Archive of UserLand's first discussion group, started October 5, 1998.

Re: Thin Clients or Fat Networks

Author:Jim Gendreau
Posted:7/9/1999; 7:05:07 PM
Topic:Thin Clients or Fat Networks
Msg #:8375 (In response to 8330)
Prev/Next:8374 / 8376

I know this will make me sound like a luddite, but the reality is that there will NEVER be enough cheap bandwidth between the servers and the user device (what ever it is). Those that think otherwise, are ignoring the laws of economics, physics and intertia, particularly the economics of commmunication infrastructures - building communications infrastructure is never cheap and the rate of return can be quite low.

For example, today, office buildings are still being wired with CAT-3 wire (10 mbps max) instead of CAT-5 because it is less expensive. Unfortuantely, building LANs are addressing a smaller portion of the overall personal systems, because portable PCs are the fastest growing part of the PC business. Once you are out of your office, all the connection technologies are quite slow, particularly if you get more than a few miles out of one of the big cities (as an example, my "nationwide" pager could never work in the city of Elko which sits on I80 in NE Nevada).

It has been my experiance that the best total solution design should assume low bandwidth between devices and put the various functions where they work the best. In this case the user presentation should be in the user device and the data crunching should be in the device that stores the data (why move the data just to crunch it). Doing otherwise, makes the solution sub optimal and ultimately wasteful of the users time and energy.

I have a lot of background in communication technology and economics and will be glad to expand on this if any one cares.

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