July 29, 2004
Lixxus is the name of the company. I think a lot of people have been waiting for this kind of deal:
- 5p per Mb
- £70 Start up cost.
Your monthly charge is capped at £25 (which is what I pay – locked into contract) but there is a miniumum charge although it ain’t clear from this article what it is.
Pay as you go broadband – Web User News
July 29, 2004
Was listening to a key note address for Open Source Conference by Tim O’Reilly. And he mentioned that you can’t get your mail out of Google. To be fair, all webmail systems lock you in in the same way. Only, Google say – Have a Gigabyte of storage (and we’ll lock you in even harder). Cunning!
As O’Reilly goes on to say – we should really be thinking about the consequences of this now rather than in a couple of years time when we have a half a gig of mail on their system.
O’Reilly’s radar – News – ZDNet
July 20, 2004
I’ve been looking into Wikis. When I first went on a Wiki and saw the edit button I was nervous about pressing it. But curiosity overcame me – “What you are really going to let me change your page?” This struck me as being much closer to Tim Berners-Lee’s original vision of the web where he envisaged people as both producers and consumers of information rather than what happened: most people are still just passively consuming content. Most net users (myself included) still only produce email content. If you check the dates of my blogs, you can see I only blog very occasionally.
So it was nice to come across this article that covers the implications of Wikis very nicely Wiki Wiki Web. The article also explains how Wikis relate to other simple publishing medias such as blogs and newsgroups.
I think we are going to more about Wikis. I am going to get one going to see if I can use it as a project development tool for a collaberative Open Source project that I’m trying to get going. The idea is that rather than write mission and vision statements and planning documents in Word or Email I pop them straight up onto the Web where they can be seen.
So principally I see it as a easy publishing tool that allows me to create html documents to which I can add standard hyperlinked cross-references in addition to any structure I decide on in the begining.
But I guess I’m hoping that the Wiki will provide a platform for collaboration and reaching of consensus on some of those issues that always need deciding on. And then perhaps more importantly being a logical place for publishing those decisions. In effect providing a kind of group memory. Check out Corporate Wikis for a starting place.
July 11, 2004
HP Multi-User PC Sparks Debate (Wired News)
Here’s an interesting look at the old network computer console versus PC debate: A hybrid; a machine that runs 4 monitors 4 keyboards and 4 mice. HP want to sell this in Africa but this article points to some conspiracy theory that stops this technology from being applied in the West because comuter suppliers don’t want to ruin their markets. Obviously, this technology could be applied not just in our schools but also in our businesses.
I’m not so sure about the conspiracy theory. As you might expect you this technology is available to any enthusiast already. See Linux Solution used in Brazil. Its entirely possible, Using a standard PC and 3 extra monitors on PCI cards with USB mice & keyboards.
This whole debate hinges on the possible processing we can get out of our PCs, we really use only a tiny fraction of the cycles available. Lets face it even when its turned on, our PC is most often just sitting there waiting for our instructions or input. I am still happy running office apps, browser and email on a 500 MHz machine, so why not share today’s 2 GHz machine between 4 users. I don’t know how it allocates its cycles but theoretically I still could have at least my 500 Mhz but because my fellow users might not be using theirs at that moment, I might get a lot more.
What a Multi-user PC is doing is giving us higher utilization from a single PC.
A networked system has all the processing power at the centre, gave us the best utilisation from a single CPU it also can be easier and cheaper to maintain – but requires highly trained personnel and is vulnerable to failure and network congestion.
A PC network moves most of the processing to the edges, which makes it more tolerant to failure and over demand as there is no single point of failure. This is the model we are used to – your machine goes down in the office and its inconvenient but not the end of the world if it takes a day or more to get fixed.
The hybrid will only win through if it can combine the advantages of both systems. What happens if it needs more skillful personnel to keep it going? Then each time a machine goes down, you loose 4 seats rather than just 1. In the third world computer techs can be reletively cheap when compared to hardware costs. In the developed world its different.
On the other hand to reduce the number of CPUs needed by a factor of 4 is heady economics.