Is computing going back to the future?

Remember back in the 1960s and 1970s?  If you were a computer user, likely you sat at a desk with a dumb terminal connecting to a central computer somewhere in the office or university.  Maybe you were a student on a time-sharing system, or an office worker.

Then the personal computer came along, and the computing you did shifted to on your desk.  Your PC could do your computing for you.  Spreadsheets, word processing, etc.

Now the future looks like we're going back to how it was before.  We sit with a terminal on our desk and the computing is actually done elsewhere.  Today, we call this Cloud computing. 

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  • L
    Lv 7
    2 months ago
    Favorite Answer

    I agree - but the current cloud computing environment is a bit modified from the centralized mainframe structure. In the mainframe/terminal environment, all the computing happened at the mainframe and the terminal was dumb. Today, there is a mix - and the addition of the local computer does some of the compute tasks while the cloud provides less of the compute cycles.

    In any case, the cloud environment provides a single point of failure and malware introduction. This is a scary vulnerability whether self-inflicted or caused by outsiders.

    Recent examples of some of the larger cloud service providers:

    https://www.theverge.com/2020/11/25/21719396/amazo...

    https://www.zdnet.com/article/google-heres-what-ca...

    https://www.zdnet.com/article/microsofts-azure-ad-...

  • Robert
    Lv 5
    2 months ago

    Some people think remote processing is a good thing mainly so people can do real work on lightweight portable tablets - besides they say, most people don't need any real processing power. That concerned me because I do high bandwidth video editing and photo editing. Both seem to work best with local processing power.  But I've been hearing that rumor for over 10 years and it has not changed the availability of powerful desktop computers.   Seems as if it was only a prediction or more likely a sales tactic, not that it doesn't exist now, but the other didn't go away and doesn't appear to be going anywhere anytime soon.

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