Posts Tagged ‘hardware’

build your own hardware

There’s a famous quote attributed to Alan Kay and often repeated by none other than the black turtle neck god himself, Steve Jobs, that really good software developers will eventually want to build their own hardware to make sure their software runs just right. Bill Gates once said he’s always been able to resist that, but there may actually be a point to it. Sometimes it makes sense to offer products that combine software and hardware.

What it got me thinking about is Smalltalk. Earlier I wrote about how best technologies often lose out to their pop culture counterparts, well Smalltalk is definitely a very good and solid software technology that’s been a major source of inspiration for the main stream but which has remained largely ignored by the main stream throughout its history. Today all of the most prominent Smalltalk vendors are software companies, Cincom, Instantiations etc, but what if they were to roll out a Smalltalk gadget, preferably something mobile with a touch screen and a QWERTY keyboard, a next generation dynabook with Smalltalk as its operating system. Sure the competition in this market is fierce but then again Smalltalk potentially could offer things all those I-Phoners out there can only dream about and it would be a major boost to the language too.

Add to that a Seaside based online app store,  after all Smalltalk is easier to develop in than Objective C, you get all the power of objects but without having to use all that outdated, assembly like, C boilerplate code.  And no need for a special IDE, it’s all already there at your fingertips.  Give it a snappy name like the Heretic (a pun on Seaside’s heretic approach to doing web apps), get it manufactured in large numbers in China and make it cheaper than the competition.

I wonder if that could work.

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