Archive of UserLand's first discussion group, started October 5, 1998.

Re: This bubble has already been burst

Author:Ken Dow
Posted:1/7/2000; 8:00:11 AM
Topic:HTML Renderer in the MacOS
Msg #:14182 (In response to 14144)
Prev/Next:14181 / 14183

But that bubble could only be burst once. Think about it. There were a lot of very high IQ, highly educated professional people who had never used a computer. The Apple II/Visicalc combo cracked thru a lot of that (read yesterday's Array for a remembrance), but it took the Mac Plus to burst the rest of that bubble. That was when our non-technical relatives and friends got into using computers.

I disagree, and here's why. I think you're quite right about the nature and timing of the group that burst the bubble (demographics played a role by inflating this group because of the boomers). Let's call that the Personal Computing bubble.

There's an InterPersonal Computing bubble right now. Just talk to anyone who doesn't make a living from the Internet, and most of them will tell you the same thing: The Internet is frustrating to use. It breaks, it's obtuse! URL, 404, POP, Socket Not Connected, MIME, Plug-In...

I've spent time teaching people about the Internet, and helping people learn to build Web pages. I'm talking about entrepreneurs, poets, musicians, restaurant owners, inventors and others. This group, and most of the population is in it, get confused and disappointed and annoyed by their Internet experience nearly every day. They want the Computer-ness of it to disappear so they can get on with the InterPersonal part.

"It seems I'm always one click away from bliss", my friend Susan said. And she's right. This feeling is hard to imagine for those of use who are technically minded, just as it was hard for the early Personal Computers to grasp the Macintosh. It's so limited, it's so...unlike a computer.

When someone can transform the InterPersonal Computing experience the way the Mac did for Personal Computing, there'll be a huge A Ha! and five years later everyone outside of the business will wonder why it was ever any other way. Most attempts so far are trying to integrate or extend the desktop, reflecting a Personal Computing mindset. It won't happen until someone captures the nature of the networked computing experience and recreates it as one cohesive, metaphorical whole.

That's why Manila is so flipping cool (pun intended). Not because of Frontier and not because of the browser, but because Frontier + Browser = Edit This Page. A unique, networked experience.

I'm not saying the latest Apple moves are this transformation, but that I think that's where Jobs is headed. Incremental? Perhaps. But I think the direction is clear and I think it's the right one.

"InterPersonal Computing the rest of us"

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