aren't so quick to reveal what's next. What is the next step is what the user buys. Sitting at my computer I can't see so clearly but aren't game boxes becoming more like desktop PC's or what? The fight is to get some sort of PC into the living room. So far the game box is there. When will they put a video broadcast tuner card in it? The game machine already plays audio CD's and has great sound, an iPod port is coming. The game machine has even been hacked to run PC operating systems. Talk about a fight over the remote. Maybe the tablet PC will turn into a portable/personal tablet media thingy and pull media streams from your home media server so you won't have to fight over the big screen. The big thing will be very short range wireless or proximity networks, wires will vanish. The modules will recognize each other because they are in the same realm or room. Even the media, when stacked on the module will be connected, doing away with slots and drawers. It can happen. Even though software written today only uses one processor at a time, we have multi-core cpu's made the standard. Two, four, even eight core cpu's are here. The idea to divvy up the processor workload of one program among multiple cpu's is being given up for running more than one program at a time. Sort of multi-channel computing. That we can do, we just need more bus and more memory. Look for rotating memory disks to disappear because solid-state is here. First put the OS and Apps on one beefy jump drive and your personal files on another. Come on how much space do you really use on that big hard drive anyway. Two 8 gig flash drives could handle all of my day to day stuff. It would also make for a very green low power PC. If I need to, I could get a humongous network attached storage drive (SATA, USB, or Ethernet) to handle other stuff. People are already wearing their computers, they just don't have the utility belt format or video goggles. You can get a little screen that does Internet/phone/audio/camera/calculator/watch/GPS, all it needs is remote car start and remote video control and you'll have it all. Well I will end it here, but you can see that things can happen just around the corner or can be had today. You just have to stretch your view a little. If you have the skills you can do it today, now.

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