Archive of UserLand's first discussion group, started October 5, 1998.
The technographer's net connection
Author: Dave Winer Posted: 3/4/1999; 5:16:15 AM Topic: ADSL Msg #: 3525 (In response to 3521) Prev/Next: 3524 / 3526
In Bernie's application, he's going to need a honker, maybe a SuperHonker, to be able to do remote technography, and a honking net connection.
Meeting starts. Bernie, on headset, says "Welcome to our meeting. Here's the agenda we all agreed on."
Then he cursors thru the top level items, expanding each one in turn. Each time he expands one, he presses F8 which runs a script that re-renders the outline and shoots it up to a server, where 25 people are redownloading the page every 5 seconds. (The flash on their screens might be very unpleasant.)
After review of the agenda, a discussion follows. People shout commands at Bernie. As the system gets more sluggish, they shout more loudly.
Instead of talking about the subject of the meeting they start complaining about how slow the whole thing is.
My point is this, I think that at a technical level, the whole thing can *only* work if you up the bandwidth at every point in the chain. The weakest link is Bernie's net connection. It's penny-wise-pound-foolish to compromise on bandwidth here. It might only work when all the participants are on high speed lines too. We don't know!
We've only done technography face to face, where bandwidth is not an issue. Your retina refreshes every sixtieth of a second (I don't know the actual number). Now, latency might be an interesting effect to play with, but I suspect that most of the time we will want as close to instant updating as we can achieve.
How fast is his workstation?
And when thinking about bandwidth also think about the performance of his machine. How many megahertz is he going to need? I'm pretty sure that my new machine, the so-called SuperHonker, will be able to render pages in the background without interfering with my typing. So the F8 key on my system might just set a boolean that an agent script is watching. One things for sure, I don't want Bernie to wait for the page to render or for a slow HTTP request to go up to the server. I want him to keep going, and the only pauses coming from waiting to hear people's verbal reactions.
But one thing's for sure, if Bernie is on a low-speed connection, or a challenged connection, it's going to be a problem. He may not need the broad pipe at every moment, but for those moments where he does it would be a shame if it didn't work because he's trying to save $10 a month on the connection. Think of the value of the human time involved.
A visual model
To make decisions here develop a visual model of what's going on in virtual space. These people are going to feel far away from each other. It may be that high performance at every step in the chain will make them feel like that's OK.
Bernie, I wonder if you could, in as few words as possible, draw a picture for all of us of you sitting at the workstation with a headset and people with audio-enabled PCs, and let's draw some pictures of what they'd see on their screen. I'll bet we could do a slideshow with GIFs that would help paint the picture for Matt and Jimmi and others.
There are responses to this message:
- Re: The technographer's net connection, Bill Seitz, 3/4/1999; 8:41:27 AM
- Re: The technographer's net connection, Bernie DeKoven, 3/4/1999; 8:48:24 AM
- Re: The technographer's net connection, Matt Daw, 3/4/1999; 9:08:44 AM
- Re: the bandwidth thing, James Spahr, 3/4/1999; 1:40:46 PM
- Re: The technographer's net connection, garret p vreeland, 3/4/1999; 2:14:04 PM
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