FTLComm - Tisdale - April 15, 2010

From the very first time I laid eyes on a computer (IBM card punch affair in 1962) I realised that computation was definitely going to be a great deal more than working out payrolls, budgets and word processing. The really remarkable thing about the development of computers and all that seems to relate to this technology is that since its beginning it has simply been adapted to whatever problem came along and once the technology moved from mechanical to electronic the cost factor simply exponentially declined.

The milestones of these various adaptations would be best left to a historical discussion rather than one dealing with the future but it suffices to say that in my short lifetime from the development of the transistor onward there has been no going back. We have had to get used to mammoth changes in just about everything we do as the technology has grown expanded and overtaken every facet of our lives.

The iPhone is now in its third generation with a fourth coming out this summer while other smart phones like the Blackberry are humming the same tune as telephony and computer technology have merged while at the same time the entertainment industry embraced technology from its very very beginnings.

But, the introduction of the Apple iPad in the US on Easter weekend has altered the computer and technological universe. Movies, music, computer applications, books, magazines, newspapers, games, surfing the Internet for information and who knows what else this tablet will be used for. Early users of the device report that it is no longer the issue, it is what is being done with it that takes over and the appliance essentially vanishes into what you are doing with it.

Are we to assume that the cell phone and all that it brings to life is just a passing fancy? Absolutely not, people of the third world are moving right past the whole world of land line telephones directly to cellular service and there is every reason to believe that the cost point on all of technology will simply continue to follow the trend it has since the introduction of the personal computer in the late 1970s. Year after year the price and capacity have crossed each other. The computer or technological device continuously grows less expensive to build and its power is exponentially increasing.

When I came across the article Riding the Avalanche of Future Technology in the Canadian information technology magazine CRN I realised I had to share it with you so that you too might grasp the imminent changes to society that the iPhone, iPad and similar devices will have on the way we all conduct our lives. Of particular concern is the way inexpensive storage of data already a factor in our lives will become even more so as we and our fellow citizens of earth squirrel away data at an astounding rate while at the same time knowledge and the access to that knowledge is growing second by second of every single day.

I did not include the article as a PDF but have reproduced it on the next page of this story. You may not want to wade through the whole story but be sure to look over the list of predictions made by Dave Evans of Cisco Systems. Though they may seem far fetched several of them have already have occurred.

Timothy W. Shire