The week long Comdex event in Las Vegas had thousands of vendors. The central theme of the keynote addresses by IBM, Microsoft and Novell was that of more networks and interconnections. IBM's idea is that consumers will want to have systems that will connect to networks and have their data stored on a remote server. It was the keynoters' opinion that these low cost terminals would "help" consumers as they would not have to keep updating their systems. Novell's president even feels that someday a computer that is not connected to a network will be considered broken.
I feel that they are describing a system that is very similar to the telephone system. A telephone that is not connected to a network and sitting on the shelf is quite useless and it only has value ONLY when it is connected. As the telephone industry changed its technology, by improving the switches and adding fiber optic technology, telephones manufactured in the sixties and seventies did not become obsolete. This is quite different from the computer industry. Are you currently using any computers manufactured in the seventies?
I want information immediately at my disposal (at my fingertips) and I use an HP 100LX Palmtop along with a pen based Compaq Concerto computer to accomplish this. I don't want to have to rent my software or rely on data storage space on someone else's server in the future.
At the recent Database World and Client Server World, there were some very exciting developments in true databases that are being used on the Web.
© 1996 Rick Smith All rights reserved.