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Posted by JerseySaab [Email] (#666) [Profile/Gallery] (more from JerseySaab) on Wed, 25 Jun 2014 07:18:25 Share Post by Email
In Reply to: Why would anyone want a computer in their home?, Steve T, Wed, 25 Jun 2014 06:38:32
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What Ken Olsen was talking about is what today we refer to as "cloud computing" where you have what is essentially a terminal in the home and all the heavy lifting and data storage is done via remote servers. Ken Olsen did see the future of computing, he was just too far ahead of his time.

I would argue that most people really do NOT want a computer in the home. They do not want the responsibility that comes with administering a general-purpose computer system. What they really want is a terminal that will give them access to capabilities provided by someone else who will do the actual maintenance and administration. Hence the popularity of "cloud computing" which is conceptually a throwback to the way things were done 30-40 years ago.

I know well DEC's "not invented here" problem with adopting technology from outside the company, and they tended to overestimate their own clout in the marketplace as well. Both of these were factors in the company's demise.

I had a DEC PRO-350, it was basically a PDP-11 in a desktop box, so running MS-DOS was not really an option. (Though at the time I was part of the testing team for a product called "Venix" which was a Unix variant, so I ran that rather than the native OS which was a version of RSX11-M.)

The Rainbow could run MS-DOS but it was not IBM compatible and they had those crazy RX50 floppies which initially the end user could not even format. DEC did finally wake up to what the marketplace was demanding at the time (IBM-PC compatibility) but it was too little, too late.

->Posting last edited on Wed, 25 Jun 2014 10:03:39.
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