I’m an “old” microcomputer geek. I’ve been there from the original Commodore, Apple, Atari, IBM, TRS-80, Timex, and other early computers. The potential of these fantastic machines to simplify life, entertain, learn, and create news was never lost on me.
Of course there were computers (and networks) long before the microcomputer revolution. Huge mainframes and later minicomputers. Huge rooms of hard drives, batteries, controller units, and much more. This was “Information Technology” for 30 years by the time I started playing with computers.
Now approaching 30 years after I discovered the wonderful world of computers, technology is radically different (as if ICs & the microprocessor weren’t enough). With more computing power in our phones than existed in the world in 1950, our capabilities are different as well.
Figure this, most of the systems being designed and built today are by the original MTV generation. The first generation to grow up with computers, microwaves, Sony Walkman players, video games, cordless phones, MTV, CD Players, VCRs, and much, much more.
Now, I’ve been rambling here, but the point I’m getting to is that how we use technology today is about to change – again. Some of it is obvious, some not. Take the Internet. As it has grown and technology advances, the ability to deliver new tools and services continues to amaze. With each new iteration of computer, software, and network advances, the opportunities for the consumer leaps forward. Today the computer is but a mere cog in our consumption of information – because that is what technology is really all about: Information.
Its information that we trade with each other, through email and IM, post on our blogs, record in our podcasts, share on our social networking services, download to our media players, watch on our monitors, sync to our phones/PDAs. All that and more.
What this ultimately means is that the computer has become irrelevant, and all we really need, or will need going into the future is access to our information. If you have a device that can access the network (the Internet), you can get to your information. It no longer matters where you store your information.
Even as I write this post, it is entirely online. Meaning that I am not using any local storage, posting directly to my blog, using online software to write, proof, and post.
As an old IT geek, I used to have an impressive home network with email, file, systems management, AV, firewall, web, and more – all in my house, on my network, where I had to manage it all. Today, all the services I felt I needed to provide myself & family are all hosted online for little or no cost.
From a custom GMail domain account for email, to hosting services, to online data storage services, to online media subscriptions. Its all online, accessible from anywhere in the world. What have I left at home? A few laptops that my family can take with us when we need to.
As phones grow more capable, all you’ll need with you is your phone. Maybe a rolling/folding wireless keyboard, for bulk typing needs, but that’s it.
I love technology, mostly because its all starting to resemble those dreams of the future I had so long ago.