Hi! My name is Rachel Campbell. This is my personal blog. I'm a web designer living in the Chicago area. You can view a selection of my professional work in my Portfolio and at DeviantART. You can also see some of the photos I've taken at Flickr. I am sometimes available for freelance work. Send me an email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
From the book: Programmers at Work: Interviews With 19 Programmers Who Shaped the Computer Industry (1989) —
Interviewer: “What do you think is in store for software? Are we just going to keep doing another great word processor or another great spreadsheet? Or will computers branch out into areas we don’t even dream of today?”
Bill Gates (Microsoft): “We’re just moving down the spectrum of more and more thinking on the part of the computer. I’ve coined the term ‘softer software.’ That refers to a program that molds itself to the user’s needs and the user’s interests over time. There are going to be more great word processors and spreadsheets, and we’ll use networking and graphics and new architectures. And there’ll be massive storage with compact disks (CDs), where you can store encyclopedias.”
Encyclopedias, guys! And compact disks. With a “K”!
This interview was from 1989 — 25 years ago. What strikes me is how accurate that vision turned out to be, particularly this bit: “…a program that molds itself to the user’s needs and the user’s interests over time.”
Hello, Google Now.
I haven’t finished the book yet, but so far all of the interviews have been really fascinating and insightful. You get such a great sense of how these folks were thinking at the time when they were developing these applications and languages that went on to have so much influence on technology.