There was no (Visible) IT Dept. on the Starship Enterprise

Marco Arment:

Think of how many people are so afraid of their PCs that they only do the bare minimum with them and never venture into unknown territory because they’re afraid of “breaking” their computers. How many of them recently bought iPads and have become much more confident and adventurous with usage and applications, since Apple tricked them into thinking that the iPad isn’t a computer?

Arment’s commentary is in response to this piece, by Watts Martin:

The model we’re moving toward, though, is premised on the idea that computers shouldn’t require routine tech support. Again, look back at game consoles: an Xbox 360 or Playstation 3 is a fully programmable computer with networking capability, offline storage, removable media, the whole shebang, yet all of that is invisible to the user. What file system does a Playstation use and what directories does it put your downloaded games in? The correct answer is: “Who gives a shit?”

Computers are everywhere in sci-fi, but they’re tricorders and PADDs and holographic heads-up displays, and characters only say “computer” when they’re directly asking one a question. The concept of computer has radically changed in that vision in a way which is much more than giving the navigation system the pleasant voice of Majel Barrett. We know this because if it hadn’t, a quarter of the fucking Enterprise crew would be the IT department.

Indeed. This migration, in its infancy now, will do more to increase the ubiquity and impact of technology than probably any previous step in the evolution of computing.

Image Credit: Utopia Planitia Yards

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