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Re: Mainframe & thin-client (was Re: Microsoft good press over Longhorn)

On Mon, 2002-11-04 at 00:06, cr wrote:
> On Tue, 04 Nov 2003 01:15, Ron Johnson wrote:
> > On Sun, 2002-11-03 at 01:14, cr wrote:
> > > On Sun, 02 Nov 2003 23:37, Paul Johnson wrote:
> > > > On Sat, Nov 01, 2003 at 05:13:01PM +0000, Pigeon wrote:
> > > > > Nah, that was EDIT.COM - before that appeared I used to use the Turbo
> > > > > C editor to edit text files; I think the guys who wrote EDIT.COM did
> > > > > too.
> > > >
> > > > I remember c:\dos\edit.com fondly as well, probably the best text
> > > > editor to ever come out of MS.  Still doesn't hold a flame to emacs,
> > > > but hey, it's Microsoft we're talking about here, so what do you
> > > > expect?
> > >
> > > Well, I discovered Edit when our department got a IBM  PC with a
> > > dot-matrix printer.   At that time we engineers had to write
> > > specifications on a mainframe terminal in some 'scripting' language, send
> > > them off to some queue, phone up Accounts (who owned the mainframe) and
> > > beg them nicely to run some compiler on it and send it to the Print
> > > queue, then phone up Printing and tell them it was ours.   If we were
> > > lucky, next day, we'd get the result and (if we'd made no mistakes in our
> > > scripting!) it would be readable.   If not...
> > >
> > > Nobody told me about Edit, I found it by accident.   But as soon as I saw
> > > it I recognised The Future.   Or, Freedom.   I printed off one page to
> > > prove to myself that it would work, went to the mainframe terminal,
> > > logged in, typed "Change Password", shut my eyes and typed in random
> > > letters, locking myself out of the detested mainframe forever.    :)
> > >
> > > Does anyone wonder why I hate Thin Clients...?   ;)
> >
> > I hate to use such strong words, but to compare the centralized
> > control of resources that existed on *old* mainframes with the
> > centralized control of resources on a thin-client/fat-server and
> > find any but the most basic similarities is verging on delusion.
> >
> > After all, it's no more difficult to have a printer sitting on your
> > desk, or down the hall with a TC/FS network-based system as it is
> > when you have stand-alone or fat-client/thin-server system.  And
> > you're still running all the same apps, no matter what.
> The *major* similarity between mainframes and Thin Clients is, that as a user 
> on a Thin Client, I am stuck with the software and the settings that are 
> installed on the Fat Server (or whatever it's called).    Those are *not* the 
> same apps as I choose to run on my old W95 box, I can't install anything of 
> my own on the server.   (I already asked that one, and I knew what the answer 
> would be.    Mainframe Mentality is creeping back).

Yes, that's true, and, being An Old Mainframe Guy, who still works
on host-based systems (OpenVMS), I like the idea of being able to
tell the user, "No, you can *not* mangle your machine, then bitch
at me for taking all day to try to fix what you broke, or all day
and all night recovering the office from a virus/worm/trojan that
you introduced onto the LAN".

Also, standardization: with TC/FS, there's no possibility of
5 different versions of Windows (plus Service Packs), or a half
dozen versions of kernels and distros floating around the org,
causing weird incompatibilities.

> On 'my' (actually the company's) old W95 box, I have Opera, graphics viewers, 

Blech.  Win95?  That's so ancient, that, if kernel.org is to
be believed (www.kernel.org/pub/linux/kernel/v1.2/), it's 
release coincides with linux-1.2.13.tar.bz2.

> Xbasic, a pretty cool screensaver, heaps of other W95 freeware.....   They're 
> the only things that make using a Windoze box tolerable, for me.   It's about 
> freedom of choice, you know?   Fortunately for me, I also have a considerable 
> number of little engineering programs installed which justifies me keeping my 
> old box.

You run engineering apps in 2003, on a 5-8 year old box?  You'd
be *much* happier with Win2k.  Or do your apps not work in Win2k?

When you work for someone else, you have a lot less freedom of choice
than at home, or at your own business.

> Thin Clients might be suitable for copy typists, data entry clerks and Dumb 
> Users.    Certainly not for engineers or anybody who's likely to be reading 
> this list.   If we thought Microcrap was the greatest we wouldn't be on this 
> list, right?

Guess what?  Thin-clients work *great* on Linux!  http://www.ltsp.org

TC obviously isn't suitable for your tasks, but to say "Does anyone
wonder why I hate Thin Clients...?" is a very "big" sentence.

Ron Johnson, Jr. ron.l.johnson@cox.net
Jefferson, LA USA

"My advice to you is to get married: If you find a good wife, you
will be happy; if not, you will become a philosopher."

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