Cyberville forecast for high-tech in 2007
Published: Monday, January 1, 2007 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, December 31, 2006 at 12:48 a.m.
As today's Cyberville column falls on the first of the year, I thought I'd offer a few thoughts on what we're most likely to see develop in the high-tech and new media fields over the coming year.
Navigation systems in automobiles have previously been an item costing as much as $2,000, but new portable units from a wide range of manufacturers are beginning to appear at prices under $300. Some units also offer extra features such as the ability to play MP3 files, or even MPEG movies, through a unit's headphone jack or built-in FM transmitter.
Navigation systems have considerable potential usage for frequent travelers, drivers making deliveries, or persons traveling unfamiliar roads - especially at night or in bad weather. Cell phone companies are also beginning to offer GPS services at a monthly fee. Cyberville will delve more into GPS systems in the coming months.
PCs and software have now reached a level of development and maturity that the great leaps forward in technology common over the last decade are becoming fewer. The reality is that most newer PCs running Windows XP and one of the later versions of MS Office perform most common office, e-mail and Internet tasks more than adequately, with the biggest problems being viruses, adware and spyware which slow a system down, rather than any fundamental system weakness.
Cell phone companies have found a new revenue stream in delivering music to mobile phones, not unlike Apple's iTunes/iPod system for portable music devices. More and more cell phones are coming equipped with memory slots onto which music and movies can be added. New phones from Palm, LG, Motorola and other manufacturers are rapidly developing this market.
The cost of a new computer is such that it now rarely makes sense to upgrade an older system which has only a fraction of the performance of even today's least expensive systems. Remember that hard drives will eventually fail, and it's a good idea to backup your critical data to move to a new system. USB flash drives costing less than $30 can store a lifetime of e-mail or letters for most persons.
Tom Meek is a computer and media consultant whose column appears each Monday. He can be reached at email@example.com or www.tvccs.com.
His columns also are available at www.gainesvillesun.com.
Reader comments posted to this article may be published in our print edition. All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be re-published without permission. Links are encouraged.
Comments are currently unavailable on this article