Less might be more.

I was browsing slashdot today and noticed the following article on Less Might Be More. While I tend to agree with the basic premise of this article, the people replying seem to be forgetting a few things.

1. Not everyone uses their computer for browsing & word processing. Just try and do some decent photo processing in PhotoShop or rendering a video for burning to a DVD on a Celeron 333Mhz with 128Mb RAM – you’re dreaming.

2. The state of the software development industry. Unfortunately to run some of todays development IDEs requires you to run the latest & greatest – at work I used to have a Pentium III 733Mhz with 512Mb RAM, running Visual Studio Whidbey Beta. To compile our solution it would take roughly 1 to 2 minutes or so, which is frustrating. After upgrading to a Pentium 4 2.8Ghz with 1.024Gb RAM, it now takes about 10 seconds – no joke.

3. Buying a cheap & nasty computer doesn’t make monetary sense. I’ve been looking at upgrading my home computer and I can get a middle range computer that is probably 100% better than a cheap and nasty computer I could get, but it only costs roughly 40% more plus it will last at least 1 to 1.5 years longer than the cheap and nasty.

My issue with the state of the computer industry is more this: Big retailers selling expensively priced but poorly speced computers and then computer noobs buying these same computers. If people actually took the time to go down to their local computer store, they would be shocked at the great prices and excellent speced computers that are on offer!

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3 Responses to Less might be more.

  1. Anonymous says:

    You’re spot on Sledge although there’s one thing to note: most home users aren’t very computer savvy. They want to treat a computer like a TV/hi-fi/etc. I.e. go to a computer store and say “I want a computer” and have the shop assistant hand it over; the less thought processes involved the better. Of course, it’s a shame this is so and you could argue these people get what they deserve (which is true 😉 ) but as long as you have the general populace remain computer illiterate you will get big resellers ripping them off with their n00blar offerings.

  2. Kestrel says:

    Sledge your comment about the software development industry is so true! These huge bloatware IDE products that consume HDD space by the gigs, megabytes of RAM like these are peices of rice and CPU resources as though there are no other applications on the system.

    Personally I can’t stand IDE’s. What happened to the days of having a simple text editor and compiling source from a command line? Sure you may have to setup some environment variables, maybe even learn all those compiler switches but in the end it will ensure you know what exactly is going on.

    Too many times nowadays I see complete newbies coding in packages like .NET and them not having a single clue as to what is happening under the bonnet of their u-beaut IDE. I feel tools like these are ‘dumming’ down developers and are also contributing to the cycle of “We don’t need to program efficiently or effectively, just throw more hardware it at” scenario.

  3. aerhtrytuy says:

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