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

Re: Microsoft, Intel losing ground?

Author:Jim Gendreau
Posted:9/8/1999; 12:57:48 AM
Topic:Microsoft, Intel losing ground?
Msg #:10724 (In response to 10589)
Prev/Next:10723 / 10725

The device that is in front of the user needs a few things:

1) Some hardware - input stuff (keyboard, maybe a mouse), display of some kind, some local intelligence (CPU), a reasonable size scratch pad (memory) and possibly some "permanent" storage [sounds like PC hardware doesn't it - Actually that was what was in a 3270 terminal]

2) Some sort of control software - To ensure that all the hardware gets shared and managed properly an operating system-like software is needed - even a 3270 terminal had this. The Java folks like to have everyone think that the OS is going away, when the reality is that Java either MUST have an OS running under it or MUST incorporate OS-like functions into Java [something that Sun and IBM just gave up on]

3) Software to do what the user wants done - in a PC, this is local [some of it is bloated, but that just begs the question of why people don't buy better designed and targeted software]. In a web thing this software is either downloaded [at far slower speed that coming off a hard drive] and run on the user system or is run on the server [timeshared - a novel concept that has been around for only 30 years] and displayed on the user system. In either case, the performance will be worse than on a PC [an in depth architecture study of all the possible designs for user systems will clearly demonstrate this].

As for the current designs for OSes and applications - they could both use some major improvements [the hardware designs could benefit from a complete redesign also]. Unfortuantely, the folks that deeply understand the technology, appear to be the least capable of designing systems to be used by real human folks. Technically, Linux is great, but it needs a good human interface and the software that is being produced is not really that much better than the existing stuff used on MS Windows.

It would be interesting if a bunch of computer folks got togethor and instead of trying to outdo each other technically they tried to figure out how to make a more useful computer - it would take a lot of listening and would probably be the hardest think they ever attempted.

BTW Dave, I agree that a lot of existing software is not great - I have never found a good simple word processing package that does just what I need and no more.

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