ArcEm is a register level emulator of the Acorn Archimedes A4x0 system based around the ARM microprocessor. It is distributed with ARM Linux binaries and will boot ARM Linux and Acorn's RISC OS 3.1. It runs under X, Win32, and RISC OS. It is based on the release of the ARM emulator core by ARM Ltd, although this has been heavily modified for the emulation. It is a reasonably accurate register level emulation and as such should run pretty much anything.
Sutherlands wheel of reincarnation
When I was doing my undergrad there was talk about a theory called 'Sutherlands wheel of reincarnation' - after Ivan Sutherland.
The idea basically goes that the cost of the central servers and terminals varies over time. At one point in time the central server becomes very powerful and cheap and its obviously the way to go; then the cost of individual seats/terminals starts getting cheaper and cheaper and it becomes affordable to get more distributed computing. Then the central servers get more and more powerful and your apps run on those again.