Linked by Howard Fosdick on Mon 27th Aug 2012 13:53 UTC
Editorial The dream of inexpensive computing for everyone has been with us since the first computers. Along the way it has taken some unexpected turns. This article summarizes key trends and a few of the surprises.
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Everything can be a computer
by Chrispynutt on Mon 27th Aug 2012 16:08 UTC
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Within reason everything can be a computer.

All that it takes is for SOCs or processors to become cheap enough and low powered enough to move into that space.

We started off with computers that were the size of buildings that only a government at war could require.
However we still have super computers on that scale today.

Then we moved down to servers the size of rooms. Which only a large company could afford. Again this is still the case today.

Then we moved to individual desktop computers, but only businesses could afford. Today we call them workstations.

We then got a our day to day personal computers. They reduced in size and increased in availability. Again they are still prevalent today.

Then we had laptops which took the power of a PC and tried to make it portable. Now todays ultra light i5 laptop can have more CPU power than a Core 2 Quad from only a few years ago.

We had PDAs that merged with feature phones to become Smart Phones.

We have tablets that fill the gap between phone and computer.

We have small hobbiest machines, but also tiny little embeded machines that run Windows CE in the background with out people noticing. I am 90% that the coffee maker in the company kitchen is a Win CE device by its alert noise.

We have Kontiki that is runing on 8-bit SOCs that are in traffic lights and other mundane systems.

There is a stream of computing power that flows further and further down.

When everything is a computer all we have are form factors and 'computing' building blocks. Some companies make building blocks well for one use and another better for a different use. We don't critise mining companies for not selling wood. I am sure they would like the business, but who wouldn't want more business.

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