The 'anywhere computing' era dawns

Don't look now, but the 'mobile computing' idea is suddenly obsolete. We hardly knew ye.

How anywhere computing works

Some of this is pretty new, and some is very new.

Anywhere computing involves not just new capabilities, but extreme redundancy. Like the mobile computing era, you carry your laptop while traveling, ready to connect via Ethernet or Wi-Fi. But in the anywhere computing era, you can connect with a mobile broadband card, too. Failing that, you can connect your phone and use that as a modem. If your laptop dies, you can use a UMPC. If that gets stolen, you can connect with your phone. Or use any computer you find and interact with recent online backups. Or use the files on your phone or thumb drive. Or... the alternatives are endless.

In the anywhere computing universe, nothing can stop you.

The idea of backing up before a trip, taking the "hit" while away, then recovering upon your return is a mobile computing concept. The anywhere computing idea is not to recover after you get back, but to never be sidelined. You can continue working, playing and communicating, even when your laptop and/or cell phone are lost, destroyed or incapacitated.

"Anywhere computing" involves full access at arbitrary, unexpected times -- while shopping, sailing, sleeping -- whatever, whenever, wherever.

Some will think all this is unnecessary or extreme. Just 15 years ago, critics thought the same thing about mobile computing concepts like using a laptop on an airplane or connecting from a hotel room. People who scoff at the "excesses" of anywhere computing will be doing it within two years.

And you can do it right now. Anywhere.

Mike Elgan writes about technology and global tech culture. Contact Mike at or his blog, The Raw Feed.

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Mike Elgan

Mike Elgan

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