Thursday, April 28, 2005

"With the monsters in your head..."

"When hopes and dreams are far away and
You feel like you can’t face the day

Let me be the one you call
If you jump I’ll break your fall
Lift you up and fly away with you into the night
If you need to fall apart
I can mend a broken heart
If you need to crash then crash and burn
You’re not alone"

- Lyrics from "Crash and Burn" by Savage Garden

Alternate Title: Is computer science as a field dying? Or is it just the hype?

Current stats about the computer science world seem to be make it look grim or maybe I currently just have a grim out look. It was recently the 40th anniversary of Moore's Law and as a professor pointed out in my class today the industry is currently stuck. Most people feel they have enough computing power to do what they need to do (and they really don't want to pay any more for it either).

You know that the industry is losing its hype when less students are interested in computer science as freshmen. (Yes, this is the same article I pointed out this weekend). Although, companies like Pixar, Weta, and others in the movie industry are creating waves. More and more people are interested in using computers in ways no one has done before. So maybe the industry isn't dead yet. It probably is just taking a nap.

The cell phone market is one of the things that I don't think are going to make it any bigger. Camera phones aren't going anywhere. So maybe they will take video next, but after that? Several companies are working on/have a cell phones that play music (mp3 and the like). Still, I think that market is coming to a close. There will still be improvements in battery life, range, and size - but otherwise I think they have featured themselves out. Practically everyone has a cell phone now and getting people to buy the latest and greatest is just going to become more and more difficult. There are always those who buy the latest technology thing, but they only make up a very small percentage (something like 5%) of the market. It's getting the other 95% to buy it will be the challenge.

After a lot of thinking about it - I think just the hype. We are going through a stage - the calm before the storm.

What do I think will be the future of computer science? Things that come out of places like the one discussed in this article. Oh and of course quantum computers. I believe the future of computers is out there. I had a professor as an undergraduate who told us what the key to making it big in the computer industry. Making the next "have to have" product before people realize what it is. That is how people made money on the Internet business. They had the forsight to see that it was the next big thing.

So all we need to do is either realize what the next big thing is or invent it ourselves. What do you think the next big thing is? Another Internet? Graphics? Transporters? Halo-decks? Some other cool gadget?

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