Reading it reminded me of when I was serving my time in the land of technology management. Back then the Architecture and Planning group reported to me and we were pretty sure that the age of applications and hardware was over. The future was about data. We spent most of our waking hours trying to find ways to undo the mess left from just about five decades of applications dumping data into siloed databases.
Why the victory of data over hardware (or applications)? Because of processor speed development trends. The challenge was no longer doing stuff with the data, it was getting to all the data so you could maximize the value of your installed hardware. I think this is an industrial version of the points made by Stolley.
But its not easy either at an industrial or personal level. The reason these data silos exist is because you can get a project delivered on-time and more reliably (in the short term) if you only worry about the data stack it creates, not integrating it into some distant data store you have zero familiarity with.
Making a common data architecture in my personal life is a whole ‘nutha mess. On a personal computing level my problem is that I’m like a chimp in a cage. Give me a new toy and I’ll drop everything else to play with it. I twist it and turn it and try and find out how it works. I’m doing that right now with Google Notebook, because a fellow blogger turned me on to it.
Only last night did I say “What am I doing? If get this thing set up and running just right I’ll have fractured my data set between a browser based application and my hard drive based application (Journler). In other words I’ll make it twice as hard to find anything”. But it’s still so cool…