Larry O’Brien has a rant about a SCUBA dive computer failing on him and makes a great point about where we are in the history of computing.
Here’s my point: computers suck. They’re unreliable, expensive, difficult to use, incomprehensible when functioning, and utterly useless when they fail. I’ve never had a pressure gauge fail on me. I’ve never had a depth gauge fail on me. Such things happen with analog gauges, but I wager the rate of computer failures to analog failures is hundreds if not thousands to one. Every time someone talks about lack of innovation or “Where are computers going?” we should keep this in mind: computers are nothing, nothing, compared to what they should, and will, become.
We are marking notches into clay tablets and wondering if innovation in writing is dead. Virtually the entire history of computers lies before us: we exist in a footnote between Alan Turing and God-Knows-Who. Today’s hardware is crap. Today’s software is crap. Today’s tools to build software are crap. Let’s change that.
Bill Gates has a quote: “We always overestimate the change that will occur in the next two years and underestimate the change that will occur in the next ten. Don’t let yourself be lulled into inaction.”
*Bonus old/funny picture of Bill