What is the software flywheel?

Haven't you wondered about what your computer is doing when you are not around? Does it just stop and wait for you to return? No, while you are gone, your computer is needlessly wasting precious CPU resources! These CPU resources can never be reclaimed or recycled and are wasted forever. Just like a light-bulb, your CPU continues at the same rate as always with the same value to you that a light has when you are out of the room.

Precious natural materials (e.g. silicon and precious metals) are consumed to produce the CPU in your computer. Even more materials are consumed (e.g. oil and coal) to provide the energy required to operate your CPU and to keep it cool. None of these natural materials are currently reclaimed or recycled. They are gone forever! (Take note Ralph Nader!)

Enter the software flywheel. The software flywheel collects energy from the CPU that would otherwise be gone forever. The CPU operates at a constant rate. However, the software flywheel does not share this limitation. It stores energy via momentum rather than velocity. The software flywheel has the unique property that it allows you to get back the CPU energy that was expended while it was "idle". In other words, the software flywheel has many of the properties of a battery.

"So what?", you say. Well, here's the kicker -- with the software flywheel you will never have to upgrade your CPU again! How much time do you really spend working at your computer? If you actively work at your computer two hours a day then your computer has 22 hours to rebuild its charge. When you resume work, it has stored eleven times the amount of CPU energy that the CPU could normally expend in that two hour usage interval. This energy can be expended within the two hour working interval for eleven times the performance. So, no need to upgrade that old AT. With the software flywheel you can experience the performance of a fast 486!

How much does the software flywheel cost? The software flywheel is completely free! It is covered by the GNU Public License (GPL) which states that the software is free to you as long as you preserve its right to be free to others too.

Where do you obtain the software flywheel? I am still searching for the software flywheel myself, however, there is hope in the near horizion. Rumor has it that the software flywheel has been located somewhere in Finland and is being added to the next major release of Linux. Look for it at a Linux mirror near you.

Created by Bob Friesenhahn, bfriesen@simplesystems.org