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Is this where the future lies?


Canonical asked a question today.. The community is answering..


3 comments on “Is this where the future lies?

  1. aeblin
    July 22, 2013

    An honest answer, no. This is not where THE future lies. It may be the future for some, though. Office, Web, watching a vid, yes. Admin-work, yes. A lot of potential in this shoot of the oldest model of computing that is out there, which is Client-Server. Only this time, you will carry the computing-part of the server with you, and store data in some sort of cloud service. Not that this is non-plus-ultra, as it has its very own bottlenecks.

    It won’t be a future for anyone who goes hard on the resources of a machine.
    Anything media-visual, for example. Even if Adobe pulls the ultimate DRM by not even selling software anymore; if you want digital artwork, printquality, in big sizes created, gargantuan Megapixel-RAW-images processed, detailed 3D-Scenes with breathtaking lighting rendered, or big videos with heavy CGI cut, you won’t put that kind of power into a mobile phone just yet. For fear of intellectual property leaking who knows where, I know a few artists who won’t upload working files, full-res originals or works in progress anywhere even if their computer were on fire.
    Gamers probably won’t take well to this as well. Especially if they mod their games or write mods. Yes, Steam-console in the stars, but take the script extenders for the Elder Scrolls series, it’s the basis and conditio-sine-qua-non for some of the best mods there, but for everything that is unholy won’t work on any of the consoles those games were released for as well. And I guess, not for lack of trying.
    I could also think of a few programming scenarios where I’m not at all sure if they go smoothly there.
    So: No, desktop won’t die just yet, as about the last 20 years not. It will only recede into more specialised corners of the business, maybe just as the Mac survived until the Apple-i-revival in very specialised environments.

    There won’t be THE future anymore, as computing systems will never be geared towards a specific class of users as they used to be, in the beginning. We’ve got the pros now, every kind of pro actually, with wildly varying demands, and we’ve got the absolute beginners. A growing part of the population now has spent a significant part of their lifes using a computer, even if they were not born into it. This wide variety of use-cases and user-classes alone prohibits a single concept of THE future.

    Except for THE future will be fragmented, heterogenous, interoperational systems, where one logical, operational unit is not restricted to be a singular, physical system, and one single, physical system is not restricted to run a single, logical unit; so it should better contain well-documented, open standards of inter-system-communication and good means of separating logical processes.

    • projectzme
      July 22, 2013

      First can I say thank you.. That’s an honest set of thoughts put down on paper..

      If I may, I would like to debate them in the form of disagreements.

      There is one basic underlying, simple, unarguable fact in the computing world right now. Unless you are Lenovo, you made a loss in desktop PC equipment over the last 24 months. That is not a blip, that is a pattern, hand over fist every Desktop PC manufacturer has admitted that the desktop PC as we know it is a dying breed.

      Consumers want light, mobile, portable..

      For every one person who wants to do the raw image processing, there are a couple of hundred thousand who don’t.

      The argument you are using is a valid one, however not a commercial one. While I don’t disagree that there is a market for the desktop, it’s going to be tiny within a few years. Even games houses are seeing all but a few titles making no money. That’s initially why Microsoft, running scared, thought they could get away with what they did on their new console, games creators need that business model to survive, and let me assure you had Microsoft not been hit so hard with negative press Sony would have gone down the same road too..

      The same argument is made time and time again, and as I said its a commercial one, if I am a computer company, I can make beefy boxes which will sell in the thousands, or I can make devices which have a higher profit margin, and sell cheaper in the millions.

      A a sysadmin who has worked on the client server model, if you set it up right, users love it, and it reduces over all costs for the company, so it’s a win win all round, vendors make money by order of sales, company’s save money, because the IT overhead is cheaper. Now do the math, and wander over to the finance dept and ask them which one is better for the company.

      It’s has never been about the users, it’s always been about the bottom line.

      Now where I would agree with you whole heartedly is the real future of computing is for the foreseeable future is fragmentation, as Steve Jobs put it, people will need trucks, however economy cars are the future.. And finding the right device for the job is important.

      Finally I ask you this..

      If you had a device which had all your contacts, calendars, notes, etc for on the road, gave you decent battery life on a decent screen (better than that cheap blackberry your company gave you) which when you got into the office turned into your PC, so you carried less, we’re contactable with more information. Wouldn’t you be happy?

      • aeblin
        July 23, 2013

        Fine points, all of them. The only thing we can do, though, is wait what will actually happen, which will probably surprise us all, yet again.

        But to answer your final question, no. I would not be happy with that device. It would be a burden, by exactly that which technically would make it an awesome device. The reason is, I actually like my stuff separate. I like NOT being able to work 24/7, because if I could, I would. Having your work available all the time tempts you to work all the time, just as having your private stuff with you tempts you to do private stuff. (You can see that by seeing how much work seeped into free weekends, and your holidays, and all around the working hours in general for a lot of people.)
        A lot of burn-out happens because of that mixing, because most people are not able to separate private from work when both is available all the time. That is from personal experience, balancing telecommuting, studying online for a university degree, family, interests, hobbies and friends. It all went badly and stressful as long as I did not very, very strictly separated each. Now they all run alongside, each in their own time, and largely unavailable off those times – successful, overall with a lot less effort, and without too much stress. In fact, I accomplish more now, with more time to spare.

        That took, among other things, also getting different devices with different capabilities in some cases. So, not syncing and having it all available made me more efficient, but the opposite – strictly dividing, manually managing what goes where. Divide and conquer.

        From a commercial POV, this is not wanted. No one who wants to sell their product advertises with extensive suggestions where and when there are possibilities NOT to use it. Products are sold by their ability to be everywhere with the customer, doing tenthousand little things for them, becoming indispensable. I just have to compare today, where seemingly everyone has a smartphone to when simple mobile phones came to be a customer product. Things changed, and I have to say, in many aspects not for the best for the humans using them. That is something I would wish a “Linux for human beings” to consider: When not to use it.

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This entry was posted on July 22, 2013 by in Phones, Tablets, Ubuntu and tagged , , , , .
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