Monday, March 29, 2004

The machine stops

I am in a comfy chair in a Starbucks in Oxford Street in London. My laptop is plugged into a power outlet that Starbucks have conveniently provided near many of the tables and chairs. Although Starbucks have ridiculous overpriced wireless internet access, there is internet access from some other source nearby allowing me to connect for free, so this doesn't appear to be an obstacle. I have a nice cup of coffee, my laptop has my entire music collection on its hard disk, it has an inbuilt DVD player and a high resolution wide screen allowing me to watch movies if I want to. I have a mobile phone in my pocket.

I have tremendous entertainment options, I am fully connected to the global communications network. I have just been chatting in real time with a friend in Australia. I do have an expensive piece of hardware on my lap, but (apart from the cost of the odd cup of coffee) the total ongoing charge for this connectedness is zero. At least it is until I start using my telephone. Before too long, our telephones will no doubt be automatically patched into the internet data service on such occasions to save money, but we are not quite there yet.

However, the technology is simply mindblowing. Compared to the unconnected world we had when I was fifteen, it simply blows the mind.

I suspect the next step is for me to remain plugged into the global communications network when I get up and walk down the street. In practice, I think that what needs to happen is for my laptop to then reverse the situation from when I am stationary. The laptop needs to patch into the telephone, and get its connectivity via cellular networks. Of course, this is going to cost in a way that statying stationary isn't going to cost. That said, flat charges of at most tens of dollars a month for this are not far off. And as for entertainment, the full music collection when working down the street option is with us already. I just need an iPod. And I am not quite sure that I want to watch movies as I walk down the street. Still, there are probably semi-transparent video shades coming.

No comments:

Blog Archive