Trillions

Peter Lucas, Joe Ballay, Mickey McManus

Published by

Wiley

ISBN

9781118176078

RRP

£23.99

Reviewed by

Mike Rees, IT Consultant MBCS CITP

Score

8 out of 10

This book is about that future point in time (which is apparently not too far away) when the planet is populated with a trillion node network.  

Overall the book examines how and why both nature and mankind have developed the way they have, and the challenges and opportunities that a trillion connected devices offer.

It is aimed at businesses and customers, and how they can prepare and thrive in the new information age.

Written in three sections by three authors, who all work for MAYA Design (‘one of America’s leading pervasive computing design firms’), the book covers the implications of having a planet populated and wired together by so many devices.

There are plenty examples of the slightly edgy nature of the book - such as ‘in more than a quarter of century of trying, the technology industries have proven incapable of even making a dozen devices.....work together well enough to be tolerated by the sane customer.’ In a similar vein: ‘...our time and attention are drained daily by products that force consumers to understand technical things that they shouldn’t have to think about.’

In the section entitled ‘The Demise of Software Engineering’, the author compares the codes of practice in the building industry, with the relative lack of standards across software development.

The overall theme leads to the conclusion that there is a need to adopt a new Architecture (‘Architecture with a capital A’ - the title of chapter 7) for both hardware and software design. This design is to be based on simplification, and some kind of ‘personal universal computer (PUC)’.

There are some good notes on each chapter, plenty of references and an index at the end.

It’s not light reading, but if you want a bit of a challenge, aren’t afraid of controversial ideas and are looking for a radical new design approach then this book is for you.

P.S. If you were wondering - MAYA stands for ‘Most Advanced Yet Acceptable’.

Further information: Wiley

January 2013