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April 24, 2015

Changing Topics of Tech

Filed under: Main — admin @ 12:01 am

It’s time again to update some of my perennial titles. These updates are necessary due to the ever-changing landscape in the computer world. Over the years, I pull out various topics and add new ones.

Obviously all references to DOS are gone from my books. That’s an easy one.

The next items pulled had to do with floppy disks. Seriously: The topic of how to deal with a floppy disk was a full chapter in my earlier books; how to buy, which ones to use, how to format. It was a lot of information that’s wholly irrelevant today.

Dial-up modems are pretty much a dead topic. Last time I checked the stats, fewer than 5 percent of users accessed the Internet via dial-up. I’ve not seen a laptop computer with a built-in dial-up modem in a long time. In fact, I couldn’t write about the topic because I don’t have a dial-up modem (let alone a serial port or active landline) on which to test it.

Two years ago, I wrote a blog post about the obsolescence of the optical disc. Face it, that storage media hasn’t kept pace with flash drives as far as cost over capacity is concerned, not to mention convenience.

What’s next on the list?

Email.

While email provides a vital service, and plenty of people use it, I don’t see it lasting much longer.

Email’s real strength comes from attachments. Today that’s no longer an issue thanks to cloud storage. For example, I just sent a friend a photo via text message. The photo was stored on my Dropbox account, so I just texted him the link.

Another issue is that most people have multiple email accounts. I have about six, all of which are channeled into a single inbox. I have only one text messaging account, my phone number. That’s pretty much a guarantee that the message arrives directly to me. In fact, checking the phone’s messages is something I do right when the message comes in. Email? That lingers until I set aside time to answer it.

I’ll continue to write about email in the next go-round of my books just as I have in previous editions. The difference this time is that Email is being flagged for potential removal. Just as the chapter on floppy disks became the chapter on optical discs and is now the chapter on removable media, the email chapter will evolve into the text communications chapter. Things change.

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