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These days the use of mainframe computers and terminals is highly outdated, but I'd like to predict it will make a comeback sometime soon.

Today our terminals, our smartphones and tablets and even laptops and TVs are much more powerful than they used to be--and much more mobile.

Instead of the one-desktop-one-user at a time scenario, what if there was an OS that ran on high-performance hardware shared by the entire household?

instead of sitting in a chair all day, a new form of mobile terminal (one that will probably be produced in the next couple of years just from a blind estimate) would enable the power of the desktop from a mobile platform.

I just don't see the point of having a 3Ghz processor in a mobile phone if your desktop at home is just sitting there unused. This may be due in part to an infrastructure problem, perhaps ISP subscribers just don't have the bandwidth to handle all that wired/wireless communication.


What do you guys think, do you think the terminal system could make a comeback in a modern world, or do you side with the "everything gets smaller and more powerful, why a giant mainframe?" point of view?

If I were to try this at home, I would probably use a top-notch desktop running Windows 7/8 (and hoping it supports multiple users at the same time), with a few cheap wifi tablets to use the desktop's resources.

How do you think the family would benefit? What if there was a better mobile keyboard, so you could program from anywhere with the compilation speed and tools of your desktop?

Back to the question, a future in it, or a no-go and every household person has their own PC, and mobile devices with an advent form of this system built-in (document syncing or remote desktop)?

Hey, perhaps linux could excel in this area if M$ isn't sold on the idea?

Edited by pseudorandom21: n/a

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Last Post by jwenting
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most likely this 'll become more and more used, but comparing this to the older mainframe servers?

well, you must understand, that the machine you would use as a 'server', you can easily place underneath your desk, while the servers you compare them to were bigger than the room you put your desk in :)

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The web browser running a web application is a dumb terminal connecting to a mainframe.
A "Rich Internet Application" communicating with an application server is a client/server system.

Old ideas don't die, they just get reused time and time again.

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@Jwent,

What do you think of the home terminal/mainframe idea? Is Windows 7 equipped to handle such a task?

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well, you must understand, that the machine you would use as a 'server', you can easily place underneath your desk, while the servers you compare them to were bigger than the room you put your desk in :)

That reminds me of the first computer I saw, was in 1963, the computer was housed in 4 floors of a concrete building with no windows. I didn't work in computers those days but I did get a chance to see it -- rows and rows of large vacuum tubs, must have been millions of them. That computer had less memory than the one everyone now has on their desk at home.

Edited by Ancient Dragon: n/a

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@Jwent,

What do you think of the home terminal/mainframe idea? Is Windows 7 equipped to handle such a task?

If it's stable enough to meet the uptime requirements (and in my experience W7 is quite stable, but I've not had it running for years, I have however had Vista running without reboot for >2 years now as a file/print server) I don't see why not.
I'd prefer a dedicated server OS for the improved management capabilities and reduced overhead of the user interface, but for soho use W7 should suffice.

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