COMPUTING FUTURE WITH ROBACUS The computer revolution may have just self-aborted. Computing is still as unfriendly as ever with the learning curve getting ever longer. PC has become essentially a multi-medium typewriter, and the cell phone, a piece of functional jewelry. The Internet is turning into a centralized, monopolistic information and entertainment hub, if not an indoctrination propaganda platform. Is it really so hard to get rid of the learning curve in computers? Why can't PC yet embark on the task of solving all the problems of the world, now it has the power of the supercomputers? Could we ever possibly get out under the syndicatorial way of the Internet and get every PC user to participate in the emerging global link? Well, let's go back to the granddaddy of computers, the abacus. But this time we are going to make the abacus robotic. That is, making it as powerful as it is simple to use. In a nutshell, ROBACUS represents how best humans and computers can interact. The approach is to let the computer lead the interaction after the human initiates it by defining his objective. This is much more easily achieved and more reliable in the long run than the conventional practice of having the human leads most of the time. As the user interface of ROBACUS can be all put in plain English, this is as good a time to designate the eternally eluding "universal language". Based on the vocabulary used in the natural language programming and the graphic menus, a 1500-English-word set has been collected. It is expected this set to be expanded to around 3000 words when most general computing needs are built into ROBACUS. To facilitate all the non-English speaking users, this universal language has no grammar and requires no pronounciation ability of its users. In this way, the set is further simplified by truncating all the words to 6-alphabet-or-less long. The word count is reduced to a minimum, when all the synonyms of a representative set of words are avoided. All these is perfectly feasible for ROBACUS since, here, all the unambiquity is avoided by restricting all communications among users and computers to software robots. ROBACUS's goal is to build an automated engineering analysis environment supported by software generating tools and task performing robots. Once users customize this environment to satisfy all their needs, routine practices such as referencing a file name, using a command and editing a program or data will become bygone things of the past. ROBACUS consists of three functional loops. A small inner maintenance loop performs the diagnosis and editing of software. A large outer analysis loop performs the problem analyses, which include input preparation, program execution and output analysis. The third loop in the background is simply a streamlined and significantly abbreviated Unix environment. In a way, ROBACUS is working hard to make this loop unnecessary. In order to provide conversational-mode input preparation and output analysis, two additional capabilities have been developed in the analysis loop. They are for the generation of conversational-mode preprocessors and postprocessor using software automation techniques. A unique advantage of ROBACUS is its capability to store and share information which it receives from its users. Everytime a ROBACUS user execute a task, ROBACUS gains knowledge and experience from him and stores it for all future users who might also want to make use of the information. The major cornerstones of ROBACUS are natural language programming, software robot and OUTERNET. They are described below. II. NATURAL LANGUAGE PROGRAMMING Natural language programming is the most logically natural way a user solves a problem by getting the computer to do the actual programming in the background. Of course this means shifting all the difficult tasks to the computer. Utmost in this is the logical flow of coding construction and bookkeeping of variables. The end result is letting the computer leads the conversation on what the user wants to create. The natural language programming program provides the human user the comparable computer capabilities of speed, memory, discipline and impartiality. II. SOFTWARE ROBOTS Software robots are simply recordings of interactions between user and computer. But what makes these recordings special is their ability to be played back in a controlled manner. Playing back these recordings is equivalent to making the robots carrying out the tasks documented by the recordings. Once sufficient user knowledge and experience are gathered in the form of recordings, the computing environment provided by ROBACUS will appear to be fully manned by robots capable of executing any analysis that users request. In ROBACUS, the user is either engaged in the generation of a robot or using an existing robot to perform a prescribed task. The variety of tasks that the robots are capable of performing ranges from writing a program to preparing an input model or an output plot. As a handy helper, software robots even perform text editting for the user. Besides documenting what the task is, a software robot also performs the task itself in future times, exactly as documented in the document. Thusly, ROBACUS shifts the focus from "what has been done" to "how it is done". III. OUTERNET OUTERNET is the NET for all home PCs connected to ROBACUS. Instead of being left OUT of the Internet as over-qualified website, now ROBACUS can turn all computers into productive members of OUTERNET. As only to be expected, OUTERNET supports a new World Wide Web of software robots, instead of the information glut that the Internet supports. ROBACUS connects to all home PCs via such virtual network computing software such as VNC or Teamviewer. On the OUTERNET, the WWW of robots addresses the issue of how-to rather than what-is. The ROBACUS project could be built on a coming together of the generations -- the old, previous generation and the young, next generation. With letters enlarged even for televisions and computer skills simplified, many of the retired technical professionals can learn to help develope ROBACUS. Without the pressure of short-term returns, the focus can be shifted to the future. Once all the inner working of ROBACUS is made as reasonable as nature intends, the youngsters would be introduced by the elders to a virtual world of computing that is void of all the idiosyncracies that hallmark our irrational world of expediencies.