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TECH TALK: Three Good Books: Three Good Books

February 21st, 2001 · No Comments

The Unfinished Revolution

“The Unfinished Revolution: Human-Centered Computers and What They Can Do for Us” by Michael L. Dertouzos is a fascinating account of what needs to be done so that technology can help us “do more by doing less.” Dertouzos covers five human-centric forces: speech understanding (natural interaction), automation, individualized information access, collaboration and customization. He relates it to some of the work going on at MIT, especially Project Oxygen, to provide glimpses of how tomorrow will better in terms of usability of technology. An extract from the book’s description:

If our cars were as difficult to drive as our computers are to operate, they would never leave the garage. Yet everyday we put up with infuriating complications and incomprehensible error messages that spew forth from our technology: software upgrades crash our machines, Web sites take forever to download, e-mail overwhelms us. We spend endless time on the phone waiting for automated assistance.

In effect, we continue to serve our machines’ lowly needs, instead of insisting that they serve us — a situation that will only get worse as millions of new mobile devices arrive on the scene.

Our world doesn’t have to be this way. It shouldn’t be this way.

Wouldn’t it be great if using your computer was as effortless as steering your car? In The Unfinished Revolution, Michael Dertouzos introduces human-centered computing a radical change in the way we fashion and use computer systems that will ultimately make this goal possible.

e-Business 2.0: Roadmap for Success

This book by Ravi Kalakota and Marcia Robinson a recipe for leveraging the Internet and technology into businesses. It provides insights into how technology can make a difference in interactions with employees, customers and suppliers. An extract from the book’s description:

Why are some companies relentlessly successful at e-commerce while others flounder? What are the successful businesses doing differently to solve customer problems or pain? How are successful companies, both old and new, moving from traditional applications to the new breed of integrated, e-business application architectures? Through detailed case studies and analysis, this book examines the e-business blueprint, offering step-by-step guidance in choosing and implementing the right application strategies to survive the e-commerce onslaught and to succeed. The thesis of the book is that durable application frameworks can guide you through the e-business chaos. Business models change. Technology changes. But application infrastructure design principles endure.

The Power of Now

“The Power of Now: How Winning Companies Sense and Respond to Change Using Real-Time Technology” by Vivek Ranadive is about becoming an event-driven company. Ranadive, CEO of Tibco, discusses how technologies like publish-subscribe can help managers focus on exceptions and make quicker decisions. In a world awash with information, it is important for enterprises to leverage it appropriately and more importantly, make the right information available at the right time to the right users within the company.

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