Active Desktop

Anyone remember that piece of Mickeysoft crap that was hailed by everyone as the next great feature of desktop integration, yet I still haven't met anyone who uses (I don't spend much time in windows, except for games of BattleField 1942).

And, I also nominate "blogs" and "blogosphere" as being part of a similar article of future years. It used to be that some people kept peridiocally updating a site, or keeping a log in either their .plan (accessible via finger) file or somewhere on the net. Yet, nowadays, somehow this practice has become a "world changing" phenomen or a "new method" of communication, or a "revolution". Hint: it's nothing special.

And on the topic of WAP, while the idea of WML may have been only a fad, but the idea that websites should be displyable on text-only devices isn't. What bothers me is why invent a separate language for that, why not just not use flash, frames and use the alt description on the img tag?

As for the myriad of comments of about thin client, rather then just blee the "mee-to", I'd like to say that

a) calling WYSE or VT-series terminal "dumb" is a misnomer (dumb implies no control over cursor position (at least no 2-d control over cursor position)), if you want a seriously dumb terminal try an ASR-33

b) text-only video terminals still have plenty of use: point of sale system, library systems, and the terminal -> server model of computing still lives on with today's ssh and telnet (which is very widely used). In fact, I can't remember a time I sat in front of a computer, where I havent at one point used an application which emulated what you called "dumb" terminals -- whether sshing to a workgroup server at work, checking mail from school, or using an ATM or a library search feature (and putty is probably the single Windows application I use the most).

c) you mentioned the expensive Sunray thin clients, yet unlike your average pee-cee running Lunix Redhate or Microsoft Windows Type-R (my prediction for a next naming scheme, once "X""XP" gets old ("2k""mellinium" already is)) it can last more than 3 years (average lifetime for a pee-cee, believe it or not) and doesn't need to be constantly upgraded (only the central server -- such as say a E480R or an E280R (try putting one of those on every worker's desk!) needs to be upgraded).

The dot-bomb era thin clients had the failure of trying to essentially be a computer, but naming it something else (various I-openers, and other sorts of web-browser oriented thin clients), but diskless workstations and X11/Citrix/whatever terminals are still useful, just as video terminals and most importantly terminal-emulation.