[BLU] The future of the future

David Kramer david at kramer.ne.mediaone.net
Wed Feb 16 14:46:03 EST 2000

On Wed, 16 Feb 2000, Ron Peterson wrote:
> So does this have any bearing on the world of computers?  Computers are
> getting cheaper by the second.  Pretty soon you'll be able to get one in
> your Happy Meal.  Is the profession of "Systems Manager" going to go the
> way of "Radio Operator"?
> I do think that there is one significant difference between radio and
> computers.  The function of a radio hasn't really changed much.  A
> computer, on the other hand, is really just a machine we use to build
> *other* virtual machines.  And while computers are getting cheaper, they
> are also getting more powerful.  Therefore, the number of things we use
> them for will increase in number in complexity.

I think you hit it pretty close.  Like no other man-made thing before it,
the computer can be used for so many completely different things, that
while there will probably be a comoditized level for home computers,
business computers will remain diverse, as will the software that runs on
them and the kinds of devices that hook up to them.  The computer, in this
respect, is more like a raw material (wood, steel, plastic) that you build
other things out of.

Most importantly, computers must be programmed and data must be entered
and (at least on business computers) resources must be maintained.

Remeber all that talk many years ago about how soon computers will just
program themselves and we won't need all those expensive, quirky
programmers on the payroll?  Has that happened yet?  Have you even seen a
GUI RAD development tool that can let a novice developer crank out clean,
efficient, scalable, maleable code?  Not even close, to my knowledge.

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