(+) Are You Ready for the Future of Computing?

The following is a Plus Edition article written by and copyright by Dick Eastman. 

I am writing this article while seated at a desk in my home. I am staring at a large monitor on the desk and typing these words on a keyboard that sits on that desk. The keyboard is connected to a boxy-looking computer on my desk. This is how I use a computer most of the time. It is the same method that I used thirty-five years ago, in 1984.

This is modern technology?

Of course, I sometimes also use a laptop computer, and that has changed things somewhat. Nonetheless, the laptop is merely a miniaturized copy of a desktop computer, and I use it in more or less the same manner as the desktop, except that I am not chained to the desk at home. I can use it in different locations, but the way I use it remains the same as what I was doing in 1984.

Admittedly, I also have a small tablet computer. In my case, it is an iPad but it also could be an Android tablet. My cell phone is a “smartphone,” meaning it is really a handheld computer that happens to make phone calls and it takes photographs. I even have a digital wristwatch that connects to the Internet via wireless technology and retrieves information, records my exercise, and performs other (limited) computing tasks. However, I don’t use any of these smaller devices for my writing and also do less of my genealogy work on these portable devices simply because of the constraints of the smaller screen sizes and the on-screen “keyboards.” Instead, I use desktop and laptop systems for my “serious computing.”

The hardware has changed dramatically in the past thirty-five years, but the method by which I use a computer remains the same: I sit in a chair and type on the keyboard and stare at a monitor.

All this is been changing for some years and now desktop computers are dropping in popularity. Sales of laptops has outnumbered the sales of desktops for the past several years. New devices, such as the Apple iPad and other tablet computers, Kindles, the various smartphones, and other portable computing devices threaten to change the way we use computers.

The desktop is dying.

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