Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 28th Feb 2012 22:48 UTC
Hardware, Embedded Systems "Dell launched a new line of servers for enterprise customers, boosting its corporate business unit and shifting its focus further away from consumers, who are increasingly choosing such devices as Apple's iPad. Chief Executive Michael Dell said his namesake company is no longer a personal computer company and has transformed itself into a business that sells services and products to corporations, a lucrative market that he said is worth $3 trillion." PC has become a dirty word. All part of the war on general purpose computing.
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RE[2]: Future
by CapEnt on Wed 29th Feb 2012 10:55 UTC in reply to "RE: Future"
CapEnt
Member since:
2005-12-18

Ya. But this is about preventing the computer from breaking itself too.

See, the greatest strength of PCs is also his biggest weakness: freedom to do whatever you want with the hardware, including making new boards by our own. But this made OS and system software maintenance a hell.

The near infinite permutations that you can do with the hardware gave rise to all kinds of loose hardware standards that sometimes do not agree with each other without some gross hacks, huge amounts poorly designed hardware who interfaces with the system in a too low level (not a USB, but PCI/PCIe boards), overcomplex north/south bridges and motherboards who need to support all kinds of stuff plugged in it, power management systems that are almost a OS by his own in complexity (ACPI), huge basic software (UFI and newer BIOSes) who needs to cover more and more obscure functionality to be "universal"... and the OS must support all this to be usable.

The PC right now is a infinite band wagon for stacked obscure standards with near 30 years of legacy stuff on top, that you should code your OS to work with.

All these stuff forced OS developers to craft layers upon layers of code to hide the complexity of the hardware from the user, creating a range of problems of their own, and making the OS somewhat fragile, something that can stop working for no discernible reason even in the hands of a advanced user.

One day is a new hardware who introduces bus noise in combination with some chipset brand, another day is a kernel module who need to interface with a poorly specified hardware going crazy, and sometimes we have these dreaded BIOS option that can make a hardware freeze aleatorily but if you disable you loose power management or shutdown another board... and the list goes on.

The tablet, in essence, has more in common with a game console than a PC: is a return to a clean design that is easy to keep. This came in expense of flexibility, but the reliability that you gain will make up for it.

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