Tux the Penguin reading books

FOSS Academic

The Altair (described by Coleman 65) sounds so much like the Pi. And the pinephone.

These devices change our relationship to computing.

The Altair could be seen as a “personal liberation technology” in the sense that Fred Turner speaks of.

Do we think of the later devices the same way? Or does the fact that these are both networked and now mobile change the equation?

I would say so.

The context is different, for one – we have a centralization of data-gathering now. Networks of devices are tethered to centralized corporate entities – the appliance model Zittrain warned us about many years ago.

Devices that are not “phoning home” are valuable additions.

Unlike the shift from hobbyist personal computing to the big business PCs would become in the late 1970s and early 1980s (Campbell-Kelly), these devices are late to the game. Phones are dominated, and of course we already have computers lying around.

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