Posted on November 1, 2012
Last month Samsung introduced a new model of the Google Chromebook laptop computer priced at only $250. It may be the first computer using Google’s Chrome operating system priced aggressively enough to merit serious consideration. It is also a prototype version of a “Post-PC Era” computer.
Chromebook is designed with Cloud computing as its defining characteristic. There is no hard-drive because archival data and applications are maintained in the Internet Cloud on Google servers. Although icons for word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, and other applications appear on the computer screen in the normal manner, the applicable programs and files are actually located in the Cloud. When owners click-on one of the icons the pertinent program is transported over the Net and downloaded into Chromebook’s solid-state memory where it is cached while in use. Once the work is completed and saved to the “Google Drive”, it is returned over the Net to Google servers where is retained until summoned for use again.
Cloud computing endpoints, such as Google Chromebooks, can be designed without regard to the legacy restrictions of Microsoft or Apple computers. Those units were invented as isolated processors in an era preceding even the Local Area Networks (LANs) that emerged in the late 1980s. Consequently, Cloud computing endpoints can offer a number of advantages. Read more…
Posted on October 23, 2012
As William Faulkner put it, “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.”
As a stock analyst dining alone at Rickey’s Hyatt House in Palo Alto one evening in 1975, I couldn’t ignore an animated conversation by two middle-aged men in the next booth with profound viewpoints on the future of computing. Since I shared their passion, like most any obsessed youth I rudely introduced myself and was graciously invited to join them.
They were from Bell Northern Research, which was the Bell Labs of Canada. One of them, Joe, was an outside consultant who essentially functioned as a gadfly. His job was to get the technical staff to consider radical ideas from outsiders. Two ideas dominated Joe’s discussions that evening: (1) ARPANET and (2) timesharing. Read more…
Posted on September 4, 2012
While the recent abrupt slowdown of personal computer sales at Dell and Hewlett-Packard undoubtedly portends major changes in the future of computing, it’s unlikely that anyone has a fully developed picture of the much discussed “Post-PC Era”. At best we can identify a number of salient characteristics that shall likely prevail.
First, desktops and laptops shall likely remain the primary tools for creating files and doing work for years to come. Examples include word-processing documents, “slide-show” presentations, building and augmenting websites, spreadsheets, and high quality video and audio productions. In contrast, smartphones and tablet computers shall become our primary means of consuming media. For example, even in the living room, iPhones and iPads enable users to view most any Internet video through a flat panel TV so long as the television is attached to a $99 AppleTV appliance. As illustrated in the chart below, new buyers of tablet computers typically spend more time doing work on their desktops and laptops while spending less time consuming media.