Computers

Paperspace wants to run your computer in the cloud

Paperspace wants to run your c...
You can log into Paperspace from any computer connected to the web
You can log into Paperspace from any computer connected to the web
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The Paperspace computer is a small puck-shaped device called the Paperweight
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The Paperspace computer is a small puck-shaped device called the Paperweight
You can log into Paperspace from any computer connected to the web
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You can log into Paperspace from any computer connected to the web
You provide the keyboard, monitor and mouse
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You provide the keyboard, monitor and mouse
The Paperspace computer is a small puck-shaped device called the Paperweight
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The Paperspace computer is a small puck-shaped device called the Paperweight
You provide the keyboard, monitor and mouse
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You provide the keyboard, monitor and mouse

The idea of connecting a basic computer to a more powerful one over a network isn't new – the first modern computer networks began as dumb terminals that accessed smart mainframes – but improvements in hardware technology, internet speeds and online software are now making the concept genuinely viable for consumers. Enter new startup Paperspace, which wants you to run your computer from the cloud.

This is how it works. At home, you log into Paperspace's servers, and your virtual desktop, applications and webpages are streamed to you from the cloud. There's the option of logging in via a browser on an existing computer, or using a small puck-shaped device supplied by Paperspace (called the Paperweight) that you connect up to any monitor, keyboard and mouse you have lying around.

You provide the keyboard, monitor and mouse
You provide the keyboard, monitor and mouse

It may seem a needlessly complicated way of doing things, but the benefits soon become apparent. You can get extra processing power as and when you need it; you can access your "computer" anywhere there's a web connection; and if you break your hardware or there's a fire or flood at your house then everything important is safely stored online.

The idea is not too dissimilar to using a Chromebook, though in this case you're streaming full desktop applications over the web, and therefore have more options in terms of software. The idea of streaming Netflix or YouTube media to your desktop may sound like one stream too far, but Paperspace promises the experience is smooth and stable (assuming you have an internet connection of at least 15 Mbps download speed and less than 60 ms of latency).

One of the key advantages is that your computer won't get laggy or slow down over time, thanks to the upgrades and optimization happening on the Paperspace side. You could think of it as a monthly subscription fee to keep your computer as good as new (and accessible from anywhere). The developers are promising that all connections and data transfers are securely encrypted en route.

The Paperspace computer is a small puck-shaped device called the Paperweight
The Paperspace computer is a small puck-shaped device called the Paperweight

It might not be an ideal solution for everyone – and if Paperspace goes down, your computer goes down with it – but it's an interesting alternative to the way home computing has worked for the past few decades. Once high-speed, stable internet becomes ubiquitous, more services like Paperspace and the Nvidia Shield console are going to pop up.

Paperspace is now taking US$50 pre-orders for the Paperweight device. The promo video below introduces the system and gives basic cloud service pricing as being around US$10 per month. The service is also available to business users. It's expected to launch officially in September.

Source: Paperspace via TechCrunch

Paperspace, A Better Computer.

10 comments
Nicolas Zart
It's really the reinvention of a dumb terminal, but at this stage, you can use any computer to achieve the same. I like it and I can see how this would upset computer makers whose business model depends on planned obsolescence. Think about that old iMac or MacBook, or PC that can't run the new bloated OSs. I like it.
Craig Whitley
Given the government and low life hackers intrusion into our data lives, I would never put up anything on the web unless it was an absolute necessity. We are never 100% data secure but I will not let the prefect get in the way of the good and I certainly will not go back to the old dumb terminal days. How do I program in C (yuck), VB.Net, Assembly on such systems with any degree of security? I wonder what new tricks the government has which are deliberately buried in 332 pages for Net Neutrality. I suspect it is not for our benefit.
Kevin Ritchey
I too appreciate the sound of it but what are it's comparative dimensions in relation to speed of processing and cloud storage interfacing...meaning, can it relate to iCloud or iDrive and share between them, thus cutting their integrated storage costs? A few more details would be nice but the concept is sound unless they decide to make things a bit more portable. Kind of hard to just carry the module hoping to find a monitor and keyboard at your destination unless you utilize a notepad or something similar.
Geoff Hacker
15Mbps?! Looks as if we won't be getting it in Australia anytime soon...
DaveWesely
I agree with Nicolas, but take it a step further. What are the minimum hardware and software specs to use it in a browser? This could allow you to use a 10 year old laptop that is still in good working order and get you better performance than a new, top of the line laptop.
DonGateley
Can I use local USB peripherals with the remote, virtual system when connecting with the Paperweight, or a PC, or a Chromebook, etc.?
4Freedom
Being a network engineer and network security consultant, knowing what I know there is no way I will consider using any cloud-based system. This is even worse idea than cloud-based storage.
risak
4Freedom you probably haven't bank account and everything purchasing in cash.... It's a best idea ever, this is how future will look like.
4Freedom
Risak: What I am concerned with is the complete access to a user's data and seeing exactly what they are doing, at all times.
PaulKleen
i know what it's like to be a user of Paperspace and, from what I've experienced, it's worth trying, especially if you have a Chromebook, dying computer, or need to run PC dependent software on a Mac. They're also working on a native app for gamers and will be launching a new linux version soon too. lots to look forward to