The user platform:
The future user platform will employ technology already being eyed by large telecoms today. The "Cloud" as it is know is anticipated to be the place applications are loaded from and likely where your data will be stored. This would essentially mean a migration to terminal type systems. No local storage for large programs. In our plan we also do away with the heavy duty local PC and massive storage. Instead our platform will be a visor or tablet like interface. No local hard drive.
The VR Visor will be able to hold all the required data an average user would need. This would be supplemented by Thumb drives, and local solid state memory boxes. The unit will be designed to a single standard and the VROS will NOT be expected to handle anything but that. System upgrades will be controlled and be required to adhere to the standards or simply ail not be allowed in the market place. All code will be written in the most compact form using new architectures.
The hardware platform will be energy efficient and durable, making use of FOLED display technology, and new ultra low power MISC processor arrays. All will be standard. All will be made the way NASA would make it. Small, light and efficient. This will reduce resource usage in a sustainable technology. The new VR technology will employ multi-channel WiFi, and will support the EXO-NET, a parallel external mesh network consisting of all VR Visors, tablets and repeaters. This eliminates the use of a large number of resources, miles of cable, and billions of watt hours annually.
Lets start with the massive centralized server farms, these will be just a faint memory with their massive drives, memory and miles of cabling. Getting rid of these will save billions over the years along with megawatts of power.
Then lets get rid of the backbone architecture and go wireless distributed. Today's servers are built the same way that PC and user systems are with layer after layer of software and security. Again this is all bloated and in need of pruning. Going with a decentralized wireless infrastructure prevents catastrophic failure in our systems. With such a system connected to a wireless mesh of repeaters, traffic is easily and automatically rerouted around trouble spots and congestion.
This also reduces the maintenance of millions of miles of cable. Adding mesh repeaters in newly populated areas adds bandwidth for Internet access but is otherwise unnecessary for basic communications and transactions. There is naturally the exception of mesh repeaters to access remote areas and connect larger population centers together. Either way the metro centers could easily be connected by satellite repeater, or by way of high throughput repeaters installed the length of major US highways. There is a little known maintenance network attached to the power line system that could be augmented to handle the trans-mesh traffic.
What will the future mesh look like? Lets examine the following drawing. Notice the coexistence of a commercial high throughput traditional wired network. The traditional Internet will be reserved for high speed traffic, While the majority of communications,Voice, IM, IRC, Tweets and the likes are run through the EXO-NET. This will slow the demand for Internet bandwidth, and divert much of it to the mesh, or the EXO-NET. Complimenting the EXO-NET will be local services provided by hosts that exist only on the Exo-Net. Most users won't need a PC, instead each Visor is capable oh holding the average users data and application extensions quite comfortably. For Artists, Musicians, Engineers and others that need a bit more storage or applications they can store these on local USB thumb drives. Or a larger WiFi repeater host that can accommodate a larger storage base, and provide local access to a private world or planet. These can be created for family's, groups, or small businesses that don't require linkage to the Internet for resources. Music, art, videos can all be streamed over the Exo-Net or uploaded locally into a private VR server. This server is accessed by way of a VR Visor or tablet device. No monitor, keyboard, hard drive or other peripherals will be needed.
The Exo-Net will connect to the Internet in a distributed fashion by larger
service providers, and much of the existing services will remain in effect
in their current incarnations. All of these changes will bring about a more
efficient system and will remove many of the complexities that force the current
software base to be exceedingly complex. New code will be fashioned over time
that is extremely efficient and at least 100x smaller. Check the links page,
and do a little reading. You'll find that an entire Forth system, compiler,
interpreter etc... can be created in as little as 7k bytes. I remember my
first Windows NT app, Hello World, it compiled to 1.4 Megabytes. Compare that
to the same code written in Forth that takes under 100 Bytes. The savings
of not carrying all that unneeded flexibility results in a 140,000:1 reduction
in size. This is by no means atypical! Read Jeff Foxes Thoughtful Programming
and Forth and you will understand why.
Current infrastructure in today's modern home includes a slew of devices. Along with this there is a massive support structure outside the home to provide all of the content and services. We have multiple ways of accessing the Internet, we can connect via Satellite, Cable. Phone dial-up, Phone DSL, and Wireless. Much of this is out of date, useless and should be abandoned. It would cost more to tear it up anyway. If we can stop subsidizing the telecoms to install, and bury, dark fiber, and instead, only pay them if they turn it on and put it into service, we might even have a system that rivals parts of Canada!
Estimates made in this Digital Planet paper show that in the US alone we are looking forward to spending $1,288,428,000 (yep, that's billions) in the US alone just to preserve this system, and attempt to keep up with demand. If we can save, not the 140000:1, nor even the 100:1 but just the 10:1, it would represent a large enough pile of cash to build a home for all of the US homeless. Lets imagine we can save 10:1 across the whole world. We would now have a pile of cash that could say... cure cancer!
Getting from Here to There, or How to build the bridge!
So how do we transition to this new system. Well one step at a time. I worked with a great guy by the name of Al Swain. He had a philosophy I'd like to borrow. It goes something like this; First make it work, then make it work well, then make it work cheap. In terms of developing a global information infrastructure we have something that works, we can now proceed, and re-engineer with reducing costs and improving bottlenecks in mind. We can't afford to continue to build on top of old garbage.
Our first efforts will be centered around bringing up a full system and server. We need to establish a functional base from which to experiment.
Milestone 1 - Setting up
1. Bring up Metatopia Server on an intranet. <-DONE! 1/12/10
2. Create test Metatopia world and verify minimal functionality. <-DONE! 1/19/10
3. Document the setups and configurations.<-In progress
4. Make Metatopia world accessible to outside world over the Internet.<-In progress
1. Bring up Forth hardware development platform.<-DONE! 12/07/09
2. Setup GreenArrays hardware test bed.<-In progress
3. Duplicate Chuck Moore's current video hardware.<-In progress
4. Define preliminary VR hardware base.<-In progress
This is just to get the ball rolling! Once we have this functional base anyone recruited into the organization will have a platform to operate from. This will also give us an arena we can collaborate in. From there on out, all of the Metatopia and Metatopia Multiverse efforts will be coordinated in VR. To see where we are, or if there is some part of the Metatopia project you might be interested in helping with, go to the Software Components, Hardware Components, or Development Groups sections. Let the fun begin!