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Thread: Beyond the “LiveUSB”

  1. #11
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    Jan 2010
    Again, this has been a very interesting thread.

    The discussion, to me, has been a very good exposition, and distillation, of the diffuse discussions that we have seen the last couple of years.

    Perhaps a critical item is this and I take leave to quote:

    I think Klaus has moved in exactly the right direction with Knoppix, so we can safely build on that as a standard basis.
    Like most long toothed Linux folk, we all have a lot of silvery coasters, or skeet, for use; but Knoppix is one of the two or three that has really arrested my attention and is almost perfect in every way.

    Whatever the ramifications which may arise from this discussion, I think that they will be of widening consequence in the Linux universe.

    I'll continue to read with interest.


  2. #12
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    Dec 2009
    This is my fifth point on the subject.

    Just want to share something that I believe is a "trend" that is worth thinking and considering.

    I use the following diagram as part of justification and reasoning behind my above-mentioned project (subito Linux - SubiTux), but the idea goes beyond it, and, in my point of view, would affect the entire industry. This "trend", I believe, has effects on the structure of operation systems in general. I think specially Knoppix, which is a (already) departure from the traditional concept of OS, should be paying special attention to this subject. The reason it is useful is very simple: the "trend" can help to point to the "what's next" kind of question.

    *It is a good idea to include Kindle Platform on the above diagram too, as well (now) as the iPad.

    I believe that there are 2 main implications here: number one is the trend in narrowing the functions in the software, and number two is the cloud-device trend.

    The diagram points to a departure from "full packages" to "single functions" and at the same time shows the paradigm of "cloud-device" using the trend.

    For years I'm following this "trend" but to the present day I still unable to figure out how to "translate" its meaning (more directly) for the free/open source universe...

    At least in theory, the Google Android AppStore will be a candidate model, but in real practice it seems that there is "something missing" in the Android AppStore model... perhaps the Nexus One can fill the (what I am thinking as a perceived) "gap"...

    [The Power of The AppStore]

    The amount of power that the (Apple) AppStore unleashed within the iPhone Platform Ecosystem is something that cannot be ignored nor misunderstood, if we want to fully appreciate the iPhone phenomenon and its power. Without the apps and the developers and how they interact with the AppStore the iPhone is "just" a very cool device phone with an innovative OS installed on it. But when the AppStore is added to the equation, a new category is born as the resulting power far exceeds the others similar devices and OSes.

    It should be possible in some way for the free/open universe to understand the implications and adopt (follow) the trend... or, to understand it fully and to place more emphasis on its possible equivalent for the free/open universe...

    Finding a way to harness the same amount of power, or at least part of it, in the free/open universe, will help to create a lot of innovation...

    [From Packages to Single Function]
    Considering the success of the iTunes Store and the AppStore, I believe that it is a nice idea to think further on the fact that they have a common ground: instead of selling a package of things, they offer a single (or few) function (song in the case of iTunes). By learning and "translating" it to the free/open world it should be possible to harness the same kind of power and enjoy the same kind of popularity (almost...) they are experiencing. This is definitely a "trend" to observer and to understand. This "single function trend", at least in my point of view can be directly interpreted when thinking about operating system that used to be "general purpose", offering a package of features, but now can be something that offers a narrow range or few specific functions.

    Packages still attractive but as the "trend" shows, there are alternatives towards "narrowing the offer" that may be worth considering.

    PS.: While writing these few words, some ideas happen to me about how the free/open world can "interpret" this new "Cloud-Render Device Paradigm" and what can possible be the implications. I will leave it for another text, as they are different subject than the current piece.


  3. #13
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    Sep 2006
    I don't think PC-type devices are going in the direction of the iPhone, rather, we will have minimal, but general, platforms. Like JavaScript (and classical Java applets) is used to move a lot of the processing from the server to the client (which therefore becomes much more than simply a rendering device), we will have a dynamic sharing of processing tasks. And my guess is that the generalist will win in userspace here, not the one-trick-pony.

    The "single function" you talk about, I think may be more aptly called "plugins" - and their function depend on the local infrastructure. Making efficient use of the infrastructure Linux and relatives are offering is much more important than specifying models for plugin development/marketing. It's not about acting as a server, but using local server/service functionality optimally to become an efficient and intelligent client/renderer.

  4. #14
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    Dec 2009
    Hi everybody.
    Since I believe the "AppStore Power" is very interesting, I like to place a further note on the aspect of the "Development Ecosystem" which the application store represents.

    This text helps further explain what I said before as some possible "missing" equivalent of this Development Ecosystem in the FOSS (free/open) world.

    The argument here is very simple and is represented on the following diagram:

    I don't claim I have a full research or even a deep analysis on the subject, but I do have follow this matter since around mid 90's, so, I think I my doubts have some justifications attach to it.

    Let me repeat this doubt.
    Looking at the power that Microsoft have with its Win32 franchise plus with its Visual Studio Tools plus its Microsoft Developers Network and "categorizing" it as a Development Ecosystem 1.0, and looking at iPhone Form Factor plus Apple AppStore plus the SDK plus the development/publishing model of 70/30 as a possible Development Ecosystem 2.0, then, my doubts is around the following question.

    What is, if it exist, the counterpart of the dev-ecosys 1.0 (MS) and what is the counterpart of the dev-ecosys 2.0 (Apple) for the FOSS universe?

    As I said before, if we look at Google's Android Platform, it seems to have "almost" all the features to be the equivalent model for FOSS, but to this day, I personally still thinking that there is "something" missing on the Android Platform to put it in direct comparison with the two mentioned models.

    And, as I said before, the eco-systemic power that this dev-ecosys unleash for the whole platform is so powerful that it leaves all the "competitors" (that don't have it), into a whole layer "behind".

    To conclude, I don't even know if this "counterpart" is possible for the FOSS universe directly or if it can be "translated" in some way, but I do know that the kind of power that it represents cannot be misunderstood. A better comprehension of the subject is necessary for the FOSS world. Its implications are too much important to be ignored.

    Any kind of "translation" or "adaptation" of the idea to the FOSS universe is something that is worth considering. If the whole thing cannot be achieved, at least parts of it would be enriching the FOSS universe in unprecedented ways.


  5. #15
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    Dec 2009
    Quote Originally Posted by Capricorny
    I don't think PC-type devices are going in the direction of the iPhone,...
    I just want to clarify one point that perhaps are not clear in my present texts in the topic.

    [The Desktop PC]
    I don't have any thinking or suggestion about the "desktop PC" in the current topic pointing to a possible direction that it will turn all to a "pocket 3G" like device. In fact in my current view I don't see the "desktop PC" becoming a "pocket" stuff for several reasons. Perhaps in the future, with new technologies, the "desktop PC" can become a different thing than it is today.

    The entire reason of this topic is to point to "alternatives" to the traditional desktop PC, as not always people will have all the need that a desktop PC offer to the user.

    Like the big computers, they remain big and still a very good business to this day. In the same sense, my current vision is that the "desk PC" will remain at the "desk" and it will remain a "PC", at least until lots of innovative technologies start to make possible to change its shape, size and efficiency.

    So, in the way I look at technologies today I can't see big changes in the "desk" PC computer in the immediate time frame...

    Like the big computers, that still around and strong, the "desk" PC is something that, I believe, will be around for while...

    To finish: just clarifying the matter that the center focus of the topic is around the idea of something "beyond" the "desk PC" and all its correlated vision about "computing devices": the trends, the opportunities, the chanllenges, etc...


  6. #16
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    Dec 2009

    MeToo in MeeGo...

    This is just a complement I want to put to the "store" idea expose in the last post.

    I just watched the 2 video presentations about the MeeGo project (Moblin + Maemo)…

    I think it is interesting because it can bring together the evolution of Moblin and of Maemo into one unified platform. And, with Intel and Nokia in direct support for the project, it means that the basic financial support is there.

    I believe that because the Linux Foundation is connected directly, such things like transparency, openness and legitimacy will be as highest as it can be, or at least, in very high levels.

    [More alternatives]
    Based on the content of these 2 videos available, my first impression is that it is an alternative for the Android on an "open platform for devices".

    [MeToo Store]
    Instead of thinking a MeToo "AppStore", I believe this project can fill what might be a "missing something" on the FOSS universe, by creating a "me" "too" store that goes beyond the software application and include (reflects) large portion of the richness of what the Open Source Movement has created around the world. I'm talking about things that use software but goes far beyond the software application itself, in this sense it should not use the name "app" store but only "store".

    As strangely as it may seems, after watching these 2 short videos, I think I've learn something about the "missing something" that I'm referring in the last post… I guess it is some kind of "aha" moment…

    Well, I have a long and detailed explanation, but here is the short one:
    The "appstore" way for FOSS is NOT, at least in my current perception, the same thing it is for the commercial world…

    Perhaps the best way to do it is NOT by having a "developers-applications-ecosystem" but instead a "mee-too-want-a-piece-of-the-cake-ecosystem" (thus MeToo Store).

    The short reasoning for that is that the commercial store embraces the C++ programmer and its services, but the FOSS "way" must (may) embraces more than C++ people (which is the "1%"). FOSS must (may) embraces "mee" "too" (everyone* interested in doing so). In other words, it must (can) reflect what the whole FOSS philosophy is, not only C++ programmers.
    *Well, not "all" everyone but at least "much more" everyones; Maybe 20%… instead of 1%.

    Perhaps by just trying to sell C++ code it is not "selling" the real (or full) power of the FOSS universe, so, the end result don't share the same success…

    This is, more or less, the short version of my first perception of the possible "missing" attractiveness of the current "app store" model for FOSS.

    I hope to learn more about this "store" thing, and how this MeeGo Platform can unfold in this regard.


  7. #17
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    Dec 2009
    I like to put two pictures related with past post(s) I did.

    Picture 1 is the market share of Apple App Store (Gartner research) for 2009:

    Picture 2 is the split between desktop, notebook and mobile for Apple's Q4 2009 sales:

    I believe we can think of these two related data as representative of the combination of the following:

    1) The power of the Cloud-RenderDevice Paradigm
    2) With the power of the Developers-AppStore Ecosystem "2.0"

    Alone, any one of these two data reveals powerful facts, but put (multiplied) together these two factors gives Apple unprecedented power.

    I think it is more than facts, they show powerful trends into play, and they show the "where" we can look to grasp the important developments as an industry.

    The reason I'm putting these two graphs is to reinforce the importance of the current stage of the "cloud-device" paradigm and the current stage of the "appStore-developers" ecosystem, so as to prepare for my seven (the concluding last one) series of remarks about the general trends that I think will be (is) affecting Free and Open Source Software.

    In the last "remark" I like to point to a possible "what's next" for FOSS and what kind of thinking can be useful and applicable in the present and near future.

    As stated, while writing one of the pieces last week I have an insight about the whole stuff that (now) I believe IS, at least one way to the future of, not only of the FOSS but the entire information technology field.

    I just like to point that this "aha" came as result of at least 10 or 12 years quest, so, I believe I'm more or less "on the track" on this particular point that I will make.

    In general lines, the "thing" is here, implicit on the pictures and texts above, so, I will only be making a more precise mention to the thing that I now believe IS the "next stuff" for the information industry. And, even more than before, I'm sure that the future Knoppix can benefit by getting inspirations on all these points exposed on the whole topic.


  8. #18
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    Dec 2009
    Quote Originally Posted by netzen
    One thing that I am motivated to try is a remaster of 6.2 with the "bare minimum" software infrastructure to run the VirtualBox.
    Something like "USB Knoppix VBox Player", so people can "use it" as the basis for build all sorts of FOSS (free/open source) USB systems.

    I succeed in "opening" and "closing" a remaster following the instruction on this site few weeks ago and I will be looking more at it later.
    I'm excited with this because it combines TWO things I believe is "hot" stuff:

    a) VirtualBox virtualization
    b) NativeUSB (LiveUSB)

    These 2, combined into one "bare minimum Knoppix VBox Player" can potentially create a tool for further exploration of the GNU/Linux in new ways...

    Hi all.
    Just want to point to an interesting announcement from Parallels I saw today from Ars Technica:
    Parallels Server Mac Bare Metal Edition.

    As I mention before, one thing that is in my “todo” list to try with Knoppix is the creation of a remaster with the minimum enough to run Knoppix wireframe and VirtualBox out of a USB key, which I refer then as “Knoppix VirtualBox Player”, here on this topic and as well as in another one.

    It seems that this new Parallels edition is going in the same direction of thinking...

    The reason I’m writing here about it is that it IS ONE of the “what’s next” stuff I believe we can consider, and it is one of the thing I’m going to try to argue here on my next post.

    Since last week, I even have a much more “clear” vision on the subject of this “wireframe" (bare matel) than before, to the point that my interest on this “wireframe” almost multiplied by a factor of 10x, or more. The reason is that this “wireframe” stuff is one of the “next thing” I believe we all should be aware of, thinking, experimenting and doing around the idea.

    I don't have much details from the new Parallels product, but its name, in my view, is absolute significative about its true meaning, and it gives me a confirmation that the concept and the vision is worth paying attention.

    [The Ars article]

    [Parallels website]

    I hope to have a small and concise text within few days, dealing with this next argument (which deals with the “what’s next” thing).


  9. #19
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    Dec 2009
    Hi everybody.

    I'm thinking about the best way to simplify this seventh argument and here is the way I believe it can be simple and yet enough to communicate what I want.

    To make easier, it will be in 3 themes:

    7a) The Platform
    7b) Tools (Knx Vbox Player is here)
    7c) The community, the meaning, the elegance and the beauty

    I think that these 3 categories holds distinct argumentation and perhaps the best thing to do is to clearly separate them to avoid loss of objectivity.

    Each text will be a separated post.


  10. #20
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    Dec 2009
    The Platform.

    Let me start by giving two examples on the subject that I want to expose:

    1) VirtualBox, PC virtualization
    2) ZFS, HD (or storage) virtualization

    The subject here is 'virtualization', and I like to make a distinction to allow for more clarity in my argument. The distinction I want around the word 'virtualization' and the term 'PC virtualization', that, in some cases are being used as the same thing but in reality the 'PC virtualization' is ONLY one form of virtualization. So, let me make it clear that the subject I am writing here is 'virtualization' (the general notion).

    I believe the VirtualBox (as well as Vmware and Parallels) and ZFS are not only two good examples of virtualization but they represent a TREND in the overall landscape, and this general trend is virtualization which I like to try a brief definition to serve my purpose here: The achievement of the hardware functionality into a entity that is detached (or uncoupled) from the hardware itself.

    What I think is that the trend exist but it is in the 'first phase' now and in my point of view it is possible to start a 'second phase' of this trend. In the following diagram I will like to try a visualization of the current 'first phase' of the virtualization trend:

    Now I like to try a visual idea for the 'next step' in virtualization that we may explore:

    In this 'next step', instead of a traditional OS running the virtualized function, I believe it is possible to provide the function with a 'suitable enough' environment so that it can perform its job. So, the quest here is to realize an OS that fits the function, instead of thinking of an OS as a means to use (fully) the hardware.

    If we look at VirtualBox and ZFS as products that are examples of virtualization, in the sense of being components, we may start to think not in terms of products only but extrapolate and ask ourselves if there is an opportunity here to achieve a 'functionality detached environment' that includes the architecture, the tools and the ecosystem. So that we not only use virtualization but create and environment where it can grow not only in performance of its components but possible generate a whole new meaning for the use of information technology by extending its power far beyond it is today.

    The idea is that the 'attachment' of the function to its providing hardware (which is a natural thing since the function was first achieved in that hardware) may be limiting the outcome of the current platforms by limiting factors like combination of usage, reliability, grow in scale, cost, etc. In this sense, if the achievement of the function, detached from its hardware, can be made into a whole platform (and I believe it can), then we can have a quantum leap in power as soon as we achieve the necessary elements to characterize it as a 'platform'.

    To the present day (Mar/2010) all the virtualization stuff that exists is running on top of 'traditional operating systems', which (may) mean that there are much more opportunities if we have a fully environment where there is others resources to take more (the most) advantage of it.

    I like to abandon the text here. It is small but I believe it communicates what I like to express about the 'platform' aspect of my argumentation.

    There is an opportunity to think of a platform to capture (make it coherent) all the power of this trend. This can be the "next" stuff for GNU, Linux and OSS… or at least, being the inspirational direction, help to promote further development and evolution.

    On the other hand, if we do not perceive and behave towards this trend as a platform, we will end up underutilizing its current representatives (like VBox, like ZFS, etc) and not enjoying its full real potential and the true real meaning that they represent.

    End of 7a.

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