Home Alliance Platform(s) for
Computing, Entertainment, and
Control
Digital Equipment Corporation
Platform Creation Experience.
Standards & Platforms Heuristics.
Future Mini-Vision for the.
September 20, 2002
© 2002
Gordon Bell, Microsoft Research
[email protected]
© 2002
“The future is already here –
it’s just not evenly distributed.”
Points to cover
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© 2002
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DEC: Platforms made it and destroyed it
Standards aka platform creation heuristics
Homely environments and platforms for
 Computing and media merger
 Entertainment: audio, games, TV, video
(including security)
 Communication akaTelephony
 Control??
Plan/Vision: Build from strength & needs…
 create the IP Infrastructure for computing,
 add media capture and management
 evolve telephony, security, and control?
Platforms are enabling standards…
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Machine platforms enable endless products –
Bobcats, Cuisinarts … Computers.
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Great platforms preserve and enhance
investments e.g. software, data … t,$
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A good platform stimulates applications, use
and “complementors”
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Are we talking platform, peripheral,
component, or just another random product?
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How do you architect platforms?
© 2002
Generality
Computer Platform Evolution
1.
In the beginning: Programs rode on bare metal…
Program components were collected and loaded
together into the computer, and ran. “A true PC”.
2.
The computer and organization take charge:
Batch operating systems… job control, etc.
3.
Timesharing environments: services e.g. editor,
language providing a “virtual computer” to each user
Personal computer… evolution followed timesharing
5.
WWW: The Ultimate Client-Server environment.
6.
GRID, .NET et al… now computers can use the web
© 2002
4.
© 2002
Physical layers of integration (t)
Vertically integrated vs dis-integrated
1950s-present
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1982-present
Each
e.g. CAD, CAM
Levels-of-integration:
company & ...
sub-industry
Customer-specific
WP, SS, Mail
provides
Word... Excel
Professional apps
every
(e.g. accounting)
Lang's & Dbases
level-ofGeneric apps (Word)
Oracle...Sybase
integration
Language & database
(e.g.
Windows, VendorIX
Operating system
mainframes
AIX ... HP/UX
Hardware platform
… minis)
Hardware components
Disk, tapes, etc
to
Circuits and processor
ensure
architecture
proprietary
6 Microprocessor
environments
Keiretsus
The IBM “Mainframe” & "IBM PC“
© 2002
User Data and Content
Org. apps
Org. apps
Prof.apps
Prof.apps
Generic
Generic 10,000s
apps
apps
binary std.
binary std.
Std. Langs
Std. Langs
Oper.Sys. IBM
Oper.Sys. few
Microsoft
Hardware
Hardware Fujistu,
1000s
Platform
Platform Hitachi,
Inst.Set
Inst.Set IBM
few
Arch
Intel
Arch IBM
Intel Microsoft“
IBM 360
IBM PC"
DEC Platform “Experiences”
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© 2002
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Generality was the over-arching architecture focus
GB: “The one fatal mistake is too few address bits.”
c1970, 1978, 1990.
PDP-11 (1969-85) & VAX (1977-1999). IPV4 & IPv6
The importance of standards increased with time
 1960s: platform to preserve software investment
 1970s: ISA, bus (Unibus), Language(s), O/Ss
 1980s: O/S (including a database) and apps
VAX/VMS Architecture (and architects)
 VAX architectural office defined VAX.
 VMS defined & implemented by Dave Cutler
 VAX Strategy (CGB)… many computer sizes/styles
with interconnects for one program platform
DIX– Ethernet, the world’s interconnect standard IBM
Token Ring standard made $$$s; cost the world
Three PCs c1982. Platform failure!!!
Unibus: for building block
computers 1970s-1990s
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Elegance - One, general purpose switch to connect:
 processor and memory
 i/o and memory
 processor and i/o
 even i/o and i/o
Longevity
 i/o communication remained for 15 years
 processor and memory links became specialized
Progenitor of
 Nearly all computers, e.g. “multis”
Memories
if any,
I/O
© 2002
Procesors
15 m> 1 m > .20cm.
comm
© 2002
VAX Strategy
as presented
to BOD 12/78.
Valid until
88-92
Ethernet: The Unibus of the 80s
(UART of the 90s)
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Ethernet designed for
 DEC: Interconnected VAXen, terminals
 Xerox: Enabled distributed computing (SUN, PCs)
Ethernet evolved into nets, boxes, and an industry
Distributed computing was very hard, evolving into
 expensive, asymmetric, hard to maintain,
 client server for a VendorIX
 apps are bound to a configuration & VendorIX!
 network is NOT the computer
Internet is less hierarchical, democratic, peer-peer
compute
server
© 2002
Clients
2Km
print
server
file
server
comm
server
Gordon’s standards heuristics
1.
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6.
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8.
9.
© 2002
10.
Either make the standard or follow one. If you fail you do it twice.
If the standard changes, change rapidly
Revolution: It’s ok to foment revolution when a standard is wrong.
Somebody has to be responsible.
Minimize the number of “responsible” people, organizations.
Too much involvement guarantees failure.
Almost any standard is often better than none. Progress from regression.
Provide and plan for evolution; it’s often the fastest way.
The evolution of a real standard is likely to beat the “ideal”.
Base the standard on experience, not on a committee design; if you
haven’t lived with a proposed standard, don’t adopt it.
The only way to ensure a real standard is to implement it.
Make the standard precise, understandable, applicable, and useful at
several levels of detail.
Only one or a few standards are needed or can exist for the same
function; a standard should aim toward unifying a set of alternatives.
Ideally, an interface (or platform) standard should define the Interface
between sets of parts, not just two parts.
Having too many standards is like having none.
© 2002
Gordon’s very own Vision for the
evolution of Home Networks
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We’re on a quest for cyberization
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Three networks need to converge for:
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computation,
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communication and
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entertainment
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A look inside the home
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A look at the black boxes
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Integrating audio, photos, video and TV
© 2002
"The PC is going to be the place where you store the
information … really the center of control“
Billg 1/7/2001
MyLifeBits is an “on-going” project following CyberAll
to “cyberize” all of personal bits!
Memory recall of books, CDs, communication,
papers, photos, video
Photos of physical object collections
Elimination of all physical stores & objects
Content source for home media: ambiance,
entertainment, communication, interaction Freestyle
for CDs, photos, TV content, videos
All telephone conversations and messages
Goal: to understand the 1 TByte PC:
need, utility, cost, feasibility, challenge & tools.
Cyberspace:
A Network of ... Networks of ...
Continent
Body
Region/
Intranet
Home
Campus
© 2002
World
Cyberspace: one, two or three
networks?
Data
Telephony
© 2002
Television
Television
Games
world
CDs
>97
VCR
Cable
Broadcast
LECs
DBS
TV
Cable
ITV?
I’net
The
Internet
WireCable less
phone
LECs
Telephony
world
Long
Dist.
PBX I’net
Phone
LAN
PBX
RADIO
© 2002
Pvt. clients/
WANs servers
Wireless
LANs
Datacom
world
The Colliding Worlds of TV, Telephony
& Datacom a.k.a. Computing & Internet
© 2002
Vcr, settop, media and channel
co’s for Television
Digital Rights Management…
unless MPAA provides a reasonable
market for media, the world will be
wholly converted into thieves.
Cable
etc
Set-top
“Open vs DVI
Monitor
Encoder
1.
2.
© 2002
3.
Provide a “reasonable” market and industry for
renting, owning, viewing, etc. content
Make it illegal to record video, police every hard
drive, and prosecute users
Eliminate the “open video” interface and replace
with DVI
© 2002
Gaming 2-channel intercom network
Den PC
Jake’s Room
PC
Chris’s Room
PC
Bonus Room
PC
Intercom to
next door
Rec Room
Gaming PC
Bonus Room
Gaming PC
Theater Room
Gaming PC
Family Room
Gaming PC
Data Network
Brianv’s
Home
Fiber to next
door house
Den Color
Printer
NT Server
w/BackOffice
Phast
Processor
Fax
AM/F M
Receiver
Smart
Light
Switches
Room
Keypads
200 DVD
Jukebox
To Theater
System
CH 93
600 CD
Jukebox
CD/DVD
Catalog
…
Phast
Controller
Sprinker
Valves
Security
camera
CH 92
CH 90
DSS
Caller ID
Moisture
Sensors
To CATV Outlets
around house
CH 94
Audio
Zones
Intercom
Zones
…
…
Sound
System
Bonus Room
Laser Printer
Den Laser
Printer
Modulaors
Spliters
CATV
TCI Cable
CH 91
VMail
Thermostats
8 analog lines
Radiant
Heat Valves
Garage door
openers
Garage door
sensors
4 VMail lines
Security
System
20 digital lines
Sensors in
House
Phones
PBX
64 pair
phone cable
US West
Phone System
gbell small home network hub for
wired and wireless data, security,
CATV, and telephony… no free lunch
© 2002
•DSL (IP dial tone) and cable data
•Ethernet and 802.11b (2.4 GHz) internal
•Telephony and 2.4 GHz telephony
•Fax switching
•Power and UPS
•Security
•Cable TV
© 2002
Living room wiring
© 2002
A Digital Transformer for Audio:
Gateway’s Connected Home Audio
Player built by Turtle Beach
© 2002
Home media network with Digital
Transformers…
Existing Home Entertainment Centers
...
set top
PVR
HDTV receiver
© 2002
radio
CD
DVD
cassette
remotes
POWERFAULT DATA ALARM
camera
TV
HEWLETT
PACKARD
amp


DVD
Sniffer Server
monitoring/analysis
surround
speakers
© 2002
The “Black PC” aka DHEC: Digital Home
Entertainment Center
© 2002
A digital hub
© 2002
© 2002
Media center 2
© 2002
Scenes from Media Center
© 2002
Robie, a Mobile
Robot for
Telepresence,
surveillance &
video
conferencing
with messenger
access.
© 2002
Telepresence: being there
© 2002
The End
platform, peripheral, protocol …
appliance, application,
architecture, & interface
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© 2002
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Architecture
Interface
Protocol
Platform
& peripheral
System: One person’s system is
another person’s component
Component
Appliances: e.g. camera, editor,
Application and appolution
User as in ui, gui, vui
"Standards" Types
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© 2002
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industry i.e. de facto one company -intel/Microsoft;
IBM 360…
proprietary VendorIX - the n-UNIX dialect platforms
trade-mark UNIX™ AT&T >Novell
PR standards - OSF + COSE =1170
“open” if it’s LINUX… but watch it go proprietary
de jour, or faux = proprietary + ? standards
gov’t & int’l bodies – e.g. CCITT, IEEE, OSI, POSIX)
de jure >>government mandated - ADA, DES, OSI,
VHDL
implicit platform proprietary database/app -- Oracle
cross-industry forum - e.g. JPEG & MPEG
consortia – e.g. ATM, Bluetooth, Xopen, OSF, OMG
company centered consortia - e.g. PowerOpen,
Sparc Int.
chaotic - The first Internet & MOSAIC
© 2002
"Standards" Types & Suppliers
industry i.e. de facto one company with a common system
for PCs to multiprocessors (Intel/Microsoft); IBM 360,
370… evolution
proprietary UNIX VendorIX platform suppliers that
advertise open-ness & compatibility, but are platform
lock-ins ... e.g. self-incompatible SUN environments
a trade-mark, UNIX™ AT&T's failed effort sold to another
disinterested party (Novell)
self-declared or PR standards (OSF & COSE)
open or de jure a slow-moving, gov't & international bodies
defining irrelevant standards (ATM, Bluetooth, POSIX,
OSI)
implicit Database suppliers with cross-platform databases &
proprietary apps (Oracle ...Sybase)
explicit Cross-platform environment builders
(Visix...Powersoft)
wanna be de facto consortium of 2-3 companies defining 23 sets of environments (Apple, IBM)
Faux standards = proprietary + real standards
Section: de facto vs
de jure vs "open" standards
"open-ness" is meaningless, irrelevant,& non-existent
“standard” usually means different or not the same
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© 2002
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An open system (IEEE P1003.0) is one that implements
sufficient open specifications* for interfaces, services, and
supporting formats to enable properly engineered apps
software to:
 1. be ported with minimal or no changes to a wide range
of systems
 2. interoperate with other apps on local & remote
systems
 3. interact with users in a style that facilitates user
portability.
*Open specs are public & maintained by an "open",
consensus process to accommodate new technology (t)
consistent with international standards.
Tests for apps portability, compatibility,
and platforms open-ness
© 2002
Is
there a single source file for all apps for
all ports of an app across multiple
platforms?
Is there a single user manual & training
course for all ports of an app across
multiple platforms?
Is there one format for the removable
media & server for all ports of an app
across multiple platforms?
Can an arbitrary Client-Server apps
interoperate across multiple vendor
platforms running either Client or Server?
Standards, Portability,
Interoperability, and Open-ness
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Standards are aimed at portability & interoperability, however user
investment is data and the apps that interpret that data
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Portability is the ability to move apps, data, and people
among “computer” system architectures.
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Interoperability is the ability for people and programs
to exchange information in a meaningful way.

An open system (IEEE P1003.0) is one that implements sufficient open
specifications* for interfaces, services, and supporting formats to enable
properly engineered applications software to:
1. be ported with minimal or no changes to a wide range of systems

2. interoperate with other apps on local & remote systems

3. interact with users in a style that facilitates user portability.
*Open specs are public & maintained by an "open", consensus process to
accommodate new technology (t) consistent with international standards.
© 2002
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User
User
App
Dbase1
Dbase2
UNIX2-1 UNIX2-2
Platform Platform
Micro1
Micro2
User
App
App
UNIX1
User
Dbasek
UNIXj-1 UNIXj-2
Dbase10
UNIX2
Platform Platform
Hardware platform,
VendorIX, dbase,
app, user chain
UNIX75
Platform
Micro6
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