In this paper we present our experience designing and developing two different systems to enable personal pervasive computing environments, Plan B and the Octopus. These systems were fully implemented and have been used on a daily basis for years. Both are based on synthetic (virtual) file system interfaces and provide mechanisms to adapt to changes in the context and reconfigure the system to support pervasive applications. We also present the main differences between them, focusing on architectural and reconfiguration aspects. Finally, we analyze the pitfalls and successes of both systems and review the lessons we learned while designing, developing, and using them.
Keywords: AmI; middleware; operating systems; pervasive computing.