Welcome 2011! This New Year the battle for the tablet computer will be joined. It has been reported that over 60 different tablet concepts are in development for 2011. If the past is any indication, advances in tablet computer technology short term should be simply astounding, especially given the level of consumer interest the and good old fashioned capitalist competition.
As for the future of the tablets, there are questions to be answered as “profound” as those in the Betamax versus VHS videotape wars of the 70s. What is the right size for a tablet? What is the best operating system? Can one have laptop performance holding true to the tablet benefits of reduced size, reduced power consumption, quick response and touch screen capability?
Even as we amaze and delight in the new electronic toys of our day, we know that in a few short years (if that long), the sleek iPad of today will become as quaint and obsolete as the Gordon Gecko football sized cell phone of our not so distant past.
The relentless march of technology and literal explosion of computing capacity was brought home to me a few weeks ago when I was searching for a present my tech savvy son. I was looking for basic mobile data storage and expected to find something in the 30 to 40 GB range that would fit my budget. Instead, I was astounded to find small portable hard drives in the 1 TB range for less about a $100 at my local Walmart store. In fact, for another $30 you could move to the 2 TB level. I had blinked and suddenly we were talking Terabytes.
See Below Seagate 1 TB Portable hard Drive selling for about $100.00
To put this in context, just four years ago to obtain memory at this level, one would have had to purchase a large box server device at a cost of $2000. While I cannot vouch for the accuracy of this figure, it is widely reported that the entire printed collection of the Library of Congress could be housed in 10 Terabytes of storage.
I was born in 1962, as I grew up, there was unveiled one technological miracle after another. (e.g., color tv, microwave ovens, push button telephones, the simple calculator, etc.). The first computer I ever owned, I purchased with paper route money in about 1979. It was a Timex Sinclair 1000. It weighed only 12 ounces and hooked up to your TV which served as the monitor. Your separate cassette tape recorder served (poorly and slowly) as a storage drive.
I diligently worked my newspaper route that entire summer to earn the extra $60 to purchase the 16 K expansion module for this “behemoth” of a computer (the block at the rear of the unit). Unfortunately, it was not good for much more than creating simple programs in “Basic.” My Dad tells me that this beauty is still up in the family attic. I have checked into its “collector” value and it is probably worth less than $20.
As I think back on the Timex Sinclair, I am amazed that today you can find $5.00 singing birthday cards with more than 4K of memory. Surely the 32 GB memory capacity of my contemporary iPad will be eclipsed in short order making it the latest in a long line of technological recyclable products. But until then, I will delight in the effort to make it a usable legal tool.
So like a young child waiting to get a peek at Santa’s largess on Christmas morning, I look forward to being amazed in 2011. To the extent that you have any interest, I will share my explorations and amazement with you in this blog. I also look forward to hearing about your experiences and what amazes you in the upcoming year.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Bill Latham, The HyTech Lawyer