Flexible, Adaptable Hardware Organisations

Placemarker for a piece on flexible hardware designs.

I'd like to be able to buy a CPU 'brick' at home for on-demand compute-intensive work, like Spreadsheets.
I'd like be able to easily transfer an application, then bring it back again.

Secondly, if my laptop has enough CPU grunt, it won't have the Graphics processing or Displays (type, size, number) needed for some work... I'd like to be able to 'dock' my laptop and happily get on with it.
The current regime is to transfer files and have separate environments that operate independently and I have to go through that long login-start-apps-setup-environment cycle.

I prefer KDE (and other X-11 Windows Managers) to Aqua on Snow Leopard (OS/X 10.6) because they remember what was running in a login 'session', and recreate it when I login again.

In 1995, I first used HP's CDE (IIRC) on X-11, that provided multiple work-spaces. This was mature technology then.

It was only this year, 15 years on, that Apple provided "Spaces" for their uses.

We already have good flexible storage options for most types of sites.
Cheap NAS appliances are available for home use, up to high-end SAN solutions for large Enterprises.

For micro- and portable-devices, the main uses are "transactional" web-based.
These scale well already, and little, if nothing, can be done to improve this.

Systems Design

What flows from this 'wish list' is that no current Operating System design will support it well.
The closest, "Plan 9", developed around 1990, allows for users to connect different elements to a common network and Authentication Domain:
  • (graphic) Terminals
  • Storage
  • CPU
The design doesn't support the live migration of applications.

Neither do the current designs of Virtual Machines (migrate the whole machine) or 'threads' and multi-processors.

No comments: