By Mohammed Murad
Oct 11 - 17, 1999
Living in the circuitry of nature man has created the ultimate
revolutionary tool, the computer. The computer as we call it, has opened the doors to new
inventions and new revolutions. The Internet is one of these revolutions. In this context
it is safe to imply that, the Internet Revolution is the brainchild of the Computer
Revolution. For the past few decades computer has been the portion of life for some
companies, while the portion of death for others. This Century has witnessed thousands of
eye-popping events and computer, is one of them. This little peach of invention has
attracted thousands of writers and theorists. Much has been said and written about it but
still a lot more needs to be said and pondered upon. It is this continuous bewilderment
which has made man so inquisitively interested in it.
A SWIFT REVOLUTION: Starting from the earlier models to the Present day
hi-tech, computer itself has undergone a sparking revolution. At the same time, it has
paved the way for others revolutions to take place. All areas of life have experienced a
boom and all of us have felt the Aftershocks of this wondrous invention. Doctors,
Biologists, Anthropologists, Psychiatrists, Analysts, Researchers, Archeologists etc. all,
consider the use of computer as an integral part of their day to day practices. The moment
we gave birth to computers we proclaimed the birth of Software. From BASIC to JAVA,
Software Languages have also seen a revolution instilled with creativity, determination
and thirst of knowledge and technical development.
Nowadays we have families; of languages, like the C family (C++, Visual
C etc), the Java Family (Java, Java Script, Visual J etc.) then there are others like
PL/SQL, Visual Basic, PERL and so on. You may also find Product Bundling in Software
Packages like the Microsoft Family and the Oracle family. All these, and much, much more
promised in the years to come. These languages have undergone some heavy transformation.
They follow a definite life cycle and the notable aspect in most of these life cycles is,
that, as the life cycle curve passes its maturity point it becomes the starting point of
another. In this way a new Life cycle starts and continuous development is possible. We
have seen microprocessors make a lot of progress since their debut. Multimedia tools and
packages have now made this field into a progressive art form. Video Cams have made it
possible for distant people to visually meet and communicate with their loved ones. Now
you don't need to travel thousands of miles to conduct business meetings and interviews.
Through video conferencing, you can have them right in your office. Just one invention led
the way for millions of others. All of these and many other developments, have left us
with the belief that, there has indeed been a swift revolution.
RISE OF THE GIANTS: Bill Gates started Microsoft when PC's came into
being. He reengineered it after realizing the true potential of Internet. Thus a company
was erected by a computer and revamped by The Internet. The crux of discussion is that,
companies nowadays, have to be on their toes they have to be quick and vigilant in making
decisions of strategic importance because technology is changing rapidly and as a result
new companies focussing on these emerging opportunities, are emerging.
Hardware Giants and Software Houses have taken the world by storm.
Millions of jobs have emanated. Companies who could not keep pace with these developments
have been shutdown. The Internet has been helpful in fuelling this in-streaming of
companies. The Web introduced opportunities like e-commerce, Web Designing, Web
Enhancements, Database Developments, Multimedia Presentations etc. As a result, vigilant
companies stepped forward and availed these opportunities. At the same time those who
could not keep pace retreated and incorporated their defeat. Even a Giant like IBM fell
flat to these pressures. However, a good thing about these companies is their outright
determination, they are determined enough to get back on track, to bounce back and to win.
Nowadays, it is difficult to keep pace with technological advancement.
It seems as if, technological advancement has surpassed human adaptation and development.
Now is the time to think and act in terms of daredevils, those, who are daring, agile,
shrewd, quick and adaptive. They dare to participate and to adapt, they dare to win and
they win it! ! ! !
MAN VS MACHINE: When I was doing my MBA I was told to develop
relationships with human beings when I went for my Post Graduate Diploma in Information
Technology I was made to develop relationships with machines (Computers). What I have told
them is, that, I don't know how to develop relationships with machines but I do know how
to develop relationships with those, who know how to develop relationships with machines.
Man has created Computer for his own benefits. Unfortunately, there are
times when computers have caused more displeasure than satisfaction and relief. At this
moment of truth we may find places where machines have replaced man, it's creator. It is
now an open Competition. Man against Machine. It is an old saying that if you can't beat
them join them. I guess it holds in this arena too. Be a value additive part in this
technologically sophisticated era. Learn something new, Learn something contemporary,
Learn the ins and outs of Computer. Try to form a blend, suitable to your mood, passion
and field of interest. You have a wide range to choose from, hardware engineers, software
developers and front-end operators. All these categories include a world of their own.
There are times when man has to prove his worth. He has to prove that
he can do better than a computer. Young or Old people are trying to keep themselves
abreast with newer technological advancements. They are aware of the fact that until and
unless they make friends with this machine they will face a lot of problems in their
professional lives. For those who consider Computer as their enemy my suggestion would be;
that, in order to defeat your enemy you need to know him inside out. You need to learn
about his strengths and weaknesses, learn about them you'll be in a better position to
compete. Beat your opponent by learning the rules of the game, and that I may add, can
only come when you, yourself know these rules ! !
DREAM A DREAM: The Millenium Bug, Computer's worst enemy, is just round
the corner. On top of this, we are subjected to millions of other computer viruses;
Chernobyl, Mellisa, CIH and God knows what. The Internet is full of it. There are people
who seem to love the idea of floating these viruses. The Y2K problem does not belong to a
particular segment or country it belongs to all of us. Consequences of Y2K can be dreadful
or it may turn out to be an empty threat. Nevertheless, we may find our lives threatened
by these 'bugging threats'.
At times we feel that our lives our becoming too machinistic and in not
so distant future we may find technology, ravishingly entering in all facets of our lives.
People are thinking of putting computers in hospitals, thus minimizing the jobs performed
by Nurses and other Administrative Staff. Dream a hospital where jobs like; taking of
blood samples or patient monitoring is performed with machines instead of the caring and
concerned rounds of Nurses. At the Entrance level one may also find a Kiosk (Database
machine operated by the entrant himself) giving directions and other information in a
manner as friendly as a machine can be. Where did the human touch go? Computers can never
replace the affection and Love of these Nurses. When entering a hospital or any other
place we wish to be granted with a warm-hearted smile and an affectionate tone. A Package
of Softness, Tenderness, Warmth and Compassion which machines can never provide.
The trend of writing emails is catching up. We are facing a change in
preferences and life styles. Even where emails are not a necessity people prefer to write
them. Hand-written letters are being replaced by computer-printed documents and
personalized signatures by their computer scanned images. This computer magic does not
contain the same effect as your personalized documents and signatures do. They give the
recipient, a feeling of falsehood, fabrication and callousness. On the other hand, hand
written documents provide you with a sense of personalized attention, a feeling of caring,
closeness and above all, a feeling of being regarded as an important person.
Nevertheless, e-mails have come to us as a blessing. They are the means
of communicating and contacting at a brisk rate and in the minimal of time. All we need to
do is, to define our limits and boundaries. We must form the right blend by identifying
the areas and extent of Computerization and Automation. When to prefer computers and when
not to will always be a difficult job to handle. Computers and Bugs go hand in hand. There
are moments when I feel that we are all living a bug's life. A life created, built and
lived around the Computer. Just a Bugging thought! ! !
The Computer came as an alien. It brought a list of alien friends with
him. These aliens have adapted our environment. Smoothly, they have become part of our
lives. Depending upon the use, it can be quite useful and quite destructive. The power to
choose lies within you. Choose wisely! For some, Computer is a parasite, for others, just
another friend! ! ! ! !