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The Journey To Today’s Digital Life

Posted on 26 April, 2019 by Lenny Muraya

There has lately been great talk in the society pitting the digital against the analogue paradigms.  Dot-Com is also a common term in “socio-speak”, which is often used out of context.  While both the digital and dot-com concepts originated at around the same time in the 1990s, they refer to different things.

 

Although the Internet had been invented much earlier, it became publicly available in the 1990s. The Internet came in to create a computer network infrastructure that spans the entire world. The World Wide Web (WWW) runs on this Internet infrastructure. The content of the WWW is hosted on the Internet. The Internet is also the infrastructure used to access the countless resources on the WWW.

 

The arrival of the Internet in the 1990s brought with it the so called dot-com concept.  This concept referred to the many business initiatives that were loosely referred to as dot-coms because those businesses were not conducted in physical brick-and-mortar premises, but on dot-com domains hosted on the WWW. The dot-com hype started in 1995, rose to a pick and then started facing a decline in 2001.

 

After the dot-com hype, a new concept known as Web 2.0 entered the scene.  Web 2.0 did not refer to a new version of the WWW in terms of technical specification. Web 2.0 was used in reference to the way web pages are designed and used. For example, with Web 2.0, there was a shift from having personal web sites to blogging, shift from publishing content to participation as is characterized on social media platforms today, etcetera.

 

Web 2.0, is also characterized by greater interactivity of users, more collaboration by users and more pervasive social connectivity by users from different locations globally, who access the same WWW content using a diverse array of end-user computing devices.

 

As Web 2.0 was picking up in the late 2000s, the personal computer (PC) electronics front was growing rapidly. Traditionally, there were four categories of personal computers, (so called because they are designed to be used by only one person at a time). The first among the four categories is the desktop PC that has a large system unit, a separate visual monitor and a detached keyboard and mouse. This is a cumbersome design for a PC, which makes them usable only from a desktop as they are clearly not portable. As the size decreases, the portable PCs enter the scene. The largest among the portable PCs is the laptop PC followed by the notebook PC. The laptop PC as its name implies, was envisaged to be operated from the user’s lap, and so is the notebook PC. The notebook PC is however smaller in size than the laptop PC. For decades, there has been talk of Palmtop PCs which were initially more of rudimentary specialized devices like the Personal Digital Assistant (PDA). The PDA was merely a digital calendar.

 

However, with the rapid development of the end-user pervasive computing devices, the Tablet PCs have appeared as palmtop PCs. More common also is the smart phone as a palmtop PC. The larger smart phones that in size are between a tablet PC and a standard smart phone are known as phablets, hence the phablet PC.

 

Listing the PCs from the largest in size to the smallest, we therefore have the: Desktop PC, Laptop PC, Notebook PC, Tablet PC, Phablet PC and Smart Phone as a PC. A major advantage of The Tablet PCs, Phablets and Smart phones is the cellular SIM card and Wi-Fi features, which provide them with the telecommunication mobile network or access to Wi-Fi networks, that enable them to have a mobile network that they carry with them. This gives the user pervasive access to the Internet/WWW and hence support today’s pervasive computing that is mainly geared towards the Web 2.0 technologies, the current interconnected lifestyle and the brick-and-mortar killer digital platform.

 

It is this technological shift that has increased the importance of, and necessity for, mobile applications as the “palmtop PC” captures a larger segment of the applications requirements. At Cutting Edge Technologies, we are masters in the design and development of web-based and mobile applications as one of our key pillars is the automation of an entire value chain. Automating an entire value chain requires the utilization of many of the prevailing technologies. This is why we do not shy away from large projects that require diverse technologies, features and functionalities.


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