Reflections and Questions
In 1945 it would have been very hard to predict what
the computer would become, but now we can see trends:
Consider how each of these trends impacts
society. Is it a continuous process, or are there breakpoints
where the impact changes?
- increasing ease of use
- hardware becomes smaller, cheaper, and more
: the number of transistors that can be fit on a chip doubles every 18
with the result that the speed of computers doubles or the price drops
(Moore's Law Illustrated) .)
- integrated circuits
- new forms of memory storage
- how far can this trend go?
- development of new ways for computers to
- data bases
- some better way of organizing information?
Search Engine Watch
- the internet connects universities
- wide public access to the internet
- integration of telephone, television, and
(sometimes called telematics)
Telematics is one of those things that has been
predicted as just around the corner for a long time.
- 1970 Tama New Town (Japan) experiment--this
a new development of apartment buildings outside of Tokyo which was
provided with facimile mail, interactive computer classrooms, community
- 1972 HBO is the first extra-charge cable
--a British system to make information available via television
, experimental 2-way interactive cable television installed in 30,000
homes in Columbus, Ohio. Eventually the project was declared a
shut down in 1983.
Minitel (France)--eliminate the phone book and give everyone a
made the public more comfortable with computers. To the surprise
the government telephone company it was quickly used mostly for
Prestel (England)--data base maintained by the post office and
available via phone
lines, anyone could enter data for a fee. It became an internet
and then closed.
- these experiments have been slow to
television is one of those
technologies that doesn't
yet have its killer ap
What might computers do for us in the
future? Would you want to:
this page written and copyright
Pamela E. Mack
last updated Dec. 7, 2005