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HMHVV Hunter
Just a question I had about the general state of the SR4 world.

Basically, with commlinks in existence now, are there desktop computers at all in 2070? I can see cubicle slaves using one, but what about elsewhere?
Stahlseele
of course there are some.
most public places will basically have at least one per room probably O.o
schools and the such, where the children do not use their own comlink but one built in to the classroom, provided and shared by the whole class to learn from for example.
factories and the such probably too.
well, okay, one could say that those are just really big huge fucking servers with enough wireless accesspoints for everyone . .
Synner667
Depends on what you think a desktop computer is.

Desktops have been the machines powerful enough to do things, but with advances in tech, laptops and smartphones are more than powerful enough for what most things user will do.

Now, desktops are more about screens than power - for graphics intensive tasks., editing, etc [often with multiple screens].

In the future, I imagine a desktop computer may be nothing more than a keyboard and screen that connect to the computer you already have [smartphone, commlink, etc] or devices that link to each other [a la Johnny Mnemonic when accessing the net].

Though, with the price of commlinks, and the hardware requirements, I can see desktop computers as we know them still being popular and still being used - even if they are massively more powerful than what we have today...
...Though they might be deskbound laptops [as is common in cybercafes].
hobgoblin
thing is that a nexi can be a very distributed computer, if the networking is correct (or to quote sun, the network is the computer).

the funny thing is that even desktop machines use mobile centric parts now. the mac mini or imac? laptop parts in desktop packages. same with eeebox. that one can even be attached to the back of a tv if one wants to.

what i see is that a home computer will not be a single monolith of a machine, but several, a NAS or more doing the storage and different interfaces hooked up with cable or wireless networking.

think of it like a cluster (unwired p55), or a small nexi.

in a way, things have gone full circle, returning to the age of the mainframe. only that the mainframe is now a cluster, found all over the place, rather then a single large monolith...

somewhat funny really that plan9 was designed for just such a setup, and that the different unix variants are now absorbing more and more of the plan9 ideas.

oh, and with simsense, the need for physical screens go the way of the dodo.

if the machine can produce the needed simsense data, the brain will do the rest.

a cubefarm in SR could very well be a room stuffed with chairs, each with a jack or trode net, all wired into a nexi.

but that would only really be used for a secure complex. lesser setups would be corp supplied apartment buildings with a shared wireless network. time for work? connect your comlink to the corp node and drop into VR land.

oh, and i found myself reading this the last couple of days:
http://www.accelerando.org/book/

and i swear, they are using agents as mental multitasking multipliers.

why do a manual search when you can spawn a new agent for each search term, and then dump the finding back into the gray matter in seconds?

hmm, now im tempted to build a wiseman of CP2020 fame, using unwired clustering rules...
Prospero
Whenever the fluff calls for a 'terminal', I generally envision something like a desktop - something that can use but doesn't have to use wireless tech, that can be acessed with a keyboard and an AR glove or something. Terminals still exist in most homes, I think, as well as in at least some workplaces. Granted, they're hooked to some nexi that actually run the programs, etc, but they look like desktops and probably have their own storage memory.
Draco18s
I expect that desktop machines still exist, even in the age of comlinks. For instance, if you look at this machine (which I just found out, has been discontinued, as I can't find it on BoxxTech's website, also the info is slightly out of date, it says "8 dual core CPUs" and the last I knew it was 8 quad cores). The amount of processing that machine has is staggering. It's RAM capacity is larger than most people's hard drives (ok, not quite--when I first heard about it, yeah. 128 GB ram vs. 80 GB hard drive space), and had 15 terabytes of internal storage.

What do you use it for?

In house, at your desk, small company rendering (vs. buying a render farm).

I expect that even in the future they'll be a need for massively powerful desktop sized machines. Your large corps might not want a matrix-connected server farm for their research labs, and one project might not be big enough to warrant a whole server farm just for them, so you give the researcher a hugely powerful machine that sits in the lab. Or it might be the smaller corps, the machine might BE their server farm, just less of a farm and more of a single (very powerful) server.
hobgoblin
i would say that box is a small nexi wink.gif

or basically a comlink with its processor limit removed.

btw, i quickly hammered out a wiseman version...

full cyberlimb replacements, 43 comlinks (42 of those as one cluster, with the last providing firewall and signal rating by being a master to the cluster), 126 processes (agents and apps) before looking at any kind of degradation!

cost, 637400 as a cybersuite...
Sir_Psycho
You won't see desktop computers. If for some reason, your commlink doesn't have the power to do something, you'll subscribe to a Nexus/Nexi cluster in your office. Even a Nexi won't be equivalent to a desktop computer, because when you have image links and sim modules, who needs a display? When you have sim modules and AR Gloves, who needs a keyboard?

When it comes to security, then it just means having a plug in your workspace so you can link non-wirelessly to your computer/network.

Of course, workspaces will still exist, but they will probably be a chair and desk for ergonomic reasons, not as a requirement for computer access. The workspace will probably be sparse, so a worker in AR gloves can type, sketch and more without knocking his coffee mug and peace lily over.

Of course, this is assuming that workers who would traditionally require a desktop computer with decent power would even use AR. I often imagine office "cubicles" to be reclining coffins in which wageslaves can immerse themselves in VR in. I imagine workers who use AR will be the movers and shakers, the people who meet and greet and move about the workplace, checking their AR to-do lists, signing things with an AR gloved flourish, etc.
Heath Robinson
Health bulletins will peg VR as bad for you, and images of idyllic AR enhanced workspaces will imply that any office that doesn't use AR is a backwards cubicle hell. AR enabled offices won't be any better, but people will believe they are.
Fleinhoy
Hehe, funny this question should pop up now. In this Sunday's game our group came across an old survivalist bunker, intact with internal power supply and functioning 1998 computers.

The GM set it up that none of us recognised the computers for what they were at first, and as we were starting to experiment we all had a ball role-playing the ways we were trying to acquaint ourselves with this antiquated technology: the mouse took some getting used to after poking the screen a few times, the fact that all the icons were in bloody 2d and not in a "proper 3d filing system" and so on. And to help matters we have no real tech-savvy character in this group, no hacker or technomancer, so we all had to rely on vaguely relevant knowledge skills.

I’d say, as usual, that it’s up to the GM, but in my take on it desktop computers as we know them would not exist. If your commlink can’t handle something on its own, you plug it straight into a more powerful hub, such as you would probably have in your flat or office. No keyboard, and definitely no bulky, useless 2d screen, you’d still manipulate the icons in front of your face, same as you’d normally do if using just the ‘link.
Sir_Psycho
"Computer?"
"Use the mouse"(sic)
*Picks up mouse, holds it up to mouth*
"Hello, computer?"
"Maybe you should just use the keyboard"
"Oh! How quaint"

Karma for reference.
Malachi
QUOTE (Sir_Psycho @ Mar 9 2009, 11:56 AM) *
"Computer?"
"Use the mouse"(sic)
*Picks up mouse, holds it up to mouth*
"Hello, computer?"
"Maybe you should just use the keyboard"
"Oh! How quaint"

Karma for reference.

Star Trek IV. Scotty talking to the guy from the plastic company.
Sir_Psycho
+1 Karma. I love that movie. It's like some star trek writers had "taken a little too much LDS" and some-one piped up "hey, wouldn't it be funny if the Captain Kirk and his crew time-travelled back to the 70's!"
"And Scotty could try talking to a macintosh!"
"And the doctor could get all hot and bothered about archaic medical technology!"
"Spock should swim with a whale!"
"Nuclear Wessels!"

I'm not even a Trekkie, and I recommend IV to everyone.
TBRMInsanity
I can imagine cubicles with just a dock for your comlink and a holoprojector, and maybe AR gloves. Even today in more tech savy workplaces a lot of places have a monitor (ie holoprojector), a port replicator or laptop doc (ie the dock), and sometimes a spare keyboard and mouse (ie the AR gloves). The employee has their laptop that they carry with them and dock in when they are at their desk.

I can imagine that an office worker from the 1800's would feel that nothing has changed (since he would not know what the small dock and holoprojector are) but an office worker from the 90's to present would wonder where all the computers went.
Zaranthan
The 19th century time-traveler would be wondering where all the papers and filing cabinets are.
Sir_Psycho
"Where in the devil is mine quill, sir?! How can one be expected to work in such conditions!?"
Zormal
Also, being big and bulky means that you can't just stuff the thing in your pocket and make a run for it! Might be handy for schools and offices, though I recon most places just hand out software for your personal commlink.

It's a little bit more difficult for a worker to take his highly confidental files for a walk outside the office, if the files are on a desktop with no wireless connection. You won't see this at every cubicle, but it has its uses.
TBRMInsanity
QUOTE (Zormal @ Mar 9 2009, 11:18 AM) *
Also, being big and bulky means that you can't just stuff the thing in your pocket and make a run for it! Might be handy for schools and offices, though I recon most places just hand out software for your personal commlink.

It's a little bit more difficult for a worker to take his highly confidental files for a walk outside the office, if the files are on a desktop with no wireless connection. You won't see this at every cubicle, but it has its uses.


You would think that any work done at work would only be authorized (and enforced) within the facilities firewall, and files would only be temporally downloaded to an employee's comlink while they were working on it then saved back up to the company server where it is protected from theft. I would also imagine that the temporary files have an advanced form of DRM attached to them that would delete the file if they left the facility or secure area.

Then again the desks of the future could be comlinks themselves. Built in holoprojectors and AR gloves.
Kanada Ten
You can tell which companies have switched to Office Works (Workout Edition) just from the worn circles in the cubicle carpet.
Draco18s
QUOTE (TBRMInsanity @ Mar 9 2009, 12:24 PM) *
You would think that any work done at work would only be authorized (and enforced) within the facilities firewall, and files would only be temporally downloaded to an employee's comlink while they were working on it then saved back up to the company server where it is protected from theft. I would also imagine that the temporary files have an advanced form of DRM attached to them that would delete the file if they left the facility or secure area.


You know. One of these days copyright holders (such as the RIAA, etc) are going to have to come to the realization that "if you can read the file, you can copy the file." Linux has been well aware of this fact for years.

Other than files of excessive size, there's nothing stopping someone from writing it all down on paper and typing it up again. There's simply no way to enforce it.

Now, in 2070 this might not be the case, but at our current technological level in 2009 it's impossible. I also don't expect this to change anytime soon.
InfinityzeN
Want to build a desktop computer in SR4?

Commlink (desktop) or small Nexi (workstation)
several sheets Electronic Paper (flat touch screens, input and display) and a Holo Projector
Biometric Reader (security)
SimModel or SimDeck
Printer

You can add in Trodes, AR Gloves and a pair of Glasses with an Image Link, but the above will work without them.
Heath Robinson
QUOTE (TBRMInsanity @ Mar 9 2009, 05:24 PM) *
You would think that any work done at work would only be authorized (and enforced) within the facilities firewall, and files would only be temporally downloaded to an employee's comlink while they were working on it then saved back up to the company server where it is protected from theft. I would also imagine that the temporary files have an advanced form of DRM attached to them that would delete the file if they left the facility or secure area.

What's the point in transferring the files themselves? Some kind of client (possibly quite thin) to a backend on a nexi which renders any view to sensitive data in the backend and transmits it as a raster to the client. It's more secure than the above system, because you're never giving the real data to the end user.

Sure, they can still videotape the end result (which you can do with any kind of DRM), but it's far less useful than getting an actual copy of the file (possible when you disclose the raw form of the data to the end user but cracking the DRM code), since to do any incremental updates on the file they have to re-enter it as there's almost zero chance of retrieving the original file.

Recreating the file from a myriad of views is costly, and in the case of most of the mechnical gruntwork of computers it duplicates almost all of the effort necessary to produce it in the first place - making the net benefit nearly zero.
hobgoblin
QUOTE (Zormal @ Mar 9 2009, 06:18 PM) *
Also, being big and bulky means that you can't just stuff the thing in your pocket and make a run for it! Might be handy for schools and offices, though I recon most places just hand out software for your personal commlink.

more likely that they will provide a login account to the school/office nexi, and said account comes with access to software tools running on the nexi in question.

that way, even students with a rating 1 comlink can get good use out of a rating 6 edit app...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of...esktop_software
TBRMInsanity
QUOTE (Heath Robinson @ Mar 9 2009, 12:01 PM) *
What's the point in transferring the files themselves? Some kind of client (possibly quite thin) to a backend on a nexi which renders any view to sensitive data in the backend and transmits it as a raster to the client. It's more secure than the above system, because you're never giving the real data to the end user.


Your very right. I guess wireless bandwidth and mutiuser file sharing will not be concerns in the Matrix 2.0 age. It is quite possible to have all the work done on the the nexi (accessed by terminal comlinks).
Sir_Psycho
Well that's what Persona Limits are for, aren't they? So several users can log in to a system and work on it simultaneously and even co-operatively. Having different user accounts means that workers can't access their colleagues files that aren't shared.

I imagine that automatically everything is backed up (or manually with a save command) to external data storage, which requires Security or Admin access to get to, and is manually disconnected at the end of the day/when the alarm goes off.
hobgoblin
btw, i revised my wiseman design. now he can handle 150 prosesses before running into response degradation...
Dream79
I could see a monitor and keyboard used possibly as a back-up interface for a data vault or something similar. Otherwise outside of older systems that might be scavenged in the barrens or collector pieces in a collection of a would be antiquarian CEO.

Now there's a interesting idea. A run dealing with obtaining antique 20th century consumer electronics for a collector.
InfinityzeN
My guys have someone who collects late 20th and early 21st century cars that they do collection runs for. Collectors make good Johnsons.
Heath Robinson
QUOTE (Dream79 @ Mar 10 2009, 09:40 AM) *
I could see a monitor and keyboard used possibly as a back-up interface for a data vault or something similar. Otherwise outside of older systems that might be scavenged in the barrens or collector pieces in a collection of a would be antiquarian CEO.


An oft overlooked note is that commlinks come with a foldable keyboard and include a screen or holoprojector.
hobgoblin
indeed, its fully usable on its own...

and with no speed loss vs AR...
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