on GUIs and such things
Thu, 20 Jul 2000 20:45:10 -0400 (EDT)
Norman Hardy writes:
> I can not argue with wisdom of the quote. On the other hand there are some
> places that you can't get to in smaller steps. "Two leaps per chasm" etc.
> A newish book, "The Innovators Dilemma" notes that innovations usually
> succeed in some narrow niche, gain strength there, and then spread. This
> would argue for finding a niche where some of the benefits of capabilities
> show thru clearly even if the resulting system is not a universal
> replacement for Unix or Windows. My intuition, however, is that mere
> persistence, or confinement are not enough benefit to gain a foothold.
Mere confinement might be enough; EROS+Dionysix could run 100 Unix
images on one machine almost as safely as running them on 100 machines,
and far more cheaply.
Organizations that do a lot of number-crunching could benefit from
metacomputing; EROS provides better OS support for metacomputing than
anything else can or will. If the costs of switching to EROS are not
large, organizations might do it in order to metacompute more easily.
On the other hand, organizations that *really* need metacomputing will
metacompute anyway. EROS's OS support is most useful when you want to
metacompute for people you don't trust.
Persistence is useful for folks that need quick reboots; indeed,
Windows 2000 and Linux both have the ability now to persist a running
system image to disk so as to reboot more quickly; unfortunately, PCs
can't reboot quickly (the BIOS part of the boot often takes thirty
seconds or more!) so it isn't a huge advantage.
Persistence plus VNC could be a very useful combination: once you log
in and start a program, you never have to restart it, ever. Log out,
unplug the machine, ship it around the world, move to another state,
plug everything in and turn it back on, and log back in, and it's still
running. This might fall in the realm of "parlor tricks" rather than
"killer apps", unfortunately.
Web hosting, in general, is fraught with security risks. EROS could
Web browsing is risky; EROS makes it less so. Except for people who
realize it's risky, this is utterly irrelevant to its likelihood of
Palm-sized computers benefit from transparent persistence;
unfortunately, transparent persistence might not interact well with
ten-thousand-cycle flash RAM. I'm not sure whether palm-sized
computers can really benefit from EROS's security architecture, given
that they are very single-user.
<email@example.com> Kragen Sitaker <http://www.pobox.com/~kragen/>
Perilous to all of us are the devices of an art deeper than we ourselves
-- Gandalf the Grey [J.R.R. Tolkien, "Lord of the Rings"]