Just Nock— it’s Simpler

05/03/24 | Logan Allen

Nock is the cornerstone of both Zorp, and Urbit’s, vision for computing. Nock was designed to be the foundation of a practical, simple, sovereign, personal computer.

In the 2010s, Big Tech’s Cloud killed personal computing. The “Urbit as personal server” narrative proposed that we needed personal servers to reclaim our collective digital sovereignty. Companies building personal server technology on top of Urbit found less demand for personal servers than they had hoped.

The technical fundamentals of Nock computing are the most mature they’ve ever been. The new Ares Nock runtime has proven out the solid-state interpreter model by making Nock execution both extremely fast and capable of dealing with large amounts of data. The Urbit OS kernel has matured significantly as well and increased in reliability. Promising updates to the Urbit networking protocol, Ames, are expected to land soon that enable high-bandwidth communication.

Adoption of personal servers, meanwhile, shows no sign of increasing, and the narrative has not been reconsidered or extended.

We are entering into a new era where Nock computing needs to grow beyond personal servers. The more fundamental Nock vision is easier to convey and describes a need for a whole Nock ecosystem. The Nock ecosystem should enable all personal computing: personal devices, servers, money, and more.

What is Nock?

Nock makes your computer so simple that you can control it completely. Nock is not just a technical foundation; it’s a philosophy, a way of thinking about computing that puts simplicity and control at the forefront.

It’s often easiest to build intuition by analogy. If the Nock brand is Apple, today’s UrbitOS is iCloud, and Nockchain is Apple Pay. Marketing iCloud as a standalone component would be very difficult, but alongside the iPhone it’s indispensable. Add in Apple Pay alongside them, and the value compounds further. They’re all more valuable together when fit within a unified, vertically-integrated computing ecosystem.

Just as Apple’s “i” prefix became a symbol of innovation and integration, Nock is the unified brand of a new era in computing. Nock is a term that encapsulates the essential vision that has powered Urbit, but grown up.

Nock will power a whole range of consumer products, not just personal servers or a blockchain. NockOS is the operating system for personal computers, mobile devices. NockServer syncs the data between your devices, communicates directly with your friends’ Servers, and enables video chatting, real-time collaborative document editing, and other interpersonal computation.

As we move forward, it’s time to put Nock at the center of our narrative. We need to communicate the power and elegance of Nock in a way that resonates with consumers and developers, showing them how it can transform their digital lives and how easy it is to build on.

Arvo powers both NockOS for personal computers and NockServer for personal cloud. In 202X, the Nockphone is released. A few years later, the first Nockbook.

Every component of the above ecosystem centers the Nock concept, which is the only one a consumer needs to grasp.

Nock is the brand. We run a unified NockOS on our phone and laptop, connect to our NockServer personal cloud, and record value with Nockchain. It’s practical and convenient to take control of our personal computing.

We just call it all Nock—it’s simpler.