By Peter J. Denning
In March 1997, the organization for Computing equipment will have a good time the 50th anniversary of the digital computing device. to appreciate what a unprecedented fifty years the pc has had, you wish purely go searching you--probably no farther than your table. desktops are in every single place: in our autos, our houses, our supermarkets, on the mobile corporation workplace, and at your neighborhood health facility. yet because the individuals to this quantity clarify, the clinical, social and financial impression of pcs is simply starting to be felt. those 16 invited essays at the way forward for computing tackle a stunning number of issues, with reviews from such specialists as Gordon Bell, Sherry Turkle, Edsger W. Dijkstra, Paul Abraham, Donald Norman, Franz Alt, and David Gelernter. This brilliantly eclectic assortment, commissioned to rejoice a massive milestone in an ongoing technological revolution, will fascinate anyone with an curiosity in pcs and the place they are taking us.
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Extra info for Beyond Calculation: The Next Fifty Years of Computing
Instant demand for communication capacity will be satisfied in large measure by a combination of fiber optics and optical switching as well as very broadband radio communication and perhaps infrared links over relatively short distances. Broadcast communication via digital satellite will also playa role, and conventional over-the-air media will carry Internet packets. Conventional television and radio may by that time have become as quaint as crystal radio is today. When They're Everywhere 39 If the average penetration of the networking technology reaches thirty percent by 2047, this suggests on the order of three to four billion devices, possibly more if the ''ubiquitous computing" appliances predicted by Mark Weiser of Xerox PARC actually proliferate.
Since price for a given function decliries by about twenty percent annually, a new class fonns about every ten years. The class is characterized by new hardware and software suppliers and a new style of use or new applications for new and existing users. 3. commoditization into appliances and other devices whereby functions such as speech recognition, filing, printing, and display are incorporated into other devices such as watches, talking and listening calculators and telephones, cameras with special graphical-effects creation, and pictures that interact visually and tell stories.
I had a modest taste of what's ahead in composing this chapter. A part of it was written while I was driving across country from Virginia to Santa Fe, New Mexico. Thanks to an inverter and a cellular telephone, it was possible to keep a laptop humming all the way across the country and to occasionally check in for e-mail exchanges and even look up a few necessary facts on the Internet. The freedom to work virtually independent of location was exhilarating. Far more self-organization will be needed for such a huge system to function.
Beyond Calculation: The Next Fifty Years of Computing by Peter J. Denning