Old magazines

February 18, 2009

I was cleaning out some old IEEE magazines from the late 1990’s recently

It is interesting to review some of the predictions from those days.

When the Sony PS2 was launched there were predictions it would overtake the Wintel PC, based on its low cost and fast graphics.
Instead the price of a Wintel PC dropped to about the same as the new PS3 and its performance eclipses the PS2. Of course, PS2s cost next to nothing now, no one wants them

Wireless broadband was predicted to replace dialup because 3G wireless would be so cheap, it would be almost free. So much broadband capacity would be built it would be almost free too. A lot of broadband was built and Nortel’s stock hit $100. A lot of it still sits unused and Nortel’s stock is essentially worthless. None of it is free but I must admit it is pretty cheap. I didn’t have broadband in 1999, I do now.

There was a whole area of OO application technology that completely missed the web. Languages like Ada and Modula and things like CORBA and MS DCOM for interconnecting apps. CORBA and DCOM may still exist somewhere under the covers but no one talks about them now. Ada and Modula? Gone.

The pointless webserver wars between IIS and Netscape Webserver, completely missing Apache which would make both of them irrelevant.

The pointless browser war between IE and Netscape, as if that would define the internet. The real issue was the web application server stack and by the time those two had finished their scuffle, neither one mattered. MS had to scramble to create .NET just to crash the party late.


The Big Switch

February 18, 2009

Wrote this almost a year ago and forgot to post it. A review of Nick Carr’s “The Big Swtich”, I received my pre-ordered copy sometime in January 2008 and read it immediately. Remember that back then “cloud” computing was something new and wild. Amazing how far it has come in only 1 year. Hell, BusinessWeek is doing a cloud computing issue sometime soon.

Anyway, here’s the review as I wrote it over a year ago.

For anyone in IT read this book and then look around and see if you will still have a job in 2/5/10 years. If you are a CIO, will you soon be a captain without a ship or crew?

It is an easy read, more of an intro to the subject than an indepth analysis.
It begs for more depth, especially on the business side. It begs for a follow-on book really.

On the consumer side, with Google, Facebook, Flickr, etc we already can see what the future might look like. On the buisness side, it isn’t so clear. Yet here is where profound impacts on employment and competetiveness of the economy will be felt.

Perhaps too much time spent on the eletricfication metaphor. I have an interest in the period of Edison, Telsa Westinghouse and the history of electrification and I found this stuff interesting and well written but it does take up a lot of the book. Those who just accept the metaphor and want to get to the point may gloss over quite a bit of it.

I didn’t get much from the last chapter and largely just glossed over it.