Linked by Eugenia Loli on Wed 12th Nov 2003 19:33 UTC
Geek stuff, sci-fi... Sure, it'll be faster and more powerful. It'll also be far more oriented to specific tasks and take wireless broadband networks for granted. Read the article at BusinessWeek.
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blah blah blah
by debman on Wed 12th Nov 2003 20:27 UTC

they have said computers will disappear into our surroundings. IMO, they already have, it is just that we choose to interface with a desktop a lot more than specific devices because a desktop can do everything a group of single use devices can do, but it is cheaper.

RE: blah blah blah
by Anonymous on Wed 12th Nov 2003 20:57 UTC

Agreed. This is the same old speculation we've heard for many decades. These articles don't stand up to computing history.

The reality of the situation is this: single use electronics are invariably replaced by multi-function units. That is the evolutionary system. Who would buy a unit that only does e'mail for $40 when a unit that's a cell phone, PDA, game machine, e'mail, and IM can be bought for only $20 more? Not very many. Essentially, look for smaller gadgets that can do more and more tasks while using network resources ever more efficiently.

Computers may very well "disappear" as we know them today, but only in an aesthetic sense. They will simply start hiding in nooks and crannies of our rooms and appear when we need them, sink back into storage when we do not. They may even become our entertainment system. No more separate TV and desktop computer. The satellite receiver and desktop computer become a single modular unit both using that awesome 60" plasma tv you just bought for the price of today's 17" LCD monitors.

One oops and One disagreement
by Cramit on Wed 12th Nov 2003 21:19 UTC

First Moore's Law sayes that the number of transisters per chip will double every 18 monthes; not the speed.
http://www.intel.com/research/silicon/mooreslaw.htm
Sorry to nitpick.

Secondly, I highly doubt that in the future they will but vasts amounts of movies and music installed on your hard drive, thats just asking to be hacked; maybe from a server somewhere where they stream you the file you want...but thats a scary Idea as that you would have to pay ever time you listen or watch something....not a good thin in my opinion.

Anyway it is an iteresting article none the less.

A more general disagreement
by Don on Thu 13th Nov 2003 01:36 UTC

The form factors we have for desktop, and laptop devices today have evolved to where they are because the work well. What works well for us is dictated by our ergonomic requirements as humans. These ergonomic requirements arenít going to change anytime soon. So I am skeptical of any claims that traditional computing devices are going to radically change anytime soon. This is particularly true of laptop computers. I think manufactures have been homing in on the ideal range of form factors for laptops for some time now.

In fact you could argue that going significantly smaller than the range of traditional laptops has already failed. While tablet PCs, digital music players , PDAs, and cell phones have moved into specialized niches, none have challenged the laptop for its place as a primary computer or even a secondary computer. This is simply because these smaller mostly keyboard-less devices canít be accesses and used as easily as a laptop.

Workers at my company have a wide range of portable devices to use including, cell phones, PDAs, and Blackberrys. But the number of computers we deploy continues to increase and the percentage of those devices being laptops has grown from 15% to 30% in the last 6 years. Laptops will be the clear winning form factor for some time to come

I am also skeptical of broadband replacing the need for local processing power anytime soon. But that is an argument for another time.

Science friction.
by BR on Thu 13th Nov 2003 03:58 UTC

" Computers may very well "disappear" as we know them today, but only in an aesthetic sense."

They already have. They're called embedded processors.

"they have said computers will disappear into our surroundings. IMO, they already have, it is just that we choose to interface with a desktop a lot more than specific devices because a desktop can do everything a group of single use devices can do, but it is cheaper."

Then we get to listen to people complain about how complicated they are, and an entire support structure is kept alive.

And "cheaper" is debatable.


My take is that "eventually" as computer interfaces improve, computers will be the electronic assistant (kind of like the human one), that's there when you need it, but unseen otherwise. Completely conversant with both you, and the other "machines" you have throughout your world. Because that's ultimately what computers were meant to be. A lever for the mind.

Re: Science friction.
by Nicholas Blachford on Thu 13th Nov 2003 10:51 UTC

Computers may very well "disappear" as we know them today, but only in an aesthetic sense."

They already have. They're called embedded processors.


There are more embedded CPUs made per year than people on the planet. By comparsion the PC is a hyper-expensive niche.

"they have said computers will disappear into our surroundings. IMO, they already have, it is just that we choose to interface with a desktop a lot more than specific devices because a desktop can do everything a group of single use devices can do, but it is cheaper."

Then we get to listen to people complain about how complicated they are, and an entire support structure is kept alive.

And "cheaper" is debatable.


Embedded CPUs are quite considerably cheaper then anything in a PC, and they generally include Memory / PCI controllers etc.

My take is that "eventually" as computer interfaces improve, computers will be the electronic assistant (kind of like the human one), that's there when you need it, but unseen otherwise. Completely conversant with both you, and the other "machines" you have throughout your world. Because that's ultimately what computers were meant to be. A lever for the mind.

I don't know about the conversant with other machines bit but otherwise i think you're spot on.

...
by Anonymous on Sat 15th Nov 2003 19:58 UTC

I wish they could get a solution for the harddrive.