As IBM Turns 100 Years Old, is the PC Dying at 30?

What a week... IBM turns 100 years old, the desktop PC is just 30 years old as Apple predicts it's demise, and I... well... turn more than 30.  I have to own that because I've been fascinated by computers for longer than PC's have been around.  Today I read stories about technology on my phone, dig a little deeper from my easy chair on my tablet, and if I'm so inspired make my way to my laptop to type a few notes and thoughts back into the cloud.

As an architect and inhabitant of the cloud,  I'm nostalgic for the days when you could actually see computing happen.  There was a day when input came from cards and output came in the form of blinking lights.  Now calculations happen in my wristwatch on transistors unimaginably small to track the tic of one second and supercomputers compete at 32.4 petaFLOPS.  The 1964 EBCDIC Character set, shown on the card at right, was born the same year as me.  Time sure does fly.

Learning From the Future

Conventional wisdom says that we should learn from the past.  Is it possible that we can learn from the future?  I'm a science fiction fan (what self respecting geek isn't) but I'm not talking about time travel here.  I'm talking about extrapolation.  According to the dictionary, to extrapolate is "To infer or estimate by extending or projecting known information".  In other words, we CAN learn from the future by studying and learning from the past, observing the present, and imagining the future.

Please read this post all the way to the end by clicking the "read more" link.  Let me know what you think, and comment publicly if you are so inspired...

The Low Cost of Doing Things Right

How many times have you tried to cut corners on a project, resulting in poor results, re-work, or utter frustration without ever completing the project?  I know I've tried to work on the plumbing in my house to save a few skins (I am uniquely unqualified to do this) and ended up paying a plumber and water damage specialist at least three times more than the original plumbing bill would have been.

In many ways content management systems are like plumbing, and your online identity is like water running through it.  If there is a leak or break in the pipe things can get quite expensive very quickly!

What is the Future of Web Design?

I'll take crystal ball for $500 Alex!  We are still so early in the evolution of the internet that the original concept of the "World Wide Web" will soon seem... well... quaint.  The internet is less a web of interconnected pages and more a network of interconnected people and data.

We don't just browse anymore, we google, we blog, we tweet, and we read.  We used to have handles and avatars, now we use our real names as "friends" with a very vivid digital reputation following us around. We live, work, and die in the cloud.

Speakers at the Future of Web Design conference in New York were recently asked "what's dead on the web".  They see the demise of static websites, flash, and the web itself.  That last one sounds weird but is so on the money!  The word "Web" doesn't really cover it anymore. 

View their comments here:

Future of Web Design NY 2010 - Part Two from (mt) Media Temple on Vimeo.

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