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Tables of Contents for The Emergence of Net-Centric Computing
Preface: Connecting The Dots: Engineers and the Net-Centric Paradigm The opportunities and challenges that net-centric computing present to the engineer
Part I: The Varieties of Net-centric Computing
Chapter 1: Network Computers: Reinventing The Wheel? The NC specification as it was originally defined, how it is changing, and how it will evolve in the future. The problems facing designers of such devices as it relates to processors and operating systems.
Chapter 2: Web-enabled Set-top Boxes The evolution of set-top boxes, first as analog systems, then as mixed analog/digital systems, and then as interactive all-digital TV connections. How the Internet is changing the design of these units.
Chapter 3: The Evolution of The Net-centric Appliance The architectural features of the new generation of Internet appliances as information appliances linked to the Internet and as traditional household devices linked to the Internet for repair, upgrading, and control.
Chapter 4: Connected PCs and NetPCs The response of the traditional computer industry to net-centric computing in the form of high-end personal servers, midrange Internet-connected multimedia PCs, and low-end NetPCs.
Part II. Building Blocks
Chapter 5: Java and The Internet: Do We Need a "Lingua Internetica?" The strengths and weaknesses of Java as a universal "lingua Internetica" and what is needed to improve its ability to handle data in real-time. The challenges the language presents to designers of both hardware and software.
Chapter 6: Alternatives to Java Some possible alternatives to Java, such as Embedded C++, Lucent's Limbo, and AT&T's C@+(CAT). Evaluation of some of the existing scripting languages such as tcl (tickle) and others, and how they could complement Java and other object-oriented languages on the Internet and World Wide Web.
Chapter 7: Selecting A Net-centric Operating System How the emergence of network computers and Internet appliances independent of Wintel (Microsoft Windows/Intel) has created the need for a new generation of operating systems that meets the requirements of net-centric computing. The OS requirements of this environment and the OS alternatives that have emerged.
Chapter 8: Distributed Objects and Net-centric Computing Alternative approaches to turning the network into a computer, from the use of remote procedural calls (RPC) to Java's Remote Method Invocation. The future of Java, ActiveX and a variety of proprietary distributed-object protocols in the context of an emerging standard called the Common Object Request Broker Architecture (CORBA).
Chapter 9: Choosing the Right Processor Choices designers will have to make about the processors that they use to power their NetPCs, NCs, Internet Appliances and Web-enabled Set-top Boxes. Alternatives to the Intel x86 architecture, from the traditional RISC and CISC processors to the stack-based alternatives, such as Sun Microsystems' picoJava and Patriot's Shaboom CPU. Ways to keep hardware and software costs at a minimum, ranging from off-the-shelf standard integrated circuits to a variety of application-specific custom and semi-customized solutions.
Part III. Listening for the Web Tone
Chapter 10: Building More Reliable Boxes New methodologies that will be required in order to build hardware that is more reliable than the traditional desktop. The strategies of companies such as Intel and Microsoft to close up the desktop and some of the alternatives to current PCI bus architectures that are more reliable.
Chapter 11: Securing Network Connections Strategies for protecting networks, clients and servers from viruses. A comparison of the solutions that Microsoft and Sun have come up with to a real-time, as well as a network-based virus hunting and destroying methodology developed by IBM that finds and destroys viruses just as fast as they are introduced into the network.
Chapter 12: Building Better I/O The factors that have increased the load the "thin client" network computer model places on the servers that make up the computing backbone of the Internet, what is being done, and what still needs to be done to ensure that the Internet and net-centric model will continue to operate in the future. Strategies taken with the current generation of servers to improve the I/O capabilities of computers linked to the Internet.
Chapter 13: Adding 64-bit Muscle To The Internet Why it is necessary to move from 32-bit to 64-bit servers, routers and switches. A review of some of the 64-bit architectural alternatives available now and in the future.
Chapter 14: Monitoring and Safeguarding the Network What is necessary to ensure that reliable software is written, and, after it is in placed on the network, what can be done ensure its correct operation. Some of the ways that the problems that do occur can be identified, isolated, and corrected.
Part IV: The Future of the Internet
Chapter 15: Multimedia and the Future of the Internet With the move to wider methods of transmission into the home and over the backbone, will rapidly evolve from the Internet to the "MultimediaNet," in which mixes of audio, video and 3D graphics as well as ordinary text and 2D graphics will be the norm. This chapter looks at how multimedia are being handled on the Internet and at such standards as MPEG-4, the next-generation standard for real-time networked interactive multimedia.
Chapter 16: New Processors for the New Internet What is happening to the processors that will be used to build the connected PCs, NetPCs, and NCs, as well as the servers, as multimedia becomes more the norm on the Internet. First-generation multimedia processor architectures, such as Intel's Pentium II with MMX, and a comparison of this desk-top-oriented technology with some of the more network-oriented multimedia-capable solutions
Chapter 17: Achieving Real-time Networked Multimedia The limitations of the multimedia processors and why some other alternatives may be necessary to achieve the 1,000-fold improvement in processor performance that higher-bandwidth Internet connections and multimedia data will require. The capabilities of some of the more representative multimedia coprocessors and their abilities to perform networked interactive multimedia in real-time.
Chapter 18: Moving from GUI to NUI...To XUI? The limitations of the present graphical user interface with the emergence of the Internet and World Wide Web, especially as far as "getting lost in hyperspace" is concerned. What new kind of user interface is needed to allow the average user to find out where to go; how to get from here to there; and, once at a desired location, how to find out what else is in the neighborhood. Some new alternatives to viewing masses of data on the Internet, and the impact of new standards such as the Extensible Markup Language (XML) on simplifying the way in which we view and navigate the World Wide Web.
Appendix A References and further reading.
Appendix B Web sites for Further Information.