Arthur C. Clarke is well known for the predictions he has made on space travel and astronomy. But he has also made a lot of predictions about computer science, some directly - as the HAL computer of 2001- but mostly in passing reference when his main topic is something else. I want to discuss the latter category in more detail. (Not sure why I want to write my first blog post on this rather mundance topic). His predictions range from hilariously inaccurate to surprisingly close to how things turned out.
I would first like to write about a hilarously inaccurate prediction. In his novel, Rendevous with Rama Clarke speaks about an astronomer from the 23rd century or something who is checking the images he has received from a telescope (which eventually help him discover the mammoth spaceship coming towards the Earth). It all looks fine until he talks about how the astronomer had to wait for 3 days until the computer processed the images.... I couldn't help myslef from bursting into a laughter and couldn't take the book seriously anymore. Apparently, in a world where technology has advanced so far the computers were still stuck in Clarke's own time. I'm sure that Clarke himself would have laughed at how stupid it looks.
I hope I can finish this post soon by writing about some better predictions and what they tell about Clarke, predicting about future technology and the route technology has taken.