Monday, October 11, 2010

What the heck do we need now?

Welcome to my new graduate students... This is some of what we will talk about on Tuesday night.

What do we really use computers for… would an ipad® do it for us…

  • What did you use a computer for today?
  • Did you check your email? 
  • Did you surf the net?
  • Do a little shopping?
  • Check up on your friends (facebook®)
  • Did you “google” an address or map?
  • Did you find the answer to a NYtimes crossword puzzle clue?

In short, did you turn you computer into a terminal for the day’s work?

  • Were the files you used stored online?Was the data you needed, online? 
  • Did you save your files to an online location?
  • Did the music come from a service like itunes?

So much of it is online that…

  • Computing power is not as important as bandwidth.
  • Processing power is trumped by browser speed.
  • We have put our confidence online with our music, pictures and other documents.
  • Have we misplaced our confidence?
What do we need to go online?

  • A computer, or computing device, that has a strong network connection.
  • Wireless, wired or some combination.
  • We need nice clear video that is able to project what we need to see on the monitor.
  • We need an input device, our fingers, mice or keyboards. That allow us to interact.

Computing Devices…

  • Cell phones, netbooks, tablets and big old computers all seem to work for us.
  • I have a friend who listens to “Pandora” in his car. He uses his ipod to control his cable box and he can surf the net for movies from his TV?
  • My daughter reads the NY Times on her Kindle, cheaper than the print edition.
  • People who used to buy books from Amazon and have then delivered now use their Kindle. (Is UPS scared?)

So what do we need…

  • An Iphone, Ipod or smartphone for talking and music… 
  • A Kindle or Ipad for books and magazines…
  • A netbook to get on the internet to search, shop or scratch out a letter or email…
  • A computer with some special software that is not available on the internet… 
  • A device that will privately store your data…
In the future:

  • We may just need a colorful terminal… 
  • We don’t need much storage, now that it is cheap…
  • We don’t need much processing, now that it is faster than we ever imagined…
  • We now need connections and bandwidth…

So as we look at how computers work, lets take the time to look at how we use them too. This change in the way we do use computers happened quickly, what’s the next change? How can we prepare for it?

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