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September 19, 2021

Why does personal computing matter?

Last week, I demoed one of the concepts in my Lab Notes working within Obsidian, the notes graph app. If you missed it, you can see the demo video here.

I’ve now open sourced the plugin, and will work on polishing it up before submitting it into Obsidian’s Community Plugins directory. If you want to test it out, head to GitHub and follow the instructions for testing.

To acquaint the new subscribers joining us this week:

I’m exploring the future of personal computing by way of conceptualizing, designing, and building pieces of a futuristic operating system.

You can see these concepts, designs, and prototypes in my lab notes so far:

Read the Lab Notes »

Why the operating system? Why personal computing?

Personal computing is one of the most important things humanity has ever built, and it’s on every desktop and in every pocket. It’s surprisingly ubiquitous: right around half the global population has a smartphone, which is a personal computing device; people who don’t have electricity have smartphones, people who don’t have homes have smartphones.

It’s the foundation on which we conduct much of our lives today: it’s where we do much of our life’s work, it’s where we capture and develop our thinking, it’s the medium through which we connect with our loved ones and peers, it’s often where we learn new things, and it’s our connection to the internet and world at large.

Personal computing, along with the operating systems that foster it, is one of the most important things we’ve ever made, and it helps people in nearly every cross-section of the global population.

How will pioneering and trustworthy personal computing be made available to the world’s population in 50 years? In 100? What should it look like? Who should be charged with directing its future, and how?

It’s up to us, as a collective industry, to make sure we build on the rich legacy handed to us by continuing to build towards the future that the next generations deserve from ours. For me, that means constructing the concepts for personal computing’s next phase of life that continue to push it radically forward, and ensure that it does not become an adversary to the people who use it.

Want to receive my work as I publish it?