Your Special Report, "The Information Appliance" (Cover Story, June 24), must have been written by people who've never been on the Internet. Even when you're using a very high-speed personal computer that has the fastest modem available, lots of memory, and a huge hard drive, surfing the Net generally proves to be a frustrating experience.
The bottleneck is not the phone line or the PC. It is the Net itself. The Web is crowded, and there is no control over how many users can access sites or when. Rather than trying to come up with new gizmos, the visionaries ought to be concentrating on getting the Web to work more efficiently.
I've been on the threshold of buying a PC any number of times during the past year or so--but I have always said no to myself, mostly because nobody can tell me what it is that I can get off the Web that I can't get out of my daily paper, 40-50 cable channels, the public library, magazines, etc. Until they can, I'll just be a prospect--not a customer.
I read "The Information Appliance" with interest. What you are describing is, in essence, what we in data processing have had for decades: the mainframe (renamed "application server") and terminal (renamed "network computer").
Now, we see the migration back to centralized software servers, on the basis of cost, from the distributed environments so long heralded as the future of information processing. To borrow an adage from the French: "The more things change, the more they stay the same."
Geoffrey K. Wascher