Future of Computing…Circa 2012…..

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Just eye-candy from APODnothing to do with computing

Several article/posts at PCMag.com that paint interesting picture of the near future. This one by M. Miller in Forward Thinking discusses next generation chips, tablet chips but also the direction of all chips. At the latest AMD chip conference

…strongly pushing the idea that the future of microprocessors will not be just traditional CPUs, or even the combination of CPUs and graphics processors (GPUs), but instead will consist of all sorts of “heterogeneous” processor cores working together.

In the article there were a couple of interesting tidbits….the doubling in speed with ~doubling of transistors per area faded over the last few years, one of the things driving multi core. Also today’s high end pocketable units have rough equivalency with 2001 supercomputers. Memory and peripheral speed obviously hit that raw performance as well as non optimized development environment.

Then this piece also under Future Thinking, discussing the direction of LCD and AMOELD and related technologies, there are several others not mentioned but this article is a good discussion of the near term mass production technologies.

Then there is an end of 2011 discussion by Tim Bajarin on the coming of Hybrid tablets, something like a Mac Air with a separable screen ~ tablet. I use my iPad (like right now) for a lot of light to medium duty tasks I once had to use my laptop, I sometimes use a Bluetooth keyboard (though not right now.) Can some one could come up with an ultrabook class laptop with enough additional functionality to make the added cost worth it? TB says he thinks WI 8 might be a leader, could be but iOS seems muscular enough….except maybe multi windowing…we’ll have to see.

New Age of Discovery | iPad, Pandora and the

Stars and Gas in the Milky Way Galaxy
OK, I have to admit that I have done most of my posting from the iPad for the past couple of weeks, it does make micro blogging pretty danged easy. The iPad continues to amaze me it is the single most life changing device I have ever used. No it is not the god machine and Steve Jobs, though a genius (with a lot of help from his team), was not a messiah. But the device and the infrastructure it accesses with such elegance have changed how I live in ways and at a speed that no other single device has (baring perhaps my license/first car.)

Telecommunications technology (phone and TV), the computer, the micro chip, the mini computer, the calculator, the personal computer, the internet, the cell phone, the laptop and now the tablet computer have each in their way had a profound impact on my life but each one though important in some particular piece of my life had little effect on other parts. The iPad has changed how I read, what I read, how I create, what I create, how I communicate with my wife, what entertainment I enjoy and when. It is my constant companion and I would be lost without it. This has never been true of any other device to the same extent though my laptop and cell phone are close, more because of how important they are to one or two important parts of my life, unlike the iPad which has had a broad impact on most of my life.

Is this good or bad? One part of me wants to say it has to be good, otherwise why would it have taken over so thoroughly, it allows me access to the web at almost any instant to look up info or browse, I use it to keep me amused at the club, etc. Another part wants to say bad, because there is no denying that I have been more sedentary (big word for sitting on my ass more) since I got the iPad, and I in fact have not read as many books since I got the iPad. Pull back for the big picture and I think that the iPad has enables changes in how I live my private life, and that good or bad is what I make of the changes it enables, because there is nothing that I used to do that it forecloses by its existence and use.

Though not as high impact as the iPad, Pandora is the other technical insert in my life that I feel I would miss profoundly. I am currently listening to it Jennifer Thomas’ Beautiful Storm, a piano piece with orchestral background, a strikingly beautiful piece of music I doubt I would ever have heard if not for Pandora. Over a period of a couple of years I have slid sideways from Nickleback, to Shinedown, to Adele, Glitrap, Jes and more. Music discovery is what Pandora is all about and I think I’m better off for it….

And that brings me back to the iPad and its impact….one of the things it does is make discovery easier, discovery of new memes, of new sounds, new skills and new voices. It allows me to fill in the little wasted cracks of time in my life with more discovery.

Two posts this week have dealt with 3D printers, what I think of as stereolithographic machines. And the computer controlled 3D wood carving machine I saw in Rockler catalogue. The Maker movement is all about discovery, the DARPA crowdsourcing initiative is all about discovery. So is it that the iPad and Pandora are my first windows into this new age of discovery?

NaNoWriMo Day 12 Update

So I spent most of the day on this and only got 2,628 words written.  Yesterday I spent less time overall and put out a lot more words.  As per typical there is more than one reason, and writers block per se  was not one of them.  Mainly it was because I spent a lot of today doodling on my iPad creating a ‘professional quality’ (per Smash Words Style Guide) cover for Elgin. I love doodling on graphical projects, and especially on the iPad.  I started out trying to do a typical (atypical) swords and sorcery type cover with Elgin the Iffrit and Elgin the Cowboy etc, and this was stupid, I’m not an artist.  Then I started playing around with scenery and graphics do-dads and came up the the pretty cool cover you’ll all be seeing soon. 
While I was doing that I was pondering shifting the ‘publishing’ of the ongoing work the Smashwords, who have kindly made Meatgrinder and their site available to NaNoWriMo works.  Trying to do it on the web page is a bit of a pain since there is something hinky with the import of large blocks of word text into WP, almost undoubtedly me not the site but not something I’m going to bother fighting right now. 
Then of course was the fact that I was mucking around in my mind with the usual….you’re getting too long, too wordy, too discursive.  But then I went back and as of this time I really don’t know that I am.  Oh I can see sections an editor would say cut out, and they’d be right technically, but I have to wonder if the shibboleths of the day of physical type setting, or even physical paper and binding, should come across full force into eBooks, I like books that flesh out the character, that spend some time explaining things, describing things.  As long as they’re not boring.
 
Status from NaNoWriMo
Words Written Today  2,628
Total Words Written  34,332  Current Day  12
Average Per Day   2,861
Words Remaining  15,668  Days Remaining  19
At This Rate You Will Finish On November 17, 2011
Words Per Day To Finish On Time  82

Target Word Count  50,000  Target Average Words Per Day 1,667

 
 

(oops forgot a title) Nov 4th Progress

So I put up the first chapter of Elgin, the Novel I’m writing for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), you can click-through Elgin in the writing menu to the left, read to the bottom and click on the Chapter 1 link. OR:

So I spent the day shuttling between various medical labs and had some time to write, so I did some on the iPad.  My method for this is clumsy but workable.  I use Dropbox to store my current writing which gives me access on the ThinkPad T42 laptop where I do most of my writing and the iPad which is my constant travel companion. I use Pages for writing, which started out pretty easy to use and is getting easier to use.  On the iPad Dropbox knows I can open a word document in Pages, so it gives me that option, but of course Apple does not link to Dropbox so I have to e-mail the file to myself and drop it back into Dropbox, which is annoying but workable.

Without my Verbatim bluetooth keyboard using the iPad on-screen keyboard is a two hand two finger exercise instead of ten finger touch typing but it’s still pretty fast.  Pages was the only real choice for a real word processor that I could see when I bought the iPad.  And as times goes along I am getting to like the slimmed down features of pages, though I dislike the modern smart phone based assumption that it knows better than I what I meant to spell (it’s a pain when inventing words/’terms for scifi or fantasy.)

Anyway read the intro and first chapter, let me know what you think.

Post a Post

Ok so this is pitiful. Have had several opportunities to post with the iPad and did not so here I am, end of the evening, out of energy and just writing an explanation of why I don’t have a real post….so that I can post something.   But there you are.  Hopefully tomorrow I can do better.  FInish Elgin Chapter 1 and start on two…probably just about on target for NaNoWriMo at least.

Tomorrow.

Apples iEmpire

I’m sure what I’m going to say has been said before, I intimated it the other day for that matter, but Steven Jobs left Apple with an iMpire (i Empire)  that no one has been able to keep up with.  One way of seeing his legacy, the way he and others may have seen it was as the tools required to interact with the world of data.

Our world (in the metaphysical sense) started out as a place of brute  physicality.  As society developed and technology humans began to plan, and then we began to record information remote from our brains, and then ideas and concepts, some of them completely disassociated from the physical world we lived in.  Some people began to ‘live in their head’ could do so without getting eaten or starving because society could afford to support them, and even awarded them for some of the things they could bring forth (art, science, technology in the abstract.)

This evolution has continued to the point where a large part of our world has become intellectual, it is now a world of data that can only be accessed with the right tools.  But this world is not a static one where you just look in and pull out what you want, there is a vast amount of creation and manipulation required.  But this requires a set of tools that provide mirror simple access to the world of data.  Mirror simple, because all you need to do with a mirror is hanging it up and look into it and it does its job.  If technology requires you to carry out arcane incantations and hand motions to provide access to the data world then its to some extent impeding you.

Look at it another way, there is ongoing work in the DoD that eventually will allow a pilot to look around and see the world outside the cockpit as if the aircraft were not there.  We need the inverse, the ability to peer into the data world and do what we need, from any point at any time, for an uncountable multitude of reasons…

  • On the Go Data Access + Comms
    • iPad (Fire hose of access, lite content creator, iPhone in chief?)
    • iPhone
    • iPod, Touch (can we see this as the low end iPhone) Nano (does this eventually become the iPhone Nano, the iWatch….which it already is, almost)
  • The Links
    • Commercial Front End
      • ITunes
      • AppStore
    • The Linking memory
      • iCloud
  • Content Creation
    • Mac
    • Mac Mini (beginner)
    • MacBooks
    • AirBook (on the go content creation, iPad with keyboard)
  • Home Data Center, access heavy, creation light
    • Apple TV
    • Mac Mini
    • iPad

 So Apple as a complete iCology now; the problem is that we really need the rest of the tech world to catch up.