About Me

I ramble about a number of things - but travel experiences, movies and music feature prominently. See my label cloud for a better idea. All comnments and opinions on this blog are my own, and do not in any way reflect the opinions/position of my employer (past/current/future).

30 December 2011

The Personalisation of Computing

The Computer History Museum has a special feature on Steve Jobs, and one of the artifacts is a film clip from the early 1980s, where Steve Jobs talking about Apple. The Apple-II had been released, and this was before the modern PC era of Intel and Microsoft; so the insights are particularly interesting given what would come to be in the following 30 years.

The two highlights of his rather short talk (10 minutes with another 10 minutes of questions) was his observations on how the next generation will really be able to leverage the tool that is a personal computer; and why the personal computer was more powerful than the mini-computer or mainframes of the day. With the move to cloud computing, there is now a reversal of the personal computer in many respects - we are now going back to using shared resources and shared systems; although it is now far more accessible than the comparable systems of the day.

The video is here, and the full Steve Jobs special is here.

29 December 2011

Movie: The One Percent

Jamie Johnson, one of the descendants of the founders of multinational Johnson & Johnson, made an interesting documentary a few years ago on the growing wealth gap in America - particularly between the richest 1 percent and the rest. With the emergence of Occupy Wall Street and after the recession; the movie becomes quite interesting viewing.

The movie also resonant with South Africa - years earlier, Jamie's father, Jim, made a movie on the wide income disparity in Apartheid South Africa - something that has yet to be addressed after nearly 18 years of political freedom. The trappings of wealth in the US shown is eerily similar - rich estates with high security, broad open spaces, almost next to run down inner city slums; the huge political clout of the rich and the almost hopelessness of an escape for some.

There are some interesting interviews; especially with Nobel laureate Milton Friedman; but I am not really sure of what he was trying to achieve? To show that there are some rich people who care? Or to show that there are rich people who don't believe that there is a problem with a wealth gap? The most interesting criticisms, such as the effect on politics are not explored enough - while scenes such as that of Hurricane Katrina, while powerful does not seem to have any real point.

While interesting, it comes across as a half baked thesis - it could have been so much more.

You can watch the full movie on YouTube.