My computer

23 January 2015

My computer is amazing. He (I will always refer to it as an entity, even though I am aware that *it* is still not aware of itself) is capable of executing a tremendous amount of operations per second and, yet, it's not capable of remembering and asking for (in a smart way) where do I want to store something I download. I am aware that there are probably a lot of (academic?) projects out there set to change this and make machines do what they are actually supposed to do: make my life easier. There is one movie that recently as reinforced this idea in my mind (no, not minority report) and that is the new Iron Man movie. That is exactly how I see computers: Working with us to actually help us be more creative, productivem, and efficient. Not just dumb machines that know how to store bits, but extensions to our own work. That being said, and my frustration put out in the open, I ask if there is anyone out there doing anything even remotely close to this: Creating some kind of smart interface on top of (any, preferably linux ;)) operating system that is gifted with some kind of, at least, memory and inquisitive engine that, when presented with something it does not understand, would ask and learn, instead of throwing an exception or a segmentation fault. Here's a use case (directly adapted from Iron Man): I'm browsing the web and I find a torrent for a new cool linux distro that I want to try out. I tell my computer "download this" and, by now, he already knows that a torrent is supposed to be download in a given way. What he does not know is where to store the actual contents of the file. I mean, there are just so many drives in my home network, all discoverable through avahi, bonjour, or other service discovery architectural flavour. So where should he put it? He asks and I tell him (tell being the keyword, think speech recognition, but not literally like "c:/somewhere/distros/linux", more like "create me a new place for linux distros"). The next time he should still ask, but this time if I want it in the linux distros also. And I should be able to say something like "from now on, store all distros in that place, unless I say otherwise when downloading", if I feel really lazy". That is the kind of stuff I would expect to be available today, when the amount of computational power in the world is imense, but personal computers are still as dumb as they were in the times of punctured cards. Alright, maybe an overstatement, but still... :)Posted by email from nocivus (posterous)

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