While posting on another topic, I ended up ranting about the death of diversity with the unification of the vendors. In the last 20 years, we've seen our platform choices dwindle. In those days, it was Mac, Amiga, Atari, Apple II, C64, TRS-80, or MS-DOS. Nowadays, we have a choice of Mac, Unix (linux and bsd derivatives), and Windows. Some greats have fallen hard. Commodore and Atari vanished, the TRS-80 machines were displaced for DOS machines, and the Apple II showed its age by the time 1993 rolled around.
While perusing old issues of Byte magazine (anything prior to 1993 is good) and Macworld (again prior to 1994), I noticed that the computing culture was a lot different. It seems as though the explosion of computers on everyday people in the mid 1990's changed everything. The platforms consolidated, and later on, so did the component vendors. Nowadays, LCD's, CRT's, power supplies, power adapters, and laptop batteries all seem to come from one of three companies in the component cartel. LG Electronics, Samsung, and a third vendor whose name escapes me at the moment seem to be the sole providers of these parts. Now, with the intel migration, we're going to likely see this happen on a larger scale with Apple. Considering that Gateway/eMachines, Dell, Compaq/HP, and all of the remaining pc vendors all use the same commodity parts in their machines, I think that Apple will be going even further with it. After all, what's the difference between a Dell and an eMachines - the plastics and eMachines has a better tech support line.
What's everyone's thoughts on the consolidation of the tech sector and the changes in our culture. We're in the midst of a computing cold war between Apple and Microsoft. It's only a matter of time before we know who will become the soviets who effectively bakrupted themselves trying to one up the americans in the arms and space races. (I can go on about the cold war and space race, and how we got much better movies during that time period than now, but that can wait for another day)