Linked by the_randymon on Mon 21st Jan 2013 19:27 UTC
Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu "The first computers were gigantic, filling rooms and requiring constant care and maintenance. [...] The computer stayed on the desk until the laptop computer, a smaller, more portable, but just as powerful machine, made it nearly obsolete. And then, the iPhone was released, followed shortly after by Android and the Palm WebOS, and the next step in computing was clear. What we did not immediately understand was if mobile computing was an accessory, or a replacement, for the traditional desktop machines." Jon-Buys at Ostatic believes the phone-becomes-computer paradigm is the next step.
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RE: not for a long time
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Mon 21st Jan 2013 19:55 UTC in reply to "not for a long time"
Bill Shooter of Bul
Member since:
2006-07-14

Read the story.

Imagine this scenario: you arrive at work in the morning, sit down at your desk, and drop your phone into the dock. Your monitor lights up with your normal desktop environment and you work in it throughout the day. At the end of the day, you pull your phone out of the dock, put it in your pocket and head home. On the train, you think of something else to add to your project, so you take out your phone and use the touch screen interface to add to your work. No need for syncing or cloud resources, everything you need you carry with you on the phone. When you get home, you drop the phone in the dock in the kitchen to watch a show while you are cooking dinner. Fast forward a few more years, and maybe you don’t even need the dock anymore. You arrive at work and the proximity sensor in your phone detects where you are and automatically connects to your monitor, keyboard, and mouse.


What makes your desktop a desktop? If its anything other than the size of the box holding the cpu, then you can't have much of an objection to this concept.

Reply Parent Score: 7

RE[2]: not for a long time
by Shkaba on Mon 21st Jan 2013 20:48 in reply to "RE: not for a long time"
Shkaba Member since:
2006-06-22

Imagine this scenario: you arrive at work in the morning, sit down at your desk, and drop your phone into the dock. Your monitor lights up with your normal desktop environment and you work in it throughout the day.


I have a slightly different vision:

Imagine you walk in the office, place you phone on a charger/dock and ... built in projector lights up the wall (or a projecting canvas) and a laser traces a virtual keyboard on your desk ...

Reply Parent Score: 2

Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

Same general idea, your cpu & storage is always with you and is adaptable to the best input/out put mechanisms at hand, whatever you define those to be.


But,would you really enjoy the lack of feedback a laser displayed keyboard would provide? I'm a touch typist, I don't need the letters to actually be ledigble on a keyboard as I never look at them while typing. I think its a terrible idea. Give me a real keyboard anyday. I don't care if its a projector, LCD, Plasma, CRT, or E-ink as long as the display is crisp, readable and sufficiently large enough for me to work.

Reply Parent Score: 6

RE[3]: not for a long time
by joekiser on Mon 21st Jan 2013 21:21 in reply to "RE[2]: not for a long time"
joekiser Member since:
2005-06-30

Terrible idea. I had one of these back in college, purchased from ThinkGeek. You had to look down the entire time you type (no tactile feedback), and it was slow to respond. It took about five minutes to type a paragraph before I decided to sell it to a friend.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[3]: not for a long time
by Lennie on Mon 21st Jan 2013 21:30 in reply to "RE[2]: not for a long time"
Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

The Mozilla community had a concept phone with such an idea:

http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Mozilla+Seabird+Concept...

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: not for a long time
by WereCatf on Mon 21st Jan 2013 23:07 in reply to "RE[2]: not for a long time"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

Imagine you walk in the office, place you phone on a charger/dock and ... built in projector lights up the wall (or a projecting canvas) and a laser traces a virtual keyboard on your desk ...


A projector built in a smartphone ain't gonna replace a real display for work. For one thing, it just can't put out the same amount of light, and therefore you're much more readily at the mercy of ambient light around you. Secondly, you'll have to place the phone/its doc in rather awkward places so as to keep the image uniform and still not have your head or office tools constantly obscuring the image, let alone the other people in the office!

On a similar note, a virtual keyboard is a lot, lot worse to write on than a real one. It might work for people who have very little need to write anything, but it sure as hell won't work for codecs, translators, book authors, in general anyone who has to write a lot of text on a daily basis.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: not for a long time
by WereCatf on Mon 21st Jan 2013 23:20 in reply to "RE: not for a long time"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

What makes your desktop a desktop? If its anything other than the size of the box holding the cpu, then you can't have much of an objection to this concept.


I would say first and foremost connectivity: a real desktop can connect to a dozen different devices simultaneously. Secondly, performance. To a lesser extent customizability. Fourth, a desktop-oriented OS.

Only the third one is really something that a smartphone can't do and won't be able to do, the other two mostly just come down to time -- ie. technological advancements in CPU/GPU - tech -- and to making a dock with lots of connectors. Whip up an OS that can transition from mobile-oriented interface to a desktop-oriented interface when needed, fashion a good, proper dock, and make it all work together completely seamlessly and you'll have no problems substituting a smartphone for a desktop in most areas of life.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: not for a long time
by Gestahlt on Tue 22nd Jan 2013 00:17 in reply to "RE[2]: not for a long time"
Gestahlt Member since:
2011-10-17

Yeah like that..

Edited 2013-01-22 00:18 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: not for a long time
by the_randymon on Tue 22nd Jan 2013 10:13 in reply to "RE: not for a long time"
the_randymon Member since:
2005-07-06

Why should you even need the phone? Imagine you carry a smartcard in your wallet, something with nothing more than basic credentials, like a cypher key. You go wherever you want, plug it into the card reader at the local dumb-terminal, and you are instantly back at your desktop.

If this is the reality you want, all you need is a server account somewhere, and a thin client/dumb terminal. Because all your stuff is on the server, you get the benefits of amazingly powerful hardware (out there on the server) and no risk/expense of loss (lose your card? Get a new one for $1. How much is your super-phone worth?) Furthermore, because all your stuff is out there on the server (sorry, it's called a cloud now, I suppose?) it's available to you wherever you go.

I think we're closer to that reality, and in fact it's not too different from a reality we already had back in the 1970s.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: not for a long time
by WereCatf on Tue 22nd Jan 2013 10:38 in reply to "RE[2]: not for a long time"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

What you described would otherwise be perfectly feasible, but it falls down on its face due to a single issue: bandwidth. Especially outgoing data is still throttled and limited in huge amounts, but even for inbound data you need a very good connection to be able to work at e.g. 1080p resolution with minimal input latency. Now, combine that with ISPs and mobile broadband - operators placing cap on the amount of data transferred and you'll quickly realize that that just ain't only unfeasible but downright impossible as things stand.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: not for a long time
by zima on Mon 28th Jan 2013 23:15 in reply to "RE: not for a long time"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

OTOH the envisioned scenario reminded me about some past predictions... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Home_computer#The_Home_Computer_.22Rev...

Reply Parent Score: 2