Tuesday, March 28, 2006

4 years of Computer Science

4 years is a long time, especially when you are only 21. And when you spend those four years trying to get a bachelor's degree in Computer Science, you've got to make something of all that time. Anyway, this posting is not about me :)
Sometime back I got thinking, I've been sitting around on my ass the last 4 years while the world of Computers has been going ahead at full gallop. Having entered CS after the dot-com boom in a period where the whole industry was entering a fresh period of stability, expansion, outsourcing and innovation; I decided I'd make an effort to list out what I consider are the big things that have happened to the field. So here goes (in no particular order).
[This is a work in progress]
  1. The Google expansion/invasion/phenomenon. google maps, mail, desktop, earth, picasa, scholar, suggest, reader, gtalk, news, personalised home, video, groups, directory. (half of these are google acquiring other companies)
  2. Flickr and the new paradigm for photo albums.(also Zooomr)
  3. Apple's ipod and the more recent revolution in ipod related products.
  4. Firefox and the rebirth of the browser war, triggerin the recent release of IE7.
  5. RSS/Atom feeds, podcasts, screencasts, newsfeeds, blogging.
  6. Wikipediathe revolution in collaborative, open, free editing and publishing.
  7. The veritable explosion of GNU/Linux distros bordering on the insane. Ports to PPC/Mac, Live CD's, Ubuntu, redhat's fedora makeover.
  8. The 'survival' of Windows against the onslaught of gnu/linux. Doomsday predictions for ms windows not coming true :P inspite of Windows XP turning 5 years old. Longhorn (vista beta) is out for a long time, waking up the taste buds but vista is delayed meaninglessly on security concerns and stuff until 2007.
  9. IPv6
  10. AJAX, triggering the mighty awesome happening that is Web 2.0 .Web based services have reached a whole new magnitude and ajax leads the lot in the creation of web-enabled products.
  11. The processor wars, Intel v/s AMD. 64 bit computing on the desktop, x64 kicking itanium in the ass, dual-core.
  12. The GPU wars, ATI v/s Nvidia. Massive logic on the graphics card that eclipses the fastest cpu chips. SLI technology, SIMD to use gpu as coprocessor.
  13. digg.com, last.fm, del.icio.us and scores other highly successful community sites dishing out services we never imagined possible.
  14. The continuin war against software patents (in europe). Meanwhile, DRM is up and about.
  15. Voip makes it out of skype and into gtalk, yahoo, msn and everybody. SIP is here.
  16. IBM who made the first PC, sell their entire pc business, lock stock and barrel to lenovo.
  17. Solaris goes open source. Sun gets into the free software bandwagon too late for their own good. Open Solaris is now out there.
  18. wi-fi and bluetooth come into their own.
  19. Mobile phones go HUGE in India. Mobile phones start having graphics cards and processors of the kind computers of a few years ago.

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