Friday, April 21, 2006

Computing Accessory

Stone tools, the crudest type of flaked and battered stones, showed up…oh…2.5 million years ago. For humanity, the genie was out of the bottle; technology moved pretty quickly after that.

Weaving cloth: 25,000 BCE. Indoor bathrooms just 23,000 years later. The Chinese invent gunpowder, a popular number, around 1040 CE (that’s AD depending on your dating convention). Printing: 1440. The flying-shuttle loom: 1733. We’re really flying now.

Samuel F B Morse patents the practical – and successful – electric telegraph in 1837 (the world’s first Internet and the birth mother of the “telegrapher”). The vacuum tube: 1907. Then a short leap to color TV in 1940. The first electric computer: 1943, using the above-mentioned vacuum tubes. Simultaneously, the first propeller-head appears. The first transistor in 1948, which leads 10 years later to the first fully transistorized computer. By 1975, there’s a personal computer on the market – but Apple Computer is founded the following year.

A quarter of a century later, the second Internet has arrived, the world is almost completely wired and we can’t live without our communications infrastructure.

Now, according to Jeanne Sahadi, senior writer, one of the newest “in-vogue jobs” is Director of Mobile Computing:

Thanks to the BlackBerry, Treo, laptop and cell phone, every job can be turned into a 24/7 message fest. So integral are these devices to work life now that when the maker of the BlackBerry was facing a potential shut down of its services this year, you would have thought the business world was bracing for a loss of electricity. Upgrading all those portable lifelines to the office and keeping them in good working order has now become a full-time job with a big title.

A couple of a million years in the blink of an eye – and we’re hip-deep in people whose special expertise is keeping other people (who have to use the technology) intercommunicating and interconnected.

My hat’s off to them all. I cherish them and applaud their efforts to keep me in the marcom business. I enjoy working with my advanced technology clients – and my deepest thanks to them.

But tell me: every once in a while, don’t you have the urge to take up the crudest type of flaked and battered stone and bring it down on your server with deadly force?

Perhaps RIM (BlackBerry developer and manufacturer), Apple (iPOD creator) and other manufacturers should supply just such a stone tool to each and every newly minted Director of Mobile Computing. It’ll help keep them humble in the face of what we have wrought. Won’t it?

Have a great weekend.

Thanks and a tip of the Hatlo Hat to Rob Schoenbeck for the Sahadi article. Wikipedia Commons Image: en:Image:Acheuleanhandaxes.jpg.

1 comment:

Kipp Miller said...

Richard: This morning I put your blog before my New York Times. "Times" well spent! Talk to you Monday.