Re: Free Dumb

Gregory Alan Bolcer (
Mon, 10 Aug 1998 08:47:33 -0700

Michael Gorlick had an excellent talk on the global messaging
in the following talk at WISEN:

The Role of Satellite Services in Internet Event Notification
Michael Gorlick, The Aerospace Corp.,
[not avail. online,]

He basically had the same observations. He said that while they
can't get the same time resolution they were talking about
for a global clock, that the resolution for GPS was more than
good enough. I wish I had the numbers and example.

Exciting times.


> That's interesting, since it may change quite a bit the way we think
> about distributed system. The basic premice upon which all the theory
> of DOS is based is the absence of global clock, hence impossibility
> to do global synchronization. BUT with the ability to locate yourself
> precisely, a decent (predictable timeouts lenght) and a very reliable
> clock, doing soft synchronization (loose synchronization opposed to to hard
> synchronization e.g. #SYNC line of copper on the motherboard goes to 0)
> becomes theorically valid (I remember one of these DOS a couple of years
> ago using GPS for synchronization, but at that time the cost was out
> of reach for most systems).
> Now after nearly 20 years of failure of research in the domain
> of distributed operating systems, time may have come to remove the
> basic rule who made them impossible to build and start getting something
> that will actually work within 5 years.
> For those interested it may be time to start a PhD on DOS, it may be
> more interesting than 5 years ago ...
> Daniel
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