sticknick: (Kings Cross)
Now that OS X and Windows 7 are on par and have pretty much wrapped up a generation of box/monitor/keyboard/mouse computing, I often wonder what The Next Big Thing will be. I mean, come on. What more could you possibly throw into an operating system in order to make people want to buy the next version?

Both OS X and Windows 7 are solid, fast, sleek and shiny. There is nothing Apple and Microsoft can add to make them "better" other than obvious bug fixes.

So what is the The Next Big Thing In Personal Computing?

I asked this question on a Flame War site I frequent and one dude said "OS X with multi-touch". I think this person was referring to the iPhone.

I have an iPhone. I love my iPhone. I believe that the iPhone is the absolute best device to come out in the past 10 years.

Is it the Next Big Thing In Personal Computing? No way. Not by a long shot. It still needs to be coupled with a Mac or PC with iTunes installed to make it work properly. And iTunes runs on the box/monitor/keyboard/mouse model. And even if Apple adds full multi touch to OS X and releases a tablet, it's still the box/monitor/keyboard/mouse (fingers?) model because you have to download and install software in order to do anything and it stores all of your information locally.

Then I saw this:



Looking a this preview of the Chrome OS I finally got this whole Cloud deal and I can now see where it's going. Yesterday I could have cared less. I have seriously been trying to figure out what all the hoopla has been around "Cloud Based Computing". Web apps. Whoo-hoo.

Web apps = little programs that run in a browser.

Google has been chattering on about it's online mail and office applications for years. They've got maps and Picasa too. They have chat and they have Wave. And all of this is on the Internet. If I want to use any of this web based stuff, I'll open Safari and have at it!

I have a MacBook Pro attached to a 24" monitor. I also have a Powerbook for some tasks and storage. I have a Mail app, a couple of web browsers, the Adobe Master Suite, and Microsoft Office. I have around a terabyte of drive space strewn across the home office network by way of physical backup drives. This is all topped off with a mouse and keyboard.

If something happens to my computers, all my stuff is backed up and it'll only take me a few hours to reinstall the operating system and applications and copy over my files. And set up my media libraries. And re-add contacts. And set up my email app again and wait for my mail to download….

Wait… what if… this could all be replaced with a smallish laptop/netbook style device and a tiny operating system that could pull everything I own and need from the Internet? What if this computer was lost? Or stolen? What would it be like to buy a new one an not have to worry about lost contacts or content? All my music still there. Same with my photos and email. And what if I didn't have to spend hours reinstalling programs and tweaking settings? What if I just turned on the computer…

… and everything was there?

What if I could turn on this device, and be editing a photo for your blog in seconds without having to use cumbersome third party system hogging desktop software like Photoshop?

Think I'm crazy? Why is Adobe playing around with this then? Try it out. Sure, it's not Photoshop CS4, but ten years ago I couldn't imagine a standalone program that did basic photo editing that well, let alone something that ran off of a web page.

Need office apps? Microsoft will have you covered. So does Adobe.

I'm sure there are gamers out there who are thinking you'll need a kick ass computer and operating system to play. Maybe. For now. I will say that nine years ago I built a two thousand dollar computer to do two things: 1) Graphics and Web design 2) Play Games. This computer played Quake 3. Slowly. On low settings.

Now Quake 3 can be played in a browser plug-in. Fast. On high settings.

Yeah.

The combination of the upcoming HTML 5 standard and advances in the Adobe Flash platform is starting to really blur the line between standard desktop applications and web applications.

How awesome would that be? This is the Cloud. I finally get it.

Kudos to Google for envisioning what I think just may be The Next Big Thing.


Note: The hardware is fast enough. The Internet is fast enough (although we need to really get working on providing people outside of the main urban centres decent high speed). Now if Google can make Chrome multi touch and perfect voice recognition software, we can move fully away from the box/monitor/keyboard/mouse platform.

Date: 2009-11-24 12:47 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] sloot.livejournal.com
I'm not completely convinced that will be for everybody. Agreed, 90% of my personal computing time is in a browser, but what about that other 10%? Will google really be writing the drivers etc so that USB drives, cd/DVD/rom/rw drives work? What about display drivers?

I have GIGS of photos in lightroom, where in the cloud can I put that so that I retain my rights and privacy to it? My stepfather is a writer, how can he be convinced that his next masterpiece is secure in the cloud? He also can't get highspeed. He put up a 100' tower to pick up line of sight, radio Internet, but it appears he needs another 30-40'

what about development for/of this platform? Ok - development of webpages can happen in a browser, but not that chess game.


I like the idea, but I see a world where 75% of the people live in the browser, and then the rest of us have real computers.

Date: 2009-11-24 06:18 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] sticknick.livejournal.com
I'm not completely convinced that will be for everybody. Agreed, 90% of my personal computing time is in a browser, but what about that other 10%?

Given enough time I can see that 10% moved over to the cloud...

Will google really be writing the drivers etc so that USB drives, cd/DVD/rom/rw drives work? What about display drivers?

Why not? They already showed a USB camera working. I'll guess that by release, any USB device will work with the OS.

CDs? DVDs? Seriously? They're going the way of the floppy. I mean, I have a CD/DVD drive but it only really gets used for ripping DVDs from the library when I can't find the movie on iTunes (I have another rant about physical media in the works, don't you worry). Everything else is on the network or on thumb drives and purchased from the Internet.

As for device drivers, if this takes off, what would stop nVida and ATi from writing drivers for Chrome? Or maybe Google is going to start with a proprietary system model like Apple does? I guess we'll find out.

I have GIGS of photos in lightroom, where in the cloud can I put that so that I retain my rights and privacy to it? My stepfather is a writer, how can he be convinced that his next masterpiece is secure in the cloud?

This is something that concerns me a little. But the more I think about it, is your content any less secure on your home network than it would be on a remote server? I mean the average person does not have the security in place that remote systems employ. I'm sure it would be easier to grab content off a personal home network than from a super secure bunker. Especially considering all the wide open wireless networks out there.

You also have gigs of photos up on Fickr. How would that be any different than having your raw photos on a Cloud server somewhere?

That being said, this is a wait and see thing; content security and rights and privacy are going to be the single most important issue of this model. If there is even a shadow of a doubt that peoples personal content and privacy will be at stake, then this model will not work.

He also can't get highspeed. He put up a 100' tower to pick up line of sight, radio Internet, but it appears he needs another 30-40'

See my footnote: "… we need to really get working on providing people outside of the main urban centres decent high speed"

what about development for/of this platform? Ok - development of webpages can happen in a browser, but not that chess game.

Why cant development tools be ported to something like this? I wouldn't say that it's not at all possible. Back in 1999 would I have never thought it possible that I could play Q3 in a web browser with better graphics and better performance than my then top of the line PC. I'm sure the tools could be ported to the web.

I like the idea, but I see a world where 75% of the people live in the browser, and then the rest of us have real computer

I see a world where the average computer user lives in the browser (80-85%). This includes all the tasks that we normally rely on desktops for: Email, surfing, chatting, document, image, video, and sound editing. Games both major and minor. And on and on. The other 15-20% or so still follow the desktop model. And this 15-20% are merely the servers running the cloud. The internet can't host itself ;)

Keep in mind that I'm not thinking that this will all happen next year when Google releases Chrome OS. I'm trying to look ahead another 10 to 15 years from now :)

Date: 2009-11-24 06:37 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] sloot.livejournal.com
tl;dr
first: 10-15 years, yeah - agreed. And we'll be doing it from our pocket - see iPhone.

highspeed everywhere: The solution to this also might be in my pocket. 3G is fast enough for most things. It might make more sense to cover the country/planet in 3G/4G/whatever than to cover it in internet only proprietary, cereal box sized receivers.

CD/DVD: What about OS installs? Also, I just burnt 2gig of photos for Jeff & Lauren. The up/download time for that is not appropriate. Hmm - if it were in the cloud, there wouldn't be up/down time - not really. I'm still not convinced ;-)

devices: I'll guess that by release, any USB device will work with the OS. ANY is a big jump. Many standards might be supported, but ANY includes a lot. And yes, if it flies, I'm sure that the hardware vendors will be writing the drivers for it - just the way they do now.


security: I can put photos on an external drive and unplug it from the computer. It is now completely secure until such a time as I want to access them.
You also have gigs of photos up on Fickr. How would that be any different than having your raw photos on a Cloud server somewhere? The fact that flickr's security has a huge motherfucking hole in it whereby with the correct URL you can see anything. But let's just assume that there are no security holes.

development: I'm trying to imagine the dev work that I do moving to a browser, and I'm having trouble. Not that it's impossible, it just gets awkward. Primarily what I do requires database connections. Is the browser going to do jdbc (or something similar?), or will all communication go to a webapp that then communicates with the database? That will move the data through the routers twice as much as needed - but on a local gigabit network, we might not care. It also means that I won't be able to pick up a new development tool (Golden vs TOAD, new beta of Golden, etc) without an IT monkey installing it on a server somewhere for me. (Because you can be damned sure I won't have a server myself at work to install it on)

cloud: I don't see authentication being a a problem with the cloud, but the constant new fucking accounts might be. (see flickr/picassa/kodak/yahoo photos/whateverfuckingnewservicegetscreatednextweek)
You make some valid points, but I'm still convinced this could work. What is needed most of all is:

1) Cheap, fast Internet access with global coverage. And by fast, I mean nearly instantaneous transfers. (for example: imagine that todays 3G as yesterdays 14.4)
2) Security.
3) Security.
4) Security.

CD/DVD: Yeah, about the only other thing I use them for is OS installs (although I can do a full OS X install from a firewire drive if I wanted to be bothered setting it up) and my CS4 Suite install (don't feel like copying the install files over to the drive). I can say that the days of having piles and piles of backup discs is gone for me. Need files from me? Let me know. I'll put them on my thumb drive for ya.

Hrmmm... OS installs. If you strip out all the unneeded crap from the OS and find a way to put a basic net connection on the ROM (or something to that effect) it may be possible to download an OS from the cloud and install it?

Date: 2009-11-24 07:27 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] sloot.livejournal.com
dev tools: actually, y'know what - I've seen phpmysql or whatever the fuck it's called, and it's functional. I'd KILL MYSELF if I had to live in it all day, but it works.

Date: 2009-11-25 04:04 am (UTC)From: [identity profile] sticknick.livejournal.com
I've used it. It's horrid. It has saved my ass a few times though :)

It's functional ... and it sucks because, at the moment, it doesn't have to be any better than it is. Why make it better when you can install the desktop apps. It's like the difference between Photoshop CS4 and Photoshop.com.

Given a reason to make the webapps better than the desktop versions and I think it could happen.

Date: 2009-11-24 03:57 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] nocnitsa.livejournal.com
Remote-everything has been the plan with software and OSs for a long time. I'm both looking forward to it and terrified of it. Ease versus Privacy.

OSX with multitouch - they are referring to making the base OS and monitor a touch-capable device. They are trying to get screen resolution to the same quality as print. The first step was the iphone. The next should be the tablet. Think: Wacom meeting Apple, in the future, where they both work well.

Date: 2009-11-24 05:06 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] sticknick.livejournal.com
Agreed that it's been the plan for a long time. Google, MS, and Apple have been yapping about it for a few years now. SO have a pile of tech pundits. However, to me anyway, it's never been clear how anyone was going to do it. It's always seemed like a mish-mash of web desktop icons that opened a browser or something. Or Facebook buttons in iPhoto. I always wondered "how are they going to move away from the tried and true desktop model?"

Seeing Chrome... Now I get it.

Privacy: see my upcoming, long winded reply to sloot.

Multitouch: I'm not even thinking of the Apple "tablet". They may very well be working on something, but until it's announced it's pure vapourware.

Date: 2009-11-24 05:33 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] sloot.livejournal.com
WHERE'S MY REPLY, FUCKER? :-)

Date: 2009-11-24 05:49 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] sticknick.livejournal.com
IT'S NEARLY AS LONG AS MY POST! PLEASE BE PATIENT!

Date: 2009-11-24 06:18 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] sticknick.livejournal.com
YES!

Date: 2009-12-01 02:52 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] a-golden-light.livejournal.com
the only problem i have with the cloud is what happens when some hacker steals a few million google passwords and suddenly your computer's contents is now public? yikes. i mean that's not in quite the same league as the credit card company just sending you a new card because the previous card's data had been compromised (this happened to us a couple weeks ago and we hadn't even lost our card so that means data breach).

Date: 2009-12-01 07:14 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] sticknick.livejournal.com
I agree. Like I mentioned to sloot, there are a few things needed to pull something like this off:

1) Cheap, fast Internet access with global coverage. And by fast, I mean nearly instantaneous transfers. (for example: imagine that todays 3G as yesterdays 14.4)
2) Security.
3) Security.
4) Security.

We'd need something beyond passwords, that's for sure. Maybe even beyond fingerprint readers.

Retina scans?

Dunno.

Good

Date: 2011-04-08 07:11 am (UTC)From: [identity profile] beficyan.livejournal.com
Your site article is very intersting as well as fanstic,at the same time your blog theme is exclusive and ideal,great job.To your success.

August 2011

S M T W T F S
 123456
789 10111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031   

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Jul. 23rd, 2017 08:42 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios