Sun have implemented cubicle hell, where you have nothing but a desk, dumb terminal and a login. You don't get the same desk two days running (unless you turn up at 6am) and you can't personalise anything. Why else? It saves money and creates a shining example the Sun executives can sell to other executives who don't actually have to work in the cubes. The unfortunate thing is that the technology is a great idea, but the way it's used is not. They claim that commuting is a driving force.... but, umm, they still have to travel to the clone-cube farm so I don't see where it helps.

The idea of central servers and simple terminals is an old, old idea; but it has a lot of advantages. Sun Rays have a monitor, small case with a card reader (I think a CD-ROM as well) and a keyboard. No noisy fans. Fill a computer lab with these things and it's lovely and quiet. Meanwhile everyone benefits from server upgrades and bean-counters don't sit on P4 mega-machines while graphic artists wait for next year's upgrade.

In a perfect situation, you can stop what you're doing; pull out your card; go have lunch; attend a meeting at another office; sit down at another machine and pick up your workspace session where you left it. This does have applications other than turning the cube farm into an even more demoralising environment.


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