[Beowulf] dedupe filesystem

Lawrence Stewart stewart at serissa.com
Fri Jun 5 12:01:59 PDT 2009

On Jun 5, 2009, at 1:04 PM, Lux, James P wrote:

> ---
> Many years ago I read an interesting paper talking about how modern  
> user interfaces are hobbled by assumptions incorporated decades  
> ago.  When disk space is slow and precious,  having users decide to  
> explicitly save their file while editing is a good idea. (don’t even  
> contemplate casette tape on microcomputers..).  Now, though, disk is  
> cheap and fast and so are processors, so there’s really no reason  
> why you shouldn’t store your word processing as a chain of  
> keystrokes, with infinite undo available.  Say I spent 8 hours a day  
> doing nothing but typing at 100wpm.. That’s 480 minutes * 500  
> characters/minute.. Call it a measly 250,000 bytes per day. Heck,  
> the 2GB of RAM in the macbook I’m typing this on would hold 8000  
> days of work.  In reality, a few GB would probably hold more  
> characters than I will type in my entire life (or mouse clicks, etc.)

That takes me back. The Cedar computing environment at Xerox PARC did  
this around 1981.  Every input event, including mouse input and  
keyboard input, got a 48-bit timestamp, IIRC.  This was done by Dan  
Swinehart, who is still there I think.  The idea was to never get user  
events out of order or delivered to the wrong window due to UI  
slowness like moving windows.  The text editors didn't lose your work  

This was on 4 MIPS (about) machines - the Dorado.  They seemed fast to  
us:  "it sucks the keystrokes right out of my fingers".


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