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[fab] FC7 desktop thoughts--PCLinuxOS p93a Junior | www.moka5.com?



Monica Lam was my professor when I was a Ph.D. candidate at Stanford
University back in 1988.  She's now at a startup doing a "LivePC" (kinda
like a Live CD, but on flash devices).  Here's one of many derivative
works:

http://www.moka5.com/node/55 

I've been thinking about what the FC (or FU--I love that acronym!) 7
desktop might look like, and my favorite of late is this:

1.  A "standard" desktop environment that can be a sensible node in a
network when no USB key is attached--core OS, graphics system, input
methods, selinux environment, yum tools, torrent tools, java execution
environment, browser--whatever sensibly fits in the 512MB flash memory
footprint of the One Laptop project.

2.  A "personal" desktop environment that, when attached to the
"standard" desktop environment, offers a truly wonderful range of
desktop tools with the additional 512MB-1GB-2GB form factor of modern
USB keys.

3.  A "local" desktop environment that represents the 10GB-500GB hard
disks that are likely attached to the desktop (or laptop machine).  The
local environment provides facilities for caching larger applications
and datasets (such as GIS datasets, genomic sequences, protein
databases, etc) as well as identifying and classifying all stateful
information so that it can be managed and replicated to...

3.  A "remote" desktop environment.  Users can choose their favorite
backing store service providers based on cost, availability, privacy,
and other information.  Moderately paranoid people can choose to
distribute random packets of encrypted information to a diverse range of
backing store providers using a variety of protocols, file formats, etc.
More paranoid people can simply designate trusted disk volumes within
their secure network.

In this world, a single USB key provides a completely portable
environment that can be effectively used even when not connected to the
internet.  When plugged into a machine that's already running a
compatible environment, startup is faster and guest environments can
share more resources.  

The laptop or desktop machine encapsulates the operating environment and
provides the means for actually using the environment for work.  It is
not, itself, the de facto representation of the user's state, but merely
a manifestation of the state that's managed within a larger context.

Virtualization of storage and OS resources make it practical to maintain
a common operating environment across multiple machines while preserving
the integrity of data.  The desktop or laptop is completely replaceable,
making it possible to share expensive hardware resources while keeping
private, non-shared data on cheap hardware (USB keys and/or inexpensive
disk).

Will we be ready in FC7 to make this a reality?

M



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