One of the things I love about working in the computer field is Moore's Law. I know that in 10 years time I will have a computer 100 times as fast, and with similarly much more memory. People have been telling me since the '70s that it will stop soon, but they've been wrong for so long, that I feel secure in my belief that I won't see the end of it. Or the similar law for network bandwidth.
What will I do with 64Gbytes of main memory on my laptop? Will I really have a multi Gigabit network connection to my home? When I was designing a programming language for personal computing in the '80s (a language that led to Python by the way), people would laugh at me when I gave a talk to hobbyists and said that the language would never run on machines with less than 128K of memory. All they had were Commodore 64s.
So I love to think about how changes in technology affect how we work with it. Who would have predicted the change that 300 dpi printers brought to how we print and publish?
That's why it is a special delight this issue to have Ben Shneiderman, one of our top researchers in HCI, giving us a preview of his new book, contemplating what our needs are, and how the future use of technology could solve some of our problems. I hope you enjoy it too.
©2002 ACM 1072-5220/02/0900 $5.00
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