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 automatically. 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 are.