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RE: [AEC-Residential] Q: How's Your Computer?

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Bill,
I stopped buying the fastest processor and most elaborate graphics board
a few years go. Newer technology is developed more for the multimedia
industry (heavy graphics and games) than for business applications such
as we run. I suppose that there is some advantage with Windows 2000
considering networking, but I have avoided this kind of technology as
well - opting instead for simple LAN system that allows me access to
other computers but requires software to be run on each machine.
The weak link is no longer the processor, but the spead of the
peripherials. Harddives are still slow as are USB, serial ports, and
every other form of transfer out there compared to the speed of the
processor. Business apps just don't require more and more processing
power unless you are interested in cad rendering programs and then it's
another ball game.
It is now a matter of finanial cost to benefit and I've chosen to step
back on processor speed to seek other areas  where I can upgrade (larger
hard drives, more ram if effective, faster Internet connection, wireless
networks (based on the speed of the network card more than the
processor). 
I see very little difference between my 266 Pentium II workhorse than my
450 Pentium III and I doubt that I'll see much greater speed within
applications if I move to a 1-gig+ Pentium III today. 
>From what I have been reading, the trend is to maintain older hardware.
Even you pointed out that a 486 Machine (or even a 286 machine) is
capable of supporting an Internet server.

Finally, another issue that drives the sale of bigger and faster is
software. If the advantages don't yield a benefit, why make the change.
We have discussed Mathcad for example - I have't felt that the upgrades
in the last few years have been worth the cost. The same is true (in my
mind) of the latest version of Autocad 2002 unless you intend to publish
online. Why spend the $600.00+ for an upgrade if the software you are
using satisfies your needs?

In fact, I've found very few new software packages on the market that
have given me the same "thrill" that the evolution of older software
upgrades had. I will be interested in making changes only when I feel
that the operating system is sufficently designed to make networking of
machines and appliances within my home office truly "smart". If this
can't be supported by older processors, then I'll upgrade.

All of this came as a surprise to me. It was the same feeling that I had
when I grew up and discovered that owning a car was much more satisfying
than working to pay the same car off. There is maintainance involved,
but I can enjoy my life much more if I don't have to spend that large
payment every month just to have a new sleeker looking vehicle or SUV. I
know own cars that I hold on to for twenty years - and I find that I get
very attached to them - same as my computers.

Dennis

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Kipp.A.Martin(--nospam--at)mw.com [mailto:Kipp.A.Martin(--nospam--at)mw.com] 
> Sent: Tuesday, June 19, 2001 8:23 AM
> To: aec-residential(--nospam--at)polhemus.cc
> Cc: SEAINT; Aec-Residential@Polhemus. Cc
> Subject: Re: [AEC-Residential] Q: How's Your Computer?
> 
> 
> 
> I've always looked at this by defining two types of 
> obsolescence. "Technical" obsolescence is what you are 
> talking about.  Your machine is no longer up with computers 
> being sold now.  However, your machine is not "functionally" 
> obsolete.  It still does everything that you want it to, and 
> you are happy with it's performance.  I'm sure that if you 
> suddenly started using a start of the art machine, it will 
> seem like a big step forward. But for me, if the machine your 
> are using is getting the job done to your satisfaction, there 
> is nothing wrong with "hanging on to the old iron". I usually 
> wait until I feel that my computer is "functionally" 
> obsolete, rather than "technically" obsolete, before I start 
> looking for a replacement. Of course, you can wait a bit too 
> long.  My first Windows machine had a 486 processor, 16 Mb 
> RAM, and a 300 Mb hard drive.  It replaced a computer with an 
> 8088 processor, 1 Mb RAM, dual 360 Kb floppies, and a 
> monochrome monitor.  Now that was a BIG increase in performance.
> 
> --Kipp Martin, S. E.
>   Portland, Oregon
> 
> 
> Bill Polhemus wrote:
> 
> I'm sitting here doing my "Stuff" on my trusty old 400 MHz 
> Celeron PC with 256MB of RAM and Windows 2000, and thinking 
> about how my computer is, in industry terms, "obsolete." Yet 
> being a budget-conscious entrepeneur as I am, I have no plans 
> to replace it in the near future.
> 
> I'm wondering: Am I the exception, or the rule? Is it common 
> among us, especially those who pay for our own iron, to hang 
> on to these boxes long after the computer industry tells us 
> they're obsolete? For myself, I really have no problems with 
> the speed of my comuter--but if I suddenly had a 1.5 GHz 
> Athlon system plopped down in front of me, I may wonder why I 
> never upgraded!
> 
> 
> 
> 
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