Additional Thoughts On The Cobalt Qube
Saturday, December 02, 2006
Dave Winer reflected recently on the Cobalt Qube.
I loved the device when I got one for a quick reaction information technology (IT) infrastructure project I was responsible for back in 1999.
I used a Qube & a Snap server, and had a team of engineers and scientists running off a 24-port hub in less than a day. It worked for nearly one year flawlessly before it was replaced by a more robust set of servers and services, but for rapid IT prototyping that enabled directory services, email, web, calendar, file sharing, discussions, etc. it was perfect from my perspective. Better yet it met all the operational requirements.
I didn't get too many complaints from the users who were all on Windows NT workstations running Office. I did get a lot of grief from other IT folks about the lack of robustness, and some features issues around integration with tools like Microsoft Outlook. I think the cuteness and small form-factor was hard for many old-school IT folks to get warmed up to.
You can pretty much do the same thing today with open source software and any white-box PC or go completely hosted via ISPs or other service providers. But at the time, it was just plain neat.