Now and Then

Go back twenty years, let's say 1994.

You've got a new computer, you get your stashes of CDR disks and floppies, and start installing software. One after the other, OS first for some of us, a bit of config, then utilities, some word processor, some painting package. A compiler, an editor. You'll run them all at least once, reboot multiple times, etc.

Now, go back ten years, 2004.

You've got a new laptop. You install OS, create user account, setup language, regional settings. You "plug the internet" in, download software, install, configure and so on. Most of your software still comes from CDs or DVDs maybe, installation, serial numbers, you know the drill.

Today, 2014.

You've got a new tablet. You boot it up, log in to the WiFi. Go to app store, login. Start downloading your already purchased apps, run, log in, Chrome, GMail, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, Flipboard. Every app needs a password, every app needs preferences, notification configuration, etc.

20 years and everything seems to have changed, but NOTHING has changed! Your data source has changed, your software has changed, your installation method has changed. You still have to cherry pick, to execute, to configure. Whether it's the installation directory, a serial number or a social network password, you still have to figure all this out, it still takes 4 hours before your new PC/Laptop/Tablet/Phone becomes operational and you resume full speed.

Here's a dream boys and girls: In 2024, my new wearable armband or "skullcup" should ask me my name and once my identify has been identified (it should already know that it was me that I bought it, it just needs to check some form of identification - blood sample, retina, fingerprint, voice) it should ask me whether I'd like to restore all my usual software service or not. It can take its time, but I expect in a few minutes if not seconds, to have my usual stuff activated and online, ready to resume my operations, control the rest of my "deviceverse" and get on with life. Is that too much to ask?


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