Latest Forum Posts

Latest News Posts
Coming Soon!
Social
Go Back   Techgage.com > General > Off Topic

Off Topic All non-tech chat belongs here.

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 12-16-2009, 03:44 AM   #1
2Tired2Tango
Tech Monkey
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Ontario Canada
Posts: 648
Default The future....

When I look forward to see where things might be going, I see Very Small Form Factor (VSFF) computing... computers getting smaller and small computers getting faster. I see HTPC entirely replacing television (an expriment I already have in progress) and I see gaming becoming an almost 100% server based, interractive online experience... I see office computers getting smaller, with distributed data, Network Attached Storage, almost entirely replacing the current desktop model, which will become little more than the means to load and execute programs...

Now, I'm wondering how widely at variance my vision is with that of others....

So, dust off that crystal ball.... What do you see?
__________________
Tango

"An unexamined life is not worth living" ... Socrates

Last edited by 2Tired2Tango; 12-16-2009 at 03:48 AM.
2Tired2Tango is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-16-2009, 04:33 AM   #2
Doomsday
Tech Junkie
 
Doomsday's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: KHI, PAK
Posts: 1,559
Default

i seeee.................... hmmm.............hmm............ i've looked in to the future and i see.... i see ................ something................

its..................uh........................
__________________
PSU: Corsair AX850 - Case: Cooler Master HAF X - CPU:Core i7-2600k - Cooler: Cooler Master V6 GT - Motherboard: Asus Z68 Maximus IV Extreme Z - Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8 GB-1600Mhz - GPU: AMD MSI R6970 Lightning - HDD: WD Caviar Black 1TB, Seagate 2TB Barracuda Green - SSD: Intel 520 Series 120GB - K/B: Razer Lycosa Mirror - Mouse: Logitech G700 - MouseMat: Steel Series 4HD - LCD: Asus VG278H 27" - Speakers: Creative Inspire M4500 4.1 - Headset: Logitech G35 7.1



"Do not look at a man's prayers nor his fasts, rather, measure him by how well he deals with others, the compassion he shows his fellow man, his wisdom and his integrity" - Umar Ibn Al-Khattab



Last edited by Doomsday; 12-16-2009 at 12:33 PM.
Doomsday is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-16-2009, 07:30 AM   #3
2Tired2Tango
Tech Monkey
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Ontario Canada
Posts: 648
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doomsday View Post
i seeee.................... hmmm.............hmm............ i've looked in to the future and i see.... i see ................ something................

its..................uh........................:co nfused:
Very helpful.
__________________
Tango

"An unexamined life is not worth living" ... Socrates
2Tired2Tango is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-16-2009, 08:46 AM   #4
Psi*
Tech Monkey
 
Psi*'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Westport, CT
Posts: 785
Default

I think there will many more wireless connected devices including PCs ... much less wired Ethernet.

HTPC ... maybe and I also have had a system for about 3 years. It is one of those ASUS m/bs that came out with a remote control. That remote control thing was a PITA; cordless mouse & keyboard ended up being the best controller. I like it, but HTPC growth will be heavily influenced by ISP content, controls, & government meddling.

Which reminds me of key-less keyboards & virtual keyboards. I think they will replace most current touch screen applications.

Speech recognition & voice controlled devices may be able to tap into all of the CPU horse power that is becoming available. The CPU power will allow an individual's voice to be sorted out of noise & background voices ... not to mention voice response & for any language.

There is a lot of intelligence that can be built into green-er devices for time of day, creature habits, season of year, etc. For instance, automatically running the little laser light across the floor to keep the d@mn cat away from my computers!!!!
__________________
Win 7 64 bit, ASUS P6X58D Premium i7-990 @ 4.5 GHz
24 GB CORSAIR DOMINATOR
NVIDIA Tesla M2090 + NVS 290, Seasonic X750
Swiftech Apogee XT block, Indigo Extreme TIM
Swiftech MCR220-QP Radiator, Eheim 1040 pump, 1/2" ID Tubing
Psi* is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-16-2009, 12:34 PM   #5
Doomsday
Tech Junkie
 
Doomsday's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: KHI, PAK
Posts: 1,559
Default

i seeee:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0USn7eufXps
__________________
PSU: Corsair AX850 - Case: Cooler Master HAF X - CPU:Core i7-2600k - Cooler: Cooler Master V6 GT - Motherboard: Asus Z68 Maximus IV Extreme Z - Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8 GB-1600Mhz - GPU: AMD MSI R6970 Lightning - HDD: WD Caviar Black 1TB, Seagate 2TB Barracuda Green - SSD: Intel 520 Series 120GB - K/B: Razer Lycosa Mirror - Mouse: Logitech G700 - MouseMat: Steel Series 4HD - LCD: Asus VG278H 27" - Speakers: Creative Inspire M4500 4.1 - Headset: Logitech G35 7.1



"Do not look at a man's prayers nor his fasts, rather, measure him by how well he deals with others, the compassion he shows his fellow man, his wisdom and his integrity" - Umar Ibn Al-Khattab


Doomsday is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-16-2009, 12:37 PM   #6
2Tired2Tango
Tech Monkey
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Ontario Canada
Posts: 648
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doomsday View Post
Now that was really well done... and only 498 years away....
__________________
Tango

"An unexamined life is not worth living" ... Socrates
2Tired2Tango is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-17-2009, 12:30 AM   #7
Rob Williams
Editor-in-Chief
 
Rob Williams's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Atlantic Canada
Posts: 13,347
Default

I agree a lot with Tango on what we'll see in the future. Small computing is here, and now more than ever, being able to build a small PC that still packs sufficient performance is quite exciting, and it should only be getting better. Take a look at solutions with Atom and ION... this is just the beginning.

Along the same lines, I see HTPC's becoming far more popular, and also online content becoming a lot more dominant. The problem right now is that these media companies are full of idiots, and restrict content to certain countries, which is hurting them, because people will just pirate it instead. It's that simple. I am totally fed up with my cable bill every month, which hovers at around ~$150, because I'm suckered into channels that I can't get without certain packages.

I don't often sit in front of the TV to just chill out and watch it, but I do have it on often, so I can listen to it while doing other things. Of the 800 or so channels I have to choose from, I tend to watch only 10 total. So why am I paying so much for cable? These large media companies need to realize that there's a real business model online. I would easily pay $15 or $20 a month to the NFL if it meant I got all of the games I wanted in HD, and the same goes for the EPL. Discovery Channel online? I'd easily subscribe to that. Even if I got all the channels I wanted this way, it'd still be far less expensive compared to what I pay the king of price-gougers, Rogers.

I'd say that mobile computing will continue to grow, and it will, but as far as I'm concerned, it's here. Even my least-techy friends have cell / smart phones they use all the time, and most also have laptops. The mobile way of living is here. If only wireless (WiFi) reliability would improve, then I'd be stoked.

In way of software, I expect to see the multi-thread revolution happen soon. It's been slow to catch on, but it needs to, especially with the way that AMD and Intel are pushing their multi-core processors. We have a six-core monster coming out in a few months, and it'd be good to finally see a lot of consumer applications take advantage of all the power. Heck, I want to see Solitaire multi-threaded. It's not because it needs it, it's because all software should be built with multi-threaded capabilities in mind.

For all other components, I see major improvements happening all the time, such as improved power consumption and temperatures, while delivering ever-faster performance. Like CPUs, it wouldn't surprise me if multi-GPU cards became commonplace in the future. Smaller cores, but more of them... I definitely see that happening.
__________________
Intel Core i7-3960X, GIGABYTE G1.Assassin 2, Kingston 16GB DDR3-2133, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770 2GB
Kingston HyperX 3K 240GB SSD (OS, Apps), WD VR 1TB (Games), Corsair 1000HX, Corsair H70 Cooler
Corsair 800D, Dell 2408WFP 24", ASUS Xonar Essence STX, Gentoo (KDE 4.11. 3.12 Kernel)

"Take care to get what you like, or you will be forced to like what you get!" - H.P. Baxxter
<Toad772> I don't always drink alcohol, but when I do, I take it too far.


Rob Williams is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-17-2009, 10:30 AM   #8
2Tired2Tango
Tech Monkey
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Ontario Canada
Posts: 648
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Williams View Post
In way of software, I expect to see the multi-thread revolution happen soon. It's been slow to catch on, but it needs to, especially with the way that AMD and Intel are pushing their multi-core processors.
Thanks for an interresting commentary, Rob... We do have similar visions.

On the HTPC front, I'm hoping we'll start to see a lot more remotely administered, "headless" systems development. This has traditionally been avoided because a lot of programmers view launching and controlling programs remotely as inherrently evil and grumble loudly about security and open ports. The current Infrared remotes are stupid to the point of useless, merely adding another piece of clutter to your coffee table. Wireless input devices (keyboard and mouse, mostly) add even more clutter to your living room. Plus these methods suffer the limitation that you have to see the computer to operate it. The future is remote control over lan... quite possibly using Blackberry, Smartphones or even purpose made remote controls (any IP connected device actually) for the entire system.

I did however want to comment on the bit quoted above...

Software multi-threading has been happening since the 386 and Windows 3.1... That's kind of a done deal, dictated by the tasks at hand. Windows has always provided all the tools necessary and Linux would be a dead fish without them. If you open Windows Task Manager and go to the Processes tab then click View you will be able to select a column that shows you how many threads each program is running. IE for example typically launches 15 to 20 threads... Even my humble little File System Scan launches extra threads when scanning. It's not like each thread needs it's own processor... it just needs it's own slice of processor time.

What these new 4 and 6 core processors do is enable a more refined load balancing between the many threads running in a system. The big kick from multi-core processors is the effect of (apparently) multiplying the clock speed... which of course means you can do more with less waiting.
__________________
Tango

"An unexamined life is not worth living" ... Socrates
2Tired2Tango is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-17-2009, 02:39 PM   #9
Brett Thomas
Senior Editor
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 164
Default

The future of computing...

First, I'll give an "agreement" section. Everything that 2Tired has said makes a lot of sense to me when it comes to smaller and better. But one part of this, which you have touched on but not elaborated, is where I see the vision growing to - computers, PROPER floating point computers, becoming functionally the heart of a variety of consumer applications.

The Home Theater is a part of this - a computer being used as my cable box. As my DVD player. As my music player. But think of it bigger. Imagine whole households wired up to a small ATOM based server distributing content. A kitchen with a tiny ATOM board and a washable touch-screen monitor that links into the net for you to put on recipes, cooking shows, etc. A bedside table with a small mounted touchscreen to play my music or look at my email or be my alarm clock. TV with an ION board built right in to connect to my network with no box at all. Gigabit Wifi throughout the house to connect it all together without a single wire.

This extends a bit further. The treadmill we just bought has wifi to go on GoogleMaps and download real terrain likenesses (seriously, I'm not making that up). Imagine a weight machine that can program and provide workout plans FOR you. A fridge that can tell you if its temperture goes out of whack or a freezer that can say if there are items defrosting. Being able to program temperature ranges and get real-time status on how hot the oven is. Or turn it on before you get home so it's pre-heated for dinner. Lights, window blinds, etc...just look at the X10 system! We're already partway there, people just haven't seen a reason to really buy into it yet.

Where I start to get worried AND interested simultaneously is the data aspect. All these thin clients won't need their own storage, you'll just be apportioned part of the "cloud." Go anywhere and there can be small kiosks for checking email, doing your banking, etc. Plug in a USB and enter a passphrase to enjoy an encrypted desktop that isn't retained anywhere but RAM and that flash-drive. You won't need a personal computer so much as you will want a Personal Client that accesses your data and software etc, all up in the cloud.

We're reaching a point where the bigger and faster is moving towards more optimisation and efficiency. We don't keep making faster cores, we make a couple more, or improve their power efficiency or their management. Eventually we'll stop adding cores and start focusing just on efficiency for a while until we come closer to maxing out what we can do with the number of threads we produce. Even networking and load distribution is coming to this - cloud computing originated when idle datacenters wanted to make better use of their resources in downtimes. SETI and Folding make use of your processor's spare CPU cycles that you waste. As bandwidth increases, the need of each computer to do its own thing will shrink even further and consumer power requirements will melt away, to be replaced by large data clusters doing the lifting and sending a VPN-like series of screens and data to the client.

"Available" is the new bigger and "efficient" is the new faster. It'll be a great time in the next 20 years to see what we do with it. What's going to be interesting is how we're going to deal with all of the new security issues that this will create.

Anybody in computer engineering or computer science programs at uni now (or going into college in the next couple years), mark my words. Study software encryption, databases, information management, and security. That's the hot market to walk into for the next while. We're on the cusp of no longer holding the information we use, and that is a very amazing but also very dangerous transfer.

So there's my vision and $0.02. that and another $1.00 MIGHT buy you a cup of coffee at McDonalds.

Last edited by Brett Thomas; 12-17-2009 at 02:44 PM.
Brett Thomas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-17-2009, 04:20 PM   #10
2Tired2Tango
Tech Monkey
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Ontario Canada
Posts: 648
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brett Thomas View Post
The future of computing...
The Home Theater is a part of this - a computer being used as my cable box. As my DVD player. As my music player. But think of it bigger. Imagine whole households wired up to a small ATOM based server distributing content. A kitchen with a tiny ATOM board and a washable touch-screen monitor that links into the net for you to put on recipes, cooking shows, etc. A bedside table with a small mounted touchscreen to play my music or look at my email or be my alarm clock. TV with an ION board built right in to connect to my network with no box at all. Gigabit Wifi throughout the house to connect it all together without a single wire.
Interesting comments Brett...

First a gentle poke... The tiny boards (Mini-ITX) do not have to be Atom boards. Companies like Zotac are already offering the new 7" boards with core Duo and X2 chips and soon enough I think you'll find they'll be very popular in this format.

By and large I agree this is a very interesting direction for home theatre systems to take. As you may already know I've got several ASRock ION 330 systems out there doing the "everything media" thing both as stand alone systems (using ASUS 1080p monitors) and integrated with some awfully big television sets. What I'm doing is generating a lot of local interest because of the way I'm remote controlling them. I'm hoping to have a working version of the lan based RC software ready to distribute by spring so it will be interesting to see what level of interest it draws... Success will be the first competator who tries to out-do me... And that's just what I'm hoping for!

The next step --already possible-- is to move to household servers where a family pools it's media and other data, keeping only private data on their personal systems. NAS boxes are in their infancy but it won't be long until they're able to easily handle the task. As you correctly point out this would be a great task for the Atom... a purpose built Mini-ITX board with 8 or 10 SATA connections would do the job just fine and even fully loaded -- with laptop drives -- it can still be smaller than a bread box!

For the rest of your vision... Yes, whole house computing is coming. People I've talked to about it balk at the idea because the software to make it all happen just isn't there. I already have one system running NAS with 5tb online, networked to every room in the house with nettops and laptops that is doing most of what you suggest... certainly they can have music in any room of the house and they can all access and control the HTPC in their living room... They can also view their security cameras from anywhere in the house (and over the internet) but the locks, lights and appliances are still pretty much old school. The X-10 system would solve part of their problem but so far, no takers....

To be honest, I don't think we're very far off most of what we envision... It's all about demand and supply at this point. The tech to make it work is already there.
__________________
Tango

"An unexamined life is not worth living" ... Socrates
2Tired2Tango is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-17-2009, 04:44 PM   #11
Brett Thomas
Senior Editor
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 164
Default

The thing we need to remember is that home server architecture is going to soon be limited by NAT. AT&T is already moving to restrict its internet to NAT, creating one huge firewall through which being able to connect to a home server from away is almost impossible. Other cable and fibre companies are starting to do the exact same thing because of the IPv4 number crunch - it's cheaper than implementing IPv6. Soon, your IP will be internal to your carrier, so connection from a different carrier will be almost impossible until we adopt IPv6 properly (which will do quite a bit to the world's current infrastructure).

The time between, where we have too few IPs and too many computers for IPv4, is where we'll start to see cloud data storage and computing really take hold on a personal level. We already use gmail, yahoo, googledocs, rapidshare, bit-torrent, etc. We put our data out there ALL the time. And as bandwidth increases, companies are putting more and more of the software load on the cloud, increasing its functionality. We're going to reach a point where home servers are difficult to use outside of for media storage (they certainly won't be able to 'serve' much of anything but computer on their exact LAN), and so will small businesses - which will push development and familiarity more towards cloud solutions. Which, actually, will be the impetus towards your "server-based gaming" that you discussed.

Just something that needs to be considered if we're looking for realistic outcome

And I totally agree it doesn't need to be an ATOM - just that's the lowest power-consumption platform I could think of, which fits my point nicely.
Brett Thomas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-18-2009, 02:34 AM   #12
2Tired2Tango
Tech Monkey
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Ontario Canada
Posts: 648
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brett Thomas View Post
The thing we need to remember is that home server architecture is going to soon be limited by NAT. AT&T is already moving to restrict its internet to NAT, creating one huge firewall through which being able to connect to a home server from away is almost impossible.
Which, if you think about it, might actually be a good thing in terms of security....

I'm not big on this scattered data concept at all. I might be very "old school" but I still use POP3 clients instead of web-mail and I've got one nasty firewall on my lan. My personal stuff is quite happy to be confined to my personal equipment...

It's like social networking... Kids with no concept of how the internet actually works will post the stupidest and most outrageous stuff on the Facebook pages without once considering who's on their friends list or to who else their friends might transfer the data.

As an aside... One of my non-computer predictions centers around the collapse of privacy and the resulting social meltdowns that could occur if we don't darned soon get carefull about it. Just think of the catastrophy if someone got into all our bank accounts or started spreading information from our medical records. I'm simply not up for that.

While I take your point about IP4 becoming a problem, I'm not at all happy about people accessing their NAS from outside their LAN... I have one setup where you can do IP based FTP on their NAS and they are constantly under attack by people trying to download whatever they can. It's tight, you can't even get to the root folder without signing in... but they take an average of 600 hits a day with people trying.
__________________
Tango

"An unexamined life is not worth living" ... Socrates

Last edited by 2Tired2Tango; 12-18-2009 at 05:57 AM.
2Tired2Tango is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-18-2009, 09:14 AM   #13
Brett Thomas
Senior Editor
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 164
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2Tired2Tango View Post
While I take your point about IP4 becoming a problem, I'm not at all happy about people accessing their NAS from outside their LAN... I have one setup where you can do IP based FTP on their NAS and they are constantly under attack by people trying to download whatever they can. It's tight, you can't even get to the root folder without signing in... but they take an average of 600 hits a day with people trying.
Proper setup with a secure ftp client on a non-standard port shouldn't have that...those problems come from script kiddies doing large scans to find open services on common ports or known buggy software. Accessing your LAN isn't a problem if it's set up securely (SSH tunnels, etc) and a standard router anyone buys at home is fairly bulletproof until you go messing with the settings (I've pen-tested a couple just recently, in fact). Instead of FTP, why not run SSH and thus SCP? To a user, WinSCP is just as simple as any FTP client, but the security is orders of magnitude better. That being said, I'm moving off track, so back on it.

What I'm thinking of is that business will move people. Big business is already moving because it's resource efficient. Small Businesses in particular will NEED that access once IPv4 runs out and so will see cloud as not only the only accessible way, but more secure than they can keep their own private networks. This transition is already starting to happen. As big and small business moves, people will trust the cloud more and more with their own stuff, and will largely lose the desire to store personal info in only a few places when they can have the convenience of having it with them everywhere.

We're already starting it, really. Who here hosts their email on a private server? Almost everyone on this forum registered with a Gmail, Hotmail or Yahoo address, and uses that regularly. When I worked for Bit-tech, we even switched our entire backend email TO Gmail, it was just nicer and easier to maintain (Rob is much more para...err, careful on that matter). The cloud is slowly swallowing... It's like the Blob.
Brett Thomas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-18-2009, 11:55 AM   #14
2Tired2Tango
Tech Monkey
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Ontario Canada
Posts: 648
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brett Thomas View Post
Proper setup with a secure ftp client on a non-standard port shouldn't have that...
Trust me... I know how to set up FTP. This is for the companies customers so VPN is out as is IIS or combinations...

Quote:
We're already starting it, really. Who here hosts their email on a private server?
If "private server" means running on my own computers... no.
However I do use my ISP's POP and SMTP servers for my email. I have GMail only because my people want me on Google Talk for support... if it weren't for that...

Thinking about my own customers... I really don't think more than a couple of them use web-mail except as necessary evils in accessing other services...
__________________
Tango

"An unexamined life is not worth living" ... Socrates
2Tired2Tango is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-19-2009, 02:31 AM   #15
Merlin
The Tech Wizard
 
Merlin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Oklahoma City
Posts: 1,858
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2Tired2Tango View Post
When I look forward to see where things might be going, I see Very Small Form Factor (VSFF) computing... computers getting smaller and small computers getting faster. I see HTPC entirely replacing television (an expriment I already have in progress) and I see gaming becoming an almost 100% server based, interractive online experience... I see office computers getting smaller, with distributed data, Network Attached Storage, almost entirely replacing the current desktop model, which will become little more than the means to load and execute programs...

Now, I'm wondering how widely at variance my vision is with that of others....

So, dust off that crystal ball.... What do you see?
The movies are not that far off point, the crystal that you see placed into a reader and then executed just may well be in the near future.
Positive and negitive atoms relate to the binary language.
So the Crystal ball it'self is a statement close to the future ( Quartz )
__________________
Win7 64 bit
Intel i7 920 watercooled
Asus P6X580 Premium mobo,
GTX280 GPU watercooled
Synology NAS 207 Network Server with 2 Hitachi Terabite drives
LG NAS N2R1 with 2 ea 2 tb drives
LINKSYS PLK300 Powerline Network Kit

Merlin is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
The Future of the Web? No Anonymity Rob Williams Off Topic 2 09-10-2010 08:05 AM
The Future is Parallel, But that Future is a Long Way Off Rob Williams Processors 1 05-11-2010 05:32 PM
LAN centers and the future BlindMonk Off Topic 28 01-11-2010 07:37 PM
The Future of AMD Rob Williams Processors 4 05-13-2007 01:30 AM
The future is NAND Rob Williams Storage Devices and Memory 1 11-22-2006 01:27 AM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 11:10 AM.