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The Future of Computers


As of this moment, computers are grey boxes sitting on
desks around the world. Each one has a certain amount of
storage. Some are what we call servers and have more space
than the others. All of the other computers, from their
isolated points around the globe, use an old system of
commumication to transmit data to and from the servers.
This system is telephone lines. 

Each computer has its own internal bus which transfers data
from the hard drive to the CPU to the random access memory
and so on. This is a very efficient internal system. To
link computers together to form what we call the internet,
they have to transmit their data over the phone system, a
much more inefficient bus which creates a bottleneck as
data is moving in and out of a computer. As the data is
moving from the fast internal structure of the computer to
the slow external connection, the system becomes
cumbersome. Another point of which affects the network is
the fact that a call must be made through the phone line to
the server. Each time the user wants to connect to the
server, he or she must wait for the two computers to
connect and for a compatible protocol to be arranged. All
of this over the slow phone lines. 

There are many steps that must be taken to communicate over
a computer network. The user's computer must be booted up,
then the user must initiate a phone call and a special
software program to interact with the server. Once
connected, the user must learn the interface of the
server's software in order to effectively obtain the wanted
information. All of this still over the slow phone lines. 

This is a very inefficient form of communication because it
involves so many steps. Part of the problem also lies in
the fact that the network is accessed by many users with
many computers, all of which are completely different.
Imagine yourself at a party where every guest spoke a
slightly different language and had to have an interpreter
at his side which could speak every language he might come
in contact with. This indeed would be a very diffcult way
to socialize and you would probably just end up going home
to talk to other people who spoke your language. This is
essentially what the internet is. A user's operating system
would be his language, and his internet software, such as a
browser or an FTP client, would be his translator. So not
only are networked computer slowed down by the phone lines,
but also by the fact that all data must be translated into
a slightly different form for everyone. 

But what if we decided to break down these barriers? Well,
we have a model for how a network should work right within
the computer itself. There are different parts of a
computer such as the hard drive, the floppy drive, the
CD-ROM drive, the CPU, the monitor, the keyboard, the
mouse, all of which need to transfer data among themselves.
Each of these componets is basically just a set of circuits
with points to connect to another circuit. The motherboard
is one a giant circuit which allows all of these smaller
circuits to be connected, in effect, simply adding on to
the circuit which is already there. Imagine each individual
computer as one of those components. What we need, is one
giant circuit that would simply have connection points
around the world to plug each computer into. Each computer
would then be permanently connected to every other computer
in the world. This would solve the problem of using a
system designed for something else (phone lines) and the
bottleneck in that respect would be gone. What this would
do is essentially create one huge computer. We would no
longer have "computers" in the plural sense, but "computer"
in the singular sense, and interface points around the
world to access this computer. Each interface point would
have no On/Off switch as computers do today, but would be
more like a phone in that it sits idle until you pick it up
to use it, at which point it becomes active instantly and

At this point, the files that the user would access would
no longer be "local" or on a "server". All files would
simply exist on THE Computer and could be accesed from any
interface point. The directory structure for this computer
would be enormous. The root directory might contain
subdirectories for each interface point and each of these
subdirectories might contain subdirectories and files
created by the user at that point. Each interface point
would have it's own portion of storage, but all storage at
all points would work as one. There really would be no
privacy since any file anywhere would by accessed by
anyone. The only way to acheive privacy would be through
encryption of personal files. In order for all points to be
able to access all files in the most intuitive manner, the
directory tree viewed at each interface would show the root
directory as the Computer, the global network, instead of
like computers now which show the root directory as the
local hard drive. Since there would be so many interface
point subdirectories, they might be divided by geographic
location or some other criteria. 

The next problem to solve is the language/translator
problem. On computers today, we have an operating system
and a browser to access files on other computers. But
interface points would not need an operating system. The
Computer would be the operating system and the interface
points would need nothing more than what we would call a
browser to find and run files. All interface points would
run the same way, just like phones do. Every phone has the
same 10 digits and the * and # symbols. The hardware may
look different, but they all do the same thing in a
universal manner such that any phone you picked up, you
would be able to work without much difficulty. Each
interface point would use the same browser to access the
Computer in exactly the same way. Now, everyone would be
speaking the same "language." 

So imagine: There is an interface point in your home and
you use it to compose a poem. You want your friend to read
it, so you send a message through your interface to tell
your friend that you wrote this poem. Your friend, should
he decide to read it, would simply access it from your
local storage as if it were a file from HIS local storage
through the Computer. There would be no FTP or uploading or
dialing in to an ISP because you would both be using the
same computer. This is only a small example of the power of
a global Computer. 

As the Computer becomes more intuitive, people will begin
to design interface points that can be carried with them.
Then, interface points that can be implanted into them. And
as the people's thirst for information grows, eventually
their brains will all be connected directly to interface
points and controlled by the Computer. And once again, a
bottle neck will occur when the human minds try to connect
using system that is not as efficient as they themselves


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