The desktop isn't the only place in computing Java's on peoples'
minds this week. This column says the connected home of the future
will likely be powered in large part by embedded Linux and
"The backbone of the connected home will obviously be a
computer of some sort. This computer (or "home services gateway" as
I've heard it referred to) won't be the desktop PC sitting on the
end of your desk that crashes half the time you install new
software on it, or gets infected by a virus every time your
children download a new game from the Internet.
It probably won't need much of a graphical user interface (GUI)
itself, if it needs one at all. Hence, it won't need to be that
powerful. I've already come across several projects where older PCs
are ripped apart and turned into Linux MP3 players -- so there's no
reason why the obsolete computers of tomorrow can't also be pulled
apart and turned into stable Linux servers for the connected
And what's this home gateway connected to? To put it simply:
From the smallest device with no interface and a Java processor
(that executes Java bytecode directly) with little else, to the
smart power meter with a small-footprint embedded Linux OS and a
Java-based user interface, up to the set-top box that runs a
relatively full-featured Linux and again uses Java for its
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