Monday, December 31, 2007

2008 the year of techno surprizes

It always amazes me about the speed at which consumer products come and go. When I was born, 1951, radio was king and TV was new stuff. Now we can not only receive broadcast video, we can record and playback stuff on our TV's as well. All of this video technology is changing, we are talking digital broadcast, high-def and of course DVD formats. We have an assortment of equipment from single purpose units to various combo boxes like a TV with built-in DVD/VCR and multi-channel sound. I grew up fussing over audio components and now have to contend with video, computer and with gaming stuff too. Still, today you can't seem to have it all with one integrated system, as there are so many options and interest groups to focus on. This is in reality how we progress, on many fronts at the same time. Are there some things I like to see? Well, in the computer arena, change has been slow because you must have standards so that all the equipment and software can interact and work together. I always thought some good ideas needed to be revisited because the technology has improved. Back in the day quite a few computers had two floppy's. One was used for the operating system and one for data. Today we put it all on one humongous hard drive. When the drive or OS crashes or gets corrupted your data is always doomed to be lost. I thought it be safer to separate the operating system from the data. Since we now have cheap 2 to 8 gig flash drives, why not put the OS on a flash drive. It would be faster, swappable, upgradeable, etc and more than one OS could fit on it if you want. It could be a plug-in card or USB port which is due to be upgraded shortly. Just think, this could be done today and we wouldn't have to wait for a huge and costly solid-state drive to be developed. With some versions of Linux being available as a live-CD, this can be had today if you can boot from your flash drive. Not needing a huge hard drive for the computer itself means computers could be designed a little greener. Then designers can get to work on consumer network data storage units, which in reality should be transparent to any operating system. This network storage unit makes the idea of a "home server" kind of a redundant money making scheme.
Another thing I would like to see is an ethernet/router card (4 jacks) that fits in a PCI slot. Powered by the computer means one less power cord.
Being an old guy, I don't like too many changes but that touch pad on laptops I hope will not make a mouse obsolete, my fingers are not that nimble. I like my Wacom pad with wireless mouse.
Like with race cars, the extreme technology eventually filters down into the lives of the rest of us in some form. We have cell phones that take pictures but we are still leery of picture phones. It would stress out all of us if we had to always keep up appearances when ever we got a call. But with the computer I am surprised we don't have regular phone service with our Internet service standard. Especially if we have cable or DSL.
Well, there are lots of things to pick at in techno land and it remains as exciting as the days of crystal radios and morris code. If you have the bucks you can get there first but after the hype and dust settles is when you see what's the good stuff and what's a pet rock.

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