50 & 25 Years Ago
lnfobusiness Meets Neuromancer (p. 7) "Freeside is many things, not all of them evident to the tourists who shuffle up and down the well. Freeside is brothel and banking nexus; pleasure dome and free port, border town and spa. ... Infobahn is many things, not all of them evident to Net cruisers who shuttle up and down the web. Infobahn is social lubricant to the verbose, heir apparent to TV's wasteland, and magnet to intellectuals in hot pursuit of the world's 'knowledge at my fingertips.'
... ahn the new shopping mall in multimedia colors, venture capitalist dance craze of the 1990s, political mantra of the ultraleft, right, and middle-of-the-road. ... The stampede to the Internet is an entirely new phenomenon that cannot be compared with existing technology. ... You can't match the interactivity and instant gratification with a static mail-order catalog." [Editor's note: This is a short article that very correctly predicts the development of the intervening 25 years.] Distributed Coordination Models for Client/Server Computing (p. 14) "Distributed architectures let users of individual, networked computers share programs and data resources, often between geographically remote sites. ... One coordination model widely used in distributed systems is the client/server architecture. A program, the client, requests an operation or service that some other application, the server, provides." (p. 15) "A major limitation in the basic client/server model is its focus on clients requesting individual services. Clients often need to invoke multiple services, coordinated to reflect how those services interrelate and contribute to the overall application. ... This article identifies and examines extensions to the basic client/server model that provide explicit support for coordinating multiserver interactions." (p. 16) "NetWorks is a tool based on object-oriented message-passing technology. The Networks Messaging Facility (NMF) provides its core distributed-communication capabilities. The NMF kernel contains message queues, queue management services, message transport services (network drivers), and a scheduler." (p. 22) "The object-oriented architecture presented here integrates diverse client/server coordination models. Developers capture the control logic for managing complex combinations of application services using high-level APIs." [Editor's note: Over the years, distributed systems and their architectures have undergone many convolutions, mostly by renaming old problems. Be it parallel computing, client-server computing, networked computers, grid, cloud, or lately, edge and fog computing, the problems mostly remain the same but, of course, renaming leads to the perception that things are "new" and need special attention.] Processing in Memory: The Terasys Massively Parallel PIM Array (p. 23) "The PIM prototype in a workstation environment delivers supercomputer performance at a fraction of the cost. The next step is to incorporate PIM chips into Cray-3 memory. ... Thus, the economics of purchasing a high-performance computer often dictate giving up peak performance on a small application set (massively parallel SIMD) in favor of more modest improvement over a larger range of applications (general-purpose MIMD)" (p. 24) "Processor-in-memory chip: The PIM integrated circuit, with slightly over one million transistors on 1-μm technology, contains 2K×64 bits of SRAM, 64 custom-designed single-bit processors, plus control and error detection circuitry." (p. 26) "Parallel Prefix Network (PPN). The PPN consists of 15 levels, settable by the programmer. It can be used for nearest-neighbor communication and for linear scan operations, which are useful for accumulating partial results such as sums or other associative operations."