From: Nick Osborn (Nick.Osborn@swiftech.co.uk)
Date: Wed Jun 26 2002 - 11:33:05 EEST
As has been mentioned a few times before, there is a strong parallel here between the birth of the personal computer (from early beginnings in the Homebrew Computer Club in the US in 1976, Apple, IBM, etc.) and the 2k system one can imagine.
Remember what set Apple apart from the competition was initially the floppy disk drive; the relatively large internal memory of - wait for it - 48kb (which meant it could run longer programs more quickly) and finally the software breakthrough of VisiCalc in 1979.
My guess is that a 2k machine (or similar) is likely to follow a similar development pattern, with early differentiation / advantages based on hardware capability, to be followed by a "software" breakthrough of some sort which clearly demonstrates the usefulness of such a machine to the previously unaware / uninterested.
As Steve Jobs recalls: "When I saw that people that could never possibly design a computer, could never possibly build a hardware kit, could never possibly assemble their own keyboards and monitors, could never even write their own software, using these things, then you knew something very big was going to happen."
[Extract from: "The Dream Machine" Exploring the Computer Age, published by BBC Books - ISBN 0 563 36221 9]
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>>> Elaine Hunt <firstname.lastname@example.org> 25/06/02 20:16:35 >>>
where is the vision? innovation? promotion?
Get rid of the idea that younger generations will not invent things we are
yet to think of..........
I am not pushing the development of a commercial system but the need to get
design, prototyping, and imagination into the class room while RP vendors
are focusing on your pocket book....
Yes Pete Sferro did refire my dream of a 2k system and helped me realize
that a commercial system does not have to exist as long as the attempt to
make such a machine educates students. John Miller, while a RPA board
member, did RP in a Box but his plan did not call for the use of a RP
system. While Pete and John both realized the importance of RP, I, along
with others, am calling for a competition to make prototyping part of the
If you look at the numbers of commercial RP installation at educational
institutions (over 350 worldwide) you will find that they are used for
education less than 15% of the time. That is sad...... and the bottom line
is that if a system is purchased it has to be maintained and therefore
education comes in last behind research and SB work. Of course I'll be
flamed for saying research is not education. It is education but limited to
a select few which again is sad...
As long as students can design a part in CAD I don't care if second graders
use bread, peanut butter and jelly to build a better sandwich....... as
long as the machine does it without hand labor from a CAD file....... I
would think that other grade levels would be more inventive..Martin Koch
demonstrated RP with a glue gun before getting a commercial system so this
event should be a piece of cake for him.
Tim is correct that now is the time to push the technology up through our
educational institutions and make RP fit into the education box.
"In war (or business), attempts thought to be impossible do often for that
very reason become possible and practical, because nobody expects them and
no precautions are taken to guard against them." Benjamin Franklin
Elaine Hunt, Director
Laboratory to Advance Industrial Prototyping
100 Fluor Daniel Building
Clemson, SC 29634
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