The Network Computer
Dr Andy Hopper ( Reader in Computer Technology, University of Cambridge and Vice President Research, Olivetti )
The reduction in cost of both local area and wide area communications has spawned interest in new uses of computer systems. However the Internet is only at the same stage that televion was in the fifties. The talk will deal with how the communications facilities, end-point architectures, and applications may develop. This will focus on a "Network Computer" comprising a range of simple networked end-points used in various combinations. A prototype system used for multimedia applications will be illustrated. A class of applications dealing with ubiquitous personalisation will be described. Finally the likelyhood of a turn-back to centralised systems for ease of management will be considered.