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Re: Lucent Technologies & Sun Microsystems



>... I'm talking about keeping in touch when I'm walking in the park on
a sunny spring day. I don't see any overlap between what you would use
an NC for and a PC (not even a laptop). I might use the NC to make phone
calls too of course.

If what you're talking about is something like the new Nokia cellular 
computer-phone, then okay, that's a quite different model than the 
timesharing/dumb-but-graphics terminal oriented system I thought you were 
pushing.

The point still being that the new TI DSP executing as many as two billion 
instructions per second, but still being only half a million transistors and 
running off 2.5 volts... two flashlight batteries... and costing less than $100 
a copy in production volumes means that it's preposterous to push all the (even 
HEAVY) processing jobs off to a FAR less cost-effective, proprietary, 
centralized, less-scaleable mainframe-class machine.

>> Some of us guys have been in this business long enough to have been there, 
done that, got the T-shirt (and saved it in the closet... hung next to my 
bellbottom pants, just in case *those* ever come back into style too).  :)

>Guess what -- they are back in style, but mine don't fit any more! 

That's the same problem here.  Sigh.

>So maybe this is the arguement that is required. If bellbottoms are back in
style why not "time-sharing"?

Because it's not just a question of style, it's a question of (permanently) 
changed expectations about what kinds of services and performance and features a 
computer system will provide, and of the irreversible technological progress 
towards achieving that that's come to pass in the meanwhile.

>> It simply *DOES NOT MAKE SENSE* to centralize CPU processing on a remote,
> centralized compute server anymore.  Or to have to download programs through
> relatively glacial-speed comm facilities before those programs can be 
executed.  At least not unless there are POWERFUL overriding considerations 
which justify the hugely increased cost of doing so.

>I agree!!! It has to be either cheaper, much more convenient or it
doesn't make sense. For some things, servers are cheaper.

There's at least one additional point.  The good solution today also should be 
scaleable to essentially arbitrary size, and should allow adding capacity in 
small, affordable, easily-tuned pieces... and with a minimum of (or better, NO) 
disruption to the system components and procedures already in place.  Also, the 
effects of failures (hardware and software) should be small and bounded, much 
the same way that good programs ought to use a series of relatively independent 
and self-contained modules which deal with each other through a few simple, 
well-defined, inherently reliable arms-length interfaces.  

Gordon Peterson
http://www.computek.net/public/gep2/