Distributed Computing, Ubiquitous Computing and Cloud Computing

  1. Read the article in Wired this month about Google’s massive data centers.
  2. Muse that we started with mainframes as super processing centers networked to dumb terminals, then microchip manufacturing got cheaper/faster and we had smart terminals connected to a ‘dumb’ network (the internet, ‘dumb’ because it is an open, failure-friendly protocol) and now we are moving back into the realm of massive data centers to hold our data, handle our lives, backup our systems and even rent out computing power (SETI@home was a great example of this).
  3. Go read about Amazon’s computing cloud allowing:“Amazon EC2’s simple web service interface allows you to obtain and configure capacity with minimal friction. It provides you with complete control of your computing resources and lets you run on Amazon’s proven computing environment. Amazon EC2 reduces the time required to obtain and boot new server instances to minutes, allowing you to quickly scale capacity, both up and down, as your computing requirements change. Amazon EC2 changes the economics of computing by allowing you to pay only for capacity that you actually use.

This dorky stuff blows my mind. I wish I knew enough to toy with it. 🙂
The computer was the network. The network is the computer. The network is a service that scales. The death of products and the migration to services predicted by futurists everywhere.
Update: Here’s a good description that explains why Amazon’s EC2 system could change the way applications are deployed.

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