Future tech that didn't make it?

Tempest

Distinguished Member
Didn't want to take this thread off in any one direction.

I just had this long running feeling that it would be nice to buy one single really powerful grunt of a machine, with all the storage, speed, graphics ability and all that, which totally kicked ass, and have that hidden away in the middle of your home.

Then pop down the road any buy very lightweight laptops, tablets, phones, handheld consoles, mp3 players!
anything, that was just able to link up to this "box of ultimate power" and instantly all over your home you had all this power appear in your new cheap. lightweight device.

I'm sure there are drawbacks, it just seemed a logical/sensible route in some ways.
No need for your phone and tablet to struggle with the game due to their battery sipping CPU/GPU's inside, as every device at home always had the full power to draw on.

As I said, probably COULD be done now, it's just there is not such easy money to be made by the big companies who want to sell you an upgraded device each year/few years :)
 

imightbewrong

Distinguished Member
Didn't want to take this thread off in any one direction.

I just had this long running feeling that it would be nice to buy one single really powerful grunt of a machine, with all the storage, speed, graphics ability and all that, which totally kicked ass, and have that hidden away in the middle of your home.

Then pop down the road any buy very lightweight laptops, tablets, phones, handheld consoles, mp3 players!
anything, that was just able to link up to this "box of ultimate power" and instantly all over your home you had all this power appear in your new cheap. lightweight device.

I'm sure there are drawbacks, it just seemed a logical/sensible route in some ways.
No need for your phone and tablet to struggle with the game due to their battery sipping CPU/GPU's inside, as every device at home always had the full power to draw on.

As I said, probably COULD be done now, it's just there is not such easy money to be made by the big companies who want to sell you an upgraded device each year/few years :)
This already happens in many activities - for instance you can have a fancy graphics card in your desktop PC, then pop downstairs and play the game on your big screen TV via shield which is streaming the game from there. Or you can put a massive blu ray film on your server and stream it to your thin phone device with Plex doing the heavy lifting of the transcoding. Or if you want to find the shortest route from Seattle to Panama, offload it to the box of ultimate power that is Google ;) (FYI it's 4,914 miles, 95 hours of driving)
 

Tempest

Distinguished Member
Indeed. As I say, I'm sure we have all the tech and all the bits.
But we don't really have any actual standard, thats just accepted as the defacto method we all use, and can buy things without thinking about it.
Like you pop down currys and buy a home phone, from any brand or any type knowing you just plug it into the home socket and it works.
Perhaps in time something will emerge.
Loading everything onto each device seems silly and wasteful.
Throwing it all into the cloud seems a great idea, but then people get funny about privacy as you are editing you and your girlfriends "best moments!" on Google servers ;)

So perhaps someone in the middle of the home, that becomes a standard, and fitted into all homes, and you can go down currys and buy any device knowing it will link up to it.

And this one "Home Box" has a single secure channel online could be a path to try?

Just mulling this over from time to time. ;)

But as I say we'd all have to agree on a standard and we all know how well that generally goes ;)
 

imightbewrong

Distinguished Member
Indeed. As I say, I'm sure we have all the tech and all the bits.
But we don't really have any actual standard, thats just accepted as the defacto method we all use, and can buy things without thinking about it.
Like you pop down currys and buy a home phone, from any brand or any type knowing you just plug it into the home socket and it works.
Perhaps in time something will emerge.
Loading everything onto each device seems silly and wasteful.
Throwing it all into the cloud seems a great idea, but then people get funny about privacy as you are editing you and your girlfriends "best moments!" on Google servers ;)

So perhaps someone in the middle of the home, that becomes a standard, and fitted into all homes, and you can go down currys and buy any device knowing it will link up to it.

And this one "Home Box" has a single secure channel online could be a path to try?

Just mulling this over from time to time. ;)

But as I say we'd all have to agree on a standard and we all know how well that generally goes ;)
Well the first step is to work out what problem you are trying to solve, then who has that problem, then build it, then profit ;)
 

DPinBucks

Distinguished 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.
Ever since the advent of remote dumb terminals attached to mainframes in the early 60s, distributed processing power has always been the way to go.

Cloud processing is not so much there to centralise processing power but to act as a hub for integration, and to offer enhanced security. Each user has his own personal globally-distributed information and computing system.

In any global architecture, communications integrity is always a potential weak link. A properly-designed architecture will maximise resilience by allowing as much as possible to proceed locally during an outage.

Processing power on printed circuits is cheap, so why not maximise its use? That saves comms bandwidth and the power and complexity of servers. It also allows local networks to have some autonomy to offload demand from the wider network.

We're getting to the situation where reliable ultra-high-speed external communications are running hand-in-hand with ultra-powerful personal devices. Making the best use of these is not to favour one over the other, but to utilise the strengths of each.

As you say, Citrix have been around for years with extremely good products based on that particular model. However, their use has tended to be limited to a commercial environment with well-defined requirements and limits to use. I think they would be hard-pushed to adapt to a fully consumer-based architecture with an infinitude of apps and devices personally tailored by every individual. Mind you, it's been a long while since I was familiar with their products, back in the Winframe days, so am quite willing to be shown differently today.
 

Deezell

Active Member
Well the first step is to work out what problem you are trying to solve, then who has that problem, then build it, then profit ;)
That's it exactly. What is the problem. Having to replace certain home tech hardware frequently is one, (Pcs, laptops, game consoles and cell phones). Once you offload to a service provider, your old hardware interface just keeps working. The 2 dect wireless and 2 push button landline phones I have are 25, 18, 30 and 20 years old. All working via modern voip Fritz router. The oldest one is a pulse dialler, a push button version of a rotary dial phone, and it can still dial out on the router. In the same 30 years I have 5 obsolete laptops all in the attic, and uncountable games machines and desktop pcs to recycling.
 

Tempest

Distinguished Member
Always connected dumb devices will I'm guessing gradually evolve to be the norm.
THE PWA's Progressive Web Apps will reduce/remove? the need to install and run apps locally on your machine.
Once Mr Elon covers the globe with 1000's of satellites, and more tech to come, why bother spending years of R&D to make the next switch with ok-ish graphics as it's a low power handheld.

Just chuck in the screen, the controls and the "connection" and Nintendo? can run all the games remotely, giving them the power of Ten PS5's combined, and your battery lasts a week :)
 

imightbewrong

Distinguished Member
Just chuck in the screen, the controls and the "connection" and Nintendo? can run all the games remotely, giving them the power of Ten PS5's combined, and your battery lasts a week :)
I think you need to take a look at where the battery life goes - a huge amount goes on powering the screen (a very bright light for one thing) and the network traffic.

You can try it today - get yourself Stadia and play RDR2 on not Nintendo but Google's servers - turn all your other apps off - see how long the battery lasts.
 

Tempest

Distinguished Member
I think you need to take a look at where the battery life goes - a huge amount goes on powering the screen (a very bright light for one thing) and the network traffic.

You can try it today - get yourself Stadia and play RDR2 on not Nintendo but Google's servers - turn all your other apps off - see how long the battery lasts.
Well when they take all the other chips out there will be room for a BIGGER battery ;)

But, remember, you can't have better switch games as the console would get too hot and burn too much power if they tried, so it's help back by it's physical build.
Offload than then you can bump it up without any penalty.
 

imightbewrong

Distinguished Member
Well when they take all the other chips out there will be room for a BIGGER battery ;)

But, remember, you can't have better switch games as the console would get too hot and burn too much power if they tried, so it's help back by it's physical build.
Offload than then you can bump it up without any penalty.
Sure if you want to make a home only? device you can rip out the gubbins, make it bigger, do what you want. By the way an example of this has existed for years? the Wii U controller :)
 

DPinBucks

Distinguished Member
Some more I've thought of:
  • Gramdeck - my mate's dad had one, and it was surprisingly good if a little wow-y on an underpowered turntable.
  • Baird's original TV technology. The heart sinks to wonder what would have been the long-term outcome if it had won the Ally Pally trials over Marconi/EMI
  • APS photo system - quite well-received, but it was a solution for a minor problem which was anyway already on its way out.
  • Smellyvision/Smell-O-Vision
 

Tempest

Distinguished Member
Some more I've thought of:
  • Gramdeck - my mate's dad had one, and it was surprisingly good if a little wow-y on an underpowered turntable.
  • Baird's original TV technology. The heart sinks to wonder what would have been the long-term outcome if it had won the Ally Pally trials over Marconi/EMI
  • APS photo system - quite well-received, but it was a solution for a minor problem which was anyway already on its way out.
  • Smellyvision/Smell-O-Vision
Personally I think it's sad that "Feel-Around" at the movies never got anywhere.
In case you're too young to remember what feel-around was back then, here's an example of what you are missing despite all today's tech.

 

TerFar

Active Member
But the Philips Video2000 format had one big advantage.
When you got to the end of the tape, instead of having wait 5 minutes while it rewound it like in VHS, Betamax and 8mm, you just ejected it ready to use the other side. How many rental films did you have to rewind first before you could watch them?
So V2000 had VCC480 cassettes (48/60=8 hours), 2x4 hours. Eventually were LP recorders that could keep 16 hours of footage in the same space as 8 hours of LP VHS.
But you didn't have to rewind them, causing extra wear on the VCR motors. Just flip them over and run the other side at record/playback speed. Why buy the 2x1 hour tapes to use for movies, when there were 2x2 hour, 2x3 hour and 2x4 hour tapes you could use instead? And use the 2x1 hour tapes for 60 minute or shorter programmes.
If you were using VHS and had E60 cassettes, you would need two for a movie, and would have to swap them halfway. And rewind them both after. You wouldn't, you would buy an E120 cassette.

I remember buying E300 cassettes for their 5-hour recording stint for unattended timeshifting, and when I knew Dr Zhivago was coming on TV I went and bought BASF E195 to closely fit it without waste.
Anyone remember what Betastack was?
I think the biggest problem with V2000 was Phillip's ancient technology making them too expensive and uncompetitive to manufacture. If you opened up a Philips machine, it had several PCBs with interconnect looms/plugs with hundreds of components. And their first run was unambitious 5,000 machines (IIRC).

Open up a Panasonic and it contained one PCB with a LSI chip and a few supporting chips and components. Their first production run was 600,000.

Phillips didn't have chance.
 

Tempest

Distinguished Member
^ Remember going into store and looking at all these amazing machines.
Being able to record TV onto a tape was just amazing.
It's a shame in a way nothing is amazing anymore as all the things we CAN theoretically make, we are making.
There is almost nothing new ever comes out these days to make you go wow as it was back then.
Such magical times, when every couple of years something you'd never ever dreamed of appeared for sale.
Robot pets would be something cool, but no-one other than Sony wants to put any money into these things whatsoever, it's either science lab, or cheap junk from china.
 

Deezell

Active Member
Mn
I think the biggest problem with V2000 was Phillip's ancient technology making them too expensive and uncompetitive to manufacture. If you opened up a Philips machine, it had several PCBs with interconnect looms/plugs with hundreds of components. And their first run was unambitious 5,000 machines (IIRC).

Open up a Panasonic and it contained one PCB with a LSI chip and a few supporting chips and components. Their first production run was 600,000.

Phillips didn't have chance.
Entirely agree about the oudated engineering,their reliability was measurably less in the (short) long run, but I'm convinced the price point of blank tapes done for them. They were squeezing twice the time on roughly the same amount of tape, but were charging double for this, so their advantage was over. Actually it was also the rental market that killed them. Something like 70% of vcrs were rentals, all of them VHS. The rental companies, vcrs and movies, were not going to change. This left v2000 directly in competition with the superior Sony Betamax purchaser. No contest really.
 

neuty

Distinguished Member
Enjoy going through LOADS of old defunct tech with Techmoan. A great Youtube channel.
 

depot

Well-known Member
Enjoy going through LOADS of old defunct tech with Techmoan. A great Youtube channel.
Been subscribed to his channel for quite awhile, amazing the stuff he finds.
 

pRot3us

Distinguished Member
Enjoy going through LOADS of old defunct tech with Techmoan. A great Youtube channel.
The 8-bit Guy is also good for mainly rare/retro computers :

 
That's it exactly. What is the problem. Having to replace certain home tech hardware frequently is one, (Pcs, laptops, game consoles and cell phones). Once you offload to a service provider, your old hardware interface just keeps working. The 2 dect wireless and 2 push button landline phones I have are 25, 18, 30 and 20 years old. All working via modern voip Fritz router. The oldest one is a pulse dialler, a push button version of a rotary dial phone, and it can still dial out on the router. In the same 30 years I have 5 obsolete laptops all in the attic, and uncountable games machines and desktop pcs to recycling.
Those telephones are actually dumb and depend on centrally hosted exchanges and a lot of infrastructure including remote power to make them work. Almost like cloud technology ;)

The Fritz router, good as they are, will also be gathering dust at some point, I know I have two up on the loft.
 

joner7777

Well-known Member
^ Remember going into store and looking at all these amazing machines.
Being able to record TV onto a tape was just amazing.
It's a shame in a way nothing is amazing anymore as all the things we CAN theoretically make, we are making.
There is almost nothing new ever comes out these days to make you go wow as it was back then.
Such magical times, when every couple of years something you'd never ever dreamed of appeared for sale.
Robot pets would be something cool, but no-one other than Sony wants to put any money into these things whatsoever, it's either science lab, or cheap junk from china.
Two edged sword for me on this ,
I am fascinated on the latest tech and what it can do but, being a old school analog geek i long for the days when i had bundles of cables linking boxes doing stuff.

In my garage i have av cables dating back to the 70`s (just in case) bin bags full of them.
It used to be a real scene of success when rerouting through a certain way to achieve a Tv picture on a separate monitor in another room from a master tv ,405 line tech, black and white vintage.

Now it`s all done through wifi or a app , not a second thought given to it.

I can`t think of anything now that cannot be done with AV gear.
Suppose we ought to be grateful that we are in a age now to use all this clever kit , but i do miss my experimenting .
Bought a Car racing simulator just to build it to enable me to play with a fun of the joining of movement motors and latest digital games, i am a rubbish racer though, so i sold it.

Any ideas , what a older ,bored ,analog geek can build?
 

Tempest

Distinguished Member
^ Agree with a lot of what you said.
Something I feel a LOT of kids are sadly lacking, and something I, and of course millions of others had as children, was real, physical tactile experiences, with toys, gadgets and tech.

100% agree many things are simple and easy now, but humans ARE physical beings who love to touch, feel and play with things.
Tapping on a sheet of glass to play a game, using voice to play some music, pressing buttons to play a game on a screen.
It's all amazing, but it's just lacking in so many ways.

I consider myself part of the very lucky generation that went from zero computers, and screwing old roller skates to bits of wood in the street to play on, and making bows and arrows from string and bits of wood we found in some scrub-land, through to seeing every step of games consoles and computers appear, to end up today with VR, AR and smart assistants.

No other generation EVER on this planet other than mine will have experienced such a amazing change during our single lifetime.
Perhaps we, my generation are in a very unique spot of knowing both worlds, and being able to grow up in the real physical world without all the tech and getting a real world grounding in our lives, and getting to the point we are now, when it's almost impossible to see us getting much further other than perfecting VR/AR and robots, which is really all that's left to do practically
 
^ Agree with a lot of what you said.
Something I feel a LOT of kids are sadly lacking, and something I, and of course millions of others had as children, was real, physical tactile experiences, with toys, gadgets and tech.

100% agree many things are simple and easy now, but humans ARE physical beings who love to touch, feel and play with things.
Tapping on a sheet of glass to play a game, using voice to play some music, pressing buttons to play a game on a screen.
It's all amazing, but it's just lacking in so many ways.

I consider myself part of the very lucky generation that went from zero computers, and screwing old roller skates to bits of wood in the street to play on, and making bows and arrows from string and bits of wood we found in some scrub-land, through to seeing every step of games consoles and computers appear, to end up today with VR, AR and smart assistants.

No other generation EVER on this planet other than mine will have experienced such a amazing change during our single lifetime.
Perhaps we, my generation are in a very unique spot of knowing both worlds, and being able to grow up in the real physical world without all the tech and getting a real world grounding in our lives, and getting to the point we are now, when it's almost impossible to see us getting much further other than perfecting VR/AR and robots, which is really all that's left to do practically
I couldn’t disagree more based on my own experience. Still building bicycles here, building climbing frames, playing with electronic circuit boards, horses, pets, tree houses, fabricating parts for cars now, rebuilding parts of engines, composing music with the piano, and sheet music, baking, and so on. It’s still there and alive.
 

imightbewrong

Distinguished Member
No other generation EVER on this planet other than mine will have experienced such a amazing change during our single lifetime.
<The generation that went from a grounded human race to man on the moon in their lifetime has joined the chat>
 

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