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There’s a concept of building from first principles that can create some pretty incredible products. For example, one of the technologies I’ve long thought was more complicated than it should be is VPN. VPNs came further into the spotlight with remote work and employees needing to access company resources from wherever they are. I recently came across a product that works great on macOS that takes that first-principles approach to how VPN connections work, and it’s called Tailscale.

VPN setup is clunky at best. Different firewalls require different setups, and it can sometimes be challenging to get the proper devices to the correct servers depending on the subnet, IP scheme, etc. By implementing Tailscale, it’s easy to connect to another network by using a stable IP address for each device (server, laptop, etc.). These addresses stay the same, no matter where nodes move to in the physical world the devices are located. Each device gets an IP in the 100.X range, and it’s assigned based on the device and the Tailscale login.

Using Tailscale with macOS

I’ve got a fairly simple use case with Tailscale for personal use. I want to access my Umbrel server (learn how to build one in my past guide) remotely as well as my Plex server. Umbrel has a Tailscale app in its App Store, so the setup was painless. I can now access it from anywhere. It’s running on my Umbrel server and my Plex server, so when I want to connect to those servers directly, I just enable Tailscale on my Mac, and I can connect to those devices.

What problem does this solve in the enterprise?

Tailscale is built on top of WireGuard. WireGuard is a fast encrypted networking protocol that offers a number of performance benefits over typical VPNs. Tailscale adds to WireGuard by adding automatic mesh configuration, single sign-on support, 2-multi-factor authentication, NAT traversal, and centralized Access Control Lists (ACLs).

So let’s say you’ve got employees spread out around the country (or world), and you want to securely let them access secure company resources like internal servers over VPN while letting public internet traffic run locally. TailScale works this way out of the box. It runs as an overlay network and only routes traffic between devices running Tailscale but doesn’t touch traffic not aimed at a Tailscale device. With this default setup, you can leave Tailscale running at all times on macOS or iOS without sending all your traffic through them.

To sum it up, Tailscale is an affordable VPN that requires no configuration, installs on any device in a few seconds, handles firewall rules for you, and works from anywhere. While my use case is 100% personal, you can see the benefits it could bring to enterprises everywhere. Tailscale is truly a VPN for the remote-work world. It’s one of those rare solutions that “just works.” Pricing starts at free for one user with up to 20 devices, and paid plans start at $5/month (paid annually). So, if you’re struggling to roll out VPN access to your entire company in a way that’s not stretching your team with troubleshooting, check out Tailscale. Its VPN so simple, I am not sure Apple or Google could have made it any easier. It works great on macOS and iPhone and iPad.

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What Is A Web Browser? How Does It Work?

A web browser, aka Internet browser, is a software application that lets people access the World Wide Web. It is used to locate, fetch and display content on the internet, including web pages, images, videos, documents, and other files. 

In other words, you can also call it a rendering engine whose job is to download a web page and render it in a way that people understand. Web pages are built upon HTML, which needs to be rendered in the layout displayed in the user interface.

For instance, Chrome offers built-in tools like Password Manager, Password Checkup, Anti-phishing, and more.

Before we start with how a web browser works, let’s have a brief look at the components of a browser that play an important role in its functioning. Post which, we’ll see the step-by-step working of a web browser.

Any web browser has two elements- front-end and back-end. The front end is the interface we interact with, which looks fairly simple. However, it’s the complex back end that facilitates the core functioning of a browser. A browser has the following main components:

The Browser Engine provides a link between the user interface and the rendering engine. It manages and manipulates the rendering engine based on inputs from various user interfaces.

The Rendering Engine renders the requested web page on the browser screen. A web page is a document commonly written in HTML- rendering engine converts this document and data to an understandable format so that users can see the desired site, image, or video.

It deals with HTML and XML documents and other files to generate the layout displayed in the user interface. The rendering engine can also work with other types of data with the help of certain plugins and extensions. Below are the rendering engines used by major web browsers:

Blink – Google Chrome, Opera, Microsoft Edge (previously used EdgeHTML).

WebKit – Used in Safari.

Gecko – Mozilla Firefox.

Trident – Internet Explorer.

Presto – Legacy rendering engine for Opera.

The JavaScript Interpreter, as the name suggests, interprets and executes the JavaScript code embedded in a website. The results are then sent to the rendering engine for display.

UI Backend helps to draw basic widgets like a select box, an input box, a window, a check box, etc. It uses the underlying operating system user interface methods for the same.

It is a uniform layer that the browser uses to store all its data, including Cookies, Local Storage, Session Storage, IndexedDB, WebSQL, and FileSystem.

It involves a multi-step process including DNS resolution, HTTP exchange between browser and web server, rendering, and so on, as follows:

Credits: HackerNoon

You enter a URL in the web browser.

The browser finds the IP address for the domain using DNS.

The browser initiates a connection with the server.

Next, it sends an HTTP request to the webserver.

The server handles the request and sends out an HTTP response.

The browser renders and displays the HTML content, i.e., the web page.

Below are the commonly used jargons that you might’ve read above or come across while reading about the internet, web, or browsers.

URL – Universal Resource Locator is the address of a given unique resource on the Web.

HTML – HTML stands for HyperText Markup Language, used for creating web pages and applications.

HTTP – HTTP is a protocol that allows the fetching of resources, like HTML documents. It is a client-server protocol, which means your web browser initiates requests.

IP Address – It identifies the location of a specific server that’s connected to the internet. Each website has its own unique IP address and can have multiple IP addresses when hosted at multiple locations. For example, a common IP address for Facebook is 157.240.241.35.

DNS – DNS or Domain Name System is the database that contains records of the domains. It helps discover websites using human-readable addresses.

Cookies – Cookies are the small pieces of data websites store on your device’s storage.

Google Chrome is currently the world’s most popular web browser with over 64% market share. It was first released in 2008. The browser uses Google’s Blink rendering engine. Here’s more about the evolution of Chrome over 12 years.

Microsoft Edge was first released in 2024 to replace Internet Explorer as the default browser on Windows 10. Later, it was made available for Android, iOS, and macOS.

It initially used the EdgeHTML rendering engine. However, in 2023, Microsoft rolled out the new Chromium-based Edge using the same rendering engine as Chrome, i.e., Blink. It still has a meager worldwide market share at a little over 3%.

Here’s how Edge has evolved from Internet Explorer.

It was acquired by a Chinese consortium led by Golden Brick Capital Private in 2024. Opera has recently released a dedicated Web 3 Crypto browser.

Safari is another browser popular amongst Apple product users. It first appeared in 2003 for Mac OS X, while the mobile version was introduced with iPhone OS 1 in 2007. It also had a Windows version, available from 2007 to 2012.

Safari uses WebKit rendering engine and has Google as the default search engine. It currently holds over 18% of the browser market share worldwide.

Samsung Internet

Brave Browser

Vivaldi Browser

UC Browser, etc.

The new developments in the Web 3.0 space might soon change how we use our browsers. Here are some Web 3.0 browsers that you may be interested in and yes, Brave is a part of it.

What Is Ageism At Work?

As you might expect, during the past century, discrimination has been less common in the workplace. This is due to the fact that a new generation of employers, HR managers, and employees have all learned the importance of an accessible work environment. Nonetheless, there is still a problem with age discrimination in the workplace.

How can ageism manifest itself? One may argue that a female CPA who is 28 years old is “too immature” to be a supervisor. An employee in her 60s is apparently searching for a job, but a job seeker in her 50s may be informed that the firm is seeking a fresh graduate who is “spirited and has no negative habits,” in order to dissuade you from attending industry conferences. “This month, let’s relax.” Although ageism can occur in both directions, the majority of complaints and research focus on the experiences of persons over 50.

AARP reports that 64% of employees have seen or been victims of age discrimination. Even though there is a wealth of evidence to refute popular misconceptions about older employees, the new way of thinking has not yet gained widespread acceptance. Consequently, it’s crucial to recognize the warning signs of ageism and be aware of your alternatives if you or a member of your family experiences it at work.

What does ageism mean?

Becoming a lawyer is the ideal place to begin.

The Age Discrimination Act (ADEA) was enacted in 1967. Age has since evolved into one of his “privileged qualities” at work. In other words, an employer is not allowed to treat a worker differently because of their age. This covers promotions, work instructions, hiring, and dismissal. On a side point, it’s crucial to remember that employees of small enterprises are not covered by this legal protection because companies with no more than twenty workers are excluded from their ADEA.

Consider the performance evaluation cycle now in motion. With an increase in the overall cost of living at the workplace, Joann obtains ordinary and below-average marks (COL). Josh is promoted to Finance Director, receives an excellent grade, a comparable COL raise, a performance bonus, and all of these things. Does age discrimination exist?

necessarily. Although it’s possible that younger accountants have a prejudice towards older workers, it’s also feasible that Josh’s performance was just better than Joan’s, with outcomes that were unaffected by age. The manager could have noticed Joann continually making errors, altering the structure of the account reconciliation to comply with new rules that were implemented earlier this year, or skipping certain crucial dates.

Josh, on the opposite hand, could have gone above and above to finish the work before the deadline. To understand and address any settlement concerns that existed before entering the organization, or to assist him more effectively than if another accountant at the company had missed his week that year due to illness, he took the effort to speak with professionals outside the department. It’s possible that you chose to take on more job close end.

This example was used to highlight the chaotic nature of human interaction rather than to suggest that ageism does not exist. It is essentially difficult to find two of her doing exactly the same. The contribution that each employee makes to a company is unique (even the same person over the years). And whether we like it or not, when we connect with people, we naturally notice and recognize their age. In order to create an inclusive workplace, it is essential to separate performance and age differences.

Steps toward eliminating ageism in the workplace Talk to HR

Speak with Human Resources if you encounter age discrimination at work. Do the team members have the tools they need to work along across generations? Is it possible if not? According to studies, group ageism lessens when generations interact. Speak with Human Resources to learn more about your coworkers and how to combat ageism in the workforce through company-wide meals, boot camps, and activities outside of work.

Get educated

It’s also crucial to know the fundamentals in the workplace rather than jumping to conclusions based on prejudices. At a young age, we are taught to use cliches, so it comes naturally to us. But, if businesses provide employees additional training to help them avoid reacting prematurely to prejudices, age discrimination in the workplace might be eradicated.

For instance, there is training in place to teach staff members about their peers and their skills rather than the preconception that they are too elderly to assist with initiatives that move quickly. Workers might be shocked to learn that this occurs frequently. Our initial judgments of others are wholly incorrect.

Don’t act on initial stereotypes

Indeed, it might be difficult to avoid making assumptions and preconceptions about new people the instant you meet them, but it is possible to develop this skill. Get to know everyone you work with by having one-on-one conversations with them. or schedule a meeting and go to lunch. You may have made assumptions about these folks that were wholly incorrect when you first met them.

Meet with a mentor group

You may understand how other generations are coping with ageism in the workforce by assembling a multigenerational network of mentors and meet often to discuss work and workplace problems. You can turn to our mentorship group for any work-related concerns as well as for assistance through the aging process. Several generations interacting reduces age prejudice among group members, according to studies. This is the precise aim.

Talk to your boss

Although it might be challenging to summon the guts to bring up ageism in the workplace, it’s crucial to draw your manager’s attention to it. You can bring to light circumstances that others might not have previously been aware of by discussing actual events that you have personally encountered. According to research, education has a significant role in lowering ageism globally.

Conclusion

In order for enterprises to cope with retirement and retire better, businesses must collaborate. If a business wants to get rid of elderly employees to save money, it might partner with a business searching for part-timers to divide the yearly salary of the departing employee.

The original business may now hire additional staff thanks to the freed-up finances. This may be the reason they are transitioning out older workers, who often earn the highest salaries.

Organizations all over the world may significantly reduce the number of times that employees deal with the effects of ageism during the course of their careers by coming up with creative solutions. The organization may decide which initiatives are the most suitable and efficient once it has a defined starting point. Organizations differ in their criteria.

There isn’t a fix that works for everyone. Regardless of the strategy you choose, it’s critical to monitor its success over time as opposed to believing that making one or many modifications has resolved your issue. Also, the activities implemented are not as successful as those of the present generation, who could otherwise feel intimidated and respond hostilely, much like the actions performed to aid previously underprivileged populations. To prevent anger from privileged groups, it must be clearly explained as a win-win opportunity.

Motorola I1 Is World’S First Push

Motorola i1 is World’s First Push-to-Talk Android Smartphone

Sprint is continuing to push ahead with their Android-powered handset revolution. This time around, they’ve got their hands on the world’s first Android-powered Push-to-Talk handset. It’s going to be utilizing Sprint’s Nextel Direct Connect network, so if you’re a fan of that kind of thing, this device should be right up your alley. Other than that, the features are just about as standard as they get.

It’s got the 3.1-inch HVGA touchscreen display; the 5MP camera with flash; MicroSD card slot; WiFi; and EVDO Rev.A. It’s also got Bluetooth for all your handset-free talking, and Motorola has taken it upon themselves to pre-load the Opera Mobile Mini web browser, and the Swype keyboard. It’s got some means to protect itself from dust, drops, rain, and vibration, all up to par with military specifications.

Unfortunately, Motorola is telling us that we’ll have to wait until summer for this thing to show up, but we don’t know how much it will be. With CTIA 2010 going on this week, we’re sure that we’ll see some kind of word on this before the end of the week. Is the i1 something you’d be interested in? Full press release just below.

Press Release:

Motorola and Sprint Announce World’s First Push-To-Talk Android-Powered Smartphone – Motorola i1

Combines military spec ruggedness with the latest in smartphone technology, into a sleek touch screen design

LAS VEGAS – CTIA WIRELESS – March 22, 2010 – Motorola, Inc. (NYSE: MOT) and Sprint (NYSE: S) today broke new ground with the announcement of Motorola i1, the world’s first push-to-talk Android™-powered smartphone. Sleek and attractive, yet durable, Motorola i1 is the first iDEN device to carry the features of a modern smartphone including a 3.1-inch touch screen, Wi-Fi®, optimized browsing experience with the latest Opera Mini 5 browser, access to thousands of apps and a push-to-talk experience that includes exciting new features. Sprint will begin offering Motorola i1 this summer.

With more than 17 years of expertise, Sprint is the industry leader in push-to-talk, serving the world’s largest push-to-talk community with millions of Nextel Direct Connect subscribers on the fastest national push-to-talk network. Nextel Direct Connect® has set the industry standard for push-to-talk worldwide. More U.S. workers communicate in less than a second with Nextel Direct Connect than with any other push-to-talk service.

“Motorola remains focused on delivering differentiated Android experiences within our product portfolio,” said Mark Shockley, senior vice president, Motorola Mobile Devices. “With the Motorola i1, we’re excited to offer iDEN users the opportunity to enjoy a feature-rich smartphone with push-to-talk, whether it’s for work or play.”

“As the first Nextel Direct Connect Android smartphone, Motorola i1 with Wi-Fi offers a powerful tool for our customers with access to thousands of applications in the Android Market™,” said Fared Adib, vice president – Product Development, Sprint. “With rugged durability, a full touchscreen and 5.0 megapixel camera, Motorola i1 gives push-to-talk customers a compelling smartphone that can withstand some of the harshest environments.”

Motorola i1 enhances the push-to-talk experience with the ability to view who is calling regardless of what application you are in, whether you are managing your emails, checking your calendar, composing messages or viewing media.

Must-have Features and Nextel Direct Connect

With solid body construction that meets military specifications for protection against dust, shock, vibration and blowing rain1, Motorola i1 is designed for those who work and play hard. It automatically syncs and integrates office and personal information such as emails, calendar appointments and contacts. Key features include: Popular business tools such as Microsoft Document Viewer and corporate sync ensure Word or PowerPoint files can be accessed on the go.

A 5 megapixel camera with flash, geo-tagging and panoramic capabilities provides crisp photos and clearly displays them on the vibrant 3.1-inch HVGA screen. Video can also be recorded and stored on a provided microSD for sharing or future viewing straight from the device.

The latest Opera Mini 5 browser enables quick browsing over the Nextel National Network and Wi-Fi. The Android browser allows you to see web pages and Flash 8-enabled sites in full view using Wi-Fi.

Motorola i1 can be continuously customized with thousands of applications from Android Market™.

Application development information for Motorola i1 is available on the Sprint Application Developer web site at chúng tôi Sprint offers developers a free sandbox with iDEN capabilities to test their apps. Sprint is a charter member of the Open Handset Alliance™ and the Sprint Application Developer Program has been providing tools for third-party developers since Sprint first launched the Wireless Web on its phones in 2001.

New Relationship with Mike Rowe

In addition to introducing Android into push-to-talk devices, Motorola is also bringing a new face to its iDEN portfolio: Mike Rowe. Mike has worked as an apprentice at more than 250 of the toughest jobs in America, and his experience and reputation as a hard worker are a perfect fit for Motorola’s iDEN portfolio. The new relationship announced today will feature Mike as a spokesperson for Motorola’s rugged push-to-talk devices.

“Typically, the work I’ve done tends to take its toll on my phones and I end up breaking ’em on the job,” said Mike. “It’ll be fun to use one that’s not afraid of a little dirt.”

Motorola is also supporting mikeroweWORKS, a public relations campaign for skilled labor that Mike launched on Labor Day of 2008.

“It’s really gratifying to see some big companies getting behind the notion that working hard is just as important as working smart,” said Mike. “I’m happy to talk about a phone that can do both.”

Availability and Pricing

Sprint’s business customers can also select Sprint Business Advantage Messaging & Data PlansSM, starting at $59.99 per month. This includes unlimited Direct Connect; Wireless Web; unlimited text, picture and video messaging; 200 anytime minutes with nationwide long distance and Any Mobile, Anytime, unlimited nights and weekends starting at 7 p.m. and GPS Navigation.

[via Motorola]

Making The Grade: Is Apple Tv A Worthy Add

The Apple TV has always been one of Apple’s more interesting products for schools and businesses. In 2010, the second generation model shrunk the size (compared to the original one) and added a new feature called AirPlay. AirPlay was the spiritual successor to AirTunes which allowed you to send audio wirelessly to your speakers. AirPlay allows you to stream video and audio from macOS and iOS.

Fast forward to present day, and we have the 4th generation Apple TV released in 2024 and the 4K model released in 2023. Both of these models run tvOS and include the App Store. They also included AirPlay. So where are we at with it being used in schools and the enterprise?

Apple has recognized the potential of Apple TVs being installed around schools and in conference rooms as they have added fairly robust MDM support into recent versions of tvOS. These MDM controls make it easier to setup and maintain a fleet of Apple TVs. It’s clear Apple is positioning it as an accessory add-on for every iPad deployment. Is it something schools should consider in every classroom?

At $149, the Apple TV is not a cheap device. This price doesn’t even include the additional cost to enroll it in your MDM. By the time you add all of that together, it’s an expensive solution. I think the better solution for the classroom is a TV with an HDMI cord with a Lightning adaptor. Is it as fancy as being about to wirelessly project an iPad on the screen? No, but it’s super reliable.

AirPlay is a great solution when it works, but when it doesn’t there is no troubleshooting an IT administrator can do (especially on the fly). I’m not knocking AirPlay alone here, as I think most of the wireless display technology I’ve used isn’t worth the cost or the hassle. If you are thinking about a school with 30+ classrooms, are you ready to support 30+ Apple TVs and all that goes along with it? A large TV mounted on the wall, a rolling cart, or a ceiling mounted projector with HDMI is a much easier solution for teachers and students to manage.

Apple Classroom is another reason why I don’t think Apple TV is necessary for K–12. One of the arguments for Apple TV is that students can wirelessly share what they are working on with the rest of the class. With Apple Classroom, teachers can view a student’s iPad at any time. If they are plugged into HDMI, everyone will be able to watch. This solution is also much faster as the teacher can quickly move between students vs. students connecting and disconnecting manually to AirPlay.

One thing that is on the horizon that I haven’t discussed is AirPlay 2. While it looks to be an exciting technology for the home, I don’t think it adds much to school’s technology stack.

Looking ahead, if Apple released an “AirPlay receiver” type device for around $49 that was aimed at K–12 and business conference rooms, I might be interested. The AirPlay experience is going to have to be as fast and reliable as plugging in a cord, though. Until then, I have a hard time putting one in every classroom.

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Moblin: A First Look At Intel’s Open

Moblin is an Intel-created open-source operating system for netbooks and, specifically, the kind of people who use them.

Fundamentally, Moblin is just another distribution of Linux (based on Fedora), although it’s one that benefits from some unique tweaks and a radical user-interface. However, traditional apps take a back seat, and some you might expect are missing (there’s no GIMP or chúng tôi for example). Moblin is based on the familiar GNOME/GTK desktop, like distros such as Ubuntu, but this is largely invisible because of the UI improvements.

Any offline functionality tends to be geared around playing movies or music, so you can keep up with The Wire or Britney’s latest while out of range of a wifi base station.

Moblin is open source, and free of charge, so you can download and try it yourself. Like most of Intel’s mainstream processors, the Atom is essentially an x86 chip, so you should be able to run Moblin on any computer, or in a virtualised environment. However, it requires 3D graphics drivers so is far from optimal in VMware or VirtualBox, and is also optimised for low-resolution widescreen displays. Additionally, its hardware support is deliberately limited to what is usually found in netbook computers.

The first beta of Moblin v2.0 has just been released, and I decided to take a play with it.

Getting Started

The beta nature of this release is very evident and I got off to a bad start. The wifi card in my Dell Mini 9 wasn’t recognized, so I had to review the OS while tethered by a cable to my Internet router. Additionally, I had couldn’t sign into some of the online services, such as Twitter, because the Moblin sign-in software just didn’t work.

These are severe bugs for a beta release, and render the OS effectively useless, even for those who don’t mind taking on the chin the occasional crash or loss of data.

It felt a little like the Moblin developers have backed the wrong horse here. I would have liked to have seen tie-ins with the likes of Gmail and Google Docs. Where’s Google Gears, so my data can be backed up locally?

But perhaps I’m getting ahead of myself here. Let’s start with a description of how Moblin looks and feels.

Look and Feel

Put simply, Moblin looks and feels terrific. We’re talking Apple-like levels of attractiveness. Similarly, intuition is the name of the game with the user-interface, and it invites an Apple-like sensibility of following your nose to work out how things work.

Across the top of the screen is a range of icons representing various activities you can do. This is effectively a floating toolbar, because it disappears when you don’t need it. When the mouse runs over the toolbar, its icons jiggle about in a neat way, a feature provided by the Clutter OpenGL graphics and animation toolkit that underpins the whole OS. This gives everything a fun feel, and reminds you that this is not a business-oriented OS. Moblin is for things you want to do, not things you have to do.

Zoned Out

Key to Moblin’s interface philosophy is the concept of zones. However, the term is used in two separate and distinct ways. The first usage is the ‘myzone’. This gets its own toolbar button and effectively provides an aggregated home page where, for want of a better way of saying it, you can see at a glance what’s happening in your online world. Recent twitters from your friends appear here, as do thumbnail previews of your favourite websites. Calendar and To Do reminders also appear at the left.

The second use of the word is to provide what are effectively virtual desktops, which is a method of overcoming the limitations of small netbook screen sizes. Any application you start must be assigned to an existing zone, or to a new zone. More than one application can be assigned to a zone, and perhaps this lets you see the benefit — the zone switching tool (which has its own toolbar button) lets you select between not only zones but also applications within a zone. If you’ve ever used any of Mac OS X’s Spaces and Expose features, you’ll already be aware of the overall concept.

Far better would be if the application was automatically assigned to a new zone. The zone manager could then be used for the more sensible purpose of aggregating and managing existing program windows.

Criticism

There’s not yet any way of customizing Moblin, outside of switching the wallpaper. This is strange because that’s definitely something its users are going to want to do. Netbooks travel around with their users, and probably spend a large part of their time in the user’s bedroom. They’re the ultimate personal computer, and as such people are going to want to customise every aspect of them.

On a technical level, I wonder why Moblin uses Gecko for its web rendering. The browser identifies itself as Firefox 3.5, so it appears that it includes the snappy new TraceMonkey JavaScript engine that massively boosts performance with online apps. But the smart money really is on Webkit right now, and Google Chromium in particular. Webkit is simply much, much faster, and as such is definitely better-suited to relatively slow computing devices such as netbooks.

Finally, ignoring Google’s online services is just crazy. I appreciate Google is a giant, and we should therefore view it with suspicion, but the fact is that Google dominates the online world right now. Practically everything I do online involves Google at some point, and I’m not unusual. Not integrating Google services within Moblin is as stupid as a new word processor being unable to load and save Microsoft Word documents, for example. However, it’s worth noting that Moblin is wisely seeking contributions from the community via an SDK. This might see the situation change in the future.

Conclusion

What’s so exciting about the netbook platform is that it gives operating system designers a chance to start again.

They can forget the old-fashioned metaphor of the desktop interface that’s been around since the 1970s. They can even abandon the file system concept. Instead, they can create an operating system quite simply geared-up for online activities. The computer becomes a gateway. It ceases to be an end in itself.

Such a plan might sound functionally limiting, but it isn’t. Far from it. Provided the operating system is built on a browser with a capable rendering engine (i.e. Gecko, or Webkit), the user is able to do just about anything they would normally do via online applications. This will become increasingly true over the coming years.

I like Moblin. I like it a lot. That it’s open source and freely available is the icing on the cake. This is one of the few examples of open source taking the lead, and pushing the concept of social computing further than it’s ever been before.

What I like more, though, is what Moblin is trying to do. It might be that Moblin doesn’t reach its destination but, as often happens with computing, Moblin’s gift to the world may turn out to be a proof of concept.

Keir Thomas is the author of several books on Ubuntu, including the free-of-charge Ubuntu Pocket Guide and Reference .

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