Fine, since we can’t copy, I’ll write my own…

Posted: April 16, 2008 by ralliart12 in academia, Technopia
Tags: , , ,

While working on a group assignment on file systems, one of my group member quoted an excerpt that she insists on including in the final report due to the article’s brilliant demonstration of a perfectly seamless network file system back-end. However, it was the group’s decision that a complete cut-&-paste of that excerpt will land us into trouble. The protagonist insists that excerpt is necessary, so how?

Solution: mi re-write the whole damn thing & derive my own scenario lor.

Anyway, as always, I allow another non-involved external party to review both versions, she was quite impressed and we discussed possibility of copyrighting my version, lest some system integrator company or even god-forbid, Apple Computers, steal it. Well, I dunno about that, so I’ll post both versions & let you fellows be the judge.

Original version by (probably a Dr, by now) Mahadev Satyanarayanan, from Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) in 1987

A Vision of Tomorrow

You are sitting at your office desk, editing a report stored in a shared file system. The machine you are using is a small notebook computer, but it lets you use the larger and more comfortable display and keyboard on your desk via a tabletop infrared link. Soon it is time to leave for the airport. When the limousine arrives, you pick up your notebook and leave. On the ride to the airport you continue your work. Your notebook recognizes that it is no longer on a local area network (LAN), but continues communication with the servers via a cellular modem. You finish your editing, save the file, and send mail to your coauthor letting him know that he can now review your edits. You then begin working on the slides for your talk in Paris. Upon arrival at the airport, you board your transatlantic flight and continue working. Although each seat is provided with an outlet for air-to-ground telephone service, your notebook inquires and discovers that telephone charges are very high. It therefore wisely decides to let you operate disconnected and to defer all communication until you have landed. When you arrive in your Paris hotel room, your notebook discovers that the hotel’s late-night telephone charges are low, and that there is a high-definition television (HDTV) set in your room. It therefore propagates the changes you have made so far, fetches new versions of some of the files you had cached, picks up your mail, and uses the HDTV set as your display. You work late into the night, putting the finishing touches on your slides. The next morning, you present your talk. Your notebook senses the presence of a large wall-sized display in the conference room, and shows your slides on it. Since your talk is about a new piece of user-interface software, you are able to give a live demo of it using the notebook. Once your business is complete, you decide to play tourist for a day before returning home. The concierge at your hotel subscribes you to an excellent guided walking tour, and rents you a heads-up display and headphones. Setting out with your notebook in your backpack, you pick a route from the map displayed. As you walk, you indicate items of interest on the map. A short video describing the unique historical and architectural features of the site is seen, and the accompanying audio commentary is heard. As you pass through a major shopping district, advertisements of sales (translated by your notebook into English) pop up on your display. One of these interests you, and you walk into the store and purchase a gift. The store clerk obtains your travel itinerary from your notebook and arranges for your duty-free purchase to be delivered to the correct gate for your flight home tomorrow. You continue on your walking tour for many more hours. Exhausted, you decide to take the metro back to your hotel. On the metro, you watch CNN on your notebook. From time to time, as the train goes through regions of poor reception, the displayed image degenerates from full-motion color to slow-scan black-and-white. The next morning, you head for the airport, pick up your gift at the gate, and board the flight home. You can relax and watch the movie: your notebook has been recording your purchases and is now automatically preparing an expense report. When you reach home, it will transmit the report to your secretary for reimbursement.

& now, my version: (probably will always remain a Mr.) KOH YEE TING, from National University of Singapore

It Could Be Real…

Picture a student sitting at his study desk at home, performing minor touch-ups to some of the project documents his team stored and shared online using Google Docs. He is using his Apple iPhone to make the changes, but the Bluetooth on the device enables him to input using his wireless mouse and keyboard. Soon, he has to leave for school. When the public bus arrives, he packs the iPhone in his pocket and boards it. Despite the bumpy ride he tries to continue his work. The iPhone, realizing it is no longer connected to the house’s wireless LAN and Bluetooth devices, deactivates WiFi and Bluetooth, switches transparently over to M1 3G/HSDPA network and display an on-screen keyboard. The student manages to finalize all his modifications and sms alerts are sent to his team mates once Google Docs notices the modified timestamp of the files. The student begins to work on the presentation slides. When he enters school compound and boards the internal shuttle bus, the student tries to continue his work. The iPhone, although detecting the school’s wireless LAN, monitors the choppy connection and stays in offline mode.

Upon reaching the school’s faculty of computing, the iPhone launches its internal VPN client and switches back to the secured wireless LAN offered there. File synchronization occurs and modified data are flushed to the online server again. The device even sends out the emails in his outbox.

The next morning, using the iPhone, the student is able to print handouts using the wireless print server. He proceeds with the presentation proper, using the VNC Client on his iPhone, coupled with the Bluetooth capability, to showcase the project. After all the formal presentation is over, the student needs to travel back to the faculty of engineering, which is located all the way at the far other end of the entire campus. Being a new student, he naturally does not know how to get there.

Using the built-in Google Maps and Wifi triangulation on the iPhone, Google Maps allows the student to map a route from his current block to his final destination. He boards the shuttle bus. Along the way, his iPhone uses the built-in RSS reader to draw feeds from the school’s portal, downloading the lecture podcasts that he has not attended to or have no time to listen to yet.

As the bus passes by the faculty of arts, there was a bazaar going on. The iPhone was bombarded by the Bluetooth advertisements so popular with major shopping malls. He shortlisted a few items he is interested in, by replying to those advertisements using the sms format they require.

As he enters the lecture theatre for his engineering lectures, the iPhone automatically picks up the companion notes the lecturer has release Over-the-Air (OTA). The points contained in the notes playback while the lecturer begins the lesson. After the lesson, the student feels exhausted and wishes to return home. He proceeds to pick up his purchases at the school’s administration block. Using the iPhone as a Near-Field-Communication (NFC) device, he is able to charge his purchases to his mobile phone bill directly. On the way back home aboard public transport, he tries to rent a few movie titles from iTunes online store. To choose those titles he starts viewing the trailers first. As the train enters the underground tunnel, the trailers started streaming in 480p standard definition instead of 720p high definition mode. Nonetheless, he is able to submit his purchases underground due to the 3.5G broadband on mobile network.

Once he reaches home and places the iPhone in the dock, the iPhone reconnects with the stable wireless LAN available and automatically download his emails. The iPhone also updates the student profile and marked those lecture podcasts he has covered as “not new” so that they can be deleted. After that, the device begins to download and started streaming the movies he purchased, but not without connecting to his Bluetooth speakers first, of course.

So, did my re-write manage to capture the essence of the original excerpt well enough? Let me know..btw, as you can see from the screen shots, more than half of the technologies discussed in my version, are REAL.

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Comments
  1. baine says:

    Nice rewrite, although I wont’ comment on the ‘capturing the essence’ part as I didn’t really do a thorough read…

    Anyway, I think there’s (what appears to be) a typo error in the second last paragraph:

    “…begins the lesson. After the lesson, the student feeds exhausted and wishes to return home. He proceeds to…”

    I think it’s supposed to be “..student _feels_ exhausted..”?

  2. ralliart12 says:

    Hi baine, thanx for notifying me abt the typo(yes, it is). I do encourage you to read both versions thoroughly(over coffee, perhaps) & perform a comparison.

    Just curious though, how did you come across my blog?

  3. sandrar says:

    Hi! I was surfing and found your blog post… nice! I love your blog. 🙂 Cheers! Sandra. R.

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