In a time where almost everything is a computer and has access to the Internet, how we define a computer from just any other object has become convoluted. Between my iPad, my iPhone, my car, my refrigerator, even my water purifier has computing power, where do we draw the line between everyday items and computers?
The recent increase of computing into everyday objects is part due to the ever-growing wireless networks and also Murphy’s law, which states that computer power and memory will double every 6 months. A great example of this is the Raspberry Pi, a British computer that costs only 22 euros. It consists of a motherboard, 2 USB slots, video out, DC adapter for power, and an Ethernet input. Did I mention its the size of a credit card?
The Raspberry Pi is the result of charitable foundation set up by Raspberry’s CEO, Eben Upton. The goal of the foundation is to give one away to every child as they reach a new school year so that they can do their own programming and learn to control computers, rather than be controlled by them.
This small microchip allows the user to do all of the computing power you’d expect to find in a bulky desktop or heavy laptop. The USB port allows for a keyboard and mouse, the video input is an HDMI input which allows any TV to become the display monitor, and most importantly it can access the Internet via Ethernet.
This machine is extremely valuable to low income families who now can become fully Internet operable at a very low cost. So we’ve covered all the basics: keyboard, mouse, display, and Internet access. But there is no hard-drive to save data on. Who cares?
With the increase of demand for cloud services, more and more companies have started to integrate their own cloud services to try and capitalize the market. Now, a hard-drive is not necessary for a computer and mainly it’s not wanted. Cloud services allow users to have access to their files anytime, anywhere, instead of just locally on their computer.
That being said, for the past year, I have given up all of my hard drives, memory sticks, and jump drives. I operate on my iPad and iPhone and have had no problems with this way of computing. I keep my files on iCloud, I can email and browse the web on both, I use streaming music services such as Pandora and Spotify, and they offer incredible displays. In a few years, this will be the common practice of computing.
More and more companies have switched over to the Software as a Service (SaaS) platform and have adopted streaming services. Businesses understand that in this ubiquitious computing stage, hard drives are a thing of the past.
Kegan Blumenthal is from Houston but currently calls Austin home as he works on his Advertising degree at the University of Texas. Before Famigo, Kegan operated and advertised for a garage sale service company. He’s a proud member of our social media and SEO team. When he’s not reviewing apps you can find him dominating the office ping-pong table