I have just bought a new 27" Apple IMac. My old IMac is still working after almost eleven years but it is showing its age. The IMac is overpriced but not so much so that I would buy a Windows machine.
So far, I am happy with my choice, but unhappy with the technology. What I would have really liked was a scroll.
Where is my Scroll?
main components of a personal computer are the microprocessor, primary
storage, secondary storage, display, power supply and devices for data
entry and control. Not all of these have developed at the same pace.
have followed Moore's Law, and reached a stage where most users have
enough processing power. Random access memory has become much cheaper,
and most personal computers have several gigabytes of RAM. More is
always useful, but random access memory is not a constraint for most
Secondary storage has become much cheaper and disk capacities have increased.
two areas of the personal computer which have hardly developed at all
are the display and battery life. We have we moved from CRT displays to
flat panels but we still have to choose between large displays which are
tethered to the desktop, or displays which are portable, but too small.
Batteries still have too short a life.
We don't need
more powerful processors or bigger hard disks. What we do need are large
portable displays that do not need much power. Some form of electronic
paper may be the solution.
When large flexible displays are available at a reasonable cost we will see the development of devices such as the scroll.
one of those hectic mornings. Bob’s stress level was already sliding
into the danger zone before he stepped off the elevator – and that was
two mind-numbing meetings ago.
Thankfully, his next
meeting isn’t for half an hour, so Bob sneaked downstairs to the local
coffee bar and ordered a chilled espresso and cream. He found a
comfortable chair and opened his scroll; a plastic film wrapped around a
400mm long and 12mm diameter metal tube.
Bob unrolled a
single sheet of plastic less than 0.3 millimeters thick from the tube. A
shake of his wrist turned the sheet rigid. With a squeeze of his thumb
on the bottom corner Bob selected a business magazine from a pop-up menu
of various newspapers and magazines to which he subscribes. Instantly,
his ultra-thin display displayed the magazines latest front page.
flipped through the electronic pages to his favorite columnist and
relaxed into his chair. Just as he was getting to the fun part of the
piece, a tiny icon begins to flash in the top corner of his screen. He
tapped the icon with his finger, which fades the newspaper into the
background and brings his e-mail to the forefront.
a quick scan of the messages, Bob squeezed the bottom corner of the
screen and selected the keyboard option from the menu. Instantly, the
bottom third of his electronic display showed a computer keyboard. After
placing the display on the tabletop, Bob began to type replies to the
more urgent messages.
Just as he catches up, another
icon appears. With a tap, his e-mail program fades into the background
and the face of his personal assistant appears. Her lips are already
Bob tapped his ear to turn on his Bluetooth earbud and caught her words midstream.
next client is early. Bob quickly retrieved a copy of the client's
spreadsheet from the company servers and checked the latest figures.
With a sigh, Bob rolled the screen back around its tube. He’ll need to catch up with the columnist at another time.