Future tech that didn't make it?

Deezell

Active Member
20200628_110431.jpg


Meanwhile, here's one from back in the 90s, when tech companies thought it would be great to put everything in one big centre, computer, audio, video, radio, tv, CD, phone, etc. The Toshiba Infinia was probably £10k at today's prices. The device they were trying to build eventually happened. It's called the smart phone.
 

jeallen01

Active Member
He probably made his money from the Amstrad 1512, that seemed to be in every office I worked in back in the late 80s early 90s.
And the 1640 version that I was given in the then (BSI!) office - my MAJOR gripe with them was the god-damned awful keyboards, so bad in fact that I bought my own and much better non-Amstrad keyboard that I later sold to someone else when I left a few months later (so I wasn't the only one who absolutely hated those keyboards).

Then there was my neighbour who bought one of the later 4000 series (IIRC) PCs (in the early 1990s) which was a "bastardised Hybrid" that just didn't want to work anything like "properly" - led up to me spending so much time in the neighbour's house that SWMBO went over there (without my knowing!) and asked him to stop asking for my help. and that then lead to a fairly "frosty" relationship with that household until they moved out earlier this year!
 
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Tempest

Distinguished Member
Still seems a shame that, we don't by now, all have a single standard home computer a bit like a server in the home, that, all your devices hook up to, to draw their computing power.
Rather than have dozens of computers in so many things.
We'd just have this single device, and all the other devices in the home to link up to it, and it would do all the heavy lifting.
I'm sure in an alternate universe it could have happened.
 

imightbewrong

Distinguished Member
Still seems a shame that, we don't by now, all have a single standard home computer a bit like a server in the home, that, all your devices hook up to, to draw their computing power.
Rather than have dozens of computers in so many things.
We'd just have this single device, and all the other devices in the home to link up to it, and it would do all the heavy lifting.
I'm sure in an alternate universe it could have happened.
I think you are describing cloud computing - all the actual computing happens elsewhere (Alexa, google maps/translate etc).
 

Tempest

Distinguished Member
I think you are describing cloud computing - all the actual computing happens elsewhere (Alexa, google maps/translate etc).
Indeed, you are correct.
However we seem to have a bit of a sticking point when it comes to power of devices.
I guess I'm speaking more of dumb clients, so the mobile device would pretty much just be a screen/input device with almost no power, and your home box? could do the rest of it, and act as a middle man to the cloud.

Even with chromebooks now, we're looking and higher and higher power versions coming to get their speed up.
And of course Tablets/phones are getting more powerful all the time.
How about when you got home this all stopped and your home box? took all this work over so they'd all last for a week? as they were doing almost no work?

Just a thought :)

I'm sure in most old sci-fi films this was the idea.
One central machine and small devices which communicated with it.
Not all carrying around independently powerful devices.

New games console?
Nope, as it runs from your main home box :)

Perhaps that's one of the biggest reasons? there is just more money to be made selling us newer/faster individual devices each year ;)
 

imightbewrong

Distinguished Member
Indeed, you are correct.
However we seem to have a bit of a sticking point when it comes to power of devices.
I guess I'm speaking more of dumb clients, so the mobile device would pretty much just be a screen/input device with almost no power, and your home box? could do the rest of it, and act as a middle man to the cloud.

Even with chromebooks now, we're looking and higher and higher power versions coming to get their speed up.
And of course Tablets/phones are getting more powerful all the time.
How about when you got home this all stopped and your home box? took all this work over so they'd all last for a week? as they were doing almost no work?

Just a thought :)

I'm sure in most old sci-fi films this was the idea.
One central machine and small devices which communicated with it.
Not all carrying around independently powerful devices.

New games console?
Nope, as it runs from your main home box :)

Perhaps that's one of the biggest reasons? there is just more money to be made selling us newer/faster individual devices each year ;)
The fancy bit is the screens. Look at things like Stadia - the hard? computing happens elsewhere - that still needs to be displayed on a fancy? screen though. If you want to ask google? questions and get the response on a pager? type screen, you can have your week-long? battery.
 

Tempest

Distinguished Member
The fancy bit is the screens. Look at things like Stadia - the hard? computing happens elsewhere - that still needs to be displayed on a fancy? screen though. If you want to ask google? questions and get the response on a pager? type screen, you can have your week-long? battery.
Stadia indeed.
Am just wondering.
You get home, and your phone flips into dumb mode and the home box takes over all the work, same for your tablet, even for your TV which then has decent power as opposed to a god awful chip-set they fit into them.

Of course none of this would work as it would mean all companies working to a single standard.
like that would ever happen :)
 

imightbewrong

Distinguished Member
Stadia indeed.
Am just wondering.
You get home, and your phone flips into dumb mode and the home box takes over all the work, same for your tablet, even for your TV which then has decent power as opposed to a god awful chip-set they fit into them.

Of course none of this would work as it would mean all companies working to a single standard.
like that would ever happen :)
It's not a home box? it's The Cloud :) Why would you want an inefficient? home box? in every? house? ;)
 

Tempest

Distinguished Member
I get what you are saying, but why do we need more and more powerful phones/tablets all the time?
Put all of that in the one box and only have this access the cloud which then feeds the mobile screens you carry around.
so much is still done on-device.
 

imightbewrong

Distinguished Member
I get what you are saying, but why do we need more and more powerful phones/tablets all the time?
Put all of that in the one box and only have this access the cloud which then feeds the mobile screens you carry around.
so much is still done on-device.
The so much? is the rendering? take that away and your device? will last? for weeks? Everyone always wants more and more? eye candy. :)
 

Tempest

Distinguished Member
Perhaps it can all be done in the cloud today.
You buy apps and they 100% run in either Apple's or Google's cloud.
your device is just a powered screen and wifi connection.

That's not how it works now, the apps are generally downloaded to your devices which then run them.

Not tried Stadia yet, I like the idea, though I don't like the price model ;)
 

imightbewrong

Distinguished Member
That's not how it works now, the apps are generally downloaded to your devices which then run them.
Depends on the app - for many the heavy lifting is done on app servers - the local device is doing remote-requests.
 

vu599536

Active Member
As we are on video tapes, anyone remember the Panasonic scanner pen and barcode sheet to program your VCR?
My parents were shown this when buying a video recorder. No idea what would have happened if coffee was dropped onto it or a dog chewed it..
 

vu599536

Active Member
Another tech item which flopped.

Digital photo frames. My parents got one free when buying some insurance, never used.

Yet the humble photo frame where put own photos still going strong.
 

KyleS1

Distinguished Member
You get home, and your phone flips into dumb mode and the home box takes over all the work,
So you want to pay for a smartphone to be smart out of the house, but you want it to become dumb when you get home? How is that a good business model? You still have to pay the money for all the tech to use when you aren't at home.
 

Tempest

Distinguished Member
So you want to pay for a smartphone to be smart out of the house, but you want it to become dumb when you get home? How is that a good business model? You still have to pay the money for all the tech to use when you aren't at home.
Well, the thought really was, for the few times you must have full battery draining performance out and about as you play fortnight in the middle of a field, then the device has the ability to do that.
In the same way your sports can can do 200mph and drain 1 gallon a minute if it really has to ;)

But as soon as you come home (or perhaps at work if things are standardized) your mobile devices could flip into a dumb mode which was pretty much just communications (wifi?) and running just the screen, so all the processing could be done by a more central device.

A bit like the Stadia model but for all programs.
Not trying to have every single device a stand alone thing.

Perhaps it's a dumb idea, just thinking. Centralized work and not millions of separate little machines all killing themselves trying to do things individually.
 

Deezell

Active Member
Citrix have been selling this for years. Not just programs but entire OS runs remotely on servers, you just connect to a view of an instance of it. We've had it in one university department for years now, students have a virtual Windows 10 desktop and all the dept. Software on their home pc, laptop, Android Chromebook or Apple device. Device is just a terminal and keyboard, like computing used to be before Microsoft killed that model. There's an even bigger scramble and demand for it now with covid work from home. Add to that cloud storage and distributed processing, and it gets more virtual, with your own idle device perhaps sharing the background virtual server load unbeknownst to you.
 

Tempest

Distinguished Member
Not so much didn't make it, but got left behind?
Oh and they don't make presenters like this anymore!

 

KyleS1

Distinguished Member
Well, the thought really was, for the few times you must have full battery draining performance out and about as you play fortnight in the middle of a field, then the device has the ability to do that.
In the same way your sports can can do 200mph and drain 1 gallon a minute if it really has to ;)

But as soon as you come home (or perhaps at work if things are standardized) your mobile devices could flip into a dumb mode which was pretty much just communications (wifi?) and running just the screen, so all the processing could be done by a more central device.

A bit like the Stadia model but for all programs.
Not trying to have every single device a stand alone thing.

Perhaps it's a dumb idea, just thinking. Centralized work and not millions of separate little machines all killing themselves trying to do things individually.
Yeah but if your smartphone could do that itself, why would need something else to do it for it just because you are at home? You won't save any money as your phone still needs the tech and capability inside.
I can see it more for computers, laptops, tablets etc, but then you put the workload on some other system. If it is in the cloud, what happens when the phone operator has an issue, or your wifi is getting interference, or the router packs up etc.
 

imightbewrong

Distinguished Member
Well, the thought really was, for the few times you must have full battery draining performance out and about as you play fortnight in the middle of a field, then the device has the ability to do that.
In the same way your sports can can do 200mph and drain 1 gallon a minute if it really has to ;)

But as soon as you come home (or perhaps at work if things are standardized) your mobile devices could flip into a dumb mode which was pretty much just communications (wifi?) and running just the screen, so all the processing could be done by a more central device.

A bit like the Stadia model but for all programs.
Not trying to have every single device a stand alone thing.

Perhaps it's a dumb idea, just thinking. Centralized work and not millions of separate little machines all killing themselves trying to do things individually.
I think we are reinventing the thin-terminal mainframe here - these ideas kind of go around in long loops.

Many people at my work now use thin terminals - their 'PC' is actually a slice of a server in some warehouse.
 

Trollslayer

Distinguished Member
I guess I'm speaking more of dumb clients, so the mobile device would pretty much just be a screen/input device with almost no power, and your home box? could do the rest of it, and act as a middle man to the cloud.
The CPUs in set top boxes aren't that powerful compared with a PC plus RAM bandwidth is shared with video so don't expect too much.
 
Well, the thought really was, for the few times you must have full battery draining performance out and about as you play fortnight in the middle of a field, then the device has the ability to do that.
In the same way your sports can can do 200mph and drain 1 gallon a minute if it really has to ;)

But as soon as you come home (or perhaps at work if things are standardized) your mobile devices could flip into a dumb mode which was pretty much just communications (wifi?) and running just the screen, so all the processing could be done by a more central device.

A bit like the Stadia model but for all programs.
Not trying to have every single device a stand alone thing.

Perhaps it's a dumb idea, just thinking. Centralized work and not millions of separate little machines all killing themselves trying to do things individually.
The idea is solid, it’s already done though. Cloud computing is everywhere. Very few applications have the logic locally and depends on remote logic and storage. Games so far have been the exception but as mentioned before that is changing as well.

The biggest battery drains are the screen and wireless connectivity. That will still be required.
 
I think we are reinventing the thin-terminal mainframe here - these ideas kind of go around in long loops.

Many people at my work now use thin terminals - their 'PC' is actually a slice of a server in some warehouse.
Also great for a BYOD policy as you can run your own machine but have the corporate image isolated.

One thing I used to like about the mainframe was email where only one copy ever existed. When you send it, you merely send a “pointer” to the email opposed to the email itself.
 

maddy

Well-known Member
Mainframe timesharing, Oracle's Network Computer in the late 1990s, Citrix, AWS, "the cloud"...

Never underestimate the ability of IT marketing teams to repackage old ideas as new ones.
 

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