Jeremy Zawodny points to a post which has a quote from Paul Graham’s book Hackers and Painters: “The idea of ‘your computer’ is going away and being replaced by ‘your data.’ You should be able to get at your data from any computer. Or rather any client, and a client doesn’t have to be your computer.”
Jeremy adds: “The more I find myself using increasingly larger and cheaper USB memory sticks, my colocated server, and on-line services like Flickr, I realize how my desktop and laptop computers are becoming less and less important in the grand scheme of things. And when I think about how popular web-based mail systems (Y! Mail, Hotmail, GMail) are, it’s apparent that a lot of folks are keeping their data elsewhere.”
This also captures the essence of centralised computing and thin clients.