Sunday, October 10, 2010

Computers as Appliances

There has been much debate on whether computers are appliances. The debate is fueled by the flooding of the market with devices such as the iPad, the iPhone and eReader devices which are designed and marketed very much as appliances geared towards consumption.

Therefore, I'd like to come up with a definition of what an appliance is. An appliance is something that

  • Has been simplified to the extent possible
  • Has a small set of unchanging functionality
  • Can be used without expert training
Examples of appliances: a fridge, a TV, a washer-dryer.
Examples of non-appliances: a CNC lathe machine, a server farm, a general purpose computer (?)


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