The DEevolution of the Computer Box

When bundled systems were all the rage, new boxes came with a gaggle of disks (system disks, hardware disks, monitor disks, all disks). Life was good because you could touch all that you need to keep your system up and running, for life. Then that became too much and then came the hidden partition with all that was needed stored there and all you had to do was boot into it and you could reinstall everything without CDs at all. Life was good but there was an inherent flaw in this methodology, hard disk failure. Now comes completely installed systems with just personal tweaking needed to make it your own and life is good, again. Except now there is a single use app that will make your own personal restore set of DVDs after tweaking so you can put everything back in your system when it all goes wrong.

What is hidden in this chronology is that user base knowledge of system operations must incrementally increase with each evolution of the hardware. For the younger subset of our society (<24) this is as transparent as silica glass. Almost the same applies to the middle subset (>24 and <50) except now you need to add attitude to the mix. As we get older we naturally start to add our opinion to the mix which is the spark for change. When we, as a collective, begin to voice a like or dislike for a facet of our lives a change begins, slowly at first, but non the less change comes. So for the majority of us the natural progression of the computer box is acceptable, or maybe even desirable.

This just leaves us with the final subset of our society (>50) the seniors. This is where I make my money, keeping this group computing. NOT AN EASY TASK, I'll tell you. About 65% of seniors really don't have a problem with this evolution, mainly because they are aware of their tenuous position and are trying hard to not stick out. They try to comply with the task required but it does not come naturally like it does for the first subset. Remember these 'baby boomers' saw the beginning of TV, remember party lines on the telephone, and saw the advancement of the automobile into its iconic current position. Change for this set is really really hard, they want the status quo to be, well stagnate. You must allow this group time to absorb inseminated information. But you must allow this final set the opportunity to participate.

The final de-evolution of the computer box is portable devices. Wither your talking tablet or smart phone, you have traded access for ability. This goes to show how our society has changed. To be remotely connected to your friends where ever you (or they) are is most important. The computer has been relegated to the position of appliance and you have been demoted from sysadmin to data entry clerk. User base knowledge of system operations is now a hindrance rather than an aide. O knowing how to use an App is important but not how the hardware works, ignorance is bliss. We have come full circle, from not needing to know anything about the box to not needing to know anything about the appliance, what a deal.

One final thought, communication is always best face to face. We are creatures that look for nuances in facial expressions to 'read between the lines' when someone is talking to us. I think that digital images (even in 1080p) just can't express what I'm really saying when I say, "I quit!", "Get Lost", "Bite Me!!!". Can you think of things you would say that are best done face to face? Sure you can.