All my sci-fi and futurism books that I had when I was young suggested that one day we might go to the shops and pick up "a six-pack of computers" along with the milk. That never made any sense to me - computers are big, bulky things, and they are all unique in some way - so I was a bit sceptical about the claim. How can you replace a computer when the loss of one in our house would have meant a lot of data going missing and a lot of pain and hassle reinstalling and reconfiguring the programs you use? I figured I could use at most one computer at a time in my life.
Many (many) years later, I noticed something about our computers. They're small, portable, all-in-one units now, like the iPad and the Google Nexus 7 and 10. Our files are often stored on remote servers and our software comes from online app stores, linked to an account we can use anywhere. You can replace your computer now with a login and a refresh from backup. The shopping list of a carton of milk and six computers is looking much more feasible these days. Is that what those futurists of my childhood had in mind? Maybe not exactly, but I'm sure it's pretty close.
Mokalus of Borg
PS - Of course, right now, a six-pack of computers would set you back at least $1500.
PPS - And that's for the little Nexus 7 tablets from Google.