Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

The End of .Mac and Google Apps?

CowboyNeal posted more than 7 years ago | from the days-of-futures-past dept.

Networking 245

mattnyc99 writes "In his weekly tech column for Popular Mechanics, Glenn Derene predicts that everyone will have a home server to network their house within 10 years—rendering Apple's .Mac accounts and Google's productivity software useless. As prices for products like HP's MediaSmart Server drop and as processing power becomes more pervasive, Derene says, 'you'll ultimately need a centralized server—that high-powered traffic cop—to coordinate the non-stop exchange of information between your new multitude of devices.'"

cancel ×

245 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Been there, done that (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19001051)

It's called Plan 9 from Bell Labs [bell-labs.org] .

Those who don't understand Plan 9 are doomed to reinvent it, poorly.

Re:Been there, done that (5, Funny)

MouseR (3264) | more than 7 years ago | (#19001103)

Correct link [imdb.com]

Re:Been there, done that (4, Informative)

MadnessASAP (1052274) | more than 7 years ago | (#19001273)

http://plan9.bell-labs.com/plan9/ [bell-labs.com] Plan 9 It's .com not .org. But thanks for pointing that out anyways.

Brought to you by (3, Insightful)

edittard (805475) | more than 7 years ago | (#19001055)

Brought to you by the shameless plug for HP dept.

that's moronic (5, Insightful)

lthown (737539) | more than 7 years ago | (#19001057)

I have a server at home, with over a TB of storage. I still use most of google's apps, especially Gmail.

Re:that's moronic (2, Funny)

yada21 (1042762) | more than 7 years ago | (#19001149)

That's because they haven't invented Googlepr0n. Yet.

Re:that's moronic (1)

rucs_hack (784150) | more than 7 years ago | (#19001431)

That's because they haven't invented Googlepr0n. Yet.

yes they have, it's called the google homepage...

Re:that's moronic (4, Funny)

BorgCopyeditor (590345) | more than 7 years ago | (#19001579)

I thought it was called "I'm Feeling Lucky."

Re:that's moronic (3, Insightful)

gvmson (865343) | more than 7 years ago | (#19001239)

Same here. I have 3 servers at home, that does not stop me from using both google and .mac

Re:that's moronic (5, Interesting)

Professor_UNIX (867045) | more than 7 years ago | (#19001303)

I have a server at home, with over a TB of storage. I still use most of google's apps, especially Gmail.
That's probably just because your ISP doesn't let you run servers on your DSL or cable modem. In the future when everyone moves to IPv6 there will be little to no restrictions imposed. Everyone will have a huge block of static addresses to use instead of having to pigeon-hole everything into a dynamic IPv4 address using NAT kludges. In the future Gmail will be irrelevant because your home server will have an e-mail server and web front-end built into it. Many of us already have this setup already, but in the future it will become as normal as someone having a TiVo or Xbox360 on their network. The days of a third-party provider collecting, indexing, and targeting advertisements to you based on the content of your e-mail will be over.

Re:that's moronic (4, Insightful)

DShard (159067) | more than 7 years ago | (#19001461)

How do you figure that a change in communication protocol will change ISPs desire to offer tiered service? Blocking web servers has nothing to do with not having enough public IPs and everything to do with competition. The reason your broadband is cheap is the same reason port 80 is blocked.

Re:that's moronic (2, Insightful)

marcosdumay (620877) | more than 7 years ago | (#19001467)

And will those servers run Dunken Fuken Forever?

There is no reason we can't have that setup now. The only problem is that ISPs don't want it. So, in the future will ISPs be different, have competition, or what?

Re:that's moronic (5, Insightful)

senatorpjt (709879) | more than 7 years ago | (#19001475)

I run servers on my cable modem, but I still use gmail for the email address I gave my boss, because their servers are more reliable than mine.

Even if people have these servers, they probably won't have redundant power supplies, access to multiple backbones, automatic backup, or uptime guarantees from the ISP.

Re:that's moronic (4, Insightful)

dal20402 (895630) | more than 7 years ago | (#19001489)

And you really think Joe User is going to administer his own email server instead of using Gmail?

Even if Apple were to develop "Mail Server for Idiots" and you could just plop it onto the IPv6 network, it would still require some administration, to set up accounts, deal with over-quota family members, etc. On the client side, either Joe will have to get a domain name or type in an IPv6 address every time he wants to get his mail remotely, rather than typing "gmail.com." All of that takes time and brainpower that most people want to use elsewhere. Furthermore, Joe's home server is a WHOLE LOT more likely to lose his data than Google is, since Joe never wants to take the time to back up.

Most consumers will use home servers to store media libraries. In the IPv6 era a few more may use them for remotely accessible services like email and calendars, but not many. It just takes unnecessary time and effort, especially for someone who just doesn't care about technology.

Re:that's moronic (1)

nanosquid (1074949) | more than 7 years ago | (#19001511)

In the future when everyone moves to IPv6 there will be little to no restrictions imposed

That will be right around the time we all get nuclear powered flying cars, right?

The days of a third-party provider collecting, indexing, and targeting advertisements to you based on the content of your e-mail will be over.

How does it feel to be the new, proud owner of the Brooklyn Bridge?

Re:that's moronic (2, Insightful)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 7 years ago | (#19001601)

That's probably just because your ISP doesn't let you run servers on your DSL or cable modem

Says who? I run my own home-servers, and even a very popular web app. I used to rely on them for email service, but I transitioned to GMail instead. Why?

Quality of Service

Having dedicated staff ensuring that my email is running smoothly, is upgraded regularly with the latest features, has enough bandwidth and i/o to respond quickly, and is not vulnerable to attack is worth a lot more than the value of running my own email server.

Running my own email server takes a lot of time, effort, and money. To equal the level of service that GMail provides, I would have to spend the majority of time monitoring the service and writing/installing upgrades. Not to mention upgrading my bandwidth and server resources to provide the responsiveness I've come to expect out of GMail. (Sorry, imap on an old FreeBSD box just isn't as fast.) Thus in the end, it's easier and cheaper for me to simply use GMail.

In the long run ... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19001061)

... we're all dead. -John Maynard Keynes

Not web based... (2, Informative)

DTemp (1086779) | more than 7 years ago | (#19001071)

I hope they don't plan on this server having a web-based interface to the outside world, because right now many ISPs (including mine, Comcast) forbid people from running web servers, and most actually block access to port 80 on their customer's lines.

I'm hoping that will change, I hope I can use my internet line for whatever (legal) stuff I want in the future...

I also hope my upload speed becomes as fast as my download speed, instead of the current 768kbps compared to 6.6mbps, but thats another story...

Re:Not web based... (5, Insightful)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 7 years ago | (#19001195)

su root
vi /etc/apache2.conf
i
listen 8000
listen 8080
:wq
apache2ctl restart

There - fixed it for ya.

now type http://examplehomeserver.com:8000/ [examplehomeserver.com] or http://examplehomeserver.com:8080/ [examplehomeserver.com]

BTW - The article is wrong - not everyone will be running a home server in 10 years. Most people don't want to be bothered, and won't want to spend the extra $$$ on electricity, etc. Cheaper and easier to just have one family member/friend run a linux/bsd box and offer user accounts with ssh, sftp, and ~usr/public_html access (or symlink /home/user/public_html /htdocs/user for people who can't figure out how to type a tilde.

"You need to type a tilde before your user name in the url."
"A what?"
"A tilde."
"I don't have a tilt key on my keyboard."
"Not tilt - tilde!"
"What's a tilde?"
"That squiggly line thingee."
"Oh, okay." ... pause ... I can't find it.
"The one next to the one."
"The one next to which key?"
"The one."
"I've got over a hundred keys ... which one?"
"The one."
"... yeah, sure ... quit pulling my leg - there's really no such thing as a tilt key, is there? This is a joke, like the "any" key."
(- click - account deleted)

To the left of !, or above Tab (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 7 years ago | (#19001237)

"That squiggly line thingee."
"Oh, okay." ... pause ... I can't find it.
"The one next to the one."
"The one next to which key?"
On at least U.S. layouts, would "the key to the left of exclamation point" or "the key above Tab" be easier to understand?

Re:To the left of !, or above Tab (1)

Inner_Child (946194) | more than 7 years ago | (#19001351)

"the key to the left of exclamation point"
A better way to explain it, because everyone knows that one, unfortunately most of them don't believe in doing things in moderation.

Re:Not web based... (5, Funny)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 7 years ago | (#19001305)

You sound like you go through something similar.
I have to guide people through typing a colon key every couple of days and 99% don't know what I mean.

"OK, in the host name box, type our domain name followed by a colon, then the number 1"

"Yes, the colon key, hold down your shift key - thats the big key with the up arrows on it - then press the colon key, its the one with with the 2 dots, its next to the "L" key."

Invariably (after hearing them rustling to put the phone on their shoulder) they manage to type a semi colon.
I hope I never have to try anything more complex with my users.

Re:Not web based... (1)

troicstar (1029086) | more than 7 years ago | (#19001471)

upload is another story, unfortunately it *is* the only story that matters in this context and many many others.

That's not what TFA says (5, Informative)

niceone (992278) | more than 7 years ago | (#19001073)

Hmm, the summary says we'll have home servers "rendering Apple's .Mac accourendering Apple's .Mac accounts and Google's productivity software uselessnts and Google's productivity software useless".

But TFA's only mention of Google or .Mac says:

The technorati among you may protest: Why do we need home servers when everything is migrating online? Google has a full suite of productivity software available that works through a Web browser, and services like .Mac function as an online virtual server for home and small business users without bringing IT problems home. Combine that with a general trend toward higher bandwidth, and the distinction between your network and the Internet becomes almost academic. Nevertheless, the end result is the same: a server massive, networked, securely backed up and well-managed storage that is accessible from anywhere.

which is not the same thing at all.

Re:That's not what TFA says (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19001115)

Well good. I have a positive impression of Popular Mechanics and a negative one for Slashdot once again.

Because I was just about to say -- no, web applications won't die. Believe me, not everyone wants their own server. At home, or anywhere else.

Re:That's not what TFA says (4, Interesting)

kripkenstein (913150) | more than 7 years ago | (#19001407)

Indeed, TFA says something completely different than the Slashdot summary. It says that .Mac and Google datahosting are basically the same as a 'home server' solution. Furthermore, it is quickly obvious that the opposite of what TFA says is true: in 10 years, everyone will use a .Mac/Google datahosting solution, and not a home server, since

1. The functionality is essentially the same, given broadband, the only difference being problems when the connection is down. Paying for a physical home server and maintaining it more than offsets that cost.

2. Home users don't have the same misgivings that corporations have with hosting their data remotely, especially if the remote hosting solution is more convenient. And it will be. So essentially the only argument against remote hosting is eliminated for home users.

Google's got the right approach, Microsoft with Home Server will be proven wrong. My 2 cents.

Router/Server (2, Insightful)

Ramble (940291) | more than 7 years ago | (#19001077)

I agree, but I don't like the current implementation. Products like Windows Home Server won't appeal to the masses, they'll see it as too hard. What we need is a mixture between a router and a server, something that's easy to setup, small, cheap and is able to use storage spread over a numebr of PCs to share media and information.

Re:Router/Server (2, Insightful)

whiteranger99x (235024) | more than 7 years ago | (#19001185)

It's bad enough that most people have their routers left at their default password, now they're going to have servers like that too...hmmmmm. >:)

Re:Router/Server (4, Funny)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 7 years ago | (#19001211)

easy to setup, small, cheap and is able to use storage spread over a numebr of PCs to share media and information.

It's called "Windows Botnet Home Server Edition"

Re:Router/Server (2, Funny)

Tim_UWA (1015591) | more than 7 years ago | (#19001401)

Someone needs to write a virus that silently installs a bit torrent client, uploads a whole bunch of torrents and lets me steal all of their media.

Re:Router/Server (2, Insightful)

leonem (700464) | more than 7 years ago | (#19001341)

An alternative to this is that the central 'router' contain almost everything - CPU(s), HDs, RAM - and then you have a variety of clients. So your PC becomes just a terminal, as does your 'phone'.

There would be three types of device: the 'server' (which most people would probably just think of as 'the PC'), terminals (anything capable of full IO with the server) and very lightweight devices like the fridge, which don't give you access to everything, but can now communicate.

I like this system because as soon as bandwidth is large enough to handle piping the graphics to your terminal, the need to shove all that processing power and storage into handheld devices and laptops disappears. Much simpler, and probably much cheaper in the end.

WHS screenshots (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 7 years ago | (#19001615)

Products like Windows Home Server won't appeal to the masses, they'll see it as too hard.

Maybe. Maybe not. Server Install [winsupersite.com] , Client Install & Configuration [winsupersite.com] [April 18]

fucking Comcast (1)

Sexual Asspussy (453406) | more than 7 years ago | (#19001087)

hey, if this means that in 10 years I get to send mail from my house and not have it blocked due to a "policy blacklist", I'm all for it. gaiety

Re:fucking Comcast (1)

b0s0z0ku (752509) | more than 7 years ago | (#19001483)

hey, if this means that in 10 years I get to send mail from my house and not have it blocked due to a "policy blacklist"


Can't you relay it via an external (either Comcast's, or a mail-hosting company's where you have an account) mail server?


-b.

Garbage powered spaceship (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19001093)

Now there's an idea. Although, I guess they'd call it iSpaceShip.

Very strange "article" (1)

VampireByte (447578) | more than 7 years ago | (#19001095)

Seems more like an HP ad. Doesn't explain why this home server would replace web apps. Even if someone could design one machine that could be a central server for all your devices, why would it also host applications? How will it be updated and won't it be updated from some server outside the home? What home user is going to keep it secure (how many open wifi connections to "linksys" can you find right now)?

What a dumb assessment (4, Insightful)

neoform (551705) | more than 7 years ago | (#19001101)

This basically assumes google and apple are going to be sitting on their hands for the next decade not changing their products in the slightest.

Obviously as things change they'll evolve their services to meet demand.

Re:What a dumb assessment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19001525)

IT also makes the incredibly naive assumption that your ISP is going to happily allow you to run your server connected tothe net with open ports serving to the outside world. almost ALL TOS agreements are against that and it will only get worse. Most Isp's are now blocking lots of the typical incoming ports and then they dynamically block off ports if they see too much traffic on them.

Honestly the article is some little known futurist or technologist that is simply spewing forth words that he has no idea as to their meaning. The man does not know what he is talking about and in the true popular science fashion making predictions with no basis other than "ohh shiny!"

Re:What a dumb assessment (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 7 years ago | (#19001655)

Version controlled network stores with seamless local caching on whatever device is handy are the future. Unfortunately, the somewhat distant future, but fortunately, it is getting closer all the time(tautologically, of course).

Backend wise, storing and accessing gigabytes worth of data from Amazon is already something like $20 a year, so it isn't like it is too expensive to do.

need? (1)

polar red (215081) | more than 7 years ago | (#19001117)

I wonder what all these home appliances need so much cpu power+storage for that you need a central server? Can't you hook up these things with USB to your PC ?

Re:need? (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 7 years ago | (#19001675)

The trick is in hooking them up to two or more PCs at the same time.

Well, and I predict... (3, Insightful)

ABoerma (941672) | more than 7 years ago | (#19001127)

...that in 10 years time some ninety percent of current technology will be rendered useless.

doubtful (5, Insightful)

somelucky (1098039) | more than 7 years ago | (#19001133)

Even in the future the main problem with this setup is reliablity. I have had a server in my home doing these functions for many years. However I would never rely upon it to be the same as a real internet server providing these services. When the power goes out at home, most of the time it will stay down until I get back home. I do agree that in the future we may not have to pay a premium to get 'business class' type access that we do today.

Re:doubtful (1)

b0s0z0ku (752509) | more than 7 years ago | (#19001495)

Even in the future the main problem with this setup is reliablity. I have had a server in my home doing these functions for many years. However I would never rely upon it to be the same as a real internet server providing these services. When the power goes out at home, most of the time it will stay down until I get back home.

I'm running OBSD with a backup mail exchanger. If power goes down and comes back up (and the limits of the UPS are exceeded), the box just reboots. Mail stored in the interim is sent to it from the backup MX.

-b.

Re:doubtful (1)

senatorpjt (709879) | more than 7 years ago | (#19001523)

I do agree that in the future we may not have to pay a premium to get 'business class' type access that we do today.

That's the thing I don't agree with. The point of "business class" access is guaranteed reliability - The telephone was invented a long time ago, and they still won't guarantee it. Having to provide same-day service under penalty to everyone is just unfeasible.

Re:doubtful (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19001557)

Dude, what's a "real internet server"? Is that like one that's connected to a "series of tubes"

From Popular Mechanics (5, Funny)

Chairboy (88841) | more than 7 years ago | (#19001135)

I have old copies of Popular Mechanics going back twenty years, and let's discuss some of their predictions. According to them:

* I have a landing pad built into the roof of my house for my flying car.
* When I need to get to Europe from New York, I take the subway to a special terminal that connects me to a train that shoots under the Atlantic at thousands of miles per hour in a vacuum.
* On the rare instances I don't take the super train, I take a Bell Osprey derivative shuttle to the local airport where I don't even need to get out of my seat, because it follows a track built into the shuttle and the airport and automatically zips me into my waiting hypersonic sub-orbital jetliner (which, for some reason, seems to go nowhere but Tokyo).
* I can fix my hot water heater by removing the broken heating element and replacing it with a new one from the hardware store. Possibly the most ridiculous prediction/claim of all.

I like their enthusiasm, and the pictures and ads are great, but I'm not quite ready to start shorting stock in companies based on a Popular Mechanics prediction.

Re:From Popular Mechanics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19001275)

I actually enjoy wrong predictions more than correct predictions. At least they have the balls to make them. My friend just forwarded a list of 50 predictions made in the early 1900's. I think that it was from Lady's Home Journal. I've got to say, it was almost too unbelieveable to enjoy.

And who will run them? (4, Insightful)

Pigeon451 (958201) | more than 7 years ago | (#19001151)

With Google apps and such, you just need to log in and take care of your business. No need to worry about server updates, hacking, spam, etc. A home server takes a little effort for someone who knows how to run one, but can take a lot of time for someone unfamiliar with servers.

ARGH! Massive feature missing (1)

UserChrisCanter4 (464072) | more than 7 years ago | (#19001157)

Windows Home Server is absolutely baffling to me. The cat is out of the bag on NAS devices for the power users and self-built servers for the geeks. The average user is still years away from such a device. .Mac is about way, WAY more than backup (namely iWeb/photocasts/blogging/etc, which are things I have no use for even with two macs).

So, why, oh why, is Windows Home Server missing the feature that I'd happily pay for: Media Center integration?

It seems like a no-brainer. Media Center computers can tell a central server, the one with two or three tuners and four or five hard drives, to record a show. Then the Media Center computer gets turned off, and the Home Server does all of the heavy lifting. It's been around in MythTV for quite a while, and the OSS windows app MediaPortal allegedly supports it (although it looks a little in the early stages now.)

I like Media Center, for reasons that I've documented earlier [slashdot.org] , and I think networked MCEs would be even better for the MCE's current market. I'm just confused about why such a relatively simple concept hasn't been executed by MS. Even though my earlier post points out why MCE hasn't been as successful as MS hoped, it still has a strong market among HDTV PVR users and video geeks, and I can't help but think that network integration would get them closer to where they want to be.

Unless something has drastically changed in the three years since I graduated from college and stopped working in computer stores, the average user is going to walk right past Home Servers for another few years. Even though it had never been officially discussed, I kept holding out hope that the computer press' occasional mention of MCE-integration as a nifty idea was a clever NDA dodge. I guess I'll have to keep waiting.

Re:ARGH! Massive feature missing (1)

b0s0z0ku (752509) | more than 7 years ago | (#19001519)

iWeb/photocasts/blogging/etc,

iWeb and their user interface is dreadful, IMHO. You're far better off with Google page creator (whatever it's called) or even regular web hosting and an ... ahem ... borrowed copy of DreamWeaver.

-b.

I don't think I know anyone... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19001159)

in the UK who doesn't have a 'home server'. Even if it's just their old system networked to their latest Pc as a file repository. Even my father has this, and he's 89.

Those aren't your grandma's apps... (3, Insightful)

DMouse (7320) | more than 7 years ago | (#19001167)

The major things i like about google's web based word app are:

1) it is someone else's responsibility to back it up, cluster it, load balance it, and improve it,
2) it is social, i can include other people in on my document edits easily,
3) i can effortlessly access it from anywhere, be it uni, work, home or a cafe.

Home based servers currently have none of the above, and until we get cheap at home clustering and easy ability to host apps on home adsl we still wont.

All well and good (2, Funny)

Allicorn (175921) | more than 7 years ago | (#19001169)

But what I'd like to know is how we're all going to be able to access these hundreds of Tbs of media from our ubiquitous home servers when we're out and about in our flying cars?

Assertions Straight out of his ass (5, Insightful)

blantonl (784786) | more than 7 years ago | (#19001173)

Let me be the first to say that Glenn literally pulled this assertion straight out of his ass.

No one can argue against home media servers driving innovation into the household, especially around automation and media management - but to displace software as a service? GoogleApps? I don't even in the slightest see where these two things correlate.

GoogleApps and .MAC (the two examples citied) not only provide value as a collaboration platform, but they are also extremely well designed, and cost effective for the business community. If anyone thinks that I'm going to plunk down 2K on an HP Media Server, and all the sudden declare my independence from Software as Service for the business purposes... well... you get the point - it's utter BS.

Glenn literally did 2 things.

1. Plugged HP's products (successfully)
2. Showed how absolutely absurd some columists can be (successfully)

Re:Assertions Straight out of his ass (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19001255)

Let me be the first to say that Glenn literally pulled this assertion straight out of his ass.
I though I smelled something...

It's not so crazy (1)

Jeff Molby (906283) | more than 7 years ago | (#19001441)

Software as a service works because enough of the aspects of providing that software are a PITA. A decade from now, it's within reason that the software will be simple enough, the hardware will be cheap enough, and the bandwidth will be plentiful enough for the pendulum to swing back.

What? "software will be simple enough" is a joke (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19001585)

Have you tried vista and the new office? I think the trend is towards more complicated software. You really think a decade from now that M$ still won't be the major influence in the software that you use.

Re:Assertions Straight out of his ass (1)

b0s0z0ku (752509) | more than 7 years ago | (#19001551)

and all the sudden declare my independence from Software as Service for the business purposes

A lot of businesses are still uncomfortable with Software as a Service. Something about their private documents being stored somewhere that's not under their control. For businesses, if Google was smart, they would come out with an Google Apps Appliance that hosts the apps and their data locally, has secure web access and Google's version of dynamic DNS, includes a VPN server, and has an easy way of backing up daily, either to an external SFTP server or to local removable media.

-b.

Brilliant! (1)

splortnik2003 (698008) | more than 7 years ago | (#19001175)

Of course none of us will use toll highways as our cars will be fitted with miniaturized paving machines built into the front bumper. Witness the end of the label-dinosaurs of the music industry as tiny devices algorithmically turn the sounds of our own farts into the sweetest music! (Actually, the last idea sounds pretty good. Not sure why there's a 1. Troll, 2. Plug HP, 3. Profit ad on the front page of slashdot, tho.)

Re:Brilliant! (1)

whiteranger99x (235024) | more than 7 years ago | (#19001229)

Witness the end of the label-dinosaurs of the music industry as tiny devices algorithmically turn the sounds of our own farts into the sweetest music!

You obviously haven't listened to new music lately...although we are missing the devices so it just sounds like a bunch of diarrhea.

But Seriously (5, Insightful)

joe_n_bloe (244407) | more than 7 years ago | (#19001181)

Why do I want an extra "hub" computer in my house when it's already a pain in the ass to keep a WEP-enabled wireless router working, and I actually know what I'm doing.

I'd rather let the guys at Google provide my word processor without my having to find room for another plug in my power strip. I've had enough DIY in my life. But y'all feel free.

Re:But Seriously (1)

b0s0z0ku (752509) | more than 7 years ago | (#19001575)

Why do I want an extra "hub" computer in my house when it's already a pain in the ass to keep a WEP-enabled wireless router working, and I actually know what I'm doing.

WEP-enabled? No WPA? That means that it's probably 2-3 years old -- maybe it's time to upgrade or at least get new firmware?

BTW, my router and server have been working fine for the best part of a year. No hassles. Then again, I use OpenBSD for anything that I really care about. Not very featureful, but robust as a tank.

I'd rather let the guys at Google provide my word processor without my having to find room for another plug in my power strip.

I'd rather my word processor run locally -- like MS Word or OpenOffice. That way, it's always accessible, I know where my documents are stored, etc. As far as backups, I just have a program that backs up to my BSD box regularly (even when I'm travelling, it can connect via SSH VPN).

-b.

Re:But Seriously (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 7 years ago | (#19001581)

The other problem is that tech is actually going the OPPOSITE way he thinks he sees.

home servers? nope. that is not gonna happen. Low power appliances that use 15-18 watts of power instead of the 470 that a server uses will start to appear more and more. NAS manufactureres are gettign the idea that their product is crap if it does not support NFS and SMB out of the box, nobody wants to install a special driver to access their low power NAS. High power servers are stupid in the home, you are not running a 2TB sql database with 30 people accessing it with nested queries. Via C7 processors are going to start taking over in lots of these places with their low power use and low processing power to act as a glorified file server/NAS as companies realize that upnp for video and audio is retarted and switch to native players that simply play from the file share.

the server will end up being that Media PC under the TV. it needs to be on 24/7 for recording so it can server triple duty and do everything else.

Problem though. Content providers dont want you to get automatic content. so onlythe high IQ and IT specalists will have it. as they will need to tweak scripts weekly or monthly to get that video feed or news feed or audio feed they are scraping to work again. The general consumer will never have this as its too complicated and scary to them. General population technology education will continue to drop as nobody is forced to actually learn anything.

Homes will revert to the single PC. No servers. just a media pc that will do 1/2 of what they want and frustrate them about the other 1/2 not working.

Latency (1)

marcosdumay (620877) | more than 7 years ago | (#19001633)

Nuf said.

pain in the ass wifi? (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 7 years ago | (#19001653)

My wifi hasn't burped once since i swtiched from a 'home router' to a old pc running some sort of linux or bsd distribution ( i finally settled on pfsence, since im a bsd guy and m0n0wall wasnt keeping up with technology, but the linux choices are just as good )

Useless? (3, Insightful)

Wister285 (185087) | more than 7 years ago | (#19001245)

This article seems to be in the typical tradition of Slashdot sensationalism. HP bringing a new product to market that competes with Google's and Apple's products doesn't mean that one should automatically assume that older products become obsolete. HP's product doesn't solve the fundamental purpose of the other companies' applications. Google's and Apple's products are able to be used anywhere simply by logging into the web interface. This is the simplicity that people want. People have enough problems just from setting up their computers, so it is doubtful that within five, or even ten years, that people are going to want to manage a central home server. For better or worse, software as a service is something that big companies are pushing more and more. Despite technical or philosophical objections, its adoption will come down to one thing: whether a significant number of people believe that it increases their quality of life. Software as a service makes sense to a lot of people. Only their willingness pay for it will dictate how quickly it becomes popular.

Re:Useless? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19001313)

I agree with your point. The binary thinking is pretty useless. Gmail vs. Yahoo mail vs Hotmail? - I have multiple accounts on all three! Windows vs. Macs vs. Linux - I use them all too!

mindless drivel about the future of computers (4, Insightful)

digitalsushi (137809) | more than 7 years ago | (#19001253)

I've been asking friends lately what they expect 10 years from now will be like for the average computer user. About ten of us have, after some long coffee breaks, decided that it'll be something like this:

No one will buy desktop PCs. in 2017 everything will be similar to what we call a laptop today. Data won't be stored on the laptops. Some people will have servers at home, but these people will be eccentric folks like us that host our own web, mail, et cetera in 2007 -- the fringe users. Everyone else will store their data online somewhere. Bandwidth will be charged by the pound instead of flat rate, but it will be very afforadable -- copying a terabyte to home won't cause more than a second of consideration. People will still have workstation caliber desktops, but those will be specialized machines much as they are today, overpowered for a certain task. By 2017, ipv6 is finally mainstream but just barely. Mobile devices will have aggregated down into a single device-- music, cell, radio, visual-- everyone will have the same typical device they carry that does everything, and it will work well. By then, everything will be aware of your biostats if you let it, so your music can follow your general mood, et cetera. They won't be psychic, just dumbly intelligent. Other than that, we decided that technology will be a lot less visible-- as it gets good/small enough to start hiding away in things, so it shall. Presentation will lose its glamour for the most part, and homes will actually look less teched out like they did before the 80s rose.

I'd love to hear other people's imagination reply to these inevitably wrong projections :)

Re:mindless drivel about the future of computers (1)

QAChaos (793637) | more than 7 years ago | (#19001293)

> I'd love to hear other people's imagination reply to these inevitably wrong projections :) -- and little elves and unicorns will administer these machines... even though I don't agree I like that these options for the mainstream are becoming available... families in suburbia can basically have the same infrastructure that .com's had in the 90's. post a couple of flyers around the neighborhood and you have yourself a money making sysadmin job supporting families... - QAK

Re:mindless drivel about the future of computers (1)

Cheeze (12756) | more than 7 years ago | (#19001295)

"Bandwidth will be charged by the pound instead of flat rate, but it will be very afforadable "

I'm not sure how much a packet, bit or byte weighs, but it better be affordable.

Re:mindless drivel about the future of computers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19001427)

You can pry my desktop out of my cold, dead, hands.

Not a chance in hell I'm ever abandonning them.

Why?

Is there an 8-core mobile workstation? Sure it's excessive today, but what about tomorrow?

Otherwise, I do beleive many people will have mobile devices, mostly all-in-one solutions. The everything-online theory is a bit iffy, of course, for the most part these people IE, so anything could happen. I know I'm still going to keep my data where I can keep an eye on it.

Re:mindless drivel about the future of computers (1)

leonem (700464) | more than 7 years ago | (#19001501)

I reckon there's a lot of sense to that. One can even envisage a situation where you pay a hire fee for a given level of processing power, another for your storage, and another for bandwidth. Any of these could be pay-as-you-go or pay monthly, so if you suddenly need to process something huge, you pay your money and it's done in seconds, or you let it chug away and do it on the cheap on your contract. Similarly, you can have streaming access to your data fast enough that you're effectively carrying everything in your phone, or you can have it cache locally and be more selective.

Re:mindless drivel about the future of computers (2, Interesting)

Nate4D (813246) | more than 7 years ago | (#19001685)

I actually think it'll go the opposite way.

My hunch is that as the general public becomes more technically savvy, and storage devices get smaller, you'll actually wind up carrying your entire computational environment everywhere with you, operating system, applications, data, and all, on a little flash-drive-like thing about the size of a credit card.

You can actually do this today, if you're mildly geeky - a 2 gig flash drive and a lightweight Linux distro leaves you plenty of room to do most of your daily activities, and you can use it on any fairly recent Intel machine. (though we'll need to do something about those boot times...)

So anyway, I'd expect to see a standard terminal appear, which is probably an x86 piece of hardware, that boots off your little data cartridge, and you go on your merry way.

This has the advantage of the net-based computing paradigm - your personal setup and applications, everywhere you go. It doesn't have the massive problems of net-based computing, like completely losing access to your data when a fiber-seeking backhoe takes out your net connection.

Yeah, it would be pretty easy to lose your data, by losing the card, but there'll always be online backup services, like Apple's .Mac, and creating a backup that's not online wouldn't be too hard either. Encryption probably becomes more important, since if you lose this little storage device, someone else could probably break into it easily.

Re:mindless drivel about the future of computers (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 7 years ago | (#19001689)

I look forward to the day when I can turn my bay window into a TV. And conversely, when I can turn my TV into a bay window, if I no longer have a view.

Dupe!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19001277)

everyone will have a home server to network their house within 10 years

This story obviously is more than 10 years old when nobody had the need to protect himself with a home-server running tor, freenet and torrent from citizen-hating-goverments and customer-hating-Mafiaa.

Um (2, Insightful)

sogoodsofarsowhat (662830) | more than 7 years ago | (#19001279)

For $599 Apple already makes the Home Server its called a Mac Mini and is way better a solution than this HP Ad that /. is promoting.

I doubt it. What happends when it breaks. (2, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 7 years ago | (#19001343)

The problem with a home server is to keep it running. .Mac, Google Apps, spend a lot of time and money (well at least I really hope) to make sure their servers are running backed up and have plenty of fail over. For most people if they have a consumer friendly home server it will be all and good until it breaks then you are SOL all your years of collected pictures... Gone, your important stuff gone... And who is to blame for it yourself. .Mac and Google (I Hope) have trained administers with backup systems that keep them running and if a system crashes you data is still there. Also your data is available from anywhere where there is an internet connection. We are getting more and more mobile with computing laptops are common now for normal use, Cellphones, PDAs are getting more and more powerful we can access the internet from anywhere. With a Home Server we will need to set up correct permissions keep track of security updates if we want external access and with most broadband connections have a much smaller up stream the server will be very slow from a remote location.

This would have been a good idea 10 years ago, where most internet was Dialup and Slow and most people had Desktop that they did work from home, but today it is a case of too little to late. We don't want a server anymore We want someone else to have a server and us to have access to it, and not worry about maintaining it.

Home-Based Servers Versus Hosted Apps (4, Insightful)

peterbiltman (1059884) | more than 7 years ago | (#19001347)

One of the big reasons that I believe home based servers will triumph over hosted apps is the very same reason that they do in any organization -- security and privacy. Case in point, about 6 months ago after being a fan of Gmail for a long time I pulled the plug. Why? Reading the local newspaper one day I saw an article about how the courts have ruled that if your e-mail is stored on someone elses server they don't need a warrant for it. I'm not sure how universal this is, or if it was just in one particular jurisdiction, but that was enough to make me switch. I now run my own mail server.

Similarly the same goes for hosted apps. It's great they are backing it up, but remember, it only takes one rogue employee to sell your secrets to your competitor. If you are a business storing business-related documents on a hosted service you are at the mercy of the hosted company. You can say "it won't happen because of XYZ" all you want, but again it only takes one rogue employee working for the hosting company. Furthermore, if you are a public company or deal with sensitive information -- forget about it -- unless you want to be out of business tomorrow.

Centralized storage and data manipulation is the key -- whether that be in the home or the workplace. We are just now entering into this market and I think we are going to see some really good innovations come of it.

And, personally, yes I've tried out the Beta of Windows Home Server. My thoughts? I love it. It has a few features missing, but when it goes "gold" I plan on switching my home server over to it.

Re:Home-Based Servers Versus Hosted Apps (1)

The Cisco Kid (31490) | more than 7 years ago | (#19001457)

A. "Microsoft's Windows Home Server software"

I have no response. I'm too busy rolling on the floor laughing insanely. A Microsoft box should never be connected directly to the Internet without either a Linksys/Netgear type NAT/firewall in front of it (or a *nix based equivalent), nor would any competent non MS-brainwashed person use it as any kind of Internet server. (I know many do - doing so demonstrates their lack of competence, directly)

B. Email stored on someone else's server

No this was about email the individual had SENT to someone else. Not about email that had been received for that individual. And yes, if Joe Blow emails spam to Harry Smith, Harry Smith does not need a warrant to give it to LE. (Nor does their ISP, if they do so on their customers behalf becuase their customers are sick of drowing in spam) It wasnt the customers of the ISP that the spam that had been sent to complaining, it was the spammer who sent the mail complaining.

-

Those two items out of the way, I am one of the people that *does* have his own server. I used to be an engineer at an ISP, and I know wtf I am doing. It happens to be colocated at a former employer, rather than at home, since I want to be able to make oubound SMTP connections to the world, directly, rather than going through $cableISP's machines (and $cableISP doesnt allow that, a practive I fully understand and have no problem with)

Oh, and I also use gmail, becuase I love its interface. I cant stand most webmail, but gmail I like. I hate POP with a passion, and while I would use IMAP, there just isnt a standalone email client I like. If I could host an interface that worked exactly like gmail on my own server, I'd do it in a heartbeat (sadly, there isnt, Ive found a few projects that use the same ajax base as gmail does, but they just dont compare).

Re:Home-Based Servers Versus Hosted Apps (1)

b0s0z0ku (752509) | more than 7 years ago | (#19001599)

I hate POP with a passion, and while I would use IMAP, there just isnt a standalone email client I like.

Try Thunderbird 2.0. Once it's set up correctly, it's fast and gets the job done quite well. (I actually don't use the filtering/spam capabilities, preferring my server and procmail to do it, but, it still works nicely).

-b.

The sky is falling! (1)

billcopc (196330) | more than 7 years ago | (#19001355)

In other news, Glenn Derene has been smoking record-breaking amounts of crack and writing ridiculous counter-evolutionary articles in a pathetic attempt to garner as much attention as the inimitable John C. Dvorak.

Home servers will not replace hosted apps. If that were true, I would have stopped using web apps before they were even invented because in an apartment with just my spouse and I (no kids), I've got 14 sets of lights blinking on my switch 24/7. I roll my eyes when people talk of server "closets", unless it's a friggin' walk-in closet bigger than the bathroom! And despite all the server gear I still find a use for globally-accessible hosted apps that I don't need to maintain myself, because I've got enough things to worry about already.

Uh....why? (1)

DogDude (805747) | more than 7 years ago | (#19001373)

OK, so I read the article, and I still can't figure out why people are going to need servers in their homes. What's wrong with PC's today? I wasn't aware that there were any major problems that a home server could fix.

It's not about the servers... (1)

silverdr (779097) | more than 7 years ago | (#19001399)

... it's about the content and services they serve. I run a couple of servers for years now and still don't have my own maps.google.com on any of them. I don't predict having it also in ten years to come. Why would I? As for .mac - yes, I could set similar services on my own servers yet it's *cheaper* for me to use .mac than create my own...

Keep Dreaming, Glenn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19001419)

I love predictions like Glenn's. They remind me of those "home of the future" clips from the 40s and 50s that predicted that we'd all have automated kitchens that make meals for us and clean themselves up.

Here's my prediction: virtually no one will have a home server in 10 years. As a percentage of the total global population, I bet less than 1% has one by 2017.

Poor people will not have one.
Many old people will not have one.
Many technologically ambivalent people will not have one.

Even out of the group that I think would be most likely to have one (age 25-45, white, college educated), I doubt even a majority would have one.

The one part that made me laugh when I read it is the part that said my bedside clock will be a computer. NO IT WON'T. My bedside clock is the clock I had in college 17 years ago. I will still have it in 2017, and there's a really good chance I will still have it in 2057 when I am 86.

Non-Technical hurdles ... (2, Insightful)

LoudMusic (199347) | more than 7 years ago | (#19001421)

Lots of people are talking about all the technical reasons why everyone won't have a home server to replace online service and control their other devices, but how about the non-technical stuff. Like the fact that 99.9% of computer users have absolutely no clue what they're doing. They just send email and make text documents and spreadsheets. Setting up a home server, no matter how Apple-simple it gets, is a daunting task that frightens them even to think about. And coordinating it with all their other devices? Not likely. How about configuring it so you can access all your stuff from anywhere in the world? People would probably cease up and stop breathing. And there is no way, even for the most proficient of geeks, that any home user could provide themselves with as good of uptime as Google or Apple.

Trends against this (4, Insightful)

dyfet (154716) | more than 7 years ago | (#19001425)

There are strong political and commercial interests who activily oppose such a vision. First, there are the telcoms and cable companies who want to be gatekeepers to people's email and maintain monopolies on other services as well. Try setting up an email server on a residential service, and getting it both to successfully send email without interference by your isp, and having your email messages "accepted" by existing services, regardless of whether you have domain keys setup on your dns, etc, and you will see some of these forces in action.

As for media servers that may feed media where you want it on demand. I imagine if the RIAA and similar gangs can secure root access to your shiny new internet connected media server, say through trussed computing, and control where you are allowed to listen to your own music, along with an automated billing service, maybe then they may promote it rather than activily oppose such a vision. I could imagine such gangs buying laws that state operating "unlicensed" media servers is "intent to infringe" or some other similar kind of nonsense.

Finally, the traditional media providers and a particular software monopoly prefer a captive internet "consumer" model, starting with asymetric speeds, cemented by restrictive use contracts and finding common interest with governmental desires for increasingly filtered services, whether for imagined security threats or for unpopular governments keeping tabs on restless populations. Home servers where people can be liberated as true publishers and equals as information producers, rather than reduced to mear consumers captive to external hosted sites for what may become an ever decreasing set of tolerated forms of expression and activities, is certainly not in their agenda.

home server....please (2, Insightful)

proadventurer (1071064) | more than 7 years ago | (#19001429)

I run a web server and for me it's part time. The sites are mostly my own real-world businesses and when I need to add, oh say, something new in the hppd.conf throu SSH it takes me a lot of remembering, lots of reading and calls to friends. AND everyone is going to have a server they have to maintain? I used to be a full time developer, 6 months pass and I can't remember how too.... how is my friend who can barly figure out how to restart their PC keep a "home" server running? Anyway...... I am going to my google homepage to read some real news.

Re:home server....please (1)

b0s0z0ku (752509) | more than 7 years ago | (#19001609)

I run a web server and for me it's part time. The sites are mostly my own real-world businesses and when I need to add, oh say, something new in the hppd.conf throu SSH it takes me a lot of remembering, lots of reading and calls to friends.

Use a GUI or web-based front-end to the text configuration files if you can set it up. Makes things a lot easier, and you can still edit the flat files if there's something that the front-end can't do.

-b.

I predicted this 15 years ago (1)

maxcray (541911) | more than 7 years ago | (#19001447)

I predicted this 15 years ago [jult.net] .

Predicting stuff that already happened (2, Insightful)

MORB (793798) | more than 7 years ago | (#19001473)

"Because in ten years, everything that could benefit from a microchip inside will have a microchip inside. And that means that were all going to own a lot of computers. Your television? A computer. Your cable/IPTV box? A computer. Your cell phone/messaging device? Also a computer. Bedside clock? You guessed it: Itll be a computer, too."

Those things have been computers since at least ten years.

Except alarm clock, because turning them into computers would be utterly pointless, so it didn't happen.
That all this junk would be networked has also been predicted a long time ago, and it just doesn't make sense.

I agree (1)

conradov (1026760) | more than 7 years ago | (#19001487)

With every commenter... Never going to happen!

Or is everybody with a home PC going to acquire sysadmin knowledge? Server Backup? Power Backup?

Bandwidth Costs (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 7 years ago | (#19001589)

Only problem is that many of us ( not me, thankfully ) have metered internet at home. This could seriously rasise your internet bill.

What about people... (1)

b0s0z0ku (752509) | more than 7 years ago | (#19001623)

that don't have a fixed home or business location? Call them "road warriors". There'll always be a market for hosted applications, just because some people don't have the SPACE or time to host a server.

-b.

Big talk... (1)

alisson (1040324) | more than 7 years ago | (#19001645)

Might we start with everyone having a computer in their home in the next ten years?

Google Apps more reliable than home servers (1)

hutchike (837402) | more than 7 years ago | (#19001665)

From my experience, Google Apps is way more reliable than a home server - plus you can easily access your apps from home, work, vacation, etc. I run a home server at zicatela.net [zicatela.net] and have to call home when the cleaner "accidentally" unplugs it and I lose my site, iTunes, etc.

Personally I believe the distinction between client and server will blur in the future, and that projects such as Sun's Celeste [sun.com] will grow P2P services from today's server-centric approach.

10 years? How about today? (2, Interesting)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 7 years ago | (#19001695)

So I'm living 10 years in the future I guess. I have a home server with a registered domain - I get email directly, serve my personal web content such as photo albums, program in alarms that wake me up in the morning via a distributed music system, backup the laptops I use throughout my house, cache DNS and automatically scarf data I need for managing my finances - stock quotes etc off the web.

A couple of things are a bit kludgey because I don't have a truly static IP; but that is not too far in the future. Really the only downside with that is I have to send my email out through my ISP's SMTP rather than directly.

The advantages over Google etc. are essentially unlimited space (I have 2 TB online right now) and very very fast access to the content, and I have control over the features of my setup. The disadvantage is setting up a reliable backup strategy takes some time and effort.

A year ago I used a hosting service for many of these features, but snce Cablevision made it's Boost service available with unblocked ports and dynamic DNS I moved everything to my home server.

We're not alone in the world (1)

hernyo (770695) | more than 7 years ago | (#19001697)

Dear Glenn,

Currently over 3 billion people can not afford even a 300 Mhz second-hand desktop. What makes you think that in 10 years they will be able to buy fancy "Home Server"s? Now they're happy even without knowing what a computer is - why would they need "Home Server"s in 10 years??

Or does "everybody" cover only the top 10 countries??

Right. Because... (1)

rainer_d (115765) | more than 7 years ago | (#19001723)

...backups are only for whimps.

I'll install a homeserver when
  - there's a reliable way to back it up
  - someone invents free energy
  - it's maintenance-free

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>