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Happy New Year

Every year or so, I've been looking for evidence that we're really entering the future. I've been looking for the flying cars or personal androids or colonies on Mars, anything to show that the 20- prefix is really different from the 19- prefix. I know, there wasn't going to be a massive shift in the environment at the moment we entered the 21st century, but the continuity is disconcerting.

Still, I think I finally found the evidence that were in the future. opalcat (who I've just wished farewell at a party before she heads down to Atlanta) while fiddling on a phone noted that it was rebooting. Her cell phone was rebooting. No, I haven't been using wireless telephone technology since around 2002, but never before had I ever heard of a phone requiring booting or rebooting. If you were to ask Tog, he'd tell you this is the absolute wrong direction for technology to evolve.

Sure, everything that must be powered on or started has to be booted, aka has a set of routines it does to perform self diagnostics once started. Well, maybe not light-bulbs. But only in computers does this set of checks and preparations take so long that a new term needed to be coined. No computer just turns on. In my worse case scenario, my Toshiba Satellite takes 2 minutes, 27 seconds to get from pressing the power button to getting to the Fedora 3 login screen. This is probably one of the more annoying things about computers, but it is spreading to other devices. My cable's DVR takes about a minute to boot up if it loses power. (Fortunately, powering it on and off doesn't really shut down the internal software.) Quite frankly, we need to save technology from the computer nerds, or at least figure out how to bring the instant on of every other device on earth to computers, before computers devour everything.