Jay Cross
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Miracles abound
Wednesday, August 25, 2004
My new ThinkPad should arrive tomorrow; I'm like a kid in a candy store. I've lost track of how many computers I've owned -- an early Apple ][, a original disk-less IBM-PC, several more IBM PCs (often with exotic storage media), a Toshiba 1000, a Gateway Handbook, a Dell portable, a Compaq luggable, three or four Gateway desktops, two SONY Vaio laptops, a SONY Vaio desktop, and two ThinkPads. Still, getting a new machine is as exciting as hopping into a new car. The way prices are going, I should probably drive my Honda Accord for the rest of my life but buy a couple of computers a year to keep my batteries charged.

A couple of times today I stopped to reflect on what was going on around me and was simply amazed. I was tweaking a few things on a website. A dozen times in rapid succession, I made a change, then checked the web to see how it looked. Imagine. In less time than it took some of the old machines to read a file, I can go back and forth with a server on the other side of the company.

More astounding still, I can click a button in an email and track the location of my new PC. I know exactly when it passed customs in Shanghai, when it was rerouted to Anchorage, when it arrived there, and when it's due to depart for California. One long number retrieves this real-time history.


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