rich.pixley at palm.com
Tue Aug 25 22:18:54 CEST 2009
Software aside, there's also a HUGE range of user hardware as well.
There's a big difference between building animations or streaming video
for a 1Ghz p5 with 64Mbytes of 133 memory and standard vga/isa video
card vs a 2.5Ghz, quad core amd64 with 8Gbytes of 1066 and a "high end"
GPU which has more Mflops than a "supercomputer".
And, or course, the slow software tends to be running on the slow
hardware and vice verse.
Television had a similar problem, except that the air waves are
regulated federally. We had monaural television with low resolution for
a very long time. There isn't really much choice aside from multiple
distribution/broadcast channels or planned obsolescence. We have it
slightly easier in that we /can/ check the size of the pipe, the
strength of the user's machine, and adjust our behavior accordingly.
But there's a ongoing open question about whether that's cost effective.
Seems to me there are a number of oscillations in the world like
centralization/decentralization or independence/interdependence. First
things swing one way, and when we get tired of that, they swing the other.
I'll just point out that X11 is still in active use over 25 years later
and no one even remembers NeWS. Anyone remember the rash of "thin
client" "internet appliance" devices that went around in the late '90's?
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