The future of computing...

By SuperCheetah ยท 66 replies
Mar 7, 2002
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  1. I just got to thinking and I was wondering what you guys thought the future of computers will be like? By that I mean, will all computers be linked through networks, will the Internet 2 ever come out and speed up the Net, things like that.

    Also, some hardware issues, like where future bottlenecks in computing might occur (my guess is the hard drives), and also all our favorite graphics cards and where they'll go in the future as far as performance and design, etc.

    I personally believe that one day soon the TV will be replaced by the computer monitor or vise versa as the two become ever closer. I already watch TV shows on my monitor and movies, etc. and I believe it is only a matter of time before this happens.

    I would love to believe that there will be some upstart operating system that could compete with Windows, like Linux but with easier use like Windows and Mac OS X. If I had my way I would build an operating system just for performance and networking and whatnot to accomodate gamers and the internet, as close to the assembly code as possible as to make everything faster. Just my opinion though.

    I also hope I'm not repeating a previous post by doing this, but I was just curious, so feel free to express your thoughts on where we're going with the Internet and computing in general.
  2. svtcobra

    svtcobra TechSpot Paladin Posts: 761

    Well, if I had to put my 2 cents in it would be that Linux is going to develop into a consumer based OS. Manufacturers are going to start seeing the value in Linux as Microsoft's legal woes continue and the cost of Windows continues to rise. I recently installed Linux on my computer and it was an easier install than Windows. If Game developers start supporting Linux Microsoft will finally have some well deserved competition.
  3. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    HDTV's are basically monitors without the resolution changing capability.
  4. DaveSylvia

    DaveSylvia TS Rookie Posts: 107

    Computer graphics will be at the wall when one cannot tell the difference between what is fake and what is real. The next step may be projecting the graphics in 3D instead of on a 2D monitor. Holodeck, anyone?

    Another interesting thing to note is that the human eye can no longer detect jaggies at a resolution of 4000x4000. I think it'll be a few years before we get to that resolution.
  5. Arris

    Arris TS Evangelist Posts: 4,730   +379

    Well with serial ATA on the horizon and serial ATAII already being promoted (next generations of hard disk technology) I don't think hard disks will become a bottle neck anytime soon. Also with ATA100 being fast enough at the moment and UltraATA133 recently being released the possibility of hard disks becoming computing bottle necks looks slim. There are expensive server HDs available at 10k+ rpm with large caches that won't be considered slow for quite a few years yet (18.1Gb Fujitsu 68Pin SCSI 4.5ms 15000rpm 8MB Cache) .

    As for the internet2 there are over one hundred universities utilising this and testing with this emerging technology, but there is no immediate plan (that I can find on the net) as to when this may replace the existing internet backbone....
    I think the future is in optical computing. As detailed at the Intel Developers Forum, Intel have been looking into this as a way of speeding up processors with less heat generated, this is far off in the future. Another interesting topic brought up at the IDF was MEMS
    There are some interesting developments in computing that may come to fruition. But as with any competitive market, which become Betamax technologies and which become successful VHS are anyones guesses right now ;)
  6. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 5,734   +8

    We are currently using the dotted decimal notation for IP addressing, i.e:


    The problem is, the addresses are running out. So we are gradually moving to dotted hexadecimal notation:

    IP 02E.10A.C1.5C

    (as far as I know this is the notation, but I just mucked about on the scientific calculator and something didn't look right.... :) )

    This requires a new tcp/ip stack.... The IPv6 stack.

    This will allow for a ridiculously greater number of IP addresses, and thusly a MUCH greater number of devices connected to the Internet, or indeed the Internet2 as Arris mentioned.

    We might see, for example, mobile phones with IP addresses (no biggie there), but also TVs, Videos, and even such mundrane items as the microwave oven (downloads better instructions from the manufacturer on how to exactly cook something) having their own IP.

    Its always thought that ultimately, processing power will reach a cul-de-sac where its usefulness will diminish, and that the same is true for storage space. I would disagree with that. Firstly, remember Bill Gates and his "640K of memory should be enough for anybody" prediction (actually, this is generally held to be an urdan myth, but never mind.) The point is that a MB was once thought to be an enormous about of data, and so was a GB, and a TB. Already its possible to build a home computer with a TB of storage space. What you gonna use all that space for????

    Well, back in my days of first installing Quake II, onto my lovely shiny new 3 GB HDD, that game robbed me of LOTS of precious space. Nowadays, its nothing for a game to be 650 MB or something..... But back then it was a robbery. I imagine that software will continue to grow in size, as not just computer games but Operating systems and applications grow in functionality and features. Imagine a computer game that LOOKS REAL, NEVER plays the same way twice, and encorporates proper articial intelligence based on neural net technology.

    Which reminds me.... Many of my good friends are doing PhD studies in neural nets. Crudely speaking, this is an attempt to design a processor, or a computer, that computes in a way that's based on the operation of the human brain....

    ....Imagine a computer that learns HOW you like to operate it, without you having to really tell it??? Imagine a computer that thinks of finding new ways of helping YOU, and only YOU to do what YOU want to get done. I mean, REALLY thinks about it, just for YOU. It becomes more like an extension of your own mind, and starts thinking a little like the way you do.

    Work involing quantum computing, the holy grail of modern computing research, where computations are processed not on the electronic, but on the quantum level, are also underway. We might create a computer more powerful than current large CRAYs, that is just the size of a pin head. Remember that even simple CPUs of today used to be so big that they filled whole rooms....

    This might sound like sci-fi, but the sci-fi of yesterday is often the practical reality of today.

    I also imagine that the future, in the way that it always does, will be far stranger than any of us imagine. An invisible computer casing, perhaps? Or one that has no mass??? Or one that's powered by anti-matter / matter reactions like the warp drive of the starship Enterprise....
  7. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 5,734   +8

    Oh, and I heard a little bird tell me that a girl in the US was working on a laptop that cost $15 to produce....

    How this was possible (when we are talking about building feature generations of CPU in space under anti-gravity conditions) I do not know....

    Maybe it was made out of paper, or something. Or used clockwork....
  8. Arris

    Arris TS Evangelist Posts: 4,730   +379

    Although neural networks with the ability to learn would be marvellous, I really think that optical and maybe even quantum computing will be ready for general real world use before this.

    NASA scientists work to improve optical computing technology

  9. Ai Hate

    Ai Hate TS Rookie Posts: 302

  10. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 5,734   +8

    I read something recently, and I don't remember where, but it was this:

    You've got your laptop. Its all set up for your company's LAN with tcp/ip settings, printers, mapped drives, etc. Oops, now you have to go to another site and plug it into the network there.....

    Problem? Everything has to be configured again.... Time to call that bad tempered Techie (probably me) to sort it out.... But, of course, he' s on his lunch break, and you need the data NOW and right NOW!

    The solution? A intelligent LAN Manager created by Intel. Just plug it in and watch it reconfigure itself, just like the way you plug a USB device in and it instantly starts working.
  11. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 5,734   +8

    I asked Professor Colin Fyfe, a PhD supervisor in The University of Paisley in Scotland, who leads a team who research Artificial Neural Networks (i.e. only exist in software) to speak about how he sees the neural network as influencing the personal computer in time to come:

    I would like to take this opportunity to thank Colin for taking the time to talk to you mere mortals.

    Colin's website is here:

    Its interesting to read some of the papers if you think you have a chance in hell of understanding them. If you do, then I don't think Colin would mind if you e-mailed him to discuss his work.

    There are also some cute pictures of his grandson on the site.
  12. SuperCheetah

    SuperCheetah TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 709

    Thanks for the responses guys! I've already learned stuff I hadn't know before. Keep those posts coming and lets inform the less computer inclinded (including myself :) ) about where computers are headed!!!
  13. Arris

    Arris TS Evangelist Posts: 4,730   +379

  14. eddy05

    eddy05 TS Rookie Posts: 152


    Firstly, speeds and bandwidth will begin to increase... eg. 1.8ghz... 2.2ghz... 3.3ghz... ATA66... ATA133.. ATA333... DDR266... DDR333... DDR533. Things will become more complexed. Soon your peripherals will also not be subjected to Serial/Parellel/PCI/AGP/USB but other weird input. Next time Gb or even TB will become useless due to the amount of mp3's we downloaded. 56k MAY not advance, but Cable/ADSL would, and you'll get them at unbelievably cheap prices. People wil become more complexed. A child at 5 MAY even know how to connect and use the internet. And soon, they may invent a chip to be placed in your head and use it to pay for your day-to-day expenses.
  15. Mac_Bug

    Mac_Bug TS Rookie Posts: 57

    I will join Homer Simpson as one of the first to be stamped Intel Inside and run on Microsoft Brain 2.0 (I said 2, not 1, k?)
  16. Ai Hate

    Ai Hate TS Rookie Posts: 302

    i'm really interested whather we could really achieve those 3D projectors (or even more, the 3D computer in FF) in scifi movies and the Jetsons.
    all i can think of now is that a projected light needs to have a screen of some kind, or else we won't be able to see it. so what'll we use for the screen for this 3D projectors...
    some kind of dust? water? it just doesn't seem possible...
  17. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 5,734   +8

    The Shape of things to come...

    I think that one of the main problems is that we keep increasing bandwidth, but what we really need to SERIOUSLY start looking into is improving latency.

    My 5 year old sister already can, after a fashion.
  18. eddy05

    eddy05 TS Rookie Posts: 152

    there comes to say, that ever since technology increase, people became more complexed. One of my friends never used internet at her home before, on after i gave her a 56k a/c, and she awed at the ability to use the net. On the other hand, another 7 year old boy completes the game Tomb Raider. This goes to show that youngsters are more complexed...

    speaking of the topic, u all dun mind having the "chip" installed into ur head?
  19. Ai Hate

    Ai Hate TS Rookie Posts: 302

    i do.
    i have a thing against the thought of "improving the mankind species".
  20. MrGaribaldi

    MrGaribaldi TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,512

    partially Agreed... if someone wants to change him/her self, then go on... just don't expect me to do it...

    And I have this little thingy against letting people know where I am and what I'm doing every second of my life...

    Long live privacy... (not to be confused with piracy ;):D)
  21. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 5,734   +8

    You will be assimilated! Resistence is futile!

  22. Ai Hate

    Ai Hate TS Rookie Posts: 302

    another thing i hope to see soon in PCs... NO BOOT!!!!!!!!!
  23. eddy05

    eddy05 TS Rookie Posts: 152


    No boot? No boot means no start.
    You will not be able to start ur computer, therefore , u cannot use :D
  24. Federelli

    Federelli TS Rookie Posts: 361

    Terabytes is the future of computing, once we see all expressed in terabytes, we'll be in the futures :):) even ram and video cards...
    and maybe refresh rates of 1 terahertz and millions of terapixels, and dot pitches of only 0.1 or even negative... and more sci-fi stuff
  25. MrGaribaldi

    MrGaribaldi TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,512

    Well, as long as we have Picard and Data I guess we'll be allright :D

    As for the terra... I guess you're right... But then again, quite a few are living in the future right now... I don't have the cash to run a machine with a terrabyte of harddrive space, but quite a few does...

    But I think it's too bad we're moving into that amount of space... Programs today are bloated enough... If only we'd get some more programmers from the "old school"...
    (A progam doesn't have to use over 500Mb...)


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