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20 Factors That Will Change PCs In 2002

timothy posted more than 12 years ago | from the hype-and-pragmatism-combo-plate dept.

Technology 481

bstadil writes: "CNN's tech site has posted a list of the 20 most significant factors that will change the PC in 2002. Its not very technical but it would be interesting to get the take on this from the Slashdot community plus what they think needs to be added."

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ashcroft will be spying on every pc (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2751486)

major change, in 2002

Re:ashcroft will be spying on every pc (-1)

j0nkatz (315168) | more than 12 years ago | (#2751495)

Since you are a AC I have claimed your first post as my own. Pleases see below.

Also, what makes you think he isn't spying on them now?

Claim all you want (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2751497)

All your First Posts belong to US

Ashcroft: All your keystrokes belong to us (1)

nethole (126708) | more than 12 years ago | (#2751534)

I'm suprised no one else has suggested this catch phrase for magic latern yet.

Re:Ashcroft: All your keystrokes belong to us (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2751627)

Does Ashcroft remind anyone else of the smoking
man in X-Files?

Your comment is helping the terrorists (1)

nethole (126708) | more than 12 years ago | (#2751526)

Is anyone else sick of the 'civil liberties help terrorists' rant? Similar logic will be used to enforce digital rights management. No more music. No more fair use. Just pay per use, and having your keystrokes recorded and used against you whenever the current administration feels like it

actually, your comment is helping the terrorists (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2751560)

People like you will give in to anything anyone who runs a government agency will say, as long as it protects your precious physical security.

Re:actually, Hellooooo sarcasm (1)

nethole (126708) | more than 12 years ago | (#2751599)

Have a cookie

Re:ashcroft will be spying on every pc (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 12 years ago | (#2751605)

major change, in 2002

How will this be different from 2001. By the way, your email box needs cleaning.

eat it (-1)

j0nkatz (315168) | more than 12 years ago | (#2751488)


the only factor (1)

donabal (116308) | more than 12 years ago | (#2751492)

i believe porn is the only real factor in shaping technology

look at the space program ;)


Re:the only factor (2, Interesting)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 12 years ago | (#2751614)

IIRC, porn (or Adult Entertainment, if you prefer) is the first market to make use of tech advances. I've got some old Apple ][ magazines from 1981 and they even feature porn ads. With the number of techies surviving by going to work for porn you can bet the quality will get better, or they'll just become more ruthless bastards at finding ways to launch from email and take over your PC.

Re:the only factor (3, Funny)

Alien54 (180860) | more than 12 years ago | (#2751641)

i believe porn is the only real factor in shaping technology

I can hardly wait for IM porn spam

Sounds like a dream come true.

"The perfect communication device" (4, Interesting)

reaper20 (23396) | more than 12 years ago | (#2751493)

I think that 1GHz Palmtops, IM, new fuel cells, and that new screen technology could be combined into one super PDA that has been promised since someone uttered convergence.

The Handspring Treo will replace my phone, my PDA, and my Blackberry. Now there's a something I'd shell out hard cash for in 2002.

I missed this one (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2751494)

IDE (3, Funny)

ZaneMcAuley (266747) | more than 12 years ago | (#2751496)

And still IDE controllers will only support 2 devices.

more war! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2751498)

Why doesn't anybody get it? Voice doesn't work. (5, Informative)

Brento (26177) | more than 12 years ago | (#2751499)

I really got my hopes up as I read through it - I thought for once, I would see an article about The Future that didn't say the equivalent of, "This year is really the year when voice recognition will be everywhere." But noooo, they had to say that voice-driven web portals will be one of the Big Things.

What is it about voice recognition that suckers journalists in every time? Nobody seems to get it: voice recognition is here, it's been here for a long time, it's just that the accuracy isn't good enough. You can't walk up to somebody else's installation of ViaVoice and start dictating a letter without missing a few words in each paragraph at the bare minimum.

Now they're talking about voice navigation of web sites? Let me get this straight: half of the sites I visit are so poorly designed that it's hard to tell where to CLICK, let alone what I would say if the site was actually listening to my voice. And if I have to read instructions on how to surf a specific site, you can bet I won't bother reading it - or even clicking.

I didn't bother reading the rest of their Big Futuristic Ideas, but if they're the kind of journalists that include voice recognition, it's not the kind of article I want to read.

Re:Why doesn't anybody get it? Voice doesn't work. (1)

ZaneMcAuley (266747) | more than 12 years ago | (#2751500)

Heh, I tried a voice control package with my computer and all it would do was Maxamize and Minimize my windows, anything else it just couldnt handle properely.

Re:Why doesn't anybody get it? Voice doesn't work. (0)

kubota (200393) | more than 12 years ago | (#2751516)

I think one of difficulties of voice recognition is like handwriting recognition; it is *very* different between languages.

European languages (such as English, French, German, Italian, Spanish,...) are rather similar one another. However, the world is far larger. The number of vowels and consonants are very different between languages (European, east Asian, south-east Asian, Arab,...).

Re:Why doesn't anybody get it? Voice doesn't work. (2)

crawling_chaos (23007) | more than 12 years ago | (#2751551)

The only thing I can think of that would drive voice-driven navigation is access to the web through cell phones. Of course, there are a lot of other problems (screen-size anyone?) to overcome as well.

Still, I could see some use for a voice-driven interface to a web-mail portal, so my phone can read me my voice mail, and for things like news and stock quotes as well. Of course, these things may already exist, and I've just been too Neanderthal to figure out how to do them from my cell.

Re:Why doesn't anybody get it? Voice doesn't work. (1)

Brento (26177) | more than 12 years ago | (#2751564)

You should try TellMe [] . It's a free service that does news, stock quotes, sports scores, gets taxis, and more.

Re:Why doesn't anybody get it? Voice doesn't work. (1)

nmos (25822) | more than 12 years ago | (#2751556)

Back when I was using OS/2 I found the voice navigation on the web to be pretty good. I never really found the dictation that usefull though.

Re:Why doesn't anybody get it? Voice doesn't work. (3, Funny)

homebru (57152) | more than 12 years ago | (#2751563)

What is it about voice recognition that suckers journalists in every time?

They're writing about what they see as most important. You need to remember that reporters/journalists/comentators in the print media want desperately to be in the non-print media (radio / tv). And to those in the non-print media, their voice is the most beautiful thing in the world. It's no points for content or relevance and full points for inflection and intonation.

With voice being that important (at least sub-consciously), of course voice response gets played up.

Re:Why doesn't anybody get it? Voice doesn't work. (1)

gCGBD (532991) | more than 12 years ago | (#2751602)

Have you tried the voice portal - tellme [] ?

Pretty cool stuff IMHO.I think the voice technology may have been around a long time, but it has been making a lot of strides in very recent times...

Re:Why doesn't anybody get it? Voice doesn't work. (1)

Brento (26177) | more than 12 years ago | (#2751632)

Have you tried the voice portal - tellme?

Yeah, I actually suggested that a poster above use it, but that's not voice web navigation. It's just a voice-response system, basically, with their own customized back end. Don't get me wrong, voice recognition is great - I love being able to say my responses to my bank's voice system when I'm on my cell phone, but that doesn't mean it's good for surfing the web yet.

Voice Rec. in its infancy (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 12 years ago | (#2751648)

That I have a hard time understanding a lot of people (yes, I work in The Valley) should be an indicator that this is a difficult thing to accomplish. Maybe in middle america it's easier. I don't even like to use it on the phone and hit buttons instead (lord knows these phone things are slow enough that you want to avoid making any mistakes and having to listen to the $&^%@ menu again)

And the're plenty of variation on people who were born in the US or UK or AU (or wherever else people natively speak some strain of english) that tone and inflection are significantly difficult to work with.

Expect either of the following:

computers are fast enough, have enough memory and storage to actually understand the butchered english of the worst Teaching Assistant


There's a massive Hitlerian (this should be a word, if it didn't exist, I claim to have invented it) effort to violate all of our civil liberties and force everyone to correctly speak the same way or be shipped off to concentration camps (in New Jersey, probably.)*

*You may laugh, but there's actually schools which teach you not to speak with a southern drawl. Scary.

government boots (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2751502)

The government will leave footprints all over the pc community this year. Nasty footprints, too, I bet.

Flamebait article (4, Funny)

Johnny O (22313) | more than 12 years ago | (#2751503)

This ARTICLE should be modded -1 Flamebait

> Your desktop PC specs in 2004


> Operating system: Some version of Windows (you
> expected Linux, perhaps?)

w00t (-1)

j0nkatz (315168) | more than 12 years ago | (#2751505)

By sprinkling disks with the element ruthenium -- impishly termed "pixie dust" by IBM
Sounds like something a Lunix farie would use.

MRAM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2751506)

Is it just me, or does this sound like a very old technology, or atleast why they seemed to be trying to push it. I'm of course referring to core memory (the little ferrite donuts), whereby you could pull the power and bring the system back up exactly where you were, only difference I can see is price and density.

My wish list (5, Insightful)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 12 years ago | (#2751507)

Hard disks that are faster, not bigger. If I need more space, I'll add more spindles. How about giving me a disk that can push 50 or 100 MB/sec from the platters?

Bring back those monitors-with-built-in-USB-hubs.

Cheap SMP. I'll take my dual 550 over a single 1 GHz any day of the week. How about 8x500 MHz on the desktop, instead of 1x4GHz which is still crippled by 1 CPU hogging app?

Less patronizing Windows UI ("My Documents", "My Computer")

A decent NFS client for Win32.

That's all I can think of for now. I'm not terribly interested about vapor markup languages or 1 GHz palmtops. Give me something I can use.

dd if=/dev/coffee of=/dev/geek

Re:My wish list (1)

QuMa (19440) | more than 12 years ago | (#2751520)

Don't solve your problems with scheduling with hardware.

Re:My wish list (5, Interesting)

Brento (26177) | more than 12 years ago | (#2751528)

Bring back those monitors-with-built-in-USB-hubs.

I'm shopping for a new LCD display, and I was pleasantly surprised to see that most of them have a USB hub. I wasn't quite so happy that many have junky built-in speakers, but of course you don't have to use 'em.

Cheap SMP. I'll take my dual 550 over a single 1 GHz any day of the week.

Swing by your local CompUSA. Dual CPU motherboards are now under $100, often well under $100. A quick check of Pricewatch shows that two P3-667's will cost you less than a single P3-1ghz, so the only thing stopping you from SMP heaven is - well, you.

Less patronizing Windows UI ("My Documents", "My Computer")

Well, I can't help you there. At least it's not Microsoft Bob.

Re:My wish list (5, Informative)

MtViewGuy (197597) | more than 12 years ago | (#2751550)

Some comments on your wish list:

1. Hard drives are already pretty fast, especially now with ATA-100/133 IDE connections. Serial ATA will raise the data transfer rate by a factor of six. I do expect quiet 10,000-20,000 rpm Serial ATA hard drives in the next few years, though. For higher-end applications, expect the cost of Fibre Channel connections to come down, which will essentially put an end to SCSI.

2. Why do you want monitors with built-in USB hubs? I don't find them that useful, especially nowadays most pre-built systems now have USB connectors in front of the system case.

3. Unfortunately, not that many applications take full advantage of multi-processor boxes (or require their use). It's only with very specialized apps such as CAD/CAM and very high-end image processing that you really need multi-processor computers.

4. If you're looking for a less patronizing Windows UI, Windows XP's Luna interface is already a step in the right direction. You'll probably see other changes in the next few years.

Re:My wish list (2)

Junta (36770) | more than 12 years ago | (#2751616)

I would dare say that Luna, if anything is *more* patronizing, that is the whole point. In any event, the My Computer, My Documents, can easily be renamed, if that is such a huge deal...

Re:My wish list (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2751567)

i am dumb so this could be wrong. but i believe if you want a faster hard disk then that automatically happens when you make them bigger. as the data density per platter increases so does the amount of data you can read off it in a unit time. the 10x data density or whatever in the article would result in 10x more speed from the platters (disregarding head seek/access times). assuming an 80GB disk now can do 30-40MB/sec or whatever then the 800GB disk (assuming same number of platters) should manage 300-400MB/sec. a fair bit more than you are requesting.

but i am dumb so i could be wrong.

faster disks (0)

kubota (200393) | more than 12 years ago | (#2751601)

Electric "disks" (such as memory device) are always researched in order to replace mechanical disks. The biggest problem is the cost. If this problem would be solved, "disks" (it would not be disk-shaped) would be drastically faster than today's disks.

Re:My wish list (2)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 12 years ago | (#2751639)

Simple :-) High end SCSI U160.

Many of us have had super speed hard drives for wuite a while now. a 3disk array in a raid 5 arrangement with U160 drives makes anything you can purchase in the stores look like a joke.

It's here, you just have to spend money on it.

Laptops (1)

cxvx (525894) | more than 12 years ago | (#2751512)

Did you notice the last piece of the article about laptops?
It says "Operating system: windows"
I never knew that laptops couldn't run linux :)
No seriously, what ignoramus wrote that article?

Re:Laptops (4, Funny)

Publicus (415536) | more than 12 years ago | (#2751583)

Operating system: Windows

Price: $2,000 and up

You didn't read that correctly; The price of the hardware will be so cheap it will be laughable. Windows, on the other hand, will cost $2000 and up. The funny thing is many suckers would probably pay it.

They forgot software as a service (5, Insightful)

ZaneMcAuley (266747) | more than 12 years ago | (#2751513)

Subscription based Software / Services (games, streaming content etc etc)

Re:They forgot software as a service (1)

mrfiddlehead (129279) | more than 12 years ago | (#2751644)

That was last year's next big thing. Guh!


# 21? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2751515)

Your PC/network will NOT be held hostage/for ransom by convicted softwar gangster felons? Happy holidays/GNU year/millennium from all of US [] , to all of GNU.

Instant Messanging - Where has this guy been? (4, Interesting)

shoemakc (448730) | more than 12 years ago | (#2751517)

Microsoft has made IM a key component of Windows XP: Besides sending simple text messages, with Windows Messenger you can exchange files, conduct audio or video conferences, and collaborate on documents over the Net
ICQ and AIM have had all of these features for well over 3 years now. Yet another user who never ventured outside of what came on their start menu.

Where M$ want him to be? (3, Insightful)

Kjella (173770) | more than 12 years ago | (#2751557)

He's been there where M$ want him to be... never knowing he needed it until he got it right in front of him. Him and the great crowds like him is what will give M$ the IM monopoly too, because "everybody else" will be on messenger. Yet another blatant case of M$ extending their monopoly, but I don't suppose that rises any eyebrows here because it happens so often, and nowhere else either because they don't care, in particular the Justice Dep.


What they missed (5, Insightful)

shawkin (165588) | more than 12 years ago | (#2751518)

Advanced operating systems. Defining technology as a subset of an unresponsive monopoly OS is a waste of time.

Efficient programming tools. If four programmers could write a better Photoshop in two months and distribute it electronically, then things will change.

Human factors driven technology. People will buy more stuff that works easily and makes them happy.

Markup languages than proprietary binary formats? (0)

kubota (200393) | more than 12 years ago | (#2751522)

If markup languages such as XML will substitute proprietary binary formats like MS Word and so on, it will be very nice!

Re:Markup languages than proprietary binary format (1)

ZaneMcAuley (266747) | more than 12 years ago | (#2751527)

Standard configuration files for applications which are XML based (like .net applications app.exe.config files)

Transactional file systems (SQL Server or Oracle based)

Re:Markup languages than proprietary binary format (2, Insightful)

tshoppa (513863) | more than 12 years ago | (#2751621)

If markup languages such as XML will substitute proprietary binary formats like MS Word and so on, it will be very nice!

Oh, the hard drive manufacturers will love this. A simple one-page document will take gigabytes of hard disk space :-).

Wasn't there a slashdot story in the past year about how a common binary protocol was being replaced with XML, with a corresponding increase of a factor in the hundreds in storage/network requirements?

Something missed (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2751525)

Some time back, I read on theregister about replacing PC bus with a bunch of fiber optics.

I believe this can turn on faster data than any physical/electrical bus.

But then every chip will have to have bunch of optical tranceiver/filter built in. As a good effect of this there will be only one physical "wire" capping single fibre carrying say 64 wavelengths, from each chip. Mobo size will be down to 20% of existing...

I don't believe that won't change the world...

The only thing i was looking for (1)

KingKire64 (321470) | more than 12 years ago | (#2751529)

Was serial ATA and they had it the only quesiton is sure the connection can push 400m/s but.... how fast are these drives going to be? is it going to be the same thing we are seeing with the ide drives? faster interfaces with the same speed drive? Either way i cant wait to see Serial ATA HW.

802.11x (5, Insightful)

Jaggar (533765) | more than 12 years ago | (#2751530)

I think that the largest change coming in the next few years, at least for laptop users, will be the increasing prevalence of pervasive, high bandwidth wireless networks based on the IEEE 802.11a-g protocols. I have the pleasure of working for one of the few companies that makes extensive use of these devices (we design them, actually), and I can't imagine working without them. When I go to a meeting, I just plug a card into my laptop and go. In the meeting I can bring up all of the relevant documents and data, check my email and stocks, and, most importantly, read Slashdot.

These technologies will have an even larger impact in academic institutions. At this moment, I know of at least two universities (Carnegie Mellon and, interestingly, Akron University in Ohio) that have essentially omnipresent 802.11b wireless networks. Students with laptops can access the campus network as well as the internet from any point in the university, even the football field.

I think that this will be the area of largest noticeable change because it is not incremental. We expect faster processors, greater storage capacity, faster busses, etc., but the ability to connect to the internet with a broadband connection from almost anywhere, that will be new and therefore more noticeable. However, even though it is novel, it is implemented with mature technologies that have been tried and tested for several years now, at least in the case of 802.11b.

Wireless Campus (1)

ruvreve (216004) | more than 12 years ago | (#2751571)

Purdue University has implemented a limited wireless network. Any engineering student can register for it and it is available when you are near the engineering mall. The school of technology has also begun to deploy wireless networking but they are still too security conscience to give people pr0n while in class.

As for the rest of campus *ahem* school of liberal arts, they aren't worthy.

Computers are going to change (for the better) (2, Funny)

Gopal.V (532678) | more than 12 years ago | (#2751531)

400 gigs and a cloud of dust: AFC hard drives
well talk about storage problems. I'm having problems filling up my 48gigs.

I GHZ PDA & 10 Ghz PC
Allright what about workstations (maybe they'll start GIGIHertz and Mebihertz too)

LCD Replacement ?
Let them first replace CRT first

Instant messenger
hasn't it arrived here yet ?

Ah XML it's mentioned
this is going to be there "leave my files alone" -- Federal employee

Hyper Threading ?
Talk about "hype"

Good bye PCI ? costlier PC's ?

well it rocks (my gnutella !)

Don't put that speaker near it !

The see-through PC: TFT computers
let me see it before commenting

Distributed Computing That works look at SETI@HOME:)

10 ghz
it's good to dream, but this overdid it

Serial ATA
bye bye ribbon cables

we'll see more cyber crimes

well they didn't say Microsoft would change :) !

Re:Computers are going to change (for the better) (1)

Comen (321331) | more than 12 years ago | (#2751576)

I could fill up 400 gigs like it aint nothing.
Between MP3 (currently 20 gigs)
Divx Movies (Currently about 20 gigs now)
PORN (pictures and Movies for days)
Video Games (1 gig a install if you lucky now adays)
I could fill up 400 gigs easy just give me a week.
Ill dump every DVD movie I got on my pc just for kicks.
I think it would be nice to have that much space sitting there just so I can abuse it :)

CNN's Future (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2751533)

This article of the future is brought to you by the great people of Windows! Try XP today!


Whoever wrote this article has a perma-hardon to Windows and the XP version.

personal data protected by micro$oft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2751535)

the cant even secure there own OS !
and im going to let them protect my data ?.

Distributed 3, P2P 5, but E-Wallet a 9? (2, Insightful)

hiryuu (125210) | more than 12 years ago | (#2751536)

Can't half tell that the non-hardware concepts got some severe business bias, can we? Gees... I don't want "Presence," that's for damned sure. If I want to be found, I make myself easy to find - so why on earth do I need to be tracked to wireless devices, PCs, cell phones, etc? And the concept of having to "pay" to avoid it? Their comparison to caller ID and the blocking of such is bogus - if I'm calling someone, that's one thing, since I initiated the contact, but, but tracking location and usage? Ick.

And that's before the potential terrors of an electronic wallet - not that it's a bad concept, but I don't think it should get a '9' particularly when you consider that some monolith or other will be providing the service, and in a nasty, centralized fashion.


Re:Distributed 3, P2P 5, but E-Wallet a 9? (2)

Pfhreakaz0id (82141) | more than 12 years ago | (#2751591)

Yeah, I worked for a company (know basically out of business) that sold a "presence" system. They never got that many folks don't WANT to be found, and so were always over-estimating the market. Almost none of the people in the technical office even turned the junk (follow-me and find-me) on there "assistants".

Re:Distributed 3, P2P 5, but E-Wallet a 9? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2751593)

I don't think the ratings represent so much a "we like it" factor - but how much impact it'll have on our society, for better OR worse. (Which is probably why they use the term "Impact meter" instead of "coolness rating".)

Ashcroft: All your keystrokes belong to us (0)

nethole (126708) | more than 12 years ago | (#2751537)

Magic lantern: Major change for all 2002 PCs.

instant messaging (1)

archen (447353) | more than 12 years ago | (#2751538)

When's it coming? Windows Messenger is here already, and its competitors are sure to respond soon

Gee, thank God Microsoft Invented instant messaging. Since they came up with Hotmail, I guess that means they invented e-mail too huh? (and yes, that's sarcasm - I know MS bought Hotmail out). Well that's what you get from a technical article from cnn

Re:instant messaging (1)

ZaneMcAuley (266747) | more than 12 years ago | (#2751552)

Well, they actually bought (erm, aquired) Hotmail :)

Re:instant messaging (1)

alexmeaden (165589) | more than 12 years ago | (#2751582)

Umm, that's what he said!
R T F Message.

Re:instant messaging (1)

ZaneMcAuley (266747) | more than 12 years ago | (#2751590)

Whoops :)

Posting at xmas is like a shopping spree :)

Deja Vu? (1)

ZaneMcAuley (266747) | more than 12 years ago | (#2751540)

400 gigs and a cloud of dust: AFC hard drives
"640 is enough for anybody"

Moore's Law still holding... (4, Interesting)

Tryfen (216209) | more than 12 years ago | (#2751541)

What's cool? Even Moore's Law eventually gets trumped by the laws of physics. In a few years, the current method of packing ever greater numbers of transistors onto a chip will hit a wall. But a technology called Extreme Ultraviolet Lithography may break that barrier. Intel estimates that EUVL chips will boast 400 million transistors -- about ten times more than the Pentium 4's 42 million.

(42 * 2)^n = 400

n = 3.3 lots of 18 months

3.3 * 18 = ~60 months

60 / 12 = 5 years

When's it coming? In three to five years.

Move along people... nothing to see...

Re:Moore's Law still holding... (1)

Comen (321331) | more than 12 years ago | (#2751587)

I love it when people throw equations out in the forums and I just got to take thier word for it they proved thier point for good!
HAHA sorry I aint to bright i guess.

Specs :: Odd memory and OS choices (3, Interesting)

ellem (147712) | more than 12 years ago | (#2751542)

For the desktop and laptop the writer(s) stop at 512MB RAM. Why? Why not go Gig? It is the future after all.

The OS choices were "unfriendly" at best. <Paraphrase>Some form of Windows (What, you were expecting Linux?)</Paraphrase>

I know I will sound like a madman but I think OSX or a *nix with a good, consistent GUI could easily replace Windows. It has in my house, and we appear to be discussing home computers.

Good article for someone who hasn't read any tech stories in the past 3 years.

Removable Storage (3, Interesting)

Wire Tap (61370) | more than 12 years ago | (#2751543)

Removable storage: Rewritable DVD and -- yes -- the unsinkable 1.44MB floppy

That's according to the article, but, I have not used a floppy disk in nearly three years. I took all the floppy drives out of my computers at home, and simply use CDs or CDRWs for all my data transfer needs. They are leaps and bounds more reliable (Ask me about reports on magnetic disks "Escaping" in my bookbag), and are generally just more sensible to use (more space for better presentations, etc). Even with driver issues - most, if not all, new machies are CD bootable, so, voila, you can have all your drivers on once nice CD.

I don't understand why any (non tech person) would still use a disk (as opposed to a disc).

2003? Try 2004+ (1)

Garfunkel (3569) | more than 12 years ago | (#2751544)

Wasn't the article supposed to be the things that will change PCs in 2002? The whole article was about what will change in 2003 and beyond. Their computer specs even said 2004.

Anyway, I should have quit when they mentioned digital nirvana. I can't stand that term.

2002? (1)

alexmeaden (165589) | more than 12 years ago | (#2751547)

Is it just me that noticed that most of these technologies are not expected for three or four years? It seems to me that they were stuck for new things that would actually come in 2002.

No mention of security (2, Insightful)

ruvreve (216004) | more than 12 years ago | (#2751554)

I saw no mention of security improving. I realize that the hardest part of maintaining a secure environment is making the 'user' comply but there HAS to be a better way of protecting people from themselves. Sort of like if a burglar trips and breaks his leg in your house he can sue you.

I mention security because of the "Presence technology" that was discussed. If somebody can get ahold of my network identity and then use that identity to pinpoint my location we could have a whole new wave of identity theft. Not that I have thought it over much but knowing exactly where somebody is opens up a whole new set of opportunites for exploit.

White collar criminal -**- Signing Off.

Re:No mention of security (1)

snatchitup (466222) | more than 12 years ago | (#2751592)

And, you didn't even touch on the new security concern of all Western civilization. Bio-Terrorism.

I think 2002 will be the huge year for gadgets that go with your computer to do things such as Performing a generic spectral-scan of something, then sending the sprecto-gram over the Internet to analyse it for the Bio-Threat Du Jour.

People more and more are going to want to know what they are coming in contact with.

Re:No mention of security (1)

ruvreve (216004) | more than 12 years ago | (#2751618)

I missed quite a few different security topics but one can only post so much while waiting for another email to arrive.

Only 512 MB of RAM in 2004? (5, Interesting)

Florian Weimer (88405) | more than 12 years ago | (#2751558)

I guess they are kidding: 512 MB DDR RAM is nothing, even by today's standards. I guess people will hit the 4 GB limit on traditional x86 desktops even before the end of 2004.

There's a rule that today's hard disk capacities are RAM capacities in five to seven years. By this estimate, we're going to hit 4 GB during 2003, I suppose.

"Passport" makes the list?? (3, Insightful)

ConsigliereDea (541188) | more than 12 years ago | (#2751559)

My hope is that the people who were polled to come up with this list were rating the Microsoft Passport with "Impact meter: 8" as a warning, not a subtle endorsement. The Presence Technology rating of 7 scares me. I don't want people to be able to track my every move, and shouldn't have to pay for the right to be left alone. Isn't this a little to close to the conspiracy theory of the government implanting chips at birth? I have never been one to take that sort of thing seriously, but I want to know I can keep on eating and breathing technology without some hacker knowing my life.

Arapahoe can prioritize? (1)

Publicus (415536) | more than 12 years ago | (#2751562)

Arapahoe can employ from 1 to 32 lanes; each lane consists of a pair of wires and can shuffle more than 200MB of data per second between the CPU and add-in cards or integrated parts. Arapahoe can also prioritize data, so that, for example, real-time streaming data is processed faster.

Why does this worry me? Why do I think some companies will be able to prioritize their content and others won't? Is this type of thing usually open or is it like most hardware where open source folks have to figure it out the hard way? I'm sure time will tell.

Laptops... (1)

Wire Tap (61370) | more than 12 years ago | (#2751565)

Again, I disagree with the things said about Laptops:

Removable storage: Rewritable DVD; some form of CompactFlash card

Why on Earth would Laptops come with CompactFlash card readers standard? The article makes no effor to explain this unseemly turn of events, and I can't figure it out. I love CompactFlash, as I am in love with all solid state media, but I really don't see why it would be a standard for removable storage, if SIMPLY because, right now, only once device can interface with it concurrently without the other data being raped.


CPU and RAM: 2- to 3-GHz chip with 256MB of RAM

What are they THINKING??? I am fine with the chip expectations, heck, we might be even farther along than that, but, really, only 256MB of RAM? I don't think so. Whoever wrote this article must be behind the times a bit, as some Laptops can come equipped with that much RAM now. In two years, if engineers and designers haven't found a way to (economically) pack at least a gig of RAM in a laptop, I'll be very suprised. With all the demanding data processing going on (Hey! 3 GHz chip!) there is a _need_ for more of that precious RAM.

Methinks the writer of this article is a bit confused with some of his points. If he is right, in two years, I'll eat my shorts.

Instant Messaging vs. Network Security (1)

EaglesNest (524150) | more than 12 years ago | (#2751572)

The most significant impact for me will be next generation instant messaging.

I love Peer-to-Peer networking, and it only makes sense for IRC to evolve to instant messaging to evolve to peer-to-peer. What frightens me is the security implications given the convergance of several factors. First, the click and drool crowd will soon have unlimited access to other click and droolers. Second, AOL is going out of its way to try to give users the power to install and use its product despite measures such as blocking ports at the firewall. Third, traditional virus protections currently have been designed for an e-mail architecture - they also do not appear to apply the same scrutiny to quiet back doors or grappling hooks as they do to louder, cruder viruses.

What options does the administrator of a large collection of LANs have when he doesn't have any direct control of the policies of how each LAN sets up their users and workstations. What policies can he apply to the network at its internet perimeter?

Perhaps there is no adequate answer. It may be that the network must remain stupid, end-to-end, and the only security possible is at the desktop. Does this mean that we must require every person who has a computer to attend two weeks of security training every year? The option choice appears to be to suffer back doors, malicious keyboard stroke loggers, and routine virus outbreaks.

Re:Instant Messaging vs. Network Security (1)

tweek (18111) | more than 12 years ago | (#2751588)

I agree with what you said about applications going out of thier way to bypass firewalls. I'm finding it more and more frustrating to block filesharing apps that constantly want to go out on port 80 because they know it will be open. I've resolved myself to blocking access to entire class C's owned by companies like musiccity and napster and the ip addresses of the main gnutella routers.

Re:Instant Messaging vs. Network Security (2)

platypus (18156) | more than 12 years ago | (#2751624)

I know that problem...
Out of curiosity, have you thought of proxys + DMZ? Are the clients in your network too diverse?

Applications! (3, Insightful)

defunc (238921) | more than 12 years ago | (#2751574)

The article seems to be focused on hardware. Rather, it should have been on future applications taking advantage of these new and powerful hardware/interfaces.

People want stuff that they can use everyday. Having a PC with software that uses voice recognition and learn my pattern usage is what I really want. I don't want to have to mess around anymore with DLLs, the registry, LD_LIRBARY_PATHs or .conf files. Applications should learn on how to adapt to my usage and fix themselves when broken. How about an instantaneous boot up people. My g4 with osx wakes up in 5 secs. Boots under 2 mins.

The idea of HyperThreading will create a new breed of applications, both on the client and server side hopefully. The hope of having a reatime application on my desktop is very appealing. No more me waiting for the application to respond to my command!!!

Re:Applications! (1)

ZaneMcAuley (266747) | more than 12 years ago | (#2751584)

Adaptive user interfaces are comming.

HyperThreading, we need SMP (Symetric MultiProcessing) to take advantage of all this concurrency otherwise this will be the largest bottleneck.

price (1)

MoceanWorker (232487) | more than 12 years ago | (#2751575)

Price: $1,500 to $2,000

By 2004, we'll definitely be out of this recession and business will be running back to normal... i assume... but would that still really start to drive computer prices up again?

i remember before your typical desktop PC was about $2000+ for a big name computer... a computer with those specs will not necessarily cost $1500-$2000.. you could probably build it yourself for (what i'd assume) about $1000... processor prices, RAM prices, video prices and HD prices are all dropping... some by a huge percentage... and i'm assuming in the future LED monitors are gonna start dropping too... you can already get a 15 inch for what? $300?

only thing on their i see that might actually be worth its price is the DVD rewritable...

plus if you take Windows out you'll be saving yourself another good $100+ ;-)

wrong x 20? (4, Interesting)

thogard (43403) | more than 12 years ago | (#2751586)

Look at the price...
PC's are commodity items of last year. If people can't buy a computer for $500, they won't be paying 4x that in 2004.

OLED? When they start to come out the LCD people are going to get very nervous and they have much more room to play on the price cut front. Result, OLED meet ch 11 and its back to LCD.

IM? Thats too much like peer to peer file sharing for the media folks. I predict M$ will get its self in court with the MPAA people as well as RIAA within a year.

Wireless? Why? The last stuff that was rolled out is a hackers dream. You think large compaines are going to try it again? Other than the cool, look I can do ____ from the other side of the room, whats it worth to most compaines? No one is spending on toys anymore.

XML? TLA for the decade. Its going to be here for a long time. Much more difficult to parse than most text files and this looks like a cool idea to thouse who didn't understand why we have LALR grammar.

Multi-threading made faster. Oh joy... how many programs do I have now that are multi-threaded. Most users are more than happy with the spell check thread running under word and about 90% of applications thread well.

Magnet bubble memory is back... one more time its going to be the best thing since sliced bread. Its cool to be able to put the same 64mbyte card in my camera and my mp3 player but my rio seems to be having problems with its 1st sector as its fash has faded.

Fuel cells will be great if they don't get banned by the local fire marshal. I figure with H2's bad rap (think Hindenburg), all it will take is one accident and this will be baned in some major city. Then others will follow.

Voice portals... One more thing to strangle... too bad I can't put my hands around the things neck.

Smart cards are great. Now its difficult to get a magnetic card writer (who do you know that has one). Now everyone with a PC and the balls to walk into a Tandy shop can get what it take to reprogram some smart cards. The CPUs are too slow to do meaningful crypto and as the cable TV compaines have found out, there are people who can tell you the circut thats sealed in that thin plastic. My bet is smart card fraud will exceed US$500 by Dec of 2002.

G3? is this Gimik 3? DoCoMo will finaly get its act together, get live porn to phones in Japan. G3 will be dead anywhere they can export to or thouse parts of the world that don't have the guts to drop dead tech that isn't going to work.

Digital Cameras with more pixels. Ever try to explain to Mom why the screen can't show as many dots as the camera took and why good 35 mm fill is still 20000 lines of resulution while the overpirced camera has a few thosuand? What I want to know is why can't these $300 cameras have a lense better than a $10 disposable camera?

Quite Obviously... (2, Funny)

SonnicJohnny (321966) | more than 12 years ago | (#2751594)

We need an imbedded AI to determine the data running across our networks is not copyrighted... as well as a slot for quarters so that every time we play an mp3 we can drop in our spare change... I heard Alternative Tentacles [] could use the money.

CNN is clueless. Here's how its gonna be, kids... (5, Insightful)

Bowie J. Poag (16898) | more than 12 years ago | (#2751603)

400 gigs and a cloud of dust: AFC hard drives

Not a bad idea. As the average amount of free space per PC increases, software makers will find a way to utilize it. They always have.

PDAs move to another level: The 1-GHz palmtop

Doubtful. Unlike cell phones, the demographic that buys palmtops aren't made up of teenagers. The people who buy and use palmtops aren't obsessed with making them smaller. They want connectivity first, then speed, then glitz. Besides, the typical uses of a palmtop don't extend to high-end computing. Having 1 Ghz under the hood isn't going to allow you to write your term paper any faster.

Scintillating screens: Organic-light-emitting diodes

Vastly overhyped. The intensity of OLEDs fade with time. When compared next to TFT, they look like shit, perform like shit, and go bad far quicker than TFT. They're also more expensive to produce. It'll be a novelty, but, it wont go anywhere in the end, IMHO.

The message is the medium: Next-generation instant messaging

Uhhh.....Ever heard of IRC? CUSeeMe? This is hardly a new technology. Its the same paradox as the video phone. Everyone thinks that videophones would be totally cool, but no one's willing to have their hair and make-up done in order to answer the phone. Pound for pound, text remains the best medium for large groups of people to share information. What good is a teleconference if only one person at a time can talk? If more than one person starts talking, you might as well be listening to a washing machine.

Tireless wireless: 802.11 networks

I absolutely agree. 802.11 is the beginning of something very big. Community networks, and the death knell for wire-provided technologies like DSL, Cable, 56K modems, etc.

In search of a common language: Markup languages for everything

Here we go again, failing to learn from history. People, its like this -- Programmers dont think alike. Thats what makes them programmers. You'll no sooner see people using the same language for markup as you'll see people coding in Smalltalk. People gravitate towards languages based on their ability to be proficient at it. No matter how good XML is, people will still use HTML becuase it suits them better, or PHP, or Perl, or C, or Assembly, or freakin Smalltalk if they want. Name a single time in history when a programmer was considered proficient in his art, WITHOUT knowing more than one language. Get my drift?

Getting a little hyper: Hyper-threading

Big clue for ya, gang--99.9% of your PC's lifespan is spent waiting for your lazy human ass to tell it what to do. Hyperthreading assumes that Moore's Law will flatline. It wont. What good is greater availability of processing power when you're STILL not addressing the fact that for most of your machine's usable lifespan, it's sitting idle anyway? Its like code optimization research. As time goes on, it becomes more and more irrelevant.

And now, my short list of what WILL take off:

802.11 and its offspring

Corporation-controlled P2P trading

P2P For Programmers--Wide and seamless code-sharing environments that replace segmented environments like SourceForge, Savannah, etc. Why not search for a bunch of good 3D engine s to pick from instead of just MP3s?

GUI optimization. Out with the old, in with the new. The need for a more intuitive interface always wins in the long run, over tradition-based designs. (cough)Scrollball(cough) :)

User-centric computing instead of application-centric computing.

Self-regulating and self-maintaining applications...Just picture it. Your antivirus software is eventually rendered obsolute because each of your applications, independant of one another, monitors its own structure and is aware of viruses that may attempt to exploit it. Also downloads and applies new updates, code patches, etc. Maintenance-free from a user standpoint.

Government requirements for both OS security and application security. Possibly even a ratings system.

Where will it end! :)


Re:CNN is clueless. Here's how its gonna be, kids. (1)

Bowie J. Poag (16898) | more than 12 years ago | (#2751619)

Yeah, I know I mispelled "obsolete". Its 6 AM here, and i'm still a little goofy from all the egg nog.


Faster, smaller, cheaper? (3, Interesting)

robathome (34756) | more than 12 years ago | (#2751610)

Not being a businessman on the hardware side of the world, there's one question that I've been wanting an answer to for some time. Is there a viable market for PC systems in the less-than-$700 price range? It would seem that educational institutions (especially public school disctricts) and the less-affluent consumer would be the perfect targets for this sort of marketing.

I realize that as technology ages, margins get slimmer and slimmer. What, however, is the floor? It would seem that in a world of "faster, smaller, cheaper," that there would be use for $200-300 machines that are new, out of the box, with warranty service, but are fully functional PCs. Net appliances were interesting, but for the average consumer nothing more than a pretty terminal device. Is it possible in this marketplace for a company to build and sell a cheap Wintel box to the budget consumer and still turn a profit?

It would sure beat having school districts full of old, beat-up, barely functional corporate write-off machines.

Availability (1)

ZaneMcAuley (266747) | more than 12 years ago | (#2751617)

We will still have the concept of have's and have not's. What we need is cheap affordable roll outs of the basic infrastructure for all this wonderful technology.

Not everybody will be able to afford the prices, and not everybody will be able to get access to technologies (broadband for example in some locations whether wireless or wired).


satanami69 (209636) | more than 12 years ago | (#2751620)

Hmm, I just finished this story in PCWorld during my after Christmas boweling.
It's probably best to combine a few of these to get some really cool techo ideas. For example:
Cross Peer-to-peer networking with Tireless wireless: 802.11 networks. Now every you're at that Nascar BBQ, you could be getting the latest Tim and Willy CD.


Guided by voices: Voice portals combined with May we see some ID, please: The electronic wallet, so retailers have to yell at my butt to get my money.

PC of 2004 ... (1)

JohnyDog (129809) | more than 12 years ago | (#2751629)

Removable storage: Rewritable DVD and -- yes -- the unsinkable 1.44MB floppy

If you'd have even only CD-writer, why the heck buying something as slow, low-space and unrealiable as floppy ? Bootable CD's replaced diskettes long time ago, and so does cheap home networking. I haven't used floppy for past 3 years.

Internet connection: Cable or DSL broadband if you're lucky; 56-kbps modem if not
Operating system: Some version of Windows (you expected Linux, perhaps?)

Pretty apocalyptic vision.

Furture tech I want! (2, Interesting)

Gilmoure (18428) | more than 12 years ago | (#2751630)

Wearable computers. The article mentioned flexi-displays. Just didn't put it together with the GHz handheld.

Solid State storage. I'm tired of these Victorian style moving platters and arms. Almost steam punkish. Check out the USB based Piccolo storage keys w/o drivers. They're up to 128MB. Prices should be dropping for GB size stuff, I hope.

Real Firewire hard drives, not these IDE drives with adapter cards on them. Again, it's a serial style cable connection that will feed the beast faster and help neated up the case internals. Serial ATA would do the trick too. Now if only we could connect these cables up to the solid state storage.

Re:Furture tech I want! (1)

ZaneMcAuley (266747) | more than 12 years ago | (#2751637)

Not only weable computers, what about immsersive experiences, ie., iWare and gesture controls for gaming/simulations etc.

Magnetic Core Memory? (4, Insightful)

ZigMonty (524212) | more than 12 years ago | (#2751638)

Data magnet: Magnetic RAM

What is it? Fast memory that retains data even after you've turned the power off.

What's cool? MRAM uses magnetic charges instead of electricity to store bits; when you turn off your machine, your data remains in memory.

This sounds a hell of a lot like magnetic core memory. It's funny that they portray magnetic RAM as something new. Yes, I know the new implementation of this will be very different (sub micron scale etc) but the idea was popular decades ago. Does anyone have a good comparison of the old way and the planned new way?

DRM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2751647)

I think the BIGGEST factor in the next three years will be the unfolding battle between users, Microsoft, and content publishers (music, eBooks, videos, etc.) for control of your PC hardware.

By 2004 we should start to have a clear idea of whether our own hardware still belongs to us, or whether the music industry and Hollywood convince Congress to put DRM-enforcing, watermark-detecting chips into every consumer device.

In 2004 will we still be able to buy general-purpose PC's? Will we be able to buy blank analog media? Will we be able to buy CD-R's that are capable of storing arbitrary binary files on them? When we turn on our PC microphone in a room with a radio playing, will it detect the watermark in the music and turn the microphone off again? Will we be risking serious jail time for even mentioning the possibility of evasion techniques in a forum like this?

Publishers envision (a world in which it is impossible to purchase or own software, books, music, or videos, only to rent them for short periods of time). If DRM even BEGINS to implement these changes, IMHO it will make FAR more difference to our lives than cheap 400 gig disk drives.

Cheap ADSL (2, Insightful)

JohnHegarty (453016) | more than 12 years ago | (#2751649)

I think the only thing that will shape the (home) computer world for the next few years is weather and when cheap broadband is available for the masses.

Increasing airflow? (2, Funny)

FleshWound (320838) | more than 12 years ago | (#2751651)

Under the section about Serial ATA, I found this little gem:
It also uses longer, thinner cables that won't block airflow inside the system case, which lets systems run cooler and allows PC makers to build more-compact desktops and notebooks.
So, the cables will INCREASE airflow by taking up less space, but, because of these new, smaller cables, the PC manufacturers are going to DECREASE the amount of space inside the chassis in which the air can actually flow? *boggle*
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