More power is what a modern computer user needs

There’s never enough power in my computers.

(To have more fun with this topic, see also we need more power like we need last year’s snow.)

Since my first XT in 1987, my systems always seem too slow, and worse, become slower over time as I add new programs.

New software never performs they way I want it to. And over time, the system speed seems to throttle down ever slower, making a system increasingly unbearable.

That’s why I am looking forward to a new era of quad-core consumer processors and 64-bit computing. This will take the computer era into the future. Multiple “brains” will move more data over faster pathways.

More computing power will mean that a voice interface will be not only possible but usable, too, at long last. As computers move toward massively powerful machines they will recognize you and your emotional state as you use them. They will read body language and they will interact with you as if they were human. When you’re stressed, they won’t bug you with updates. When you’re bored, the machine will present tasks that need doing.

Keyboards will be for writing, not interacting with a system. Mice will be obsolete because you will point with your eyes. Content on screen will be lifelike, rendered by dedicated processors that can generate trillions of pixels per second. Characters in games (and maybe even help files) will be as real as Uma Thurman or Richard Gere are in a Hollywood film. In fact, I can’t wait for my computer to be Uma-ized.

“Hi, Uma”

“Hi, Andy”

“Can you open chapter 11 of my book?”

“Here you go, Andy. I have corrected it and have three edits to recommend. Would you like to review them with me?”

Assistive, smart systems behind Uma will sense my mood and adapt. Maybe even empathize if I am having a bad day.

“Too bad about that online date, Andy. She was a freak anyway. She loved to laugh. Who doesn’t love to laugh? How unimaginative. You’re better off without her.”

“Thanks, Uma, I feel better.”

Uma may not live in a desktop, but in a centralized server or system cluster at home that manages not only my computer work but the household, my telecommunications and certainly my schedule.

And this will all be driven by faster processors, massive RAM and storage and dedicated task-specific machine intelligence.

Now if Microsoft has anything to do with it, Uma may blue-screen now and then. Hopefully, an Uma-capable machine should be able to repair itself and self-administer itself.

Ultimately some people (my dear colleague Chris Ricci included) may feel like that better, faster is being forced by a marketing driven agenda to sell more systems, but I like to think of my computers as more than just a web-access machine. It’s an appliance that will assists my life today and but can barely keep up. And for that “better, faster” is not good enough.

Oh yeah? Read here why we need more power like we need last year’s snow.