Forget all those bloated applications that started to appear with the advent and popular acceptance of the Personal Computer. It's time to really take a step backward to the 70's and yet again embrace the concept of modular tools working together to create a productivity environment.

Yes, that means throwing away all your knowledge of the menus of MS Office, WordPerfect, Photoshop and whatever else people use these days to be productive and accept a totally new way of using a computer.

Interconnecting objects with in-ports and out-ports. You patch these together to make things happen between them. Like those modular synths of long past. Some would only produce, some would only consume and others would both consume and produce. Like piping in a UNIX shell, but N-way and graphical.

Imagine an mp3 player constructed with this as yet purely hypothetical system. Simple form, it consists of three components:

  • a producer which produces a data stream from a file
  • an mp3 decoder which accepts raw mp3 data and produces audio in a configurable way
  • a consumer (for lack of a better term) that accepts data and outputs it to speakers.

And then maybe you'll get creative and sub stuff like:

  • produce from HTTP
  • mp3 decode
  • n-way split (1)
    • reverb filter
    • consume to rear speakers
  • n-way split (2)
    • consume to front speaker

(For cheap man's surround sound.)

And for those people with Athlon 1.2ghz boxes:

  • produce from CDDA
  • n-way split (1)
    • mp3 encode
    • consume to file
  • n-way split (2)
    • reverb filter
    • rear speakers out
  • n-way split (3)
    • speaker out

I think you get the point.

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