Our need to open our eyes

A rain drop hitting a glass table top
A rain drop hitting a glass table top

There are huge changes happening in how we do things with computers.  Aside from web based email, most people have not grasped the revolution yet.

Technology is one of those areas which requires some effort from most people.  Once that effort has been expended people are reluctant to embrace anything which requires more effort.  That is especially the case if the change being asked of us is of questionable value.

Upgrading from Windows XP to Windows Vista is a good example of that challenge.  Resistance to change does not just happen in the Microsoft world.

Apple recently announced a new version of its iApps.  Walt Mossberg verdict  in his recent article, “iLife Gets Better; Just Don’t Ask It to Find a Face” was ” I wouldn’t say that it’s a must-have upgrade for current Mac owners.”

Many Mac users like me might consider the features not worth the price considering they are already available in online versions of software.

Now there is a thought features available first on the web and then in a version running on your computer.  Why do people not flock to free version of Google Docs instead of buying Microsoft Office?  It is that resistance to change.  However, once you move, it is almost impossible to go back.  I am close to addicted to Google’s web based calendar.

For a few years I have been guessing that the web is going to provide much of our software innovation.  I wrote this article on web software over three years ago. The power and capabilities of web based software have continued to evolve. The move to the web will cetainly accelerate over the next few years.

Recently this was driven home to me when I bought some tent style business cards designed for printing on both sides.  I first started working on the cards in Apple’s Pages program which I use very successfully to do trifold brochures and regular business cards.  It did not take me long to figure out that this was going to be a real spatial challenge.  I thought I would give the Avery Microsoft Word template a whirl.  I downloaded it to my Mac and figured out that it did almost nothing because the Visual Basic would not work.  I went to my Windows laptops and tried there.  It appeared that even on Windows, it was going to be a very irritating process.

Then I noticed that Avery has an online suite of software.  I typed in my product code “8820” and started designing my promotion cards.  At the end, the program generated a PDF.  I printed some trial cards, then decided I wanted some changes and generated another PDF and did a final print.  I was amazed with the quality results and the speed with which I was able to design the cards.

The experience reminded me of designing tee-shirts online last summer at CustomInk.com.  It was so easy that anyone could do it.  The tee-shirts I got from my efforts were great.

When I look at what I can do on the web these days, I am amazed.   Often I insert code on my websites that has been generated by other websites.  A simple example would be the weather badge from Weather Underground on one of my webpages at CoastalNC.org.   Another would be the the Plaxo or Google reader feeds on my Blogger website.

When I look at the capabilities of Google Docs, Flickr, Picasa Web Albums, Photoshop Express and sites such as WordPress, SquareSpace, and Typepad, I am amazed at how the power of creation has shifted to the web.

The site which a friend has developed as an electronic village for the Crystal Coast is something we could only dream of a few years ago. It puts web creation tools in the hands of people who only have a browser.  The fact that I can create posts with pictures on our company’s real estate website through only the use of a browser is astonishing.

It is time we opened our eyes to the power of the web.  If web based applications continue to develop at their current pace, I suspect we won’t need very many applications loaded on our computers in a few years.

That will be just fine with me.

Author: ocracokewaves

An escapee from the world of selling technology, now living on North Carolina's Southern Outer Banks where life revolves around sun, sand, and water. I work at WideOpen Networks helping communities get fiber to their homes. In my spare time I am a photographer, writer, boater, fisherman, kayaker, swimmer, and walker of the beaches.

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