Wednesday, October 03, 2007

# Posted 9:16 AM by Taylor Owen  

APOLOGIES: for the lack of posting. It has been due, in part, to the twin challenges of being on the road for the better part of the past two months, and having a sustained and agonizing computer melt down. On the latter, a few notes.

First, computer repair people are a lot like car salesmen. I took my computer to three different places over the course of a month. The first two didn't identify what the last said was the obvious problem, but who then couldn't fix it, after a week and 400 bucks (and yes, Canadian bucks are now real bucks, but that's another post). Frustrating to no ends.

Second, just backing up your files, which I am relatively good at doing, is insufficient for actually allowing work flow to continue post computer breakdown. The number of settings on my computer, such as all of my blogging cookies, means just shifting files is only part of the battle.

Third, gmail is the only email webmail ap that actually works to ANY degree like a client side program, on which I have become crack-like dependent. Having to use three different web based aps to run my three separate main accounts, was torture. The other two were so bad, that I started forwarding all messages through gmail. This experience, and now sort of having Thunderbird back, showed me unequivocally that email management is the central peg in my disheveled productivity.

Fourth, and related to the second and third, I just heard about a Sun system, where you can put a keycard into any networked Sun computer, and ALL of your desktop settings and files appear (h/t JV). Any programs that you have on your system, that aren't on the unit you are using, get emulated by server-side programs, while client side ones are downloading to your terminal in the background. Once on the couputer, it seemlessy switches to the client side version.

This to me is the future of computers. Seemless integreation between server and client, combined with terminals that recognize who you are, and automatic server side backups. I am probably bastardizing the description of this process, but come on Jobs/Gates - which of you are going to get to this first!
(1) opinions -- Add your opinion

I've never seen the Sun system in the wild, but it does allow my brother to work at a satellite office in town. Underlying this system is a particular form of virtualization, an old IBM concept from the 60s revived at Stanford and commercialized by VMWare and others. Abstraction and virtualization are probably the only worthwhile concepts in a CS degree.

And it probably won't be either Jobs or Gates. If it were, it would be Jobs and then Gates. Instead it will probably be Page and Brin. And at this point, it is more likely that Larry and Sergey will buy it rather than make it.
Post a Comment