Wednesday, June 27, 2007
“I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.”
He told me that, in his opinion, all the calculations that would ever be needed in this country could be done on the three digital computers which were then being built—one in Cambridge, one in Teddington, and one in Manchester. No one else, he said, would ever need machines of their own, or would be able to afford to buy them.
Douglas Hartree and not Thomas Watson, Sr. as popularly thought.
And according to Scott Hanselman, we might be headed for that future. Only the five computers of Scott's future are not single computers, but five “hives” of computers providing us with most of our services, with Google, Amazon, Microsoft and Sun (with the fifth “hive” being personal computers running shared computing programs like Folding@home).
And while it seems such an outcome is destined to happen, I personally find it a bit scary, although I can't exactly articulate why I find this scary (other than not having control over my own data or computer) and hopefully, we won't end up with The Big Five.