Richard Siggins is a Systems Associate
of Information Technology at Eastman Chemical Company. Eastman is
an industry leader in development and productivity. Its main focus
is on the manufacturing of chemical plastic fibers. Mr. Siggins shares
with us his enlightened perspective on computers.
What do you think is the most important component
of the computer industry today?
If software, then standardization. Over the past 20
or so years, multiple proprietary protocols or standards for information
transfer or sharing have impeded the advancement of the computer industry.
Today, standards are evolving that can facilitate the transfer of information
between systems that was not possible before. It's hard to understand,
but not many years ago, you could not use a standard query language (SQL)
to access information in a database. You had to know several different
languages, and compile the information yourself.
If you could choose one important innovation for
the future surrounding computers, what would it be?
If hardware, then it has to be the processor technologies.
Being able to squeeze more processing power from uni-processors makes everything
The set of technologies involved with PDA's, including voice
and hardwiring technologies. PDA's or "Palm Tops" will revolutionize
the industry once the input barriers are overcome. They will eventually
replace PC's for many people.
What do you think is the most revolutionary invention
for the computer industry?
The one? It has to be the internet and HTML..
The internet by itself was not adopted well at all, until HTML and the
web became the standard for sharing information. The internet has
been around for a very long time and I was using it before there was a
web, but it was not widely used until HTML and the web became the dominant
technology on the internet.
How do you see yourself involved in the computer
My role is a project manager on an
eCommerce project for the chemical industry. In such a role, I can
help set the direction for eCommerce in the chemical industry, which typically
lags the rest of the industries in the adoption of new technologies.
My company is leading the rest of the chemical industry in the adoption
of the web and eCommerce as a viable business solution.
What do you think is the most important trend
to watch in the development of computers?
It is not technology, but standardization. Until there
What is your favorite aspect of today's technology?
standards, such as HTML, XML, and Corba, we can not effectively
information between companies or individuals. Today, there
standards, which are adopted by various companies. Until the
together, the value of the technology will be limited.
The constant change. When ever I think I understand
a small portion of today's technology, everything changes and I have to
re-learn. This is a good thing in that it challenges us to constantly
take a fresh look at what is and is not possible in information technology.
Do you credit anyone in particular for leading
the computer industry to where it is today?
The entrepreneurs of today. These guys (Gates, Dell,
etc.) set the standards for everyone else to follow. They break the
rules and stretch the limits of what is possible. Without these guys,
we would not be where we are today.
Who do you think will be the prominent figures
in the computer industry in the future?
A new crop of the same type of people as in the prior question.
What would you refer to as the first "computer"?
The first devices that processed a problem without human