Author Topic: Future death of the personal computer?  (Read 1525 times)

David Graser

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Thank You
  • -Given: 0
  • -Receive: 67
  • Posts: 553
    • View Profile
Re: Future death of the personal computer?
« Reply #15 on: February 20, 2020, 09:17:28 pm »
My problem with the cloud is that one is storing their personal and business information on someone else's server.    I want none of my info on anyone else's computer but my own, even if it is more work to do so.

Dave Yeo

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Thank You
  • -Given: 11
  • -Receive: 167
  • Posts: 2328
    • View Profile
Re: Future death of the personal computer?
« Reply #16 on: February 20, 2020, 09:46:27 pm »
It is handy for stuff that you don't mind being public such as GPL source code. Also you can encrypt stuff before putting it on a cloud.

Hakuchi

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Thank You
  • -Given: 24
  • -Receive: 3
  • Posts: 53
    • View Profile
Re: Future death of the personal computer?
« Reply #17 on: February 20, 2020, 10:02:25 pm »
It is handy for stuff that you don't mind being public such as GPL source code. Also you can encrypt stuff before putting it on a cloud.

Yeah. Make encrypted slices of compressed archive and stuff it into do-no-evil 10gb per slice ... or just make proper zip-bombs and put those in there and see how the beast likes them when crunching through your bits and bytes :D
//
白痴

David Kiley

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Thank You
  • -Given: 5
  • -Receive: 0
  • Posts: 67
    • View Profile
Re: Future death of the personal computer?
« Reply #18 on: February 21, 2020, 09:25:44 am »
Many of our applications are out of date, and better handled by more modern software. All the latest versions are cloud-based and eventually trickle back down to the PC. But I'm used to the OS/2 apps, so I only change when I have to.
Well I envy your lack of attachment  to older software and maybe even os/2 from the sounds of it. Personally I love certain old software like smartsuite, so don't see myself changing from it unless I really have to.

When I was younger I felt technology was always moving forward and making progress (with personal computers,  the Internet, PDAs and then smartphones) but I feel like in the last 5-10 years it has really gone a direction I don't consider progress,
Before personal computers, people had to rent usage of shared computer resources on workstation and mainframes.
The whole idea of the personal computer was to give you your own computing resources that you owned.
So it ironically seems to be back sliding to renting computing resources again, which doesn't seem like progress to me.

Devices like Alexa also seem silly to me, like it gives little real return and instead just pushes consumerism. Whereas the PC actually made a difference in the lives of regular people, with things like spreadsheets, organizational software, word processing, research applications, drawing and image editors etc. The Alexa on the other hand adds very little real value, like no one really needs a device that can turn on music when you just have to click play on your phone.. or it can turn on your lights as if it is difficult to hit a switch. Just really don't see the appeal.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2020, 09:49:02 am by David Kiley »

David Kiley

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Thank You
  • -Given: 5
  • -Receive: 0
  • Posts: 67
    • View Profile
Re: Future death of the personal computer?
« Reply #19 on: February 21, 2020, 09:47:23 am »
I'm concerned about privacy, but it's not like OS/2 has any protection against snooping.
Isn't OS/2 generally considered pretty secure?

Paul Smedley

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Thank You
  • -Given: 12
  • -Receive: 55
  • Posts: 477
    • View Profile
Re: Future death of the personal computer?
« Reply #20 on: February 21, 2020, 09:56:47 am »
Security by obscurity maybe..... If you're going to write malware, why would you target OS/2 given it's miniscule market share?

David Kiley

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Thank You
  • -Given: 5
  • -Receive: 0
  • Posts: 67
    • View Profile
Re: Future death of the personal computer?
« Reply #21 on: February 21, 2020, 10:00:08 am »
Security by obscurity maybe..... If you're going to write malware, why would you target OS/2 given it's miniscule market share?
Yeah, I know Security by obscurity is supposed to be not really considered security, but in reality it is right, since like you said, no one is really going to bother with making viruses and trying to hack OS/.2.

Dave Yeo

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Thank You
  • -Given: 11
  • -Receive: 167
  • Posts: 2328
    • View Profile
Re: Future death of the personal computer?
« Reply #22 on: February 21, 2020, 05:17:21 pm »
The browser is a weak point. There was a case years back of something trying to run C:\WINDOWS\CMD.EXE from the browser, it turned out ours was too buggy for it to work as well as Windows cmd.exe not working on OS/2 but they could have targeted plain old %COMSPEC%.
More possible is one tab spying on another tab.

David Kiley

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Thank You
  • -Given: 5
  • -Receive: 0
  • Posts: 67
    • View Profile
Re: Future death of the personal computer?
« Reply #23 on: February 21, 2020, 06:42:52 pm »
The browser is a weak point. There was a case years back of something trying to run C:\WINDOWS\CMD.EXE from the browser, it turned out ours was too buggy for it to work as well as Windows cmd.exe not working on OS/2 but they could have targeted plain old %COMSPEC%.
More possible is one tab spying on another tab.
Ah didn't know about that. Yeah I can see how using an older version would put things at risk.

Doug Bissett

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Thank You
  • -Given: 1
  • -Receive: 52
  • Posts: 1291
    • View Profile
Re: Future death of the personal computer?
« Reply #24 on: February 21, 2020, 07:02:22 pm »
Quote
I feel like in the last 5-10 years it has really gone a direction I don't consider progress,

That depends on how you define "progress". From a user point of view, small steps happen, mostly to keep users interested. From the point of view of those running the spy uhm advertising uhm cloud services, huge steps have been taken. People have been sucked in, so they can inspect whatever you store there (you do agree to that).

Back in the early days of OS/2, IBM came out with a plan to do something similar. The idea was to make a PC smart enough to attach to the IBM service (not called "cloud"), where they would be able to start a program (paid per use, or on contract), and run it. The data was supposed to stay on the users computer. That idea went nowhere, mostly because the internet was way too slow.

Quote
The browser is a weak point.

Actually any ported windows program can have holes in it, but the browser (including Thunderbird) has huge holes in it. The main protection, that we have, is that malware usually just crashes the program, or itself.

Not long ago, I got some "Smart plugs" from Amazon (Yuton brand specifically). After plugging one in, I noticed a constant, low level, network activity. I checked my firewall, and it wasn't blocking it, but there was a constant probe of port 6667, on every attached device (all OS/2, at the time) from the Smart plug. That, in itself was not malicious, but it didn't make any sense (the excuse was, that that is how the devices connect to the "cloud", so they could be turned on/off). So I fire walled my windows machines, immediately. A few days later, when I started up Firefox (OS/2) Something started to cause process dumps, about every 10 seconds. When I investigated that, it was a program called HELLO. When I investigated that, it was probably one of those things that encrypts your data, with an offer to decrypt it, if you pay <whatever> within a few hours. So, technically, the plugs didn't cause the problem, but what they did, was open the path through port 6667 (internet relay chat), and as soon as something (Firefox) opened the port, it was in, and tried to run. If it had actually succeeded, it probably still wouldn't do much damage, because of an unknown directory structure, but. After that, I also had some weird settings in my router. Fortunately, a factory reset fixed that problem. The plugs went back, since they didn't seem to be interested in fixing the problem.

So, OS/2 saved me, that time. Over the years, I have often noticed that Firefox would simply crash, for no obvious reason. I assume that some of those crashes were bad code in Firefox, but I am pretty sure that a lot of them were malware trying to do something.

One BIG problem, that we do have, is that we don't have any virus protection. We do have CLAMAV, but that is mostly not usable, for a number of reasons (super SLOW is one of them, even when using CLAMD, which uses HUGE amounts of upper shared memory).

Quote
no one is really going to bother with making viruses and trying to hack OS/.2.

The biggest exposure, is that one of them could actually run, by accident. Chances are, that it wouldn't do what it was designed to do, but it could still do severe damage. Our best defense is to have good, tested backups, that are done on a regular basis.

@Dave: PLEASE don't make suggestions about how to do it.  :o

Dave Yeo

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Thank You
  • -Given: 11
  • -Receive: 167
  • Posts: 2328
    • View Profile
Re: Future death of the personal computer?
« Reply #25 on: February 21, 2020, 07:14:12 pm »
Not just older browser versions, there are often zero day vulnerabilities that target the latest or close to the latest.
Likely the biggest danger to our old Mozilla is old malware that has been laying around since ours was released whereas generally malware goes for the popular, which is the most recent.
Still a good practice to use adblockers, including a hosts file and/or NoScript as ads are a common infection vector.

Dave Yeo

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Thank You
  • -Given: 11
  • -Receive: 167
  • Posts: 2328
    • View Profile
Re: Future death of the personal computer?
« Reply #26 on: February 21, 2020, 07:17:54 pm »
Another interesting attack vector is USB sticks. There's cases of them having an extra keyboard controller to inject commands, not really a worry for us besides making things unstable and the scariest is USB devices designed to kill your computer, a big capacitor or such injecting a large voltage through your USB port. Depending on the motherboards design, it might only blow a fuse or might fry the board.
Always be careful of USB sticks found in a parking lot :)

David Kiley

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Thank You
  • -Given: 5
  • -Receive: 0
  • Posts: 67
    • View Profile
Re: Future death of the personal computer?
« Reply #27 on: February 21, 2020, 09:09:03 pm »
That depends on how you define "progress". From a user point of view, small steps happen, mostly to keep users interested. From the point of view of those running the spy uhm advertising uhm cloud services, huge steps have been taken. People have been sucked in, so they can inspect whatever you store there (you do agree to that).
I guess my definition of progress is making a real positive difference in peoples lives, such as I mentioned spreadsheets were a pretty huge development in the dos era as giving people power to compute and crunch numbers in all different ways not previously easy or possible.
Or the car allowed people to travel further distance in shorter time - measurable and real progress.
Or the mobile revolution allows people to compute on the go, something no one could do before.
Other than cloud storage and integration of apps with internet services, I think the cloud is mostly hoodwinking people. Sure people have been taken by the concept because of marketing, but that doesn't actually make it progress unless the marketing is telling a real story.
For example I don't think office 365 is really offering anything that standard office or open source office suites like libraoffice, in fact it's worse since you have to keep paying for it. Microsoft might suck some people into the marketing, but it isn't really progress, at least from my point of view.

I admit some things are subjective, like features you might like that I don't care about -- but things like the car and the PC actually transformed peoples lives.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2020, 09:24:08 pm by David Kiley »

ivan

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Thank You
  • -Given: 2
  • -Receive: 35
  • Posts: 1074
    • View Profile
Re: Future death of the personal computer?
« Reply #28 on: February 21, 2020, 10:23:26 pm »
Hi Dave,

Regarding the USB problems you mentioned we had a client that was worried about that so we made a test unit using a Raspberri Pi board, several high capacity zena diodes, a couple of replaceable fuses and a USB socket.  Don't know if it worked for his company but it did work when we tested it.

Mathias

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Thank You
  • -Given: 25
  • -Receive: 9
  • Posts: 148
  • using ArcaOS
    • View Profile
    • IRC
Re: Future death of the personal computer?
« Reply #29 on: February 21, 2020, 11:06:41 pm »
Exactly.. cloud makes you pay to access your stuff.
Some cloud services are free to use, but then of course it might be taken away/offline all of sudden, once the hoster is no longer in business or willing to grant you access. - Does not even need to be your fault. - It`s enough to come from the wrong IP range.. like in my case some days ago.

Some brickheads at spamhaus thought that blocking my provider`s full IP range was a good idea, in order to block out the bad guys. Unfortuantely they blocked not only the bad guys apparently.. ;o

So.. what *I* do not like about the cloud is, that you might loose access to your data all of sudden. You do not have control. Only seems like it. Next day the data can be inaccessible for unforseeable reasons.. atleast for a limited time.

And of course in case of an application cloud.. they make you pay to access the stuff, you need... which is often more expensive than simply continuing to use the offline software version as long as it is supported.

Most offline software is still patched nicely for years and years. So why use the cloud version? Well.. 1) you always use the newest version and 2) no need to care about licenses, since your cloud management tool will also take care of this... you book x users for y hours/days..
And it might be cheaper to rent the software, cloud wise, for a short period of time versus buying the full offline product.
That goes, of course, only if you plan to use it for a short time..

But then again..
using cloud services always means taking the risk of ....
1) taking part in telemetry (or even data) collection or harvesting
2) being locked out when you are no longer wanted
3) being locked out in case of hard/software problems at the provider or the hoster
4) paying more than you might need to..

Of course running everything offline means, that YOU are also in charge of backing up everything yourself! Also the cloud hosted stuff mostly is highly available.. if one location fails, you can be sure the cloud switches access to another location, where everything is also duplicated to.
To have the same infrastructure in the same high availability can quickly get expensive..

So.. cloud is both.. good and bad thing at the same time..