Headline Aug 23, 2014/ ''' COMPUTING REVOLUTION​S ! '"


PROFESSOR Javed Kamran Bashir,  Aitcheson and Oxford, a great personal friend, stared closely at me. From his side pocket, he extracted his fix: a local tobacco concoction called ''naswar".

He expertly formed a small ball, that he placed in his mouth between his molars and his face's inner skin flap; scribbled an address, and had me amble over to the rooftop of Firdaus Market in Lahore, Pakistan.

I found, Nadir Rashid,  MIT,  [some, some late 70s class],  and at the time, late 70s or early 80s,   -playing tennis ball, cricket. Having just been hit for a six, he had time to enough to give me a look over.

''Computers!?.....great field!  Revolutionary stuff!'' he said. ''But,.......maybe, it is kind of a late for you?!  And, generally speaking, don't mind my asking, but are you good at anything. Anything?''

''Nothing. Nothing at all,'' I answered truthfully. ''I just hate working! Working is external to my life!''

With Student Nadir Rashid's and his cricketing mates laughter ringing in my ears, I made good my escape to report back to Professor JKB on the short tutorial.

THE TECHNOLOGISTS, who makes these damn computers and revolutions,  -just don't seem to understand,  that they are very difficult for non-specialists to use effectively.

The industry doesn't grasp the fundamental lack of sympathy between, conservatively, at least half the population and the software they're using.

"From its very beginnings, the software industry has suffered from having too many engineers,"  says David Gelernter, a professor of computer science at Yale University:

"There are too many people who love computers and too few who are impatient with them."

But what about the late Steve Jobs of Apple, who was just so obsessed with building elegant and easy to use products?  He and Dr Gelernter ought to have been natural allies. One of the many oddities of Dr Gelernter's unusual career, however, is that they ended up as adversaries instead.

More than two decades ago,  Dr Gelernter foresaw how computers would be woven into the fabric of everyday life. In his book  ''Mirror Worlds", published in 1991-

He accurately described: Websites, blogging, virtual reality. streaming video, tablet computers, e-books, search engines and internet telephony. More importantly, he anticipated the consequences:

All this would have on the nature of social interaction, describing online communities that work as Facebook and Twitter do today.

" Mirror Worlds aren't mere information services.They are places you can 'stroll around', meeting and electronically conversing with friends or random passers by. If you'll find something you don't like, post a note; you'll soon discover whether anyone agrees with you,'' he wrote.

''I can't be personal friends with all the people who run my local world any longer, but via Mirror Worlds we can be impersonal friends. There will be freer, easier, more improvisational communications, more like neighbourhood chatting and less like typical mail and phone calls.

Where someone is is or when he is available won't matter. Mirror Worlds will rub your  nose in the big pictures and society may be subtly but deeply different as result.''

If his vision was correct, Dr Gelernter realised, then new systems would be needed   -and whoever built them would have an opportunity to make them more elegant and accessible than existing software.

He had already made a big contribution to the field of network computing with his work on the development of Linda, a parallel programming language that allows programs running on different machines to co-ordinate their actions.

Multiple interconnected computers can then operate as a single, more powerful machine.

In 1991 Dr Gelernter and his coleagues, at Yale demonstrated the value of this approach by linking  14  small   ''workstations''   computers to create a cluster that was as powerful as a supercomputer but cost a fraction of the price.

This was a forerunner of the modern  ''cloud computing''   approach in which firms such as  Google  and  Amazon combine thousands or millions of machines to deliver computing services.

"Clouds on the horizon" : Linking up machines in this way, Dr Gelernter observed at the time, made far more efficient use of computing resources and created a foundation for new applications such as those outlined in  "Mirror World".

In 1993 the New York Times wrote of his vision of  "a world wired together into one giant  computer, though it noted that this scenario was considered:

"A potential nightmare by people who worry about computer privacy". 

The Honour and Serving of this  knowledge continues. Thank you for reading. And don't miss the next one. While I go and track an old colleague:

Salek Malik, Aitcheson and MIT. Time enough, to compose  the next levels onwards for 
!WOW!  -and then return; return to go study the next levels the Captain is setting:

Oh dear!....... Five slips and a gully, one short square leg, a fielder on the leg boundary and the keeper standing right back.

And with the crowd chanting, "Sher Khan"  " The Lion Khan " . the Captain it seems, is just beginning a fiery, short pitch spell and, salvo'

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

''' A Superconductor "'

Good Night and God Bless!

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


Post a Comment

Grace A Comment!