18
   

Good god the iPad is a steaming pile of disappointment

 
 
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Feb, 2010 02:00 pm
@Robert Gentel,
Robert Gentel wrote:

rosborne979 wrote:
Latency is the only really limiting factor, and they will eventually get around that by placing redundant storage farms at balanced geographic locations around the planet.


IMO the real limitation isn't bandwidth or network capacity but availability of a data connection at all. There are still many places where the internet is not an always-on resource and that is like having a hard drive that fails.

So IMO wireless data evolution is what drives this and the more like a utility the internet data connection becomes the more reliable the cloud is.

I was thinking in the long term. I take it as a given that Internet Access points will become ubiquitous over time as a function of brute force addition of wireless towers.
0 Replies
 
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Feb, 2010 02:00 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
Cycloptichorn wrote:
Yeah, like I said - a toy. Not for serious users.


Oh well, be summarily dismissive of it if you wish. You certainly aren't any more "serious" of a user than me and I prefer something like that for internet consumption to the current alternatives.
0 Replies
 
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Feb, 2010 02:01 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
Cycloptichorn wrote:
Why would you assume that I don't know these extremely simple things?

Building a computer is different from really understanding it.

Transistors aren't "simple". Boolean logic is anything but "simple". If you think that they are, then you either have used them enough on a daily basis that you have a knowledge that far surpasses the average person (which should make you understand how different your needs are from everyone else's), or you don't really understand it.
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Feb, 2010 02:02 pm
@rosborne979,
rosborne979 wrote:
I think you'll find that most people don't care where the data is, they only care about getting stuff easily.

Exactly. They just want it to work.
0 Replies
 
rosborne979
 
  3  
Reply Fri 5 Feb, 2010 02:03 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
Cycloptichorn wrote:
100%. I built my first x86 computer when I was five years old (with my dad's help of course) and have been working on them extensively my entire life. I would wager I understand how modern computer hardware works as well as anyone.

Why would you assume that I don't know these extremely simple things?

Then clearly, you do not represent the mainstream of computer users. You're going to need a different flavor of Ragu. And that's ok. But the marketplace is more diverse.
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Feb, 2010 02:04 pm
@DrewDad,
I want to second this.

I'll be the first to admit that I don't know much at all about the low-level (means closer to the hardware) of computing in either hardware or software and I live and breath computers. I just like the higher-level layer (further from hardware, closer to user) and my proficiencies in it have taught me next to nothing about the low-level stuff that drives what I do.
0 Replies
 
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Feb, 2010 02:05 pm
@Robert Gentel,
Quote:

Desktop software is an old paradigm of old castle makers. The software is buggy, less connected and runs in fewer places. Read this desktop developer's experience for some examples:

http://www.kalzumeus.com/2009/09/05/desktop-aps-versus-web-apps/


Funny, his biggest argument is that he makes more money off of it. This is entirely consistent with my earlier argument that the future direction of this is centered around control and profits. And when someone loses their net connection, they no longer have the program they need - a limitation which you admit to above.

As someone who plays a lot of games online, I really doubt that server-based gaming is going to become the norm anytime soon. Latency is a huge issue and it isn't going to be casually solved - as you say, milliseconds matter! In many multi-player and graphics-intensive games it's a real issue and I won't believe that it would be possible to run this server-side for modern games until I see it.

Cycloptichorn
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Feb, 2010 02:09 pm
@DrewDad,
DrewDad wrote:

Cycloptichorn wrote:
when having local processing power provides a huge advantage in many situations - not the least of which being the ability to actually DO SOMETHING when there's no net connection.

Most people can't DO SOMETHING when there is no net connection, because DOING SOMETHING involves communicating over the network.


Pfff, this is a little ridiculous. 'Most people' were using computers for things long before the net even existed and a hell of a lot of the stuff people use computers for don't involve communicating over the net.

You gonna tell a grad student that they can't write an essay without a net connection? A student that they can't work on their homework without a net connection? Can't listen to music without a net connection? Can't do ANYTHING at all without a connection?

Quote:

Cycloptichorn wrote:
When the power goes out, my laptop will still work (as long as there's battery life). The device you envision will do nothing. If the internet goes down in your area, you can't do anything. It's a limited device. Having a cheap local processor and storage on board removes these limitations.

And having local storage imposes limitations, too. If you drop your laptop, you've lost any changes that you've made since your last backup. If you lose your laptop, then proprietary information is potentially exposed.

You're sounding reactionary, frankly. The 'net is moving on, and you best do so as well.
[/quote]

It's fine with me if that's your opinion. I think that in the desire to innovate, you are casually waving away significant issues with the product that you are talking about.

If this sort of thing remains a toy or limited-use device, fine. I don't have a problem with that. But some of you seem to think that ALL computing should be done on thin clients, which isn't a very good idea really for several reasons.

Cycloptichorn
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Feb, 2010 02:09 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
Video is definitely the Achilles Heel of thin client computing. However, advances in video codecs, caching, improvements in network quality of service (prioritizing interactive traffic) is making this less of an issue.
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Feb, 2010 02:11 pm
@DrewDad,
DrewDad wrote:

Cycloptichorn wrote:
Why would you assume that I don't know these extremely simple things?

Building a computer is different from really understanding it.

Transistors aren't "simple". Boolean logic is anything but "simple".


The concepts behind both are simple. The application of them are complex. It's like learning Chess - the ideas behind it are easy to understand, a child can learn it. But there's a lifetime of growth in application of the product.

Quote:
If you think that they are, then you either have used them enough on a daily basis that you have a knowledge that far surpasses the average person (which should make you understand how different your needs are from everyone else's), or you don't really understand it.


I agree that I have used these more then the average person; but we were taught Transistors and all sorts of circuits in High school physics 1. Do they not teach this to people any longer?

Cycloptichorn
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Feb, 2010 02:14 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
Cycloptichorn wrote:

DrewDad wrote:

Cycloptichorn wrote:
when having local processing power provides a huge advantage in many situations - not the least of which being the ability to actually DO SOMETHING when there's no net connection.

Most people can't DO SOMETHING when there is no net connection, because DOING SOMETHING involves communicating over the network.


Pfff, this is a little ridiculous. 'Most people' were using computers for things long before the net even existed and a hell of a lot of the stuff people use computers for don't involve communicating over the net.

Back in the days of sneakernet, this was true. Fortunately, the days of copying stuff to a floppy to take to the computer attached to the printer are over.


Cycloptichorn wrote:
You gonna tell a grad student that they can't write an essay without a net connection? A student that they can't work on their homework without a net connection? Can't listen to music without a net connection? Can't do ANYTHING at all without a connection?

That's the way things are moving. There will be appliances you can buy that will do these things without a network connection, but it be more expensive that the cheap, thin client device.

Cycloptichorn wrote:
But some of you seem to think that ALL computing should be done on thin clients, which isn't a very good idea really for several reasons.

Strawman. Nobody here has advocated having ALL computing done on thin clients.

Robert, DJ, and I have all acknowledged that this is the direction things are moving in, though, which is true whether you want to face it or not.
0 Replies
 
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Feb, 2010 02:15 pm
@rosborne979,
rosborne979 wrote:

Cycloptichorn wrote:
100%. I built my first x86 computer when I was five years old (with my dad's help of course) and have been working on them extensively my entire life. I would wager I understand how modern computer hardware works as well as anyone.

Why would you assume that I don't know these extremely simple things?

Then clearly, you do not represent the mainstream of computer users. You're going to need a different flavor of Ragu. And that's ok. But the marketplace is more diverse.


Sure, but what if there were a group of people who were bound and determined to crowd YOUR favorite sauce out of the market, because the masses just don't want a quality product - they want something cheap and fast?

It's hardly something to be happy about. You guys can call me a 'dinosaur' all you want, but internet access is NOT ubiquitous and I suspect that it never will be in our lifetimes. Anyone who uses modern 3G networks knows that they can be temperamental and frankly don't work inside a lot of buildings and other places, or the bandwidth falls to nothing. Even with improvements it's difficult for me to see a reliable system which is streaming exponentially more data then what we currently have arising anytime soon.

Cycloptichorn
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Feb, 2010 02:17 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
Cycloptichorn wrote:
we were taught Transistors and all sorts of circuits in High school physics 1. Do they not teach this to people any longer?

Most people never take High School physics. And transistors were not taught in my High School physics course.

So no, you are not a typical user.

Have you coded in assembly language?
Thomas
 
  3  
Reply Fri 5 Feb, 2010 02:17 pm
@Robert Gentel,
Robert Gentel wrote:
Desktop software is an old paradigm of old castle makers.

I hate to play the "I'm older than you" card on you. But I must point out that it's an even older paradigm to segregate computer networks into terminals and mainframes. Excuse me, I mean "thin clients" and "the cloud" of course. My short-term memory is failing at my advanced age, so I find it hard to keep my buzzwords straight.
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Feb, 2010 02:20 pm
@DrewDad,
DrewDad wrote:

Video is definitely the Achilles Heel of thin client computing. However, advances in video codecs, caching, improvements in network quality of service (prioritizing interactive traffic) is making this less of an issue.


Yes, if we had some Pizza, we could have Pizza and Beer - if we had Beer!

So:

Improvements in hardware
Improvements in Software
Improvements in the Network

Are all needed to make this idea work. And not just small improvements. I think you guys are underestimating the fact that people have gotten used to extremely fast and reliable response times for basic programs; unless a network can match the internal response times of a modern computer, there would be significant frustration in using them.

Cycloptichorn
DrewDad
 
  2  
Reply Fri 5 Feb, 2010 02:20 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
Cycloptichorn wrote:
You guys can call me a 'dinosaur' all you want, but internet access is NOT ubiquitous and I suspect that it never will be in our lifetimes.

Good lord. The Internet as we know it didn't even exist 20 years ago. Cell phone usage is ubiquitous, and people laughed in the movie "Wall Street" when they used a mobile phone.
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Feb, 2010 02:22 pm
@DrewDad,
DrewDad wrote:

Cycloptichorn wrote:
we were taught Transistors and all sorts of circuits in High school physics 1. Do they not teach this to people any longer?

Most people never take High School physics. And transistors were not taught in my High School physics course.

So no, you are not a typical user.

Have you coded in assembly language?


Only casually and not for years.

People don't take Physics in high school? I thought it was part of the core curriculum, like Chemistry.

Cycloptichorn
0 Replies
 
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Feb, 2010 02:23 pm
@Thomas,
No one doubts that the paradigm may shift again. Right now, it's shifting to be more server-centric.

I think the next shift will be towards complete hardware independence. Your "desktop" will be virtualized, and will be able to run on any hardware be it cell phone, laptop, desktop, or server.
0 Replies
 
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Feb, 2010 02:24 pm
@DrewDad,
DrewDad wrote:

Cycloptichorn wrote:
You guys can call me a 'dinosaur' all you want, but internet access is NOT ubiquitous and I suspect that it never will be in our lifetimes.

Good lord. The Internet as we know it didn't even exist 20 years ago. Cell phone usage is ubiquitous, and people laughed in the movie "Wall Street" when they used a mobile phone.



Sure, but you're talking about a system which is tremendously more robust and reliable then our current one; that's a heck of a thing to just assume will happen soon. It has to be so reliable that it mirrors the speed and functionality of a local system; how is this going to be achieved on the scale you guys are talking about?

Cycloptichorn
0 Replies
 
Robert Gentel
 
  2  
Reply Fri 5 Feb, 2010 02:26 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
Cycloptichorn wrote:
Funny, his biggest argument is that he makes more money off of it.


Because it is more efficient.

Quote:
This is entirely consistent with my earlier argument that the future direction of this is centered around control and profits.


Only if you want to see everything as support for your arguments. In this particular example he switched from selling a desktop software and a web version to just a web version.

It doesn't represent any change at all to the user but you see it as part of a change toward profit? He just gave huge insight into why the platform is superior, and the result for him is more profit and you are trying to twist this into proof that this model means a profit-centric one? The web model is cheaper and better, and allows for more profit.

And do note that so far it has largely meant saving money and switching from paid to free and you really aren't making any sense. When I stop paying Microsoft hundreds of dollars for Office, and start using Google Docs for free how is that more profit-centric?

When I stop paying thousands for Exchange server and just go with a $50/year per user SaS offering how is that more profit-centric? Where do you get this kind of thing?

Quote:
And when someone loses their net connection, they no longer have the program they need - a limitation which you admit to above.


This is changing and you can do things like local caching. Google Gears is an example, when my internet connection goes I still have my web mail client just like I would with Outlook. I can't send mail, just like I can't without the net with Outlook, but it's all still there.

The next version of HTML has what is called DOM storage to persist offline.

Again, the browser is becoming richer and the advantages desktop software has over web software is going away as this technology evolves.

Quote:
As someone who plays a lot of games online, I really doubt that server-based gaming is going to become the norm anytime soon.


There will always be room for dedicated local gaming appliances and while games certainly can be delivered online the notion of the thin-client isn't meant for all use cases a computer can serve for. It's meant to do the 90% of computer tasks that it can handle well and by not trying to be everything it has the chance to do things better.

You know, your arguments are all over the place. If you are gaming then you are using a proprietary, for-profit, platform to do so and you were going off on the iPad about stuff like that. You should be using Linux if you take that ideology as far as you have here, and if you are then you aren't running many games on it.

A netbook or an e-reader wasn't a great replacement for your gaming rig either and if you are going to look for things it can't do you can be here all day. I once had a server that doubled as a chair in our datacenter. I bet this thing will suck at that being a chair too.
 

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