01 November, 2005

My top ten of computing

Here we are - in no particular order:

1) Blogging. Has to be one of the ... more... interactive things I've done yet. All I need to do is to get the email portion worked out, and I've sorted it. Comments are good too, except the spam ones, of course.

2) The web. Of course. Without the web, the Internet just wouldn't be the same. Tim Berners-Lee wasn't the only one to have this brilliant idea, however he was in the right place at the right time to implement things. Of course, now companies give you so much on offer that nowadays the Web can seem pretty overwhelming to people new to the whole Internet/Web/online thing.

3) FTP. Where it all started. That, and email. But FTP is way easier to deal with for what it was designed for. Getting files from one place, to your hot little machine.

4) The desktop machine - one that's actually affordable for a lot of people. This has happened mainly because of inevitability, technology, and sheer bloody-mindedness.

5) Email. About as ubiquitous as running water in a city, or even electricity. One of the most hated things about email is the ability to spam millions of customers with just the click of a mouse, or the simple sending of one email. One of the most loved things about email is the speed with which it gets from source to destination. Also one of the oldest reasons to have started the Internet.

6) The telephone service. Without it, we'd still be using tin cans, morse code, or be using radio links. And there would be a LOT less people "online" if it meant that you had to compete for radio bandwidth with 36,000 neighbours.

7) Commercial companies to supply an Internet connection to homes over those same phone lines. Okay, they may charge a bit, but that's the price of technology, right?

8) Operating systems that are free to use in any way you choose. Of my selection, I use Linux, but Free/Open/NetBSD, Darwin, or the HURD are also free, in the sense that you can do whatever you like with them, except to try and restrict anyone else's right to also do the same. This is more prevalent when using the GPL than it is with the BSD license, however, even the BSD license allows anyone to freely modify or "reverse-engineer" any part of the free operating system that they distribute. Just don't try it with any commercial program, regardless of whether or not it's actually running on that same free-of-encumbrances operating system.

9) Human inventiveness. Without it, we wouldn't have things like Tivo, iPod, software, 4.0GHz machines on a desktop, or many other things we now take for granted that were sheer flights of fancy many years ago, if indeed they had been thought of at all.

A) Streaming audio and video. This way you can literally talk to anywhere in the world for only pennies/cents/pence/whatever.

Well, that's my lot for this post. Hope it gets through alive.

Oh, by the way, do comment. I've turned on confirm now, so theoretically, only legit comments will get through now.

No comments: