The computing pendulum has swung back to dumb terminals and service bureaus – will it swing back?
Those of us who’ve used computers for a while remember when we did our work at ‘dumb terminals’, which did nothing other than connect us to the mainframe. Often work was submitted in batch to a service bureau which processed all the transactions at night so we could get updated reports in the morning.
The pendulum then swung to having all the software and data in the workstation at your desk. That requires a far more powerful machine and eliminates reliance on the service bureau. The mainframe was less important in the era of distributed computing.
My friend John Bredehoft has a thoughtful post on the swinging pendulum in computing, What if you don’t know that you’re living in the cloud?
The cloud has moved us back to what used to be the dumb server world.
John primary point is the danger that exists for people who don’t know they are working with a dumb terminal.
Check out John’s post. It’s a superb overview of where we were, where we are now, and where we might go. His next to last paragraph starts with
Some time within the next few years, there will be a bit of a backlash against cloud computing.
His closing comment:
And the pendulum will swing again.