May 08, 2003

Jake at 8bitjoystick offers a 3XThursday:

Hypothetically speaking imagine if some one really important like Bill Gates, The Pope or Adam West put you in charge of improving the personal computer.

1. What is the biggest problem with the current personal computer that you would address first?

Computers are turned off. They are turned off for several reasons, Noise, power usage, heat, etc. Your computer should always be available to you, always on. There should be no waiting to boot.

In close second is voice operation. You shoudl be able to speak to your computer and say 'Check email', 'Launch Winamp' or 'Check blogroll' and the computer should be able to execute these things for you.

2. Who would you pick to help you improve the PC? Who would you like to have in your corner to help you make the decisions

I would choose scientists and engineers that have never worke don PC design before. I would choose people from other cultures besides the US. Richard Feynman, always suggested the alternate points of view from differing disciplines was the optimal way to solve problems.

That being said, I'd choose Jean Paul Gaultier, Stephen Hawking, Andrew Goldsworthy, Dean Kamen, and Gene Spafford.

3. How would you change the hardware? What would the PC of the future look like and how would people use it?

The computer of the future will be hidden in a closet somewhere and people will access the computer via a variety of interface. The traditional desktop will exist, the tablet style for document reading will exist, the mini interface via the cell phone, the TV interface for notification will exist.

Device in the home will signal you when you have messages waiting. Just as you come home and see a number flashing on your answering machine, you will see a light flashing telling you there are emails & IMs waiting. Different colors will denote if they are messages from specific friends and family. Integration of the computer into household appliances will be everywhere.

Bonus Question for Comments: Should I get a notebook for my next Computer or a desktop with a LCD flat screen?

If you are going to play games, CRTs are still better than LCD panels. That being said, it is tons of fun to have a laptop you can use on the couch, at the coffee shop, and when traveling. Get the laptop and do minimal upgrades to your existing desktop to keep it usable.

Posted by michael at May 08, 2003 07:12 AM