OK, OK, but a lot of these things are still toys. The mouse is still a toy, and the WIMP GUI is still a toy; the original mac was a toy for reasons related to hardware costs and hardware budget being eaten up by industrial design rather than by RAM, but the general policy that computers should be strictly limited to performing the tasks the designers thought of beforehand in the way the designers thought they should be done has continued to plague the line since 1982. Facebook was never intended to be more than a toy, and really isn’t: it’s a fun and profitable toy with very wide appeal, but it’s not as though anyone trusts it for genuinely important communications. Being profitable does not make something not toy-like, nor does becoming large in scale.

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Resident hypertext crank. Author of Big and Small Computing: Trajectories for the Future of Software. http://www.lord-enki.net

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