From Rising Star to Inflexible Workhorse – First Mainframes, then Personal Computers, then ??

Columnists have pointed out how difficult it has become to install and use new personal computers.  A recent example is “Using Even New PCs Is Ruined by a Tangle Of Trial Programs, Ads” (See reference [1] below.) by Walter S. Mossberg in the April 5, 2007 Wall Street Journal.  Earlier columns by various authors have pointed out how much sociological and technical overhead personal computing involves.

All this was not only foreseeable, but foreseen.  See, for example, the section “Personal Computer – Mainframe the Sequel” on pages 281-284 of my book “Information Proficiency: Your Key to the Information Age.” (See references [2] and [3] below.)

The following questions remain …

“What technology or technologies will serve as platform(s) for a next generation of applications, as personal computing loses its flexibility to adapt (in a manner very similar to the ossification of mainframes some time ago)?”

“To what extent will society produce new generations of technology that maintain flexibility indefinitely, or to what extent will the now twice-traversed (by mainframe computing and by person computing) path be taken yet again?”


[2] To read this material, try the following phrases as search strings for Google books.  (I do know to what extent you will be allowed to read each page.)

·         “Hollywood likes a sequel” – for page 281.

·         “needs grew to facilitate printing output” – for page 282.

·         “grew rapidly in size and internal complexity” – for page 283.

·         “Mainframe the Sequel” – for page 284.

[3] To acquire the book, see …



Click for information about Thomas J. Buckholtz or his books.


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