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Big switch’s “Where did the computer go?” where?

January 07, 2008


Excerpts: The Big Switch

The following is an excerpt from “Burden’s Wheel,” the first chapter of The Big Switch: Rewiring the World, from Edison to Google, which is being published today by W. W. Norton & Company.

At a conference in Paris during the summer of 2004, Apple introduced an updated version of its popular iMac computer. Since its debut in 1998, the iMac had always been distinguished by its unusual design, but the new model was particularly striking. It appeared to be nothing more than a flat-panel television, a rectangular screen encased in a thin block of white plastic and mounted on an aluminum pedestal. All the components of the computer itself – the chips, the drives, the cables, the connectors – were hidden behind the screen. The advertising tagline wittily anticipated the response of prospective buyers: “Where did the computer go?” Read the rest of the article at

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One Response

  1. eksith says:

    Following this trend, I’d say in the future, we would stop referring to our computers and devices as being “used”. And the Cloud will be source and destination of all our information.

    Someone would say “I’m going shopping” when really they’re just using a mobile device to browse for goods. Or say “I’m meeting my grandparents” when really it’s a multi-video conference (some of this technology is already here).

    We may be surrounded by a myriad of devices, all networked together, that improve our quality of life collectively.

    As the third of Arthur C. Clarke’s three laws state :
    “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”

    We’re now approaching a time when it’s conceivable that the word “computer” will be synonymous with “genie”.

    ultimoadios says:
    Are you really out of your heads you techies! What are you talking about? “now computer synonymous with genie?” If you don’t experience the same feeling while using the computer then you have a long way to experience. But once again, it will take no time when you realize how easy and convenience it is to communicate, learn, inspired, and share in the virtual world where everything is possible. We used to pay .25 per minute to call our relatives in the Philippines. What about now? It is not just free but we also see each other through our web cams. How cool is that?

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