Apple's original iPod came out ten years ago this month. It will likely die tomorrow (at least its Classic form). Yet the original iPod begat the iPhone and iOS. It changed computing. Almost nobody realized that at the time.

When the first iPod came out, very many people dismissed it. It wasn't Windows-compatible. It didn't use flash memory. It was too expensive. And so forth, and so on. This comment thread from Slashdot typified much of the initial response from the tech community: "No wireless. Less space than a nomad. Lame." Or: " I don't see many sales in the future of iPod."

Yeah. That was wrong. Laughably, embarrassingly wrong. So many reviewers got the iPod wrong. But not Eliot Van Buskirk. Not only did Van Buskirk realize right away that the iPod was going to be a great MP3 player, he looked beyond its immediate impact and saw the larger future:

But the naysayers have it wrong, and I'll tell you why: The iPod is revolutionary in a number of ways, and its descendants will replace the PC.

He went on to predict that

[P}eople will use one comprehensive iPod-like storage and connectivity unit in combination with every specialized peripheral you can think of. As before, something designed for digital music will spread across other areas of technology. Descendants of the iPod MP3 player will replace the PC as the hub of your digital life.

That seems to be where the industry is headed, with the iPad and even moreso Windows 8 slates. These children of the iPod are slowly replacing our laptops and desktops, especially as we can begin to offload more data and services to live online that we can access anywhere. [Cnet via Evolver]