Having spent most of 2000 – 2010 using Sun Ray machines for everyday working, you can forgive me if I’m not a little sad that these great tech machines have been EOL’d and are no longer available for purchase.
The Sun Ray was a networked display device, with applications running on the server – which meant you could go from machine to machine with just a smart card and your session would pop up. It was the ultimate portable computer, as long as you had a networked machine to plug into.
With Secure Global Desktop, Virtualbox and Oracle Virtualization technologies, it was always a crowded space within Oracle and with the switch to tablets, mobile and cloud computing it makes sense to let software connect to virtual sessions, rather than tie to a physical box on a desk you had to plug into.
Now you can use laptops, phones and tablets to seamlessly connect to any session, whether you’re at your desk or on the move.
While there are many example of online games and tools to waste time, there are a few that actually use people to harness either spare computing power or people power:
- Folding@home: a distributed computing effort run by Stanford University, whereby different parts of the program or data are processed simultaneously on two or more computers to study protein folding and misfolding. For anyone like me who didn’t study or remember much science, there’s more details here.
There are clients for linux, mac, playstation and windows available for download.
- Zooniverse: a citizen science base where people were first used to determine what shapes galaxy pictures captured from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey: either elliptical or spiral – as computers couldn’t interpret the pictures taken.
The ability to check your bills and make payments online is great, although sometimes the information is completely wrong 😉
PS: I’m sure the computer isn’t wrong, just the human who created the program (my laptop told me so …)