Friday, 10 March 2006

Not So Happy Birthday

Well, today is my birthday, although I really can't say it is a happy one for me. I am doing well. I am making more money than I have in years at two jobs I both like (well, most of the time, anyway...). I own my own house and I have food to eat. Okay, I haven't published the Great American Novel yet, but then as a writer at least I can say that I have been published (which is more than many would be writers can say). Still, there is a point at which many men reach in their lives when they want something more than money, jobs they don't hate, and even artistic satisfaction. I reached that point long ago. The problem is that circumstances have seen fit that I might never attain "that something more." And, sadly, that "something more" is more important to me even than being a highly successful writer. There are more important things in life than being the next Stephen King. Or even the next Orson Scott Card.

Anyhow, perhaps because it is my birthday, I haven't much to write about today. What news has caught my attention has been technology related. I suppose that is natural, given how much has changed when I was born. When I was a real little kid, we still had a phone on a party line. Now there are cell phones, portable email devices, so on and so forth. Indeed, like everyone else I have heard about Microsoft's new Ultramobile PC, originally codenamed Origami. It featuresa a 7 inch screen and weighs 2 1/2 pounds. For its operating system it uses a full version of Windows XP and supports hook ups for Bluetooth and Wi-Fi wireless. It has a 60 gig hard drive (that's bigger than my old computer's hard drive...).Microsoft is hoping to have it out by April. It'll run about $600 to $1000. Microsoft's goal is to create a new class of PCs for people who are always on the run. They are also hoping the Ultramobile PC will compete with the IPod.

I must say I find the concept of the Ultramobile PC (gods, I did prefer the name "Origami....") interesting, although I can't say that I would want to buy one. I can't see being so desperate to check my Gmail that I'd take a PC with me on trips...

In other news, Research in Motion Ltd., the company that makes the Blackberry (the little, portable email devices) has bought Ascendent Systems, a company that makes software for connecting cell phones to a PBX (short for Private Branch Exchange--that's a private telephone switch that provides switching for such places as school campuses and corporate offices). Research in Motion Ltd. and Ascendent Systems will combine their software later in the year. This will allow for things like call tranfer, spontaneous teleconferencing, and ringing at the same time at several different locations.

Anyhow, I suppose technology keeps progressing. I rather suspect that at one point an individual's primary PC might cease to be his or her desktop and instead will be a portable device that can serve as both a cell phone and a computer. It is not like today's cell phones can't already surf the net, among other things. What's more, I have to wonder how far off that day really is.

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