DaveNet: Tuesday, September 16, 1997; by Dave Winer.
Steve Wozniak on Small TCP ServersFrom Steve Wozniak, firstname.lastname@example.org in response to Fractional Horsepower HTTP Servers.
There is a company that makes these "ready to go over TCP" products, with built-in http admin and access software. I have a few "Cams" from the company, called "Axis Eye" or something. But they make printers and maybe even a scanner. A bit more expensive but less expensive considering maintenance.
I don't want to be reminded of the scuzziest word in computers. I never got satisfied with it. I'm sure that SCSI chased me to PowerBooks, and now to the ones with IDE drives and built-in CD Rom Drive.
Steve Jobs' vision is in the exact direction that you would like. All the administration of your computer should be done by others. Although Steve hasn't spoken of hardware (like scanners) to me personally, his thinking (and my own) would lead to this final approach.
Buy a printer and give it an IP address and it's online. Buy a cam and give it an IP and it's online, with it's own web page server and ftp for access (and passwords for secure administration over the web). Same for scanners and CD ROM drives and more. No software to install or run on your own computer. Even the Apple LaserWriter, called "plug'n'play" could be more plug'n'play if it's driver was built in. We even briefly saw this with PROMs and EROMS on very early Apple II printer (and other) cards.
These preinstalled devices, like the scanner, would make for a nice world. Kind'a like driving your car nowdays. One that Larry Ellison's mother, and even mine, could use a computer in.
The quickest, and at first least expensive, solutions are where the user has to do a lot just to use them. We learn to maintain the equipment without thinking about the steps and stop saying that it's more complicated than it should have been. We even opp ose attempts to make it easier because they threaten our own experienced value in the world. Someone who has learned how to keep a network of PCs running doesn't want to hear that Macs are easier. Someone that has installed a few scanners doesn't think th at it's difficult enough to justify a trivial one at greater cost. Unfortunately, examples of easier to use, or higher quality, products not making it abound. Well, at least they exist if they don't abound. Dvorak. Beta. Mac.