[clug] From Cobb & Co to We’re Entering A Post-Device Era

Bryan Kilgallin kilgallin at iinet.net.au
Wed May 29 05:03:33 UTC 2019

Thanks, George:

> Colour TV came out later.
> And when Colour TV did arrive, some of the large German valve Colour
> sets required two strong people to lift them, they were huge and
> heavy.

There must have been some interesting marketing, getting people to 
accept such change/innovation!

> Some years after that I had people telling me about this thing called
> "binary", I could not grasp what they were talking at that time.

My high school maths teacher taught that.

> Of
> course later on Assembler was the only way to program microprocessors
> if you wanted your program to run at any decent speed.

In 1983, I coded bar-graph column-height in hex, in a BASIC program on a 

> Then some time later the IBM PC was released, and here we are today.

In 1989, the chieftains of WACAE (now Edith Cowen University)--claimed 
that my Mac SE was supposed to sit in a shared computer-room, for 
general use!

> One thing I do think about from time to time, it has been interesting
> living before the beggining, and then through, the era the PC
> (Personal Computer).

I recall having won a book from New Scientist, for my prowess in a 
history-of-science quiz!

> If I get to live a bit longer, I may also get to see the end of that
> era as the "PC goes the way of the Dinosaurs", extinct, being replaced
> by cloud "storage and compute".

Yuck, I'm concerned about control of information!

> Not sure what term will be used to
> describe a totally online system.

In 1985, I toured Europe and the world. Taking with me a Blackberry 
mobile-phone. Which I used to browse mobile-version news-articles!

> I think this
> statement is incorrectly named, "The Post-PC era is a market trend
> observed during the late 2000s and early 2010s involving a decline in
> the sales of personal computers in favor of post-PC devices".

I kinda yawn when reading yet again that this is the year of Linux!

> You use your smartphone as much as your laptop because it’s just
> another PC.

I was particularly impressed when mobile phone usage surpassed landlines!

> Yes the smartphone is a computing
> device, and it is a personal device, but yet it is not a Personal
> Computer.

In 1973, I took a unit in Numerical Methods and Computing. Learning to 
punch a BASIC program on cards, submitted via pigeon-hole to an ICL 1906 
mainframe! It occupied an entire floor of the Maths Department in 
Southampton University. And turnaround took two hours.


> According to a report by Forrester Research, there were over one
> billion PCs in use worldwide by the end of 2008, and over 2 billion
> by the year 2015.

{"I think there is a world market for maybe five computers."

Thomas Watson, president of IBM, 1943}


> The same thing has happened to tablets. While some naively predicted
> that tablets would one day replace PCs, the worldwide tablet market
> never reached the same level as PCs, and with very few exceptions,
> tablets never became the general purpose computing device that many
> envisioned. Instead, worldwide tablet shipments peaked in the fourth
> quarter of 2013—just two years after PCs did—and have slowly
> declined ever since.

My graphics-tablet, I pack with a laptop.

> PS: I never used Punch Cards in the work place, only at Uni, I am not
> that old.

I used them at Western Geophysical in Dhahran, from 1978 to 1980. As I 
ran along a corridor clutching a stack of cards, I tripped, impressively 
scattering them along the floor!

> I wish I had kept my first BASIC program on Punch Cards.

Somewhere in a box, I have a role of punched paper tape!

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