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Diffusion Theory, Computers and Society Kathy E. Gill 18 October 2004 Overview More Theory History of computing technology Networks Quotable 1

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Diffusion theory computers and society l.jpg

Diffusion Theory, Computers and Society

Kathy E. Gill

18 October 2004


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Overview

  • More Theory

  • History of computing technology

  • Networks


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Quotable 1

"This 'telephone' has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us." -- Western Union internal memo, 1876


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Quotable 2

Who the hell wants to hear actors talk? -- H.M. Warner, Warner Brothers, 1927


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Quotable 3

"I think there is a world market for maybe five computers." -- Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943


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Quotable 4

"Computers in the future may weigh no more than 1.5 tons." -- Popular Mechanics, 1949


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Quotable 5

"640K ought to be enough for anybody." -- Bill Gates, 1981 *


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What is “technology”?

  • tech-nol-o-gy 1: technical language; 2a: applied science b: a technical method of achieving a practical purpose 3: a totality of the means employed to provide objects necessary for human sustenance and comfort


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Technology

  • Knowledge used to solve problems and extend human potential

  • Technology is about enabling change and amplifying its direction.

  • Think of it as facilitating the journey not (necessarily) setting the destination.


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Technology and Media

  • Caves in France

  • Paper and charcoal/ink

  • Printing Press

  • Telegraph et al (radio, television)

  • Computer mediated communications


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Why use a technology - demand

  • Cognitive Needs – Desire (demand) for information, knowledge, understanding

  • Affective Needs – Aesthetic, pleasurable, and emotional experiences

  • Personal Integrative Needs – Inner-directed, deal with credibility, confidence, stability, and status

  • Social Integrative Needs – Outer-directed, strengthening relationships with family, friends, the world

  • Escapist Needs – Desire for tension release or diversion

    - Katz, Gurevitch, and Haas


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Why use a technology - other

  • Availability

  • Cost

  • Network effects

  • ??


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Discussion – Peer Group 3

  • Chia Fang Tsai

  • Jac De Haan

  • Katherine K Roemer


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Discussion – Questions

  • Increasing capacity w/out adding wires (telegraph). Parallels today?

  • Grey v Bell …. Jobs v Gates?

  • What is today’s “railroad” sector?

  • Price models: Bell’s renting the phone, IBM’s renting the mainframe, software constant upgrades …


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Rogers - Diffusion Theory

  • Identified four main elements of an innovation-diffusion process

    • Innovation

    • Social system

    • Time

    • Communications channels


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Linear innovation-diffusion

  • The process by which an innovation is communicated through certain channels over time among the members of a social system. (Rogers, 1995, P.5).


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Innovation

  • An idea, practice, or object that is perceived as new by an individual or other unit of adoption


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Communication

  • A process in which participants create and share information with one another in order to reach mutual understanding (Rogers, 1995)


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Time

  • The adoption model follows an “s” shape curve over time


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Innovation-Decision Process

  • The mental process through which an individual passes from first knowledge to forming an attitude toward the innovation (adopt, reject)


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Five steps

  • Knowledge

  • Persuasion

  • Decision (adopt or reject)

  • Implementation

  • Confirmation


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Social System

  • A set of interrelated units that are engaged in joint problem-solving to accomplish a common goal.

  • Members or units of a social system may be individuals, informal groups, organizations, and/or subsystems.


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Critical mass (1/2)

  • Rogers (1995) : "the critical mass occurs at the point at which enough individuals have adopted an innovation so that the innovation's further rate of adoption becomes self-sustaining.”


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Critical mass (2/2)

  • The critical mass is a social system perspective, while the dominant design is a technology perspective.

  • The irreversible phase may take place when not only the critical mass point is overcome but also the dominant design is brought about at least in terms of the technological innovation.


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Adopter categories

  • Innovators

  • Early adopters

  • Early majority

  • Late majority

  • Laggards


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Technological Innovations

  • Hardware - the tool that embodies the technology as a material or physical object.

  • Software - the knowledge base for the tool


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Japanese Word Processor Shipments


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Unit prices of WP and PC (MITI)


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(Somewhat) Ancient History(1/2)

  • 8500 BC : Bone carved with prime numbers discovered

  • 1000 – 500 BC : Abacus invented

  • 1500 : da Vinci’s mechanical calculator

  • 1642 : Blaise Pascal, 1st adding device

  • 1714 : 1st English typewriter patent


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(Somewhat) Ancient History(2/2)

  • 1801 : Joseph Jacquard, weaving looms

    • 1st to mechanically control a device’s operations sequence

  • 1822 : Charles Babbage, Father of the Modern Computer and Ada Byron, Lady Lovelace


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An eccentric British mathematician and inventor

The Difference Engine, 1822; it calculated and printed mathematical tables

Analytical Engine, the first device considered a computer in the modern sense of the word

Would use loops of Jacquard’s punch cards to control an automatic calculator, which would make decisions based on previous computation results

Charles Babbage


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Analytical Engine, 1858


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Ada Byron

  • In 1843, predicted that Babbage’s “analytical engine” could compose music and produce graphics with both practical and scientific application

  • Dscribed how Babbage’s engine might calculate Bernoulli numbers; this is regarded as the first “computer program.”

  • Ada, the first ISO-standardized OO programming language; developed by the US Department of Defense in 1979.


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Modern History (1/3)

  • 1937 : Alan Turing, Turing Machine

    • Theoretical model of a computer

  • 1938 : Claude Shannon’s Master’s Thesis

    • “possibly the most important of the 20th century”

    • Showed how Boole’s concepts of True and False could be used to represent functions of switches (binary)


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Modern History (2/3)

  • 1939-1944 : Howard Aiken

    • Harvard Mark I, 1st large scale digital computer (IBM Automatic Sequence Control Calculator)

    • Used Electromagnetic Relays

  • 1943 : Alan Turing & COLOSSUS

    • WWII machine designed to break German code; 1800 vacuum tubes

    • Earliest working programmable electronic digital computer


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Modern History (3/3)

  • 1943-1946 : ENIAC

    • 1st fully Electronic Computer

    • 18,000 vacuum tubes; 10’ tall, 1000 sq ft of floor space, weighed ~30 tons

  • 1945 : first computer “bug” (literally!)

  • 1949 : John VonNeumann

    • Consultant on Manhattan Project

    • Paper : all basic elements of a stored program computer


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First Commercial Computers

  • 1951 : 1st Computer Sold to U.S. Bureau of Census - UNIVAC I

  • 1954 : 1st Computer Sold to Private Corp., General Electric Company - UNIVAC I


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Recent History (1/5)

  • 1957 : FORTRAN

    • 1st high-level programming language

  • 1959 : COBOL

    • Common Business Oriented Language

  • 1961 : John F. Kennedy, Space Program


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Recent History (2/5)

  • 1964 : BASIC

    • Beginners All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code

  • 1975 : Bill Gates & Paul Allen, Microsoft

  • 1976 : Steve Jobs & Steve Wozniack, Apple

  • 1977 : Commodore “PET” computer


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Recent History (3/5)

  • 1979 : 1st “killer app”

    • 1st Electronic Spreadsheet – VisiCalc

    • What is “killer app” in Winston’s context?

  • 1980 : PC DOS

  • 1981 : IBM - PC

  • 1983 : Apple Macintosh Computer (GUI)


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Recent History (4/5)

  • 1984 : Laser Printers for PCs

    • High quality affordable printing

  • 1984 : CD-ROMS

  • 1990s : Communications & Multimedia

    • Audio

    • Video

    • Internet - WWW Browsers


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Recent History (5/5)

  • 21st century?

    • Peer-to-peer networks

    • Miniaturization continues

    • DRM

    • DVD (burning)

    • Time-shifting (Tivo, RePlay)

    • Satellite radio


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Categories of Computers

  • Mainframes and PCs that run application software

  • Embedded chips that control machines


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Computing technology advances at exponential rates

  • Memory capacity quadruples every 3 years

  • Processor speed doubles every 3 years

  • Number of hosts doubles every year

  • Chip transistor densities double every 18 months at constant prices (Moore’s Law)


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Computers and Networks

  • Facilitate

    • Concentration of knowledge and control

    • Distribution of knowledge and control

  • Have the power to

    • Amass and analyze enormous volumes of data

    • Process data at enormous rates for real systems and simulations


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Computers and Networks Challenge:

  • Constitutional definitions

  • Social structures

  • Lifestyle options

  • None more challenging than “the Net”


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Internet History

  • 1964 - Rand Corporation Plan for dealing with military and government communications… in the event of a

  • “NUCLEAR WAR”


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National Network with No Central Authority


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ARPANET (Rand, MIT, UCLA)

  • 1969 : 1st node on the Internet

  • 1971 : 15 nodes

  • 1982 : TCP/IP


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Picking Up Speed

  • 1987 : Apple’s Hypertext

  • 1991 : Tim Berners-Lee at European Particle Physics Laboratory in Geneva conceived the World Wide Web

  • 1993 : National Center for Supercomputing Applications [NCSA] - University of Illinois created a WWW browser named Mosiac


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Faster... faster... faster

  • April 94 : Mosaic Communications [Clark & Andreesen]

  • Oct 94 : Netscape Beta Released

  • Nov 94 : Mosaic Co ==> Netscape

  • Aug 9, 1995 : Netscape IPO


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Internet Hosts

  • 1971 : 15

  • 1981 : 213

  • 1985 : 1,961

  • 1990 : 313,000

  • 1994 : 3,864,000

  • 1996 : 9,472,000

  • 2003 : 171,638,297

    • http://www.isc.org/ds/host-count-history.html

    • http://earthtrends.wri.org/searchable_db/index.cfm?theme=10&variable_ID=553&action=select_countries


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What is a Host (aka Server)?

  • A computer running software that allows it to provide (serve) documents via the WWW.

  • The computer is assigned an IP address and connected to the Internet

  • Somewhat analogous to the “printer” of a print document.


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Education

Transportation

Private Sector

Business

Government

Entertainment

Housing

Currency (banking)

Jobs

Space

Medicine

Anything else?

Parts of a Society


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The Net and Society

  • In recent years this one area has affected society more than any other

  • How?

  • What are the issues?


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