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 Clean Slate PCs

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Mike
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PostSubject: Clean Slate PCs   27.12.06 4:08

Modern personal computers are products of gradual evolution. They are extremely complex, and like many complex things, they are inherently slow to change. However, it is their complexity which makes them reliable and stable; any modifications that are made can be easily undone or simply ignored if they turn out to be less useful than anticipated. Nevertheless, I believe there are at least a few arguments in favor of designing a clean-slate PC.

Firstly, the gradual evolution of the PC has resulted in a few disadvantages: For the majority of its use it is severly underutilized and inefficient. I assume most home PCs are used mostly for word processing, web browsing, storing and displaying the contents of files, etc. All of these tasks require very little processing power.

A clean-slate PC should be adaptable to its requirements: The CPU should be throttle-able. Perhaps the hard-drive might only be written to when a cheap solid-state memory buffer is full, so that word processing tasks do not require the constant readyness of the hard-drive in order to save information.

Secondly, boot times should be minimized. How much of the old boot processes can we get rid of? Windows XP has perhaps solved this problem by allowing a fast boot from hibernation. IMHO, this should be the norm for any new PC.

Generally, power requirements could be much lower. IC board and chip voltages need not be so high. Lowering these just a little has an exponential effect on power consumption.

While modern PCs are designed to be adaptable and expandable, in a lot of cases this adaptability and expandability goes unutilized. Perhaps there is potential for improvement here?

Where do you think improvements could be made if we could design a personal computer from a clean-slate?
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Redsand11j



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PostSubject: Re: Clean Slate PCs   22.02.08 13:06

I would suggest having the whole thing run as a web browser, and everything else could effectively be a 'pop up'.
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NoMoreLies



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PostSubject: Re: Clean Slate PCs   22.02.08 13:37

Hacker, hacker, hacker. Security, security, security. Data loss, data loss, data loss. Those are the terms that spring to mind when talking about having everything run off a centeralized network.
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Redsand11j



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PostSubject: Re: Clean Slate PCs   22.02.08 14:42

true. but you just reminded me:hackers

There should definitely be some way to stop people from invading your computer. current estimates say 25% of computers are 'controlled' somehow by someone other than you.
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Mike
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PostSubject: Re: Clean Slate PCs   22.02.08 16:25

I wonder what Stanford says about this (concerning their own clean-slate project (http://cleanslate.stanford.edu/)).
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NoMoreLies



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PostSubject: Re: Clean Slate PCs   23.02.08 4:31

Thee is one way. It's called not having your computr connected to a network, or i it is, having it separate from the Internet.
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davamanra



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PostSubject: Re: Clean Slate PCs   13.09.08 4:37

Here's a thought, since DNA is basically a quaternary system maybe we could start with a new computer based on quaternary. I have a feeling this could be a quantum leap and lead to organic processors. Instead of "growing" silicon chips we could "grow" organic chips.

Also put those deadbeats on the ISS to work growing three dimensional "chips." If we can make two dimensional chips with gravity, I'll bet there's a way to grow three dimensional (maybe organic) chips without gravity.

This would truly be clean slate and we might have to go back to the computer basics by building a quaternary computer with 1950's technology, but then we could use binary computer evolution as a template to go forward. There of course would be a point where these technologies would diverge but at that point the quaternary PC would be far enough along that other technologies could be used.
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lkm



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PostSubject: Re: Clean Slate PCs   13.09.08 8:43

You can already do computation with DNA, I think.
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davamanra



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PostSubject: Re: Clean Slate PCs   13.09.08 9:20

Well then what are we waiting for? Let me shove a USB plug in my ear and get to work!! LOL

Actually, this might be the way to develop a computer that would be the cornerstone to an artificial brain. HMM!
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Redsand11j



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PostSubject: Re: Clean Slate PCs   13.09.08 9:30

I would definitely support this.

Anyone heard of any definite work on it?
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davamanra



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PostSubject: Re: Clean Slate PCs   16.09.08 12:24

I haven't heard anything about work on quaternary systems but I have heard about some dabbling in the trinary arena.
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lkm



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PostSubject: Re: Clean Slate PCs   09.10.08 7:54

It would be interesting to know what the computational limits of a Babbage derived mechanical computer would be, with 21st century precission micro fabrication how far could you push cogs, rods and wheels?
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davamanra



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PostSubject: Re: Clean Slate PCs   09.10.08 13:03

If you wanted to build a quaternary system, starting with a Babbage style computer would be a great start. From there you just let technological "nature" take its course. Somebody will come up with a new way to make the quaternary system better, maybe some kind of four way transistor, and then somebody else comes up with a quaternary integrated circuit and so on, and then eventually "growing" biological circuitry.
My speculation is if the computational limits of a binary Babbage would be X, the limits of a quaternary Babbage would be around X squared. Also given the incredible potential of biololical circuitry I'm guessing quaternary would leave binary in the dust within thirty years.
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lkm



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PostSubject: Re: Clean Slate PCs   11.10.08 9:21

I just have this picture of a vast gothic hall the size of a turbine room filled with an enormous sprawling mass of analytical engine and with a small antichamber at one end with a single chair in front of a brass typwriter looking up a mechanical monitor wall composed of cylinder pixels which spun to create the picture while on either side are vast pipe organ speakers, and next to the keyboard is a pointer on a large flat surface connected to 2 long arms. Imagine how many personal computers there would be if they looked like that.
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davamanra



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PostSubject: Re: Clean Slate PCs   11.10.08 23:24

That would just be the first incarnation, and of course it wouldn't be practical. From there just evolve the design into more and more practical incarnations. Half the work has already been done with the tried and true methods that have already been developed for binary systems. Of course eventually they will diverge with a paradigm shift, but by that time the ground work would already be in place for biological circuitry. the thing I see happening is that you end up with a direct interface with your brain! It wouldn't look any weirder than a bluetooth but instead of just having a phonic interface you would have a virtual interface.
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davamanra



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PostSubject: Re: Clean Slate PCs   16.11.08 3:21

I was just thinking about the time keeping paradigm shift in the 1970's. The swiss watch makers had state of the art with respect to mechanical watches, but along came a rather crude quartz watch system that blew it out of the water. Perhaps by using quartz technology as a stepping stone a quaternary computer could be developed that could close the gap with binary computers. Of course the gap would still be large, but instead of the vast gothic hall it could be reduced down to the size of a refrigerator!
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Flash



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PostSubject: Re: Clean Slate PCs   22.07.09 17:07

I think this Google Chrome OS operating system, based upon the Linux kernel, is a pretty interesting. Google has already promised there being no malware. Supposedly it'll boot up in an instant and you'll easily be able to access email or whatnot.

Google basically said, "All Operating Systems were designed before the internet became popular." So I guess their goal is to try something completely new. May be storing all your data on a Google server? Who knows.
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Redsand11j



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PostSubject: Re: Clean Slate PCs   22.07.09 18:41

Well, I use Google Chrome (The browser around which the OS will be based), and it is much, much better than IE, at the least. It never freezes, never crashes, and does seem to be pretty good at going quickly, and downloading things quickly. Google overall seems to be very good at doing things in a quick and effective manner.

I really want to see how this Google OS comes out.
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