Operating Systems in 10 Years

Path: mv.asterisco.pt!mvalente
From: mvale…@ruido-visual.pt (Mario Valente)
Newsgroups: mv
Subject: Operating Systems in 10 Years
Date: Wed, 03 Oct 07 21:49:21 GMT

PlanetGeek’s theme of the month is the future of operating
systems and I havent read a single coeherent post that threw
in some original and forward thinking insights.


As such, not having too much time to write an extensive post
(maybe later someday), here are some admitedly “original” and
“forward thinking” topics regarding the issue.

– what does an OS do? It manages resources, namely CPU, memory
and disk (plus numerous other devices)


– what will a future OS have to do? It will have to manage
resources. The big difference is that it will have to assume
that the “usual” resources are: networked, shared, wireless.


– a future OS will have to be able to deal with wireless CPUs,
wireless memory, wireless disk, wireless LCD, wireless graphic
card. A friend will be able to come over with his wireless CPU
in his pocket and my machine will have to recognize it and add
that resource at once to its overall CPU power. If my friend
brings over his wireless disk I should be able to rip a DVD on
my (wireless) DVD player and save the .iso in his disk.


– a future OS will have to be able to deal with networked CPUs,
networked memory, networked storage, etc. I should be able to
publish my local CPU, storage or memory resources (or others)
into the global pool (grid) of resources and also to be able to
share from those resources. One should be able to issue a shell
command of ‘find /mnt/world -name CVmvalente.txt -print’ and
get back as result ‘/mnt/world/pt/asterisco/mv/Files/CVmvalente.txt’


– a future OS will have to leave the desktop/folder/file metaphor,
because it just doesnt scale beyond the desktop scale. We need
a “library of Alexandria” metaphor where everything is stored and
is searchable. Every “information block” should be automatically
versioned on a second by second basis, with no need to issue Save
commands or to backup stuff. I should be able to slide back and forth
in time and see what was the specific state of an “information block”
in any point in time


– a future OS will have to do away with the WIMP model (for all you
youngsters out there it means Windows/Icon/Menu/Pointer). Once
again it doesnt scale above desktop level. I want my whole desk to
be the display and also the input device, Minority Report style.


– a future OS will have to interact with the user in a less intrusive
way than the current window/menu/popup scheme. Admitedly that could be
solved with voice input and output, although I am not a believer in
that style of interaction. Its just too noisy. I believe that current
reality is pointing us toward an event driven, interrupt style type of
interface that a future OS will have to deal with and provide tools for
its management. A future OS will interact with me through a repetitive
cycle of request/response similar to twitter/SMS/IM interactions that
can be managed in terms of priority, visibility, etc and that can also
be chanelled through different media (SMS, twitter, IM, whatever). It
will be the return of the command line, also a current trend.


— MV

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