Dwight Watt - Newspaper Article #349 9/7/2016

Question: What are my worse computer predictions?


I get asked occasionally by people what the future of computers and technology and is and I have some ideas but truth is that it is going to be bigger and different in 5-10 years than anything we can guess at.

The other question is what are the worse predictions you have ever made about computers. There are two that stand out in my mind.

First is when hard drives originally appeared in the early 1980s for personal computers (the first one I used was a 5megabyte hard drive on a Apple III) is that I commented a number of times as these new 5 and 10 megabyte (yes megabyte in one or two digit size) appeared was what would anyone ever do to fill one up. Now to be realistic to today we were living in a command line and text information world (no graphics or video) and that does not take up much space. I think back on it and laugh each time as I take a picture and realize a single picture would not fit on a drive then. Those drives also cost $500 to 1000.

The second bad prediction was in about 1994 or 1995 as the Internet and World Wide Web was appearing and spreading. I was in the movement and started writing web pages at this point. My prediction was that towns of 10,000 people or so (size of LaFayette or Swainsboro) would probably have somewhere around 100 people would Internet connections at home. I thought it would just be the geeky of the geek and a few educators and a couple high income. It was still expensive to connect and we were connecting on 300 bps modems (high speed dialup was still to appear a couple years later at 56 thousand bps) and now we are in the billions bps. As we got faster and hard drives grew (see prediction 1) web pages became more usable and connection costs came down and now if we went in those towns I suspect it is the opposite of my prediction, probably 100 people donít have Internet at most.

Next week I will look at my best two predictions.