What the Future Holds

Kids Count

Most agree that the first working computer was developed by German scientist Conrad Zuse in 1936 and was eventually destroyed in an air raid on Berlin during WWII. British code breakers developed the first programmable computer, the Colossus. This computer successfully broke German and Japanese codes and in the process saved thousands of allied soldiers as allied forces often knew what the enemy was planning in advance. Computers were not available when I was in school and I did not encounter them until college. Computers then utilized a computer language called FORTRAN. An operator would type in words that then punched holes in rectangular cards. Eventually, personal computers became available to ordinary people and the internet revolutionized the culture of the world.

Old men like myself still prefer speaking with people in person or at the very least on a telephone. As age is factored into the way that we communicate, the younger someone is the less likely they are to actually speak to someone in person or on the telephone. The telephone is of limited utility to people under the age of twenty five unless they are texting someone. Even email has fallen off dramatically for younger users.

In a relatively short time, the internet has provided us with an encyclopedia called “Wikipedia” that more than replaced the old hard cover Britannica that I recall. EBay and Craigslist have provided us with a new marketplace that makes anything that you can conceive of available. These developments were scarcely thought of twenty years before they arrived and what may show up over the next twenty years; may well prove even more amazing than the previous twenty five years.

Just a few of the technological developments that are on the horizon are starting to be discussed. The “CHUMBY” is due to be launched next year and is a wireless internet device about the size of a rugby ball. It does not have a keyboard or mouse and instead uses software to display anything that you want it to. The manufacturers have not yet totally revealed its uses or capacities.

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