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Consumed with IT

By house ·
Hardware devices, that provide a more narrow functionality, are quickly being replaced by home computer solutions. Telephony service is rapidly being transformed into the highly configurable VoIP technology. I bought a DVD player last year, and now I am reading about the new blue-ray technology. People are ripping off satellite television service at an alarming rate. Say goodbye to the media monopolies that have been taxing us over the past century, and say hello to the more controllable, yet still unreliable, alternative options that have been introduced through the advent of the "information super-highway". There is no love lost regarding these media giants, but my main concern, is that there are many people who will not be able to keep up with the coming trends. These poor uninformed folks aside, we all stand to make a killing off of their lament and ignorance. Is it ethical? If so, what does it mean for the future of IT? If not... well who cares... it is happening, and it is happening now.

VoIP has been taking the industry by storm for a few years, but it is now cropping up in "home" solutions for the common user. Aside from the home telephone systems, there has been much talk and action regarding the integration of VoIP into common chat clients. I fear it won't be long until we see more people abandonning their more traditional forms of communication, for that of an internet and IP solution. What standards can be developed regarding privacy, legal rights, and quality of service, when the technology that is in question moves so much faster than any courtroom or political organization could possibly imagine? Right now, I could change my phone number with the click of the mouse. I can add forwarding services, answering services... I can actually disconnect my main feed into my home, and provide VoIP service through all of my phone jacks in my house. Are we going in the right direction here? Is the internet itself ready to handle the forecasted influx of communications media?

What does your home theater consist of? Despite the subpar sales results of the Windows Media Center, it is a known fact that many people are now using PC solutions for their home entertainment. Many of us have actually owned a DVD-Rom before we've invested in a DVD player. Some of us link our video and sound directly to our stereo. I've even seen wireless AVI links from a PC to a home theater. What does this mean to home entertainment? What does it mean for those of us who have an investment in Information Technology as a career? I know for a fact, that not everyone is interested in tackling the myriad of issues that we face in configuring and maintaining our equipment. There are so many codecs available to us in regards to audio and AV, and so many different pieces of software to manage, convert, and mount these formats. I have always been a subscriber to the fact that hardware solutions are generally better than software solutions. We are heading in the direction of the software solution in all forms of media. Quality and control are being replaced by quantity and personalization, and I'm sure that I am not the only one who choses the latter, in full hypocrisy of my 'hardware' statement.

As the years roll by, and as technology grows thicker, the specialization of our class grows weaker. When I don't understand "the way things work", I will invest my time and effort in deciphering the technology, so that I can acheive a higher level of knowledge, and provide support to my clients. I am now entering a new dimension, where I am faced with an overwhelming crossroad. An ultimate understanding of information systems and communication media will soon be unattainable by even the most dedicated of geeks within our industry. Ten years from now, my calendar will be built into my refrigerator. I will retreive my grocery list via palm PC. I will walk into the room, and my thermostat will adjust the temperature according to my own body heat. I will shake my buddy's hand, in order to pass on a personal message, or to simply swap files. I will send my girlfriend a message when she is sitting four feet away from me. Despite the complexities, it sounds like a barren wasteland to me. I will definitely need to invest in an amphetamine chip for my nervous system, or perhaps a brain buffer so that I may retain this knowledge after a good night's sleep.

I've gone a little off topic here, but I was not interested in composing a proper essay anyways. Is this too much? Are you consumed with IT?

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Ahh yes, but In 'Maecuff's' example

by dafe2 In reply to Just out of curiosity

Linus had a starring role as the 'Soul Man'.


My appologies to 'maecuff' .....I couldn't resist that one!

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never too much as long as........

by chief125 In reply to Viva La Microsoft! Viva L ...

Your auto transmission is very complex but the end user does not have to mess with it. When it breaks, you to to a transmission shop. The headache is offset by the benefit. With hi tech, if it is relatively transparent, it is not too much. If everyone has to "become an it expert", it is highly excessive. If it is excessive, it won't sell. The buyer will make the ultimate decision with their purchases. Quality and ease of use have nothing to do with it. The buyer can be very fickle and opinionated. Too much is too much if grandma and grandpa say so.

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You raise an interesting point here

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to never too much as long as ...

There was a time when Auto Transmissions where more expensive than the manual's but today it is the opposite as any manual will cost you more to buy new than an auto of the same type. Also the Autos are now far more complex as well. Even the current crop of Electronically controlled Autos while having some benefits for the idiots as you can be moving forward select reverse and they just will not pick up the gear so they are more reliable from that point of view, but by the same token a friend of mine who works on these things claims that on most repair jobs he only has to attack the electronics and generally doesn't have to remove the transmission from the car to effect the repair. But it now costs more to repair and the shop doesn't make as much in the job either.


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all in perception

by chief125 In reply to You raise an interesting ...

point well taken about many repairs to AT being in the electronics. But, we now pay more to shift for ourselves because it is more fun. Again, the purchaser uses their perception of their "needs' and "wants" to decide where to spend their money. If it weren't for marketing created perception, who would want to listen to rap.

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by FluxIt In reply to Also:

I have several books on these topics. The Unfinished Revolution was about 2001 and centered on human centric computing. The Road Ahead was out about 1996. The term 'The Road (Way) Ahead' is a term used in government and I suspect that Bill is not as genius as some think. I suspect that Bill was talking to technocrats who were already designing our new ways. 'Business @ The Speed of Thought' also by Bill came amidst several of books on the same topic.

Microsoft has never invented anything to date. They take existing concepts and exploit them for profit. ie the windows concept was developed at MIT in the 1960's and called x-windows.

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Funny, I thought it was PARC

by dafe2 In reply to READ THAT TOO

They stole 'Windows concept' from Xerox @ PARC.

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Yes, I thought that it was Xerox too

by house In reply to Funny, I thought it was P ...

I'm not sure where the "windowed" concept came from. I thought the GUI concept came from Xerox too, but in defense of Gates and Allen, they were innovators at one time. They created the BASIC programming language, as well as other hybrids and contributions to others such as COBOL.

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No they didn't

by Peter_es_uk In reply to Yes, I thought that it wa ...

The Beginners All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code is a lot older than either Gates or Allen - I learned to code in Basic when I was at college and that was in the 60's

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by NickNielsen In reply to No they didn't

I had to take a course on elementary programming concepts in 1972 as a prerequisite to COBOL; the language used was BASIC.

What Bill actually did was port BASIC to the i86 architecture.

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Really ?

by Tony Hopkinson In reply to Yes, I thought that it wa ...

Day not wasted, learnt something. Bill invented BASIC, always wondered who to blame for that.
Oh well, have to take it back.
Wasn't Bill aparently, nor was he the first to take it on board followed on from DEC PDPs among other's apparently.

Terrible language, though. Could be made better with a few changes but then it would lose both it's appeal and it's main marketing advantage.

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