FHSST Computer Literacy/Contents/Computers in all walks of life

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Computers in all walks of life

Sample Text for Computers in Every Day Life

The Social Origins of Ubiquitous Computing

In 1991, Scientific American published Mark Weiser's article 'The Computer for the 21st Century' and planted the seed for a new paradigm in computing that is arguably set to dominate the coming decades. In the late 1980s, researchers at Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) moved away from personal computing - which they understood as forcing computers to the centre of our attention - and towards what they called ubiquitous computing, or Ubicomp, which 'takes into account the natural human environment and allows the computers themselves to vanish into the background' (Weiser, 1991: 1). In other words, they were interested in 'invisible' computers that would allow us to focus on life beyond computational devices. According to Weiser, not only would ubiquitous computing liberate us from the constraints of desktop computing, it would free us from equally isolating immersive and simulated virtual reality environments. From the perspective of design, ubiquitous computing was also novel because Weiser's inspiration came from the social and cultural realms more than from the technological (Weiser, 1993a).

Anne Galloway | Resonances & Everyday Life: Ubiquitous Computing & the City (Draft) – www.purselipsquarejaw.org/...