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Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Passing of a Legend

There has been much talk lately about entering the post-PC era, and that seems even more prescient with the loss of Steve Jobs.
To paraphrase Churchill, though, this is not the end or even the beginning of the end, but it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning. Nearly everything we have called personal computers so far would be more accurately termed "computers usable by a normal person," but they have hardly been personal.
Desktops were shared communal devices -- in most households there was one for the family. Laptops are more personal -- still somewhat shared, but more likely than desktops to be owned and used by an individual. iPods, smart phones, and tablets are distinctly and undeniably personal and individual devices -- but so far they've lacked the full power of their predecessors.
Now, though, thanks to years of work from a generation of visionaries like Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Steve Wozniak, Jef Raskin, Alan Kay, and tens of thousands of others whose names and faces we may never know, we're standing at the dawn of the era of truly personal computers.
The next part of the revolution could be portable devices that combine communication, media, work, and play -- along with interfaces and displays -- portable personal computing systems that are fully capable of not only replacing, but surpassing, everything that has gone before.
The first generation is fading into the past, but the personal computer era has barely started. Whatever the next stage is, it will be up to the new generation to make sure it's incredible, beautiful, and magical. We're standing on the shoulders of giants; let's change the world.


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