Interesting article in WSJ from tech writer Matt Ridley – “Microchips Are Old Hat. Can Tweets Be Far Behind?”
Puts our emerging technologies in good perspective, and discusses how we stop caring about the inner workings and details of a once new technology or development, once that tech has hit its mainstream stride, and become integrated into our everyday lives. For me, I’m beginning to experience this in my conception of laptops – with my first few machines, it was important to stress over every feature detail, and make sure to get the highest performing machine, with the most local storage, processing, etc. Now, in looking towards my next laptop, I’m seriously considering ditching my i7 15″ Macbook pro in favor of a smaller, lighter, Macbook Air – I realize that I never actually use all the processing speed of this, and most of the work I do anyway is, or will be online – so the actual hardware I’m using doesn’t matter as much. I don’t need to stress out about the specs of my local machine, as long as I can get online easily. Just give me any old laptop, and increasingly, it will be sufficient to work.
From the article:
…when a technology is new, everybody wants to understand how it works. When it is mature, nobody is interested in such details. The fascination with how things work fades, and the technology becomes a black box.
It is the same with any technology. A few years ago people modified their computers in all sorts of clever ways, adding on hard drives or patching in programs. Now they tend to take them as they are: a sign of a maturing technology.