Note to Self: OS, Abstracted

6:04:00 AM

The idea of an OS, as an abstract concept, goes beyond what makes the "thing" turn on and house its warez. What makes something an OS, as an abstract concept, is its way of mediating the human intellect and the Will with the device(s) or object(s).

We have to start thinking about an Operating System (OS) not just as something pre-loaded on a computer or a gadget that makes it turn on, but as an ecology of interconnected hardware that functions as our platform of connectivity.

It's not so much any more that we choose a Blackberry vs. an iPod vs. Android vs. Web OS as the system that runs our phones; it's not so much any more that we choose Mac OSX vs. Windows vs. Linux to run our desktops and laptops; it's not so much that we choose Gmail vs. Hotmail vs. Yahoo mail to host our PIM information and e-mail; it's no so much anymore that we choose Facebook vs. MySpace vs. Linkedin to manage our relationships; and, it's not so much anymore that we choose Flickr vs. Photobucket vs. Tweetpic to host, share or print our memories. The versus go on and on like with iTunes vs. Windows Media Player vs. VLC player. It's really mind boggling ... gaming systems; oh boy, here I go again with the versus.

What it's really all about is that the mathematics that combine all of these options together in, G-d help me, I can't count how many ways, says that each variant produces for the individual their unique operating system - specific to the person that utilizes them in what could be considered, seamless integration.

The idea of an OS, as an abstract concept, goes beyond what makes the "thing" turn on and house its warez. What makes something an OS, as an abstract concept, is its way of mediating the human intellect and the Will with the device(s) or object(s).

When these devices and objects are made for and eager to be interconnected i.e. networked together and utilizing content off of each other rather than merely syncing, then the OS-as-ecology of diverse things becomes a real and tangible, if not critical thing to consider.

Will my new phone (iPhone vs. Android v. Web OS) be compatible without  researching its ability to communicate with a Sony Vaio notebook be a consideration for either ditching Google OS or making my next purchase a Mac Book Pro? Will Windows 7 continue dominate my gadget ecology or is an Unbuntu netbook a way to transition my operating system to the next wave? Will the need for a thumb keyboard be supreme, despite the touch input rally becoming the norm?

This is the stuff of the old Adam West Batman series, and certainly, each and everybody's OS is in a continual process of thwarting the villains of being outmoded or ineffective for one's productivity.

The folks over at gdgt.com have come up with novel widget to add anywhere in your online presence that announces your current and past OS. The widget is simple enough - a list of gadgets you've have. have had and want. Presumably, since their Website and podcast is a gluttonous play-by-play discourse at every new gizmo under the sun, they behoove themselves by letting their subscribers gloat in style about their collections of them.

However, beyond the mere surface of announcing to the world gadgets you own, gadgets you should be owning, and gadgets you used to own, on a deeper level, the widget begins to describe your electronic ecology - your OS of social connectivity. In short, society has its tools to bind and glue us all together. Take a look at your OS and see if it crashes on you or if its set-up is so seamless that you don't notice it's running in the background much like you don't notice your toe until its stubbed or your eyeball until it itches.

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