Two things have become obvious to me, user demand effects technology change and the perception of technology is subject to be manipulated by marketing and advertisements. I am popping for the jump drive these days and they are becoming as popular as bottled water. But the real story is that static ram is becoming practical and cost effective. I am always amazed by our ability to leave the industrial revolution behind and say,"look mom, no moving parts!" A couple of things are happening in the code wars. First, attached to jump drives is the USB bus. USB is becoming or is the bus/port of choice, You can attach almost anything by USB these days. USB to being upgraded to make it even faster. Other ports are disappearing. Kiss parallel, serial and PS/2, goodbye. Second, if USB is the consumer connection of choice, what will happen to the IDE bus or even the SATA bus? Will internal disk drives now standard become optional equipment? Will static ram appear on the motherboard in lieu of a hard drive? Of course DVD/CD devices probably won't disappear but their interface connections might change. It is funny how we normally look to the extremist for tech advances, like gaming innovations filtering down into our family computer. Game machines have promoted and exploited power, capacity and capability. People are starting to not believe that bigger is always better chant. We are seeing folks doing more with less. PDA's and cell phones are a good example of this. If you don't need it, why waste the bucks, the energy? It's about essential data being portable and not having to carry all that we own on our backs and not needing to fire up a flight simulator to send an email.
As with jump drive technology changing what we call a computer, you also have to mention how folks are using iPod type devices. Audio files are so big and iPod devices so small, yet they have a lot of capacity. To put a kink in this whole product area, you notice that there is not one popular portable personal recording device on the market save those tiny business cassette tape machines. You'd think that by now some enterprizing person or group would add recording ability to an iPod device. To be able to personally and conveniently record audio stuff is greatly missed. I know, the copyright thing has something to do with this. Well, the exciting part is that technology changes right before your eyes. Over the span of your lifetime look what has come and gone. Scary but cool!