Emergic: Rajesh Jain's Blog

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How to Build A Better PC

December 13th, 2004 · No Comments

WSJ has an opinion by David Gelernter in the context of IBM’s decision to sell its PC business:

What’s wrong with today’s PC? Plenty. All sorts of functions that ought to be built-in are available only as add-ons or not at all.

Like many people, I have several PCs in my life — and I constantly need to ask such ridiculous questions as, “Where did I leave the latest version of that file? By what clumsy method should I move it from where it is to where it’s needed?” Such questions are like asking “Where did I leave the starter crank for my Huppmobile?” If you have to ask, your (formerly) hot-shot machine is ready for the folk-art museum.

IBM might have done well selling PCs with built-in “transparent information sharing.” As soon as you connected such a machine to the Internet, all your electronic documents would immediately be available — no matter where you created or last worked on them. If all your computers had transparent information-sharing, you could start composing an e-mail at work, touch it up during your drive home (using a — theoretical — in-car, audio-interface IBM PC) and finish it up on a laptop in your backyard. Lots of businesses and people would have shelled out for such PCs.

Many old and decrepit PCs would be replaced tomorrow if bringing new PCs up to speed weren’t such a colossal nuisance. IBM PCs with transparent information-sharing would have made that problem disappear. Connect a new machine to the Internet and all your electronic information would have materialized automatically.

Tags: Software

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