February 20, 2019

Tale of a Black Dog - page 6

A Different Type of Canine

  • December 8, 2005
  • By Russell Pavlicek

But the real question is: what is its killer app? What is the one function or application suite which will make it the indispensable IT tool for the rest of the decade? This is, essentially, the question which the user community will help answer.

Now, the cynic may view this as basically a solution in search of a problem and dismiss it out of hand, but that would be a mistake in my opinion. The Black Dog concept strikes me as a truly innovative design hitting the industry at a time when innovation is more a marketing buzz word than the mark of novel thinking. Frankly, I don't know what problem the Black Dog is best at solving; but I cannot escape the conclusion that the problem probably exists and that a final piece of innovation marrying the problem to the device will weld the dark canine's descendants to the IT industry for years to come. Certainly, a transportable compute environment has clear business value (just consider the omnipresence of laptops in business). Shrinking much of that capability into a device smaller than a deck of cards could easily become a winner of a concept in the business world.

In a lot of ways, asking what the Black Dog is good for reminds me of the discussions around what Linux was good for in the late 1990s. There was a crowd willing to dismiss Linux as a mere geek toy simply because it wasn't ready to handle the load at Fortune 100 companies under the 1.x kernel. However, the smarter money was betting that Linux would grow up to solve real IT problems.

Personally, I think there will be a slew of little black pups in the future of IT. Time will tell, but if you can think of a good role for this technology, consider hacking on one of these gizmos. You might even win some cold, hard cash if the results are good enough. And that ain't no dog chow.

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