The PC: Miraculous but boring

Where's the sense of wonder? asked David Fearon in PCPro. The story of personal computers is one of "amazing semiconductor and materials science," astonishing leaps in processing power, and cleaver engineering that makes e-mailing and Web surfing quick and easy. But if you try to engage someone in a conversation about computing power, you'll soon notice they're wearing a glazed expression. You won't hear any admiration for "all this massive investment, all this science involving some of the world's finest minds." That's because "computing technology is assimilated into everyday life with such speed and regularity, we don't even notice that we should be amazed." We think nothing of firing up a browser, searching the Web for "fun games," and moments later playing "a game running in a Flash plug-in, running in a tab, running in a browser, running in a window, running on a multi-windowed operating system." Yet just a few years ago, that now routine scenario was inconceivable. That's computing for you. "It's a humdrum, everyday sort of miracle, but a miracle nonetheless." -As seen in The Week



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