Following on from the other thread about computer predictions,thought would start a thread about what you and I thought computers and tech would be like in the future when you were much younger etc.
Will kick this off with some of my views and hopes!
I thought we would have talking computers, bit like HAL but much more primitive. They would be all have fast modems to connect to banks, travel agents, ticket offices and BBSs. I dreamed of having an email address, which would be REALLY COOL. We would have laserdisks to load up games with realistic graphics and everyone would have COLOUR monitors. When I say realistic, I mean like the computer graphics in Dire Straits' Money for nothing video! Every computer would have at least 2 floppy disk drives and a built in colour dot matrix printer.
You would still have Commodore, Sinclair, Amstrad, IBM and Apple making totally different computers to each other.
You have some fairly believable "predictions" of the future from that point in time.
I put little thought to hard drives at the time, thinking higher capacity disk drives were probably what was to come.
I felt improvements in thermal technology would take off. Remember the Okidata 10/20? Colors were more vivid than ribbon based color dot-matrix.
The Amiga was "IT!!!" Sound and graphics couldn't get any better than that. I still remember the "cold flush" tingle I felt when viewing my first full color HAM image. I was using ViewILBM on a Fred Fish disk of pictures. The screen loaded up slowly with garbled looking pixels and "instantly" changed to a fantastic full color picture (cue the tingle).
There was a bit of apprehension with the Amiga as I realized I was beginning to lose "control" of the computer. It's basic mode of operation wasn't a programming interface, like the 8-bits. I couldn't simply program anything on the spot to address the sound, graphics, etc. I had to run AmigaBASIC and work in a restricted environment. But the software tools were simply fun to use, especially 3D and paint programs.
Post by David Murray on Jul 10, 2009 8:18:02 GMT -5
Well, I guess I'm not much of a visionary on computers. But, there are a few things I got right, sort of.
First of all, I imagined that in the future, everyone would own a computer and we would no longer need phone lines. Instead, the phone company would provide us with a super-fast 19,200 baud serial connection directly to our house. And we'd have access to all kinds of public information, all be interconnected with everyone else. I imagined regular terminal style interface more or less like calling a BBS, but I imagined it with the ability to display small pictures on the screen along with the text. In many ways, this would have offered much of the same functionality as the internet, but obviously a lot less bandwidth and less CPU resources (no HTML to render)
Back in the mid 1990's I had predicted that we'd eventually all use camcorders that record directly to some kind of optical disc. I got that right as we eventually had DVD camcorders, but now those are becoming obsolete in favor of flash memory, which I never saw coming.
I had also predicted digital cameras. Again, this was in the 1990's when the first connectic quickcam came out. I suddenly wanted to carry my 486 laptop around so I could take pictures and video clips on the go. It occurred to me that it would be possible to make a device that would integrate the quickcam into a portable camera without needing the computer. And even though I was right about digital cameras, I was wrong on the scale. For example, I figured 10 years later we might have these devices that could take 320x240 or maybe 640x480 pictures in black and white and maybe really expensive ones could do color. I never imagined that 10 years later the film camera would be obsolete and camcorders would be recording to solid state memory.
Now.. as with some of my bad vision... I never thought DOS would die. I mean, why get rid of something that worked so well? I never expected the floppy to die either (even though I wanted it to) I also never expected flat screen monitors to ever take over. After all, we had been told over and over by the manufacturers that there was simply no way to produce them cheaper than $1,000 per screen.
I always figured the Mac platform would die. After all, the Amiga was so much better and could emulate the Mac perfectly. So I figured once people figured this out, they would all start buying Amigas.
Ah yes the Amiga, I also thought the Amiga would continue to evolve like the PC and Apple machines, becoming one of the business computers of choice. Also I thought Silicon Graphics would always be ahead of the curve for graphics and computer modelling.
Things I could not have even imagined:
Mobile phones the size they can be now and the power of them. Touchscreen mobile phones. Affordable CD/DVD burners. Laser quality colour inkjet printers that are cheaper than the ink for them. Big LCD monitors. MP3 players that can store every single song you own. Flash memory. Having every single game available for every 8bit machine on one disc. for free...
... about what you and I thought computers and tech would be like in the future when you were much younger etc.
My ideas about computers were much more fanciful when I was young. A child of television, I was influenced my science fiction shows and movies -- the ID computers of Forbidden Planet, S.U.S.I.E. of Kronos, the sequentially-blinking light and tape reel computers of Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea/Lost in Space/the Time Tunnel/Land of the Giants, the vocally-responsive computers of Star Trek, the malicious HAL 9000 in 2001: A Space Odyssey. Those are what I expected.
I always wondered what was the point of these computers having hundreds of flashing lights and how users were supposed to get information from them? You would have a user in front of random blinking lights and from that they would tell the captain that a enemy cruiser is attacking with full shields etc!
Post by David Murray on Jul 12, 2009 17:36:28 GMT -5
Oh.. And I never imagined a time would come that Commodore 64's and Amiga 500's were essentially dumpster material. I always assumed that if a computer like that was still operational, it would be useful. (and that is true to some extent, but only for a very small portion of the population)
In my ignorance at the time, I never thought you could change your OS. I thought it was fixed just like the 8bits were. And I would not have believed you if you told me that everyone pretty much has the same kind of computer i.e. Windows based PC.
So i hope Apple keep competing and Google OS is a hit.
So i hope Apple keep competing and Google OS is a hit.
Yeah, I'm curious about Google OS also. So far, it looks like they have taken Linux and built their own GUI (No more X-Windows?) which is essentially what Apple did with OS X and BSD, right?
I know these predictions we're discussins are all over the timeline. But while were at it, 10 years ago I thought most desktop computers today would be about the size of a Mac Mini. Boy was I wrong. Most Dells and HPs are still huge. In fact, the ones we get in at my work brand-new from Dell are some of the largest computers I've ever worked on. ANd heavy! The sad part is that they aren't really a whole lot faster than a Mac Mini and they cost about the same. I've actually tried to get the boss to let me order Mac Minis (even if we have to run Windows on them) instead of those giant Dells, but he won't go for it. I get tired of carrying these tanks around the complex and they take up so much room on people's desks.