Headline, February20, 2014



WE GO !!? '''

Writer Terry Pratchett   -for sure impressed me. But let me warn you that he is not an easy novelist to understand:

Pratchett is all about   "Live and Let Live"  and the freedom of the individual is a central theme in almost all of his novels. Especially when that freedom is earned through struggle.

Rather than handed out wholesale or taken as given. And Pratchett dallied for a long, long time with the idea of  ''technology''  as a   ! quasi-mystical !   force. With which I agree to large degree:

Hence the humble honour of this Post: 

THE EARLIEST COMPUTERS could be characterized as  purely and simply  ''calculating machines''  built, around and just to solve specific problems   -for example cracking encryption codes.

The initial wave of innovation focused on just one thing : making these early computers programmable.

Naturally, this led to the advent of machine level programming languages, virtual memory, batch processing, multiprogramming, and a host of other technologies for mainframe computers.

With improved  ''storage systems''  numerous business applications emerged. Understandably, the impact on the   'educational system'  was the emphasis on developing a solid foundation of understanding :

Machine architecture, programming and operating system techniques to support  run time programming.  

The  "cost of capital"  is a powerful force that shapes and reshapes industries on almost daily basis. So, entire new markets were created to move mainframe capabilities  to the masses:

Minicomputers, Unix and the x86 server. The point is that IT industry's structure parallels both the functional components of  computer systems  and areas of application  that these systems  enable. Never forget that!

From a technology point of view,  the innovation was in creating modules  and configurations that reduced the  product's cost. But,  but viewed a little more cynically,  each of these segments was in fact just reinventing the same basic technology components:

From the mainframe era   -new processors,  OSs,  and programming languages  that were basically  equivalent in function to those of prior generations. 

The period just after the mainframes may have been the first golden era for computer scientists,  with strong foundations in computer architecture, OSs and programming languages. However,

The IT market also experienced significant consolidation and standardization at this point. The options at the bottom of the computer stack  -processors and OSs   -were dwindling, stimulating debate about how deeply to study those areas:

The middleware segment was another major area driven by programmer productivity. It was discovered early on that an application program written directly to the  OS  interfaces was often complex......

And distributed teams of  programmers ended up writing common services over and over again.

Consequently, programs were not very portable to other OSs. This lead to the creation of   runtime and database  systems built around  open standards:

Websphere, BEA, DB2, Oracle and ultimately to the  "'Java programming Language'''.

These systems dramatically improved application programmers' productivity and insulated them from the OS and underlying Hardware System. This was especially critical during the  ''Unix wars,''  when it was not clear which architecture would ultimately survive.

It also gave vendors a choice of platforms between which they could fairly easy port their applications.

In this era, the best computer scientists not only mastered the foundational concepts but also had knowledge of a growing number of standards and vendor tools.

The honour and the Post continues :

With respectful dedication to the Students of the world. See Ya all on !WOW! -the World Students Society Computers-Internet-Wireless:

''' Confidence To Build '''

Good Night & God Bless!

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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