Sunday, August 27, 2006

Googling

Google is changing the way I compute. This is no great earth shattering story. People much smarter than me identified Google as a driving force long ago. So why is this of any import what so ever?

I am for the most part a regular guy. My only real claim to fame, such as it is, was writing a 500+ card Tic-Tac-Toe Fortran 4 program in 1970. Oh yeah, we were hot then. Three hours of system time on Friday night to make the Lansing School System IBM System/360 get up and dance. The rest of the week we poured over greenbar print outs of cryptic code. Making corrections using a hand-me-down keypunch machine in the back room of the Eastern High School Physics lab. Oh yeah, we were hot. Took a COBOL sub-routine to access the IBM Selectric keyboard mounted in the washing machine sized module for you to enter your "X" or "O". Smokin'! Worst thing was the program would never ever lose. At the very best you could force it into a draw but it would never ever lose. Not very sophisticated as a game went. But then again, losing was not in the mind of a then 17 year old programmer.

But I digress... Google is becoming my computing platform. This is important how? Well for an average, regular guy like me to begin to have his paradigm shifted is very significant. It means that net-centric computing is coming of age. It means that I am no longer tied to any given PC. It means that I am now willing to commit to the net. And you know how difficult it is for us old guys to make commitments.

So far I have chosen a home page. My Google personalized home page which contains my Gmail, my calendar, weather for favorite locations, and the Google Notebook icon down in my status bar. When I open my Gmail I have access to my Spreadsheets as well. While not directly linked from my home page or Gmail I have taken to doing word processing in Writely.

What is most significant in all this is the absence of the Redmond Software Giant. We are (I am) finally breaking the bonds of PC centric computing (AKA Microsofting).

Oh, one last note before closing... As a die hard Linux fan Googling means that I can have the same great functionality and work in a great OS as well.


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