Personal Dynamic Media Nugget

“Some mass items, such as cars and television sets, attempt
to anticipate and provide for a variety of applications in a
fairly inflexible way; those who wish to do something
different will have to put in considerable effort. Other items,
such as paper and clay, offer many dimensions of possibility
and high resolution; these can be used in an unanticipated
way by many, though tools need to be made or obtained to
stir some of the medium’s possibilities while constraining
others.
We would like the Dynabook to have the flexibility and
generality of this second kind of item, combined with tools
which have the power of the first kind. Thus a great deal of
effort has been put into providing both endless possibilities
and easy tool-making through the Smalltalk programming
language.”

After looking at the sources I realized that the article was probably written around 1976. The idea they spoke about was a mass produced device that allowed storage and other services such as note taking and music playing that was portable in size.

Fast forward about thirty years into the future and that device lives.  I mentioned in my last post how an Iphone is essentially a portable service box.  In the form of note taking apps, it can be used better than paper. Using it’s touch screen capabilities, you can even use your finger to trace and draw on some apps. The resolution possible on the camera’s made low end digital cameras almost obsolete, and led to the rise of new camera based social medias.

Where pictures of food, memes, and narcissism collide!

The Iphone is so packed with possibilities that it can be an mp3 player, a cookbook, a keyboard, a flash light, a GPS, and a wireless hotspot. The Dynabook lives, if only in concept. I think to fully live up to the vision imagined in the article, we still have a bit to go, but i thought the similarity was uncanny.

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