Thursday, 6 November 2008

6. The Ideal Computer

In an innovative approach, Asus (famous for the EEE PC netbooks) and Intel have set up a website asking people what they would like to see in a PC. An interesting thought for building the future, and while one can discuss dyslexia-friendly software, what adjustments would make a computer dyslexia-friendly? I have already seen comments about built-in pens and interactive screens, controlling music without opening the machine as well as waterproof and shockproof devices. The most innovative I saw was to use the keystroke itself to generate power.

Personally, I would like to see the build in webcam to be usable as a scanner for linking to OCR, plus faster start-ups comparable to Linux (can't the machine be intelligent, know from history what you are most likely to want first, and load that in preference to everything else?). Not to mention the built in ppt projector. And long life batteries. And better security. (I know that it is technically impossible to stop all viruses, but is it so difficult to hardwire a component that the viruses cannot fool which will detect when the machines was last uninfected, and restore to that? Or partition the system so that there are areas which can be infected [e.g. new programs] and factory configured zones that viruses cannot penetrate, including shipped software such as Office? I suspect that until software is rebuilt from scratch as the simple functional software we actually use, then there is little hope. Having said that, this may be one area that the online document people such as Google Docs could play a significant role, since if the document remains "within Google" how could it get infected?)

You may like to submit your ideas, particularly dyslexia-friendly ones, to the discussions at

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