I’ve never been good at predicting where computer technology will go. Sure, I’ve wanted a terabyte capacity hard drive since I first heard the term 15 or 20 years ago, but only recently have I had enough data to justify one. But more storage, more memory, more speed, those are obvious things. Doesn’t take a guru to figure it out.
My first Big Mistake with judging technology was with CD-ROM drives. I read all the geek news so I was aware of them, and eventually they started coming with new computers. But when I got my first one I thought “Well, that’s neat, but I doubt I’ll ever have many of them”. Today I have a 16.5 gallon plastic box in the basement, full to the gills with data CDs, containing god-only-know-what. At a guess, there’s well over 500 discs in there. One of these days I’m going to sort through them and get rid of the obsolete and useless ones. No, really I am.
Same deal when USB first came out. It sounded like a nifty idea, but I couldn’t imagine ever having more than a couple of USB devices. I figured sure, a mouse, maybe a printer. Ooof. So wrong. So very, very wrong.
Laser printer, ink jet printer, two USB hard drives, mouse, Palm, iPod, handheld GPS receiver, Wacom pen table, memory card reader, UPS monitor. That’s eleven devices that are hooked up pretty much any time I’m at my desk. Add a couple of thumb drives, and it’s a real mess. And that’s just on my primary computer. Luckily both of my LCD monitors have built-in USB hubs! My notebook and my server each have a couple of devices attached to them, and there’s a couple more rarely-used USB gadgets floating around, as well.
I can hardly wait to see what I’m wrong about next. Let’s see if I can rig the game – I don’t think that small-device hardware makers will ever standardize power adapters so that we no longer need a metric ton of wall warts all over our homes.