Cringely: ‘Everything is changing and nothing will ever be the same again’

“This is, I believe, my 22nd and possibly last year of looking ahead, so I want to do something different and potentially bigger,” Robert X. Cringely writes for I, Cringely. “Our old format works fine but I’ve been pondering this and I really think we’re at a sea-change in technology.”

“I’ve been thinking about 50 year cycles,” Cringely writes. “Most of the technical progress we have seen since 1968 has been driven by microprocessors, which were largely the work of Intel. And it took 50 years, but we’re now approaching the Internet of Things, where processors will be in everything and everything will be linked or monitored, which is either good or bad depending who you are… And 1968 was the year they turned on the Arpanet (commissioned by Bob Taylor in 1966) and what we now call the Internet was born.”

“Signs of change are all around today. We have an American President who attempts to rule through direct social media communication — the ultimate extension of FDR’s Fireside Chats during the Great Depression — yet he’s also a President who doesn’t use a computer and never has. Somehow that’s fitting, because technology news in 2019 is mainly about mobile phones and video gaming — entertainment technologies. Between games and phones, the personal computer has been made pretty much irrelevant in the news and probably in life as well,” Cringely writes. “These are the sorts of things I am thinking about. I hope to present them in a series of columns this week that look to 2019, sure, but this time choosing trends that I think will have legs beyond the coming year. Everything is changing and nothing — nothing — will ever be the same again. I hope that’s a good thing.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: What’s a computer? An iPhone is a computer. So is an iPad. And an Apple Watch. They just doesn’t require a mouse or physical keyboard. One fits in your pocket and another on your wrist. Just like a Mac was still a computer in 1984, it just didn’t require arcane commands to be typed into it via mechanical keyboards or fed into it via punchcards in order to function.

Anyway, we get Cringely’s gist. Everything is changing very rapidly right now. (If you think today’s ushering in change, just wait until Apple’s AR Glasses appear!)

We plan to cover Cringely’s most interesting predictions in the weeks to come.


  1. I like this article. I think the biggest change at hand is the change from Typing and pointing to TRULY speaking to computers. The ability to talk to them like a coworker – ie to dialogue. There is such immense power in programs like Excel, Word and Visio but most people only know the basic commands and leave the potential untapped. What if you could “describe” what you are trying to do and the computer does it. What is the computer “checks your grammar” and can ask “what are you really trying to say here”? No “commands” no obtuse mouse gestures using hidden menu choices. I think we are on the edge of an amazing break through. Siri and Google Assistant are the beginning, in 10 – 20 years we will laugh that we used keyboards and typing I suspect.

    1. “Excel, Word and Visio ”

      You might want to check to see if other software apps that exist in the real world.

      Like: THOUSANDS!

      My work is in images and HTML5 animations for the web.
      In order to prepare a customer image for the web, which may include addition of other layered images, and creating completely ones.

      Do you seriously think that some kind of audio description of the process used is better than the trained use precision selection and editing tools like a mouse and a keyboard?

      Or to create a timeline animation with 53 separate timelines combining images, type, video and object motion? If put into some kind of script, it would be literally like writing a book verbally.

      Dude, you have watched too many Star Wars videos and must believe they are real.

      “in 10 – 20 years we will laugh that we used keyboards and typing” only if you are in an instit…….never mind it would not be polite to finish the word.

    1. Because pros, business and scientists doing tasks that require large screens and crunching huge amounts of data need them to do their jobs?

      Not everyone wears a hairnet, works at McDonalds and just needs a cheap crappy smart phone to do social media.

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