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Old 01-27-09, 04:54 AM   #1
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The future of computers

Seems we are approaching limits as per how small can we make the transistors and how fast we can run them without melting them, so... are we gonna keep adding cores? Lets speculate about what could happen in the next 5 years or so.

I think we gonna add a few more cores to everything (CPUs and GPUs). And maybe more cache (CPUs and Disks). Maybe solid state drives will take off in mass... maybe not.

Your turn
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Old 01-27-09, 06:58 AM   #2
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You will all have a Mac within 20 years.
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Old 01-27-09, 07:47 AM   #3
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You will all have a Mac within 20 years.
doubt it, why would someone handicap themselves by buying a mac?
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Old 01-27-09, 08:31 AM   #4
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organic processors and storage...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...0226072850.htm
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Old 01-27-09, 09:30 AM   #5
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Direct neural input.....

Would you trust Microsoft for the OS, though, if there was direct, unfiltered access to your brain?
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Old 01-27-09, 09:31 AM   #6
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Direct neural input.....

Would you trust Microsoft for the OS, though, if there was direct, unfiltered access to your brain?

Hell no!!!!!!!!!

Before you know they would be charging you to use your own brain and as for the system crashes!!!!!
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Old 01-27-09, 09:38 AM   #7
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Direct neural input.....

Would you trust Apple for the OS, though, if there was direct, unfiltered access to your brain?
Again...no.

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Direct neural input.....
Would you trust a bunch of 14 y/o's (Linux) for the OS, though, if there was direct, unfiltered access to your brain?
Ummm...no.
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Old 01-27-09, 09:48 AM   #8
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I want to be Johnny Mnemonic.
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Old 01-27-09, 10:11 AM   #9
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I want to be Johnny Mnemonic.
http://www.celsius1414.com/images/keanu_whoa.jpg
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Last edited by Tom Stormcrowe; 01-27-09 at 10:12 AM. Reason: Apparently, the image is blocked from being hotlinked, so I broke the tags for you. ;)
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Old 01-27-09, 10:14 AM   #10
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Well, I tried to break your image tags because the image wasn't even showing up, and apparently, the page you linked to isn't accessible. It goes to a 404 error page.
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Old 01-27-09, 10:17 AM   #11
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The laptop computer will morph in with the cell phone to become a portable communications device. No moving parts, static memory for storage.

It will entertain with movies, television, games, allow worldwide video and audio conferencing, have all the software that you are currently using. The standard keyboard will be replaced with a voice actuated system.
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Old 01-27-09, 10:24 AM   #12
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Seems we are approaching limits as per how small can we make the transistors and how fast we can run them without melting them, so... are we gonna keep adding cores? Lets speculate about what could happen in the next 5 years or so.

I think we gonna add a few more cores to everything (CPUs and GPUs). And maybe more cache (CPUs and Disks). Maybe solid state drives will take off in mass... maybe not.

Your turn
You are so naive, young Padawan. This is NOT the first time they've "claimed" to be close the absolute limit. I remember 10 years ago they claimed they were bordering the limits due to the laws of physics and it was "impossible" to go much smaller. Yet, they kept getting smaller due to new techniques found. In other words, I wouldn't stake a bet that they won't still find ways to shrink and or increase density.

That being said, I think nanobot technology will be used in circuit/silicone creation (probably is in some places already). Additionally, nanobot technology will be used to create ultra-efficient fuel cells to be used for power on portable devices rather than traditional battery technology. That's my prediction.

Oh...and I predict PCad will be the only one on the planet that still has a MAC in 20 years.




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The laptop computer will morph in with the cell phone to become a portable communications device. No moving parts, static memory for storage.
About the best answer in this thread yet (for realistic scenario that is).
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Old 01-27-09, 10:25 AM   #13
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The laptop computer will morph in with the cell phone to become a portable communications device. No moving parts, static memory for storage.

It will entertain with movies, television, games, allow worldwide video and audio conferencing, have all the software that you are currently using. The standard keyboard will be replaced with a voice actuated system.
Great, now not only will idiots on bluetooth annoy me at the airport, but so will people talking to their compucellphones.

Next five years: SSD will become very mainstream and the platter will go the way of the DoDo for non large SAN type implementations. You'll see huge numbers of cores and applications that are not able to take advantage of them.

You'll probably see a thin client Set top box device that latches onto a cloud computing VM to replace the home PC.
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Old 01-27-09, 11:05 AM   #14
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I'm less concerned with the future of the processing hardware, and more interested in the future of the UI.

Direct neural? No thanks.
Surface integrated? Heck yeah. After getting the chance to play with the MS Surface UI, I'm convinced that something like that is the way to go. (Maybe not exactly how MS has implemented it currently.) With advancement in pliable LCD technology, consider some applications:

A refrigerator door, kitchen cabinet, or "picture frame" type screen that you can put anywhere in the house and use for paperless notes that you can update from any mobile device tied to your network.
Maybe it doesn't sound good to anyone else, but the ability to digitally "tape" a recipe to my cabinet door after talking to a co-worker at lunch seems pretty cool to me. Home network devices like this could tie in with mobile devices to receive status updates about what's going on at home. I wouldn't mind getting a text telling me my UPS delivery was dropped off at the front office so I know to stop in on my way to the apartment, or for our dog walker to have the ability to pencil in vacation days on a digital calendar that updates to my PDA.
Yes, it's mostly just convenience I'm interested in. Isn't that what computers are for; making our lives easier?
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Old 01-27-09, 12:37 PM   #15
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You will all have a Mac within 20 years.
Hopefully both companies wont exist anymore, and be replaced with faster progressing more innovative companies.
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Old 01-27-09, 02:10 PM   #16
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Oh well, in the software and applications area I KNOW what's gonna happen. I doubt it will be ready in 5 years tho, but I envision talking computers assisting humans in a startrekish kind of way. "Computer, where are my darn shoes?". It already started with high end GPS devices.
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Old 01-27-09, 02:14 PM   #17
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The future is in duotronics and LCARS.
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Old 01-27-09, 02:18 PM   #18
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The future is in chipped stone weapons and
savagery.
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Old 01-27-09, 02:18 PM   #19
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Old 01-27-09, 02:22 PM   #20
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A move to raytracing as a primary means of 3D rendering for games. This allows the screen to be "chunked" out to CPUs and GPUs in an effecient manner.

A two tier system for storage. Flash will be the boot disk and primary means of storage while hard disks will move to where tapes used to be -- a means of backing up and archival storage.

Operating systems shipping with a built in heuristic based intrusion detection scanner. This will both work by finding suspect issues, and also by keeping a baseline statistic of user activity on a machine, so if a box is being accessed by some IP block in an overseas nation that it normally doesn't get touched by, it will deny access, or wait for the user to allow it explicitly.

More virtualization. Web browsers will run in their own VM and only be able to touch the host filesystem in a few directories.

A cloud computing backlash, especially when it comes to security. People will realize that having their company confidential E-mail on some unknown mail server in some unknown part of the world is a bad thing, and start moving these services back in-house, or contracting with an ISP that can provide them with a guarantee of security.

Now for Apple and its future, especially without Jobs's reality distortion field:

Apple has a lot going for it. With the installed base of iPods, almost all existing iPod owners won't be changing brands because their music is tied to iTunes. Apple's iPod connector is the de facto standard, even in cars. The iPhone has taken over the smartphone market in the US (overseas, Symbian, Blackberry, and WM remain strong.)

Apple has to keep up though. The biggest complaint that I have about Apple (especially when I wear my IT hat) is that they have no roadmap. I can attend a Microsoft, Sun, or IBM seminar after signing a NDA, and know what technologies to get ready for six months, a year, perhaps two years down the road. Apple, it is anyone's guess. One doesn't know if they are going to refresh their laptops, desktops, or towers until possibly a week before a conference. This is just plain not acceptable in the business world.

Here is one question: Does Apple want in the enterprise ballgame? The XServe is a good appliance, but it needs an Apple branded SAN to go with it. There also needs to be reasons that people want to move to Apple's hardware on the backend, be it deals with Oracle for database appliances, software that can completely drop in replace Active Directory and Exchange, or stuff that matters to the core of companies. Right now, Apple just seems content in having OpenLDAP for driving a workgroup full of Macs, and that is it. The consumer market can only just go so far, and Apple should look to see if they can find a niche in the data centers of the big companies somehow. Even if Apple deploys a BES like server so people can use their iPhones in a corporate setting, but still enforce corporate security policies.

With Snow Leopard bundling ZFS, Apple is in with the "big boys" (Sun, IBM) when it comes to reliable storage. Apple should consider making dedicated file serving appliances. There is a niche for high speed storage appliances for video and audio storage that hasn't really been exploited other than perhaps by Glyph.

iPhones also would need some help if they are to be used in true enterprise settings. They would need to have encryption built in, either FileVault like where the user's data is stored in a sparse bundle, and the ability to wipe the device from remote, or if someone inputs the wrong password more than a certain number of times.

Apple also is squeezed by two factors. They price high, and arguably, paying $1800 for a machine that one can buy (or build) for half the price keeps customers away. However, Apple cannot compete by price alone -- they have their market due to service, lock-in, and workmanship.

So, Apple has to do two things: Keep the existing customer base by coming out with more functional iPods/iPhones and keeping Mac software developers happy writing for the platform (so existing Mac users stick with OS X and not get bumped to Windows when their favorite app isn't updated anymore.) It also has to eke new market share from other places that are growing. The storage industry is always growing, mainly because Sarbanes Oxley and other laws force businesses to archive everything for 7 to 50 years (if working on aviation.)

Of course, Apple has to keep one thing going that it one of the factors for buying a Mac. Security. FileVault is an OK step, but its not enough. Macs need a BitLocker like solution that encrypts the whole boot drive. Yes, there are third party solutions like PGP, but if one installs it, they can't fsck the drive or repair permissions unless the drive is decrypted. Security also needs to be put into Time Machine, so not just a user's home directory is protected, but everything else that comes from the Mac is encrypted. This is really important when it comes to laptops, because a lot of company policies demand full disk encryption of the complete OS.

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Old 01-27-09, 02:27 PM   #21
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Old 01-27-09, 08:20 PM   #22
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I wish we'd chill on the hardware fetish, and focus on the real problem: Bloated, inefficient, and generally awful software.

And that's not just a generic dig at Microsoft. Of course they're a huge problem, but so is Apple. And Adobe. And pretty much all of the big software houses. Hell, even the default Linux installs are getting pretty huge.

Look back at all you could do with computers that were rated in megahertz, with memory in the megabytes. Some of it was pretty amazing. There have been a few blips of what can be done with efficiency since then, such as BeOS. Overall, though, the solution has been "throw more power at it" for some time now.
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Old 01-27-09, 08:37 PM   #23
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I think we gonna add a few more cores to everything (CPUs and GPUs). And maybe more cache (CPUs and Disks). Maybe solid state drives will take off in mass... maybe not.

Your turn
You run into problems adding a lot of cores. I think SSD will be a big part of the enthusiast market. And I think Intel has a few tricks up it's sleeve. I think it's dribbling out it's improvements because the CPU improvements are coming slow and hard now.

However, I wouldn't listen to me. I love making tech predictions about computers. Problem is... about 90% of my predictions were wrong.
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Old 01-27-09, 08:40 PM   #24
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super integration and further package shrinkage.

you'll have those 8~16 core CPUs on the same die as the GPU and memory controller, all in the size of your cell phone.
48bit color, bioluminescence roll up paper LCD screens and holographic screens.

personally I'd like a novel book sized like PC that you can get a full 20" sized wide screen out of.
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Old 01-27-09, 08:42 PM   #25
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I wish we'd chill on the hardware fetish, and focus on the real problem: Bloated, inefficient, and generally awful software.

And that's not just a generic dig at Microsoft. Of course they're a huge problem, but so is Apple. And Adobe. And pretty much all of the big software houses. Hell, even the default Linux installs are getting pretty huge.

Look back at all you could do with computers that were rated in megahertz, with memory in the megabytes. Some of it was pretty amazing. There have been a few blips of what can be done with efficiency since then, such as BeOS. Overall, though, the solution has been "throw more power at it" for some time now.
I could not agree more.
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