When I was at university, a lot of people were talking about something they called "ubiquitous computing". Computers would be everywhere, they said, and we must figure out what that means, they hastened to add.

For some reason, they seemed to fixate on fridges. Every fridge would have a computer in it, and that computer could tell you important things, like whether you were low on milk. That way, when you got back from the shops, you could feel doubly stupid for forgetting to pick some up.

My older relatives remember life without fridges. All they had was a cellar, meat hooks, and sacks full of salt. I'm genuinely baffled as to how they managed to survive. Doubtless they were much more hardy and much more resourceful their degenerate issue with whom you now correspond.

Compared to the advantages of electrical refridgeration (all the ice cream you could ever possibly want), it seems a touch anticlimactic to stick a glowing todo list on front.

In any case, it never happened. Or maybe it did, but no one cared. I can say without boasting that I hang with some of the geekiest & most tech-savvy people in the world, and none of them have ever told me about their cyber-fridges.

Maybe my fridge does have a computer in it. If it does, all it does is make it slightly better at doing what it always did, rather thhan transforming it from a modestly-priced receptacle for ice cream and bacon into a Macbook. Read Christensen & Raynor or buy me a brandy if you'd like to know more on why.

Ubiquitous computing, when it happened, seems instead to have almost nothing to do with whitegoods (although maybe all the fridge fetishists have taken cover under the "Internet of Things" umbrella? I've always wondered what that was about). Instead, and this is so obvious I can't believe I'm saying it, it turns out that when you have computers everywhere we like to use them to talk to each other.

Pundits didn't predict that. They completely missed the way people sit at home hitting refresh waiting for a choice morsel (just me? ok), or the mass exposure of semi-literacy, or flash mobs, or pictures of lunch would ever be a thing. Oh, and text messages reminding you to pick up the milk.

This post is part of the Alphabet Supremacy, a collaboration with Bice Dibley. Next week’s word is "vocabulary".