This blog is highly personal, makes no attempt at being politically correct, will occasionaly offend your sensibility, and certainly does not represent the opinions of the people I work with or for.
Pascal's ideal computer
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From my previous entry the reader must have inferred the following interesting thing: while a lot of people worry about the synchronisation of data between their machines (for instance, from my observations, it looks like I am the only person in the universe without a Dropbox account, or any other cloud storage account for personal data), I solved that problem right from the beginning by deciding (when I got my first laptop) that I would have the (same) machine with me all the time. It only sounds nerdy because a laptop is bigger than a smart phone and has its own keyboard, but the very idea of carrying a powerful digital device on self all the time is in fact very common. With this principle in place, the focus has then been for me to ensure that if that little baby has a sudden accident (broken, stolen, etc), it would just be enough for me to go to the nearest Apple Store, get a new one, then move to the nearest backup drive (wherever that might be) and then spend few hours following my installation/configuration playbook, before carry on working like nothing happened. The only difference will be me mentally referring to the new machine as Lucille.v[n+1]/alexandra.

That being said, the question now is what would an ideal world be for me ? What is it that I really want ? The answer is simple.

I would like both my data and my operating system to be available on the net. Not necessarily within the jurisdiction of a given cloud hosting company, as it could be on a peer to peer network or some sort (with Home being one of the nodes). It would reside there, of course, encrypted. Then when I use any computer, and not necessarily my own machine, but really any computer, the machine downloads both my OS and my data and runs that. When I am done, the updated data is propagated onto the network and if I have applied any updates to the OS, that gets propagated to.

In other words, I carry my own machine because I want both continuity and availability in the OS (and the particular settings I use) and in the data I am using, and turns out that the best way there has ever been to achieve that continuity, so far, was to have both on me all the time, but this is just a consequence of the fact that the internet is still not what it should be: universally available, even from deep within a cave or on the ISS, as well as insanely fast. In a world like this, I could lose my physical machine (merely a screen and a keyboard) and not have any installs to do when I get a new one; due to the decoupling between the OS and data on one side, and the physical machine on the other side.

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