The speed with which the world embraces new technologies never ceases to astound me.

Seemingly overnight, the PC appears passé.

A tech forecasting outfit called International Data Corp. last week predicted that tablet sales will exceed annual laptop and desktop shipments by 2015.

It seems like just yesterday we were lusting over netbooks!

I still prefer my PC and its big screen for many things, but the versatility of a tablet is undeniable.

It holds my book collection. I use it to catch up on TV shows and movies. It serves as my portable jukebox, connected by Bluetooth to the speakers in my living room.

More than a media plaything, it has become a business tool.

Shopkeepers use the digital slabs as substitutes for cash registers. My doctor flipped his around to walk me through my medical results, and then tapped out a prescription, sending it to my pharmacy before I had even left his office.

My plumber produced a iPad the other day to issue me a receipt, and the two guys who delivered my couch used theirs to snap a photo in order to prove the upholstery arrived in good condition. I attested to the same by signing the screen with my index finger.

On the road, my wife often keeps hers at the ready, navigating us to our destination and even making dinner reservations on the fly.

I find I rarely reach for a laptop anymore, and wonder if my big, bulky PC is destined to take its place beside the electronics has-beens that fill my basement, a veritable museum of past tech trends, from Laserdisc players to dual-tuner Tivos to karaoke sound machines to a succession of ever-more powerful PCs, all in working order, all useless to me now.

You’d think I would learn.

Instead, I’m waiting to be first on my block for whatever will replace the tablet.