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Exactly Where Are
We Going Next ?

My Personal Thoughts and Dream, by John A. Tuttle


(This opinion was written on February 27, 1997)

An Update for 2000

An Update for 2002

An Update for 2004

An Update for 2005

An Update for 2006

I'm not a computer nerd! And I don't consider people who spend numerous hours at a computer station, nerds. I do, however, spend a lot of time sitting right here, listening, learning, writing, responding and, most importantly, creating.

Although I may be, at present, in a minority, it is only a matter of time before the *majority of our social and economic lives will be centered around a computer keyboard. As unfortunate as that may initially sound, it is inevitable. Large corporations are pouring collective millions of dollars into the Internet and expecting HUGE returns. And although the current state of the market projects otherwise, the fact is, more and more people are turning to the internet as a source of information AND services every single day. Others, like myself, are investing literally hundreds of hours of work creating a presence on the Internet in the hopes of being close to the leading edges of technology and economic prosperity through Internet generated business. I strongly promote this sort of activity for a number of reasons, the bulk of which are economic. Doing business via the Internet is cheaper, faster and, most importantly, more personal than any other form of written correspondence.

A continuing problem, that those of us who attempt to promote our products and services on the Internet face daily, is the unsteady activity of our Internet Service Providers. They are, if they hope to survive, constantly upgrading their capabilities and options to meet the growing demands of a continually changing Internet society and, therefore, are not always available for our use when we need them. In the past week, I have negotiated inter-state contracts via the Internet with one company and one individual. In both cases, delays in 'the system' slowed completion of the process by more than an hour.

We, as intellectuals and/or involved individuals, have an opportunity which, I feel, is unparalleled in mankind due entirely to the sheer number of people already on-line. And although there have been a few individuals who have spoken of possible solutions to the above problem, nothing notable has been accomplished to solve the existing limitations other than increasing computer speeds and the utilization of fiber-optic phone lines. In the final analysis, both are ultimately limited by the number of people on-line and the billions of miles of copper wire that is our current phone system.

I'm not a computer wiz-kid, in fact I know very little about computers or how they really work. I could no more write a program than fly, but it is obvious that the 'slowness' and 'cut-offs' we all occasionally experience are not going to go away until we change the 'mode of operation'.

Like inventors of the past, I see a totally different picture than most people. I understand the capabilities and limitations of micro-technology (my older brother was an Integrated Circuit designer in the 60's) and the abilities of ultra-high frequency communications, i.e., satellite communications systems. Try to envision, if you will, the day when a billion computers or 3 billion computers will each have their own 'address' and we will communicate with the ease of 'dialing up' an address. This picture is much closer to reality than some are willing to admit and even fewer are willing to act upon. In fact, one of the most common questions I hear from eight to fourteen year old children is, "Mr. Tuttle, why does it take so long to get the picture (download a page)?" My answer, "Technology hasn't caught up with the demands of the young. It's a common problem which typically occurs when people fear the possible bad effects progress may have on their lives. It's actually more common in America than it is in some foreign countries." "Why?", they ask. "For some reason, which I can't explain, they seem to be afraid of change even though they realize change is what brought them to where they are today. It's very confusing.", I say (or use words to the same effect, depending on their age). Most of the parents quietly listen and only rarely do they comment. I often feel I'm also educating them in the realities of their own world.

What does change involve? Primarily, it takes the foresight and money to put dreams into practice. Easy to say. Hard to incorporate. Yet as a group, all of us have listened to and/or participated in advancements in MIDI technology, computer technology and a host of other things, in the attempt to raise the levels of ability or consciousness of anyone who cared enough to read about our experiences and/or aspiration.

One of my customers is a satellite designer. She has intimated that she would be happy to design a series of satellites to perform the functions I have described if the funding were available. I have no realistic conception of the costs involved but I feel it would be in the millions, based on our conversations regarding the weather and communications satellites that she currently designs and launches.

In closing, I fully realize that this may not be the most appropriate forum to address. However, knowing what I do about Mechanical Musical Instruments, I know in my heart that there are people out there that understand exactly what I'm saying and have often thought of solutions to the existing problems themselves. I would like, and am more than willing, to spearhead any movement that aims to turn my vision into reality. Facts be known, a lot of the apparatus is already in place and functional. The shift must come from within. The demands must come from the users. We are the users.

I am, therefore, soliciting a response from ANY interested persons to, at the very least, provide verbal support for a project that will make all of our lives a little less frustrating and a lot more productive. We have already moved into the realm of international marketing and correspondence. Isn't it about time to move away from the limitations of copper wire? Let's be the people that 'lead' instead of the sheep that 'follow'. I'm open to all suggestions and general comments.

*majority; actual number of hours of interaction with other human beings.


Update for 2000+

I'll keep this real short. Accessing the web via satellite is now a reality. Next, we'll all have our own little pocket communicator/computer hooked up via satellite to the entire world. The children of today will demand it tomorrow!!! (01-23-2000) Signed: J. Tuttle

Update for 2002

Things keep progressing just about as I had imagined over five years ago. However, it's interesting to note that there is a segment of society that flatly refuses to become a part of the computer generation. In a sense, I can understand their reluctance because things keep changing so fast that 'keeping up' can be a never ending struggle. However, on the other side of that coin is the fact that you don't have to keep up. I still don't use any hand-held devices, don't have a cable modem, and I still have the same computer I had when I first wrote this webpage.
Signed: J. Tuttle

Update for 2004

Computers and High-Speed Internet Connections are now an integral part of most homes in the US and abroad. Costs have continued to decrease, and we are now in the age of "nano Technology". However, we are still plagued by identity and credit card theft, pornography, and viruses. I sometimes get the feeling that we are taking 'one step forward and two steps back'. My only fear these days is that the government will get involved in policing the Internet, which to a degree they already do. I believe, as I did eight years ago, that the Internet will continue to flourish and provide millions of people with exciting and innovative ways to make a living. The one thing I find kind of funny is that six years ago the Post Office was very worried about all the money they would lose because people started communicating via email. What they failed to foresee was the tremendous surge in revenue that would be generated by Internet entrepreneurs like me, who now spend thousands of dollars more each year sending supplies and literature to customers all around the World. The phone companies were worried about all the money they would lose because of local dialup services. What they failed to realize was that people would demand faster and faster services. Now, the phone companies are making huge profits. My point is that business will always take care of itself if given half a chance.
Signed: J. Tuttle

Update for 2005

Well, I finally broke down and got a new computer.. ;-) I also got cable modem service.. :-) My old computers are still working, and sometimes I use them for fun things like composing music or listening to a CD while I work at the new computer.

It seems that many of the problems with the Internet are slowly resolving themselves as major corporations spend collective billions to keep their customers happy. I've become so comfortable with doing business over the Internet that I now do most of my banking and bill paying online, and I predict that mainstream America will slowly follow suit.

It's interesting to see the gap widening between those who keep up with technology and those who plod along. I watch with some amazement as young people multi-task their lives in so many different directions that it's hard to believe that they know where they are at any given moment in time. It's almost like nothing ever starts or stops, it just keeps flowing along like a river. And while I foresee the potential for very serious problems if and when the power (electricity) goes off for more than a few minutes, I also see the possibility that these same individuals will ultimately be responsible for pushing technology to even higher levels, and thus widen the aforementioned gap.

On a more positive note, a search for virtually anything at Google demonstrates the phenomenal growth rate of the Internet. In my particular field of player pianos, I've seen the number of websites, related to the topic, grow from a few dozen seven years ago to over 330,000 today. It goes without saying that if you want to find something today, you're best bet is the Internet.


Signed: J. Tuttle

Update for 2006

I hate to be an "I told you so", but everything I invisioned back in 1997 has come to pass, and things I had yet to imagine are now commonplace. I still don't own an iPod or a laptop computer, but it won't be long before they are so cheap that it will be foolish 'not' to have them. Looking ahead, it's almost difficult to figure out what might come next. The ability to get 'hooked-up' to virtually everything seems to be the current state of affairs. It's almost to the point where a blind man could travel from coast-to-coast all by himself and never make a wrong turn....

I saw a news report the other night about a guy who has artificial limbs that are controlled by his brain. And while his movements aren't really smooth and fluid, he is able to walk and use his arms and hands to take care of himself. That's progress at its best! On the other side of the coin, automation and robotics are pushing factory workers out the door and onto the street. How this will all play out over the next ten years is anyones guess, but it's already becoming problematic.

Add to these changes the probable influx of 12-20 million laborers who will work for less than the average American and qualify for entitlement programs that many of the former working class don't qualify for, and the prospect of serious fiscal problems at the government level become dangerously realistic. It's my hope that technology will open new, as yet unseen doors that create employment for tens of millions of people. If that doesn't happen, the country will surely fall into a depression the likes of which we have never known.

So, if you've got ideas, let others know. Don't keep them to yourself. You never know when one idea might save the country from financial disaster.
Signed: J. Tuttle


Comments or Suggestions?
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This was written on February 27, 1997 by John A. Tuttle
And Updated on August 3, 2006.

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