The thing is, to talk about specific hardware (like the iPad or iPhone or Nexus One or Droid) is to miss entirely the point I’m about to try to make. This is more important than USB ports, GPS modules, or front-facing cameras. Gigabytes, gigahertz, megapixels, screen resolution, physical dimensions, form factors, in fact hardware in general — these are all irrelevant to the following discussion. So, I’m going to try to completely avoid talking about those sorts of things.
Let’s instead establish some new terminology: Old World and New World computing.