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On August 12, 1981, IBM released the IBM Personal Computer. It was a transformative event; the one that in time would far exceed even the most optimistic projections of its future potential. It changed forever how the computer would be viewed, making it truly "Personal".

Much has changed since that day; many of these changes are immediately visible. The computer's user interface has transformed beyond all recognition, from the blocky text of the DOS command prompt to rich windowed interfaces driven by a mouse or touchpad. PCs are faster, smaller, and cheaper than ever before and are capable of doing things that were beyond the imagination of all but the most far reaching science-fiction authors. Other changes are more subtle; the PC is now both ubiquitous and ever-connected. Its transformation in size and appearance has seen it acquire new names to better describe its new form. Becoming the Portable PC first and later the laptop and netbook, and most recently the tablet and smartphone; hiding its nature in ever smaller packages with new interfaces designed to be controlled by gestures and voice. As a result, some would even have it that we are entering a post-PC era.

It is perhaps too soon to say that we have left the PC behind. For all these changes, one thing remains unaltered—today's personal computing experience is still centered on the device. Applications are for the most part installed locally and the decision to walk from device to device or carry one from place to place is based more on the device's size than the user's need for mobility. Either way, the only method to ensure that it is possible to provide service is to rigorously enforce standardization, making sure every PC has all the applications preinstalled on the off chance that someone will need them. This model has worked, after a fashion, almost unchanged for the last 31 years, but of late it is starting to show its age. Now, we need to consider a world shaped by new, deeply destabilizing forces.
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Social Solidarity and the Gift
Social Solidarity and the Gift
This book is the result of more than ten years of research and teaching about the themes of the gift and solidarity. It all started in 1992 when, in conversations with anthropologist Willy Jansen, I was put on the track of the gift literature. This was followed by an invitation from the Dutch newspaper Trouw on the occasion of its fiftieth...
PC Magazine Home Networking Solutions
PC Magazine Home Networking Solutions
Let your network entertain you

At PC Magazine, we've been talking about "media convergence" for years. Network-based home entertainment devices like TiVo and Microsoft's Media Center PC . . . make a home LAN more useful than ever. Chapters 2 and 12 show you how they work.

Ready to set up a network that maximizes your...

Constraint Processing (The Morgan Kaufmann Series in Artificial Intelligence)
Constraint Processing (The Morgan Kaufmann Series in Artificial Intelligence)

A constraint is a restriction on a space of possibilities; it is a piece of knowledge that narrows the scope of this space. Because constraints arise naturally in most areas of human endeavor, they are the most general means for formulating regularities that govern our computational, physical, biological, and social worlds. Some...


Closure: The Definitive Guide
Closure: The Definitive Guide

If you're ready to use Closure to build rich web applications with JavaScript, this hands-on guide has precisely what you need to learn this suite of tools in depth. Closure makes it easy for experienced JavaScript developers to write and maintain large and complex codebases -- as Google has demonstrated by using Closure with...

Attract Visitors to Your Site: The Mini Missing Manual
Attract Visitors to Your Site: The Mini Missing Manual

A critical part of website success is attracting visitors. This Mini Missing Manual gives you the knowledge and tools you need to do that. It shows you how to build a community around your site and how to use the power of keywords and Web search engines to rise up in the rankings of search results.

Once you do that, you’ll...

Secrets from the Innovation Room: How to Create High-Voltage Ideas That Make Money, Win Business, and Outwit the Competition
Secrets from the Innovation Room: How to Create High-Voltage Ideas That Make Money, Win Business, and Outwit the Competition

Whether you believe it or not, you are naturally creative; the secret lies in knowing how to tap into your inner creativity. Secrets from the Innovation Room takes the mystery out of the creative process, describing a new way of thinking you can use to produce fresh, practical, money-making ideas guaranteed to revolutionize your...

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