Operating systems to become redundant?

  spikeychris 18:17 01 Jan 2007
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Fascinating.

  g0nvs 19:20 01 Jan 2007

I must be very tired because I didn't understand a word of that.

  justme 19:21 01 Jan 2007

Seems interesting, but could you explain how I start my computer and get it to connect to the internet without an operating system.

I was always under the impression that determining what peripherals are connected to the computer and making them work properly was part of the job of an operating system.

  spikeychris 20:19 01 Jan 2007

At the moment its a Flash manager system, its not a standalone OS. It has an interesting future though I think.

  jack 20:36 01 Jan 2007

I get the drift though
Your phone for example does not have an operating system , It is connected to the big building down the road where the operating system lives.
I guess once more Uncle Bill can be blamed for the huge hard disk mounted operating systems we suffer under to day.
There was a time when the operating system - a genuine WIMP/GUI system was mounted unto 6 250k ROMS
or a better version onto 4 x 500 k roms
Switch on the 'puter it fired up, no waiting around/
But that was way back in the mists of time,,,,,,,,,,

  interzone55 20:36 01 Jan 2007

I think that rather than elimating operating systems the so called "Web 2.0" will make them irrelevant.

Many applications now use Java, this is platform indepenent, and enables applications like OpenOffice to be ported to several operating systems quickly and easily.
Google is going down a similar path, using a technology called Ajax (neither a toilet cleaner or Dutch football club) they can allow users to check their emails, keep an online calender, write letters and reports or even use a rudementary spreadsheet, all within the confines of their web browser, whether it's Firefox, Opera, IE6 or 7, and regardless of their OS, be it Linux, WIndows, MacOS or Unix.

This is the way forward, because all your applications and data are held on a central server, rather like companies who run Wyse thin clients.

See: click here click here click here

  LastChip 20:47 01 Jan 2007

It seems to me the concept is similar to thin clients but on a larger scale. Instead of the server being in the building, it's situated elsewhere.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 22:07 01 Jan 2007

We already have this at work, no PC on the desk just a keyboard mouse and monitor that plugs into a small (4" square) WYLE box.

IT loves it, no way to copy stuff off/to DVDs CDs Pen drives or Floppies.
Internet access is severely limited to certain safe sites, therefore no way to put a virus on the server
with e-mail properly scanned and attachment file size limited also no way to remove information from the company.

  LastChip 23:06 01 Jan 2007

I wouldn't wish you to divulge anything sensitive, but I'm curious about your work set-up.

What operating system does the thin client user see on their screen and is it held on the central server? Or do they only have access to a specific application? In other words, they don't see an operating system at all.

Do you find it any slower than a conventional fat client?

I really can see this being the future for all companies of medium size upwards and frankly, I'm surprised Local and National Government haven't adopted this already.

The only downside I see at present, is the amount of redundancy that has to be built into the system, as clearly if the server fails, the whole system collapses.

  Forum Editor 23:33 01 Jan 2007

"Instead of the server being in the building, it's situated elsewhere."

Precisely, and therein lies the rub, as they say. I have advised several coporate clients about web-based operating environments, and it has always come down to the same issue in the end. The question that stops the conversation in its tracks is "what happens when the web server goes down - either as a result of hardware/software failure, or power outages, or (worse case scenario) terrorist attack?"

Last year, clients with sites hosted with Redbus Interhouse saw their sites suddenly drop off the internet, following a power outage at the company's Harbour Exchange facility in the London Docklands. Redbus said this was caused by the incoming mains into the UPS feeder board "blowing up" without any warning. It wasn't the first time something like that had happened, and no doubt it won't be the last.

Commercial organisations need work-flow continuity, and unless they receive cast-iron uptime assurances they're just not going to risk the possibility of losing a couple of thousand desktops without warning, because somewhere on the internet a server goes down. They would rather keep their software environment in-house, where they can get at it.

  LastChip 00:18 02 Jan 2007

Not quite the same, but my last paragraph (post 23.06) stated similar.

Once the server moves away from the physical location being served, you (in a sense) loose control. However, I wasn't quite so much interested in spikeychris's original submission, but as Fruit Bat /\0/\ mentioned it, the whole concept of thin clients rather than conventional fat ones!

Certainly, in an local location, perhaps with 80-100+ clients, I can see little against the concept other than the server/power redundancy issue. Certainly, redundancy to a point can be built into a server and power protection can also be built in at a cost. But that would apply whatever solution you used.

Would you consider that reasonable?

In particular, I was thinking about schools and the problems they have with unauthorised software, dubious Internet sites and so on.

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