Henri has been doing some thinking about kids, cell phones, open systems and the PC. Here are his reflections. . .
Nothing has given me greater pleasure in life than the birth of my children. My youngest daughter turned thirty two this month. The next events in line have all had to do with the birth of revolutionary ideas in the world that I have lived in for sixty five years so far.
Let’s see, there was the birth of computing as a business support system. Then there was the ongoing revolution in electronics. The development of the human genome from the first days of the shape and form of DNA to the publication of the first actual readout of the genome itself was as fundamental a breakthrough in human knowledge.
Along the way there have been many gratifying moments and more than a few terrifying discoveries. The Ozone hole, global Warming and other threats to the ecosystems that sustain us all are among the scariest. Of course even the greatest gains in knowledge can be perverted by misuse or abuse. The idea that scientists are responsible for their creations is still gaining traction. Codes of ethics and other means of controlling misuse of great ideas are still in their infancy.
Meanwhile the Personal Computing revolution has given birth to the Internet and the Cell phone revolution has been playing around with the power that network offers. Now we are about to watch the birth of a new stage in that set of gains in human communication.
The PC King is dying and a new Queen is about to take over. Open systems are coming to cell phones. Taken together with the still growing power of handheld devices this will end the reign of King PC. Cell phones are the new center of Personal Computing. The iPhone is the earliest prophet of this revolution but the next wave will blow away all doubt.
You can start with the Android Operating System contributed by Google and end with the ever evolving nature of handheld devices themselves. It has been years since anything like the vitality that exists in the competition for market share in Cell Phones existed anywhere else in the electronic world.
There are reasons to believe that this next revolution in Personal Computing will bring on revolutions in education, publishing, government and too many other human institutions to mention here.
I am hoping to watch and continue to work to help those revolutionary times achieve the best possible results for the most people possible. There are millions of people who like me see these changes as positive. I hope you are among them.