% fortune -ae paul murphy

Still pushing the obvious: Sun Ray

I ran across three interesting blog entries this morning; they're by Bob Gourley -he's the CTO at crucial Point, a consultancy focused on the nexus between national security and IT.

All three were in praise of Sun Ray - some excerpts:

From an entry dated March 11, 2008:

The threat to our computers and networks is very real. Dozens of millions of malicious bots have been projected to be operating in PCs. Hackers have penetrated sensitive, seemingly well protected corporate sites. Denial of service attacks have been conducted against businesses and even countries. And press reporting indicates even sensitive US government computers have been penetrated. Leaders in allied countries have been quoted in the press saying their PCs have been compromised as well.


From an entry dated September 26, 2008:

For the past few weeks I've been using a unique device -- a totally stateless laptop.

It is the Tadpole M1400 Ultra-Thin Client Wireless Sun Ray.

Here are some things this device can enable for enterprise users:

From an entry dated October 3, 2008:

In August Sun announced that they had nearly doubled their shipments of thin clients from the previous quarter. That's pretty cool. In fact, it is Kurzweilian.

What do I mean by Kurzwelian? Advanced technologies like this can sometimes creep up on us because they seem like they are just growing slowly. Doubling from a low number doesn't get your attention at first. But when a technology continues to double in adoption year after year pretty soon it becomes almost ubiquitous. Seems like thin client computing is right on that curve.

From my perspective he's preaching to the converted here - but people keep buying PCs, and then complaining about the lack of data security; about poor reliability; about growing costs, disappearing benefits, and the sheer time and labor it takes to keep the PC enterprise tottering along. Gourley clearly thinks he's found the answer - and not only did I agree with him when I was running WIndows 3.0 on HyperSPARC servers and NCD 19C smart displays, but I haven't seen a convincing counter-argument since.

So is he wrong? and, if you none of the arguments you can think of extend beyond the idea that million blondes can't be wrong, then why haven't you changed yet?

Paul Murphy wrote and published The Unix Guide to Defenestration. Murphy is a 25-year veteran of the I.T. consulting industry, specializing in Unix and Unix-related management issues.