Thinner Pipes?

Posted on Aug 4, 2004

Rich wrote about his personal computer history and everybody’s personal computer future the other day and something about it just didn’t ring true. I read again and found:

Should you consider having just a “dumb” client computer connected to a server somewhere else? How fast does that connection have to be? We’ve seen lots of different graphical clients from the old Teletype DMD-5620 to X terminals, and nowadays devices like the Sun Ray. The pipe needed to drive modern thin-clients such as this is getting thinner and thinner.

The DMD-5620 was usable over a 9600bps serial line. X terminals were popular when 10Mbit ethernet was “the thing”. Sun Rays are generally connected at 100Mbit. Workstations are now supplied with one or more 1000Mbit ethernet ports.

That seems contrary to the assertion that the pipe is getting thinner. Granted, Rich is talking about the pipe needed for thin clients rather than that generally available and projects like SunFlight and SR@H are working hard to reduce the bandwidth requirement of thin terminals, but it still seems off.