Viva the Revolution! I think...
I get the feeling that this whole computer revolution thing has gone a bit too far. Maybe this is the computer nerd in me speaking, but there was a time when computers were... well... a bit special. Not just anyone could use them, and not just anybody had one. But now it really does seem like the industry visionaries are getting their way, and soon there will be a PC in every home, on any flat surface available.
All the signs that computers are becoming an every day part of life are there. There's a URL tagged on the end of most TV commercials. And it's not just the computer companies that are doing it any more - it's car companies, newspapers, phone companies - even vitamin companies!
There are billboards and buses advertising web sites.
But the one thing that proved to me above all others that the computer revolution had taken over was this: an glossy advertisement for Intel processors. On the back of "Family Circle" magazine.
What does this mean? It means that we are now at the stage where - and I can hear computer professionals the world over gasping at the prospect - where ordinary people are buying computers.
When I was a teenager last decade, my friends and I knew all about computers. Back then the Commodore 64 ruled the home computer world, and most parents knew nothing about any of it, except for the startling amount of cash this new found hobby was costing them as their kids gradually filled up their bedrooms with every associated computer gizmo available.
But now with advances in technology, computers have become so much more powerful and friendly to use that the everyday person in the street can just about buy, setup and use a home computer all by themselves, with only a 1800 number as backup.
Okay, so computers are not quite at the stage where they are as simple to use as other household appliances - though some people would find the prospect of mastering a PC and a VCR timer equally daunting. Computers still have hiccups. You don't see your microwave displaying a GPF error when you're re-heating your leftovers. And the television doesn't freeze up so you have to reboot it.
But if you think of the advances home computers have made over the last ten years, it's obvious that it's only a matter of time when anybody will be able to use a computer - without having that 1800 number for help. Yes, even your parents.
Copyrightę 1997-1998 Daniel Bowen