In this clip from “Triumph of the Nerds”, Larry Ellison (President of Oracle) is loosing his mind over the stupidity that is the “Personal Computer”. Larry had a vision for Cloud Computing way back in 1996.
He believed that all PC’s could be replaced with “information appliances” that access information and computing by connecting to giant computers via the internet. He makes a mockery of the way software was being distributed at the time: (Paraphrasing)
We encode these bits of information on a plastic disk, package that into a cardboard box, put it on a truck, and ship it across the world. Then I have to get in my car, drive to the store and buy this box full of paper and plastic, bring it home and read the manual and install it. You must be kidding! This is insane! Put this stuff on the internet, where information just flows, and it will come to you.
We are getting ever so closer to this information appliance that Larry is talking about. Some may say we are already there. The “Cloud” and “Cloud Computing” are new industry buzzwords that encapsulate exactly what Larry was talking about. We use web applications daily. Software as a Service is an incredibly fast growing software delivery model. I believe a young Larry Ellison would have been enthused by the Google Chromebook, which is basically a window to the internet and nothing else.
If Larry predicted the future of computing 17 years ago, I really wonder what he has to say about where computing will be 17 years from now.