Thursday, September 14, 2006

The hard disk turns 50 years old

We take many things for granted in our lives. Computers are one of them. I acquired my first one in 1990, a 286 with an EGA graphics card. I kept the original keyboard until 2004, when my wife decided that she didn't like the typing action. Fine!

As I am sitting here today, typing away merrily on my Microsoft Natural keyboard, two Dell 1907FP screens staring back at me, 60Gb hard disk, 2Gb RAM, Pentium 2GHz Mobile(roughly 3 GHz), in a portable computer that weighs less than 3kg, lugging it all over the world, making my life easier, quicker, and more productive, spare a thought for where we came from.

Even in the short time I have been using computers, things have changed so much. I am reminded of something I say every now and then: "Technology may progress, but human nature remains the same". We may find more ingeneous ways to kill each other, and to find cures for certain ailments, but because we live in this sinful world, it takes a conscious decision to rise up above the ways of this world.

Luckily God planted in us a conscience, and whether you are a born again Christian or not, the Holy Spirit makes you aware of what is right, and what is wrong.

I think I might have gotten side-tracked there. Back to technology.

So where will we be in 50 years' time? I plan to still be alive, retired, spending time with grandchildren, hopefully have my own plane, and still medically legal to fly it, and computers will be worn as watches, with 3D air-based screens that you look at, think about changes, and the sensors in the watch-sized computer (which also shows the time, of course), types for you, or whatever.

And we will see half the retail stores we have now. Online auction sites like eBay will continue to grow, and many more businesses will sell stuff online only.

So you can measure the accuracy of my predictions in 50 years' time. But I suspect that this text might have been archived by then, never to be seen by another soul. But in 100 year's time, some journalist might be doing research, and finding it again. Who knows...

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