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No Need to Upgrade that PC?

CmdrTaco posted more than 11 years ago | from the say-it-ain't-so dept.

Hardware 502

An anonymous reader writes "The Washington Post (free reg.) has an interesting article about a developing trend in the computer retail business: People aren't buying new PCs. Why? Well, no suprise to those who read this, but grandma and Joe Sixpack don't need a screaming new P4 to surf the net and write letters. Are they just figuring this out?"

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502 comments

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Good Morning Jennifer! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4743699)

Jennifer, Francis loves you. Let's go sit under our tree.

wow... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4743700)

i haven't gotten a first post for about a month. there was a time where i was getting 5 a week!

Re:wow... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4743732)


i haven't gotten a first post for about a month. there was a time where i was getting 5 a week!

I can smell the taint of the sun-dwellers on thou. Clearly, thou hast turned thy back upon the one true calling of first postness. Get thee gone from my sight, unworthy heathen. Go, live with the normals, if that be thy way, foul unbeliever.

Doesn't this happen every few years? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4743702)

I didn't need to upgrade my 386 until the Pentiums came out. Give it another few years, most people just got new computers recently. First post?

exactly (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4743703)

fp, baby!

Naughty Taco (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4743704)

Cmdr. Taco gathered me as though I was a child and placed me on his lap. "Shhh," Cmdr. Taco whispered in my ear. His warm breath caused my skin to gooseflesh while Cmdr. Taco slowly rocked me. When my tears were finished, Cmdr. Taco asked, "All better, little one?" I nodded feeling emotionally spent. His lips nuzzled the hollow where his breath had teased. Lightly nipping and licking Cmdr. Taco whispered, "Shall we continue?" Without waiting for me to answer, Cmdr. Taco stood me up holding my forearms when I stumbled shakily. "Take off all of your clothes," Cmdr. Taco slowly inspected me from my swollen lips to torn blouse to thigh highs peeking from under my skirt. "You may leave the stockings on. They remind me of the whore that hid inside you before I made you my own--my sweet, little whore, all mine. So alone out here, with no one to worry about you being gone." Cmdr. Taco nodded his approval when I had the last of my clothes off. I blushed as his eyes touched over every curve and valley of my exposed body. I moved to cover myself, but Cmdr. Taco stopped me. "No! It is mine to look at, mine to use." His fingers ran lightly over my skin. Brushing the underside of my breasts first, then Cmdr. Taco cupped both in his hands. The pads of his thumbs circled my nipples until they hardened even more. A smile curved his lips, finally his right hand lowered and cupped my sex. His middle finger slid easily within my silken folds. "I think someone is enjoying our little game." His finger probed deeper. "Tell me how much you like it."

My tongue felt thick and useless. I could barely breath--thinking was beyond question. I rocked my hips up and back straddling his hand wantonly. I felt my juices seeping running down between his fingers and onto my quivering legs. I opened my mouth and tried to speak but no sound would come forth. My jaw moved woodenly. I nodded my head from side to side trying to explain.

"You dare to disobey me?" Cmdr. Taco asked in disbelief. Cmdr. Taco piled my clothes in my hands.

I was afraid that Cmdr. Taco would send me away for disappointing him. I pleaded with him with my eyes. I finally worked until, "Please" came out.

"Please, what whore?" Cmdr. Taco asked.

"Please, don't make me go." I whispered looking down unable to meet his eyes.

He looked startled for a moment and then laughed. "Let you go? Letting you leave here was the last thing on my mind. I wonder if you would beg to stay knowing what I plan on doing with you--to you?" His voice turned harsh. "Throw your clothes in the fire." I started to question then did as Cmdr. Taco asked. I watched as my clothes kindled and disappeared into ashes. "Do you realize what you have done?" Cmdr. Taco asked. I shook my head no. "The only way you can leave now is as you are." Cmdr. Taco looked up and down my naked body. "I think the town would be shocked to see you walk through town in the buff. Don't you agree? Our perfect little girl naked and wandering the streets, maybe I'll make you do that later. What would they think? Would they see you then as I do? A needy whore begging to be taken--to be possessed fully and completely. Reach down and tell me what you feel." Cmdr. Taco commanded.

I reached down quickly to obey. I needed to fill the need throbbing between my thighs. My palm slid through my sticky tight curls as my fingers brushed my clit than slid into my wetness. Riding the sensations, I watched his face. This man I didn't know, yet the man who knew everything about me.

"What do you feel?" Cmdr. Taco prompted me as though I was a child.

My hips moved of their own volition as I crammed my fingers in and out of my wetness. "I feel wet." I answered.

"What feels wet, my sweet?" Cmdr. Taco questioned.

"My pussy." I answered.

"All of it," Cmdr. Taco said watching my fingers disappear then reappear.

"My pussy feels so wet." I moaned.

"Why is your pussy so wet?" Cmdr. Taco asked pulling me towards him and pulling my fingers from my cunt.

I struggled for an answer. "I'm wet, because I like this."

He brought my fingers to his mouth and slowly sucked them one by one into his mouth thoroughly cleaning each one. His mouth opened and sucked the puddle of wetness in my palm. Cmdr. Taco reached up and pulled me towards him by my nipples. "Here now I taste like you. Taste yourself." My tongue met his, and Cmdr. Taco moved my fingers between our mouths. Our tongues traced my fingers and met in their seams licking each other. The changing textures, the smell of my pussy between us caused me to gush more. Cmdr. Taco moved my feet apart with his foot. Somehow seeing his shoes still on and taking in his fully clothed body made me feel even more naked. Cmdr. Taco ran his hands along the inside of my thighs, and I shivered my pleasure at his touch. I wanted him inside. I wanted him to touch my core. I needed to explode to release the pleasure Cmdr. Taco was building within me. His hands quickly became coated with my stickiness. Cmdr. Taco moved his hands over me, but never where I craved it most. "What makes you this wet?" Cmdr. Taco asked again.

"You do." I answered.

"Do you think flattery will get me to touch your clit, little one?" Cmdr. Taco chuckled.

"Please," I begged.

"Mmmmm, I do have a soft spot for begging, and you begged so prettily earlier." Cmdr. Taco pondered as if considering my request. My hips pressed forward seeking his touch. I had never been this wet before. I was steadily dripping now. My nipples ached; my pussy literally throbbed with need. "You, young lady are making a mess on my carpet."

"I'm sorry," I stammered.

"I think you shall have to be punished for making such a mess with that slutty little pussy of yours. What do you think?" Cmdr. Taco questioned.

"I'm sorry." I repeated. "I can't help it. I need it so much."

"Why do you think it is that you need it so much?" Cmdr. Taco pressed on.

"Because, I like it... because, I'm a dirty slut. I like the way you make me feel. Please touch me there." I begged.

"You are a bad girl. First making a mess on my good carpet, and then begging for me to touch you in such naughty places. You must be taught a lesson I'm afraid. Bend over my lap." Cmdr. Taco commanded.

I quickly hurried hoping Cmdr. Taco would make the throbbing need end. My breasts lay in front of his knee and my legs hung suspended in the air not quite touching the ground. His knees spread, and I felt helpless. His hand reached between my thighs and cupped my sex. I moaned my intense pleasure. "What do you want?" Cmdr. Taco asked.

"Please, please touch me." I implored.

"Touch you where? Cmdr. Taco asked.

"Touch my pussy, please." I begged biting my lip to keep from steadily begging and pleading for the touch I needed so badly.

"Good girl, you are learning. Tell me exactly what you want."

"I want your fingers inside me. I want you to rub my clit."

His hand rubbed over my dripping pussy then moved back to my ass smearing my juices over me. His hand dipped back down and coated once more. Cmdr. Taco rubbed my juices back and forth until my wetness covered me thoroughly. His finger finally sought my clit, and I all but screamed my joy. Cmdr. Taco laughed aloud at my eagerness. Cmdr. Taco circled my now distended clit then rubbed it roughly. His other hand rubbed soft circles on my backside, and then without warning smacked down sharply. I jerked crying out at the unexpected pain. His fingers circled my clit once more. His fingers plucked and twisted my clit as though it was a nipple. Then his wet hand came down once more. Cmdr. Taco slapped my bottom relentlessly. My flesh stung and burned. The wetness made the slaps ring out in the room. I whimpered torn between the peaking pleasure between my legs and the sting of my backside. I felt the walls of my pussy begin to tighten. "That's it my little slut," Cmdr. Taco urged on. "I know you would come like this." His fingers plunged in and out of my pussy as his other hand rained down on reddened behind. "Does it hurt, little one?"

"Yes," I whimpered.

"Do you want me to stop, little one?"

"No." I shook my head.

"Do you know what that means?" Cmdr. Taco asked never slowing his two hands--one sliding in and out, the other slapping up and down faster and faster.

Tears built in my eyes. "I like to be hurt." The blows became harder still my body moved up and back, my breasts swaying and slapping against his leg as Cmdr. Taco rammed roughly in and out of my body.

"Who's slut are you?" Cmdr. Taco asked.

"I'm your slut." I answered.

"What kind of slut are you?" Cmdr. Taco pushed on continuing his twin assault.

"I'm your little pain slut," I cried out as I came gushing even more.

"That's it baby, come hard for me," Cmdr. Taco coaxed running his fingers slowly now in and out coaxing me to come even more. As I lay quivering over his legs, Cmdr. Taco rubbed my bottom praising me. My pussy clenched and released convulsively. "You are so beautiful. You respond so fully." Cmdr. Taco lifted and turned me on his lap facing him. Cmdr. Taco slid his cock into me and held it there filling me. I felt so complete. I tightened around him stroking him without moving. Cmdr. Taco cupped my bottom in his hands and rocked me up and back running his cock in and out of me. Cmdr. Taco would completely fill me, and then withdraw leaving me feeling empty then filling me once more. We rocked slowly together. His mouth covered my neck then my jaw biting lightly. We kissed slowly the contrast from the earlier pell mell rush making it seem even more languid. Minutes stretched by, contended I laid my head on his chest as Cmdr. Taco unhurriedly fucked me. I felt myself building once more, and Cmdr. Taco felt it too. Cmdr. Taco pulled me tighter bouncing me up and down on his cock. Cmdr. Taco turned me and pushed my shoulders to the floor following me to the rug. His hand road the small of my back as my elbows rested on the carpet, and my ass turned up into the air. Cmdr. Taco hesitated a moment looking at my upturned ass before plunging into my pussy. "I'll save your ass for later." Cmdr. Taco promised. The thought of having his cock, any cock in my virgin ass sent me over the edge, and I came. Cmdr. Taco never slowed his pace, but continued to pound relentlessly into my gaping pussy. As I struggled to breath, Cmdr. Taco fucked me without restraint. His cock slammed into me; his balls slapped out a rhythm. Cmdr. Taco no longer spoke, but moaned and groaned his enjoyment. My elbows slipped beneath me, and my face lay pressed onto the rug. My nipples drug up and back on the carpet. The teasing pleasure quickly became pain as my sensitive nipples rubbed faster back and forth. My nipples burnt and stung. My elbows were rug burnt halfway to my forearm. When Cmdr. Taco came, I felt the hot wet splash of his come inside me, and it set off another wave of pleasure. Cmdr. Taco drew out and rubbed the sticky remains of his come on my asshole. "Later." Cmdr. Taco promised watching the gobs of come run along the crack of my ass. I lay gasping on the rug feeling thoroughly used. Cmdr. Taco ran his finger along the crack of my ass. "You are just so tempting, little one. Your mouth was so eager; your pussy was so wet, so hot, and now that sweet little ass of your is calling to me. Do you want to be my three hole girl?"

He sat on the floor and leaned back on the sofa. "Come here, little one." Cmdr. Taco beckoned. I turned and crawled towards him. "Take off my shoes." Cmdr. Taco ordered. I turned my ass towards him once more and untied his shoes and pulled them from his feet. His socks followed. I felt his hand on my ass and tensed as his finger slid down my crack and circled my asshole. I clenched without meaning to, and Cmdr. Taco sighed. Cmdr. Taco lifted and slid his pants and underwear down and off. Cmdr. Taco pulled me back towards his lap by the hair. I lay curled between his legs, my head resting on his thigh while Cmdr. Taco slowly stroked my hair. My face was inches from his cock, and I watched fascinated as his cock twitched and more come slowly trickled down the bulbous darkened head. My tongue involuntarily jutted across my lips as I thought of tasting his come. My action didn't go unmissed. "I'd hate to disappoint a lady." Mr. Kelly said sneering on the word lady. Cmdr. Taco grabbed a handful of my hair. I watched as another glob dropped from his head and fell into the dark matted hair at the base of his penis. His rough jerk reminded me to pay attention to him, and I quickly moved where Cmdr. Taco directed. Cmdr. Taco violently towed my head upward. Staring directly into my eyes, Cmdr. Taco threatened, "Keep that cat tongue in your mouth, or I will teach you what real pain is about." I nodded my compliance. "Say it!" Cmdr. Taco ground out impatiently.

"I'll...I'll keep my little cat tongue in my mouth." I promised.

"Yes, you will." Mr. Kelly nodded. Instead of the licking and lapping up of used come that I craved, Cmdr. Taco held my head firmly between his hands and rubbed my face in the gooey remains of our release. The quickly cooling come coated my entire face. Cmdr. Taco dragged first one cheek then the other through the puddle of sperm. Then face first, up and down his spent cock. I felt it begin to harden beneath me. The temptation to open my mouth--to taste was so great that I clenched me jaw against it. More than the threatened pain, I didn't want to displease Mr. Taco. I wanted to please him more than I wanted to gratify my longing for come. I felt his seed spread through my eyebrows and eyelashes and begin to stiffen as it dried. The smell of his arousal was overwhelming, and I felt the familiar tightening in my body begin. When Cmdr. Taco was finally finished, Cmdr. Taco lifted me up into his arms. Cmdr. Taco smiled his satisfaction. "You look pretty covered in my come. I'll always remember you this way."

Die a most horrible death (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4743737)

At least IN SOVIET RUSSIA, Beowulf Clustering, FP, goatse.cx and all the other offtopic trolls are SHORT. This is just a waste of fucking bandwidth.

Re:Naughty Taco (0, Flamebait)

jacquesm (154384) | more than 11 years ago | (#4743897)

someone has *waaay* too much time on their hands...

you also missed a career or two, maybe you should apply with one of those phone sex thingies ? that would save *all* of us a lot of trouble.

Finally. (0)

richjoyce (582073) | more than 11 years ago | (#4743706)

I was wondering when people would catch on to this.

what about macs? (5, Insightful)

huphtur (259961) | more than 11 years ago | (#4743708)

in our office, i hardly see the graphics guys upgrade their macs. after 2 years they always buy a complete new Gx. Do people actually upgrade Macs?

Re:what about macs? (1)

Virus1984 (624552) | more than 11 years ago | (#4743811)

Apparently [sonnettech.com] some do.

Re:what about macs? (5, Insightful)

phillymjs (234426) | more than 11 years ago | (#4743869)

Do people actually upgrade Macs?

Yup. I've got three beige Power Macs that I've loaded up with RAM, G3 or G4 upgrade cards, USB cards, IDE controller cards and drives, and either a 10/100 Ethernet card or a second video card.

One of the 7600s was purchased new by me in 1996, and was my primary machine until a few months ago when I got hold of a free beige G3 which I then stuffed with upgrades bought for chump change on eBay. Now the original 7600 and another one I bought on eBay are being used in my house as servers. The PCI-based Power Macs are very upgradable machines, and they make fantastic servers. One of my 7600s is a home-control/monitoring machine, and currently has an uptime of 113 days-- mind you, that's with the *classic* Mac OS. It would be longer than that, but 113 days ago a truly hellacious thunderstorm rolled through my area and I took my machines down to be absolutely safe.

The beige G3 is going to be retired in January and will be replaced by a Quicksilver G4/733 I bought on eBay, which had a couple upgrades performed by its previous owner-- right now it's in the basement being prepped (I'm making a very slow transition of all my apps and data to OS X). Once the G4 takes over, the beige G3 will either be promoted to server duty or sold on eBay.

The 'graphics guys' just replace their machines because it's quicker and easier than hunting down the best upgrade bang-for-the-buck-- and since Macs retain a higher resale value for a longer period of time, they can just sell the old Mac to take a chunk out of the price of the new Mac.

~Philly

Fart (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4743709)

Fart

Hell Yeah I need an upgrade. (5, Insightful)

Boogaroo (604901) | more than 11 years ago | (#4743712)

With a Celeron 400mhz and a Riva TNT 2 video card I can't play many of the games released in the last year. :(

Being a gamer I'm REQUIRED to upgrade or get left out of all the fun. At least Half Life still works...

Re:Hell Yeah I need an upgrade. (3, Insightful)

Poro (14468) | more than 11 years ago | (#4743870)

With a Celeron 400mhz and a Riva TNT 2 video card I can't play many of the games released in the last year. :(

Being a gamer I'm REQUIRED to upgrade or get left out of all the fun. At least Half Life still works...

With Grand Prix Legends [papy.com] I dont want to play games released last year.

Well, seriously. I might be a dinosaur, but do the latest games really offer something new that you really have to buy them and then upgrade your computer to be able to play them? Grand Prix Legends, besides having a cool three letter abbreviation, was released in 1998 and still has a huge following. GPL-community races online, makes graphical updates, creates new tracks... For four years, GPL has basically been the only game I have played.

I mean, if you really need to buy many games a year, should you consider buying only good games instead of disposable crap? :)

Well, now I guess it would be clever not to mention all the upgrades I have made for my PC just for GPL...

Erm windows? (5, Funny)

shish (588640) | more than 11 years ago | (#4743713)

Computer power goes up, windows's speed remains constant. If we lag behind with hardware windows'll be going *backwards*

Re:Erm windows? (5, Funny)

Hollinger (16202) | more than 11 years ago | (#4743801)

Well, I suppose this has always been true:
Intel Giveth, and Microsoft Taketh Away.

Re:Erm windows? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4743883)

Yeah. *That* made sense.

IN SOVIET RUSSIA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4743720)

We had no PCs to upgrade. Just Macs.

Re:IN SOVIET RUSSIA (3, Funny)

mini me (132455) | more than 11 years ago | (#4743791)

In Soviet Russia, computer upgrades you!

Re:IN SOVIET RUSSIA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4743841)

IN SOVIET RUSSIA - We log in [slashdot.org]

I'd like to say... (0, Offtopic)

volsung (378) | more than 11 years ago | (#4743885)

...that this is my new favorite type of nonsense post. Thanks.

IN SOVIET RUSSIA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4743890)

Natalie Portman imagines a Beowulf cluster of you!

You know what that means... (3, Flamebait)

BitwizeGHC (145393) | more than 11 years ago | (#4743724)

... it's time to put Longhorn on the fast track to release. Nothing stimulates the hardware industry like a new, even more piggish release of Windows with plenty of "new features to make Windows even easier to use"!

Re:You know what that means... (3, Informative)

NineNine (235196) | more than 11 years ago | (#4743744)

Hahaha... That's pretty funny. Especially considering W2K runs great on my old P 350, but Redhat makes the hard drive spin ad infinitum and opening a window in KDE or Gnome is a major undertaking. I actually can't run a Linux with a GUI on any of my machines. It's too damn slow. But, I can run W2K on any of 'em. Funny, huh?

Re:You know what that means... (2, Insightful)

Economist (466965) | more than 11 years ago | (#4743765)

KDE and Gnome are both a little too bloated. They try to pull users away from Windows with even more useless junk than Windows itself has.
Get yourself a decent Window Manager (like IceWM, fluxbox (a little more advanced), qvwm, ...), and it will be a lot faster.

Re:You know what that means... (2, Interesting)

bmwm3nut (556681) | more than 11 years ago | (#4743788)

you just need more memory...linux runnning gnome or kde on top of x takes a bunch of memory. i think that's because everything isn't as integrated as in windows. windows can share a bunch data among different programs, in linux each program needs its own copy of the data (this is just my naieve view of things, i'm not a linux hacker). i have redhat 8 with gnome running just fine on my p2 400, the reason it works so nicely is because i have a half of a gig of ram in it. my p3 800 runs the same code much slower because i only have 128M ram in it. memory is the key. i wish that the x/gnome/kde programmers could get together and work on memory consumption, but i really can't say anything because i don't contribute to the code.

Re:You know what that means... (5, Informative)

J. J. Ramsey (658) | more than 11 years ago | (#4743833)

"windows can share a bunch data among different programs, in linux each program needs its own copy of the data (this is just my naieve view of things, i'm not a linux hacker)."

Nope, that's not how it works. Programs using shared libraries all use the same library code in memory, just as in Windows. Integration has nothing to do with this. However, if NineNine's X server is misconfigured, or if he doesn't have accelerated support for his card, then X will be slower.

Re:You know what that means... (2)

inode_buddha (576844) | more than 11 years ago | (#4743821)

weird... I ran RH just fine on everything from a 486 up to now with gnome/enlightenment... I'd love to see some tech details on that one, it just doesn't sound right

No will need to upgrade (5, Funny)

pardasaniman (585320) | more than 11 years ago | (#4743725)

Until KDE4 is released

Re:No will need to upgrade (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4743799)

This post was so great, I had no choice but to pleasure myself to it. That's right, I playied with myself while staring at your post. The words... the meaning... uh, I may have to rub one out again.

Re:No will need to upgrade (2)

IIRCAFAIKIANAL (572786) | more than 11 years ago | (#4743816)

How redundant. See previous post:

... it's time to put Longhorn on the fast track to release. Nothing stimulates the hardware industry like a new, even more piggish release of Windows with plenty of "new features to make Windows even easier to use"!


Same shit, different OS. ;)

Re:No will need to upgrade (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4743823)

execpt kde 3 actually ran faster than kde 2, and with only 64 mb ram.

It IS news to the readers (5, Insightful)

MacAndrew (463832) | more than 11 years ago | (#4743730)

...this is the only voice readers may hear to contradict the endless marketing hype by computer mfr who realized this a long time ago! This is a general audience pub., and they can repeat this message as often as they like.

To be honest, it only really occurred to me about a year ago, that there wasn't anything you might need for most folks that you could get for 1/2 price on eBay, and then I thought, gee, the industry is in trouble unless these things start breaking a lot. (Soon, we learn about the built-in SELF-DESTRUCT chip.)

Re:It IS news to the readers (3, Informative)

Insightfill (554828) | more than 11 years ago | (#4743838)

SELF-DESTRUCT chip

Like, perhaps, the infamous exploding/leaking capacitors of two weeks ago?

Here? [slashdot.org]

actually (5, Insightful)

Luke Skyewalker (585866) | more than 11 years ago | (#4743735)

I do all my home development on an old AMD K6-2 450. This way, I know that any software I release will run with acceptable performance on systems that most people have.

Re:actually (2, Interesting)

daecabhir (166667) | more than 11 years ago | (#4743882)

heh. I'm a coder and a hardware whore (nine working machines in my home cave, including a uVAX II), and up until last November my main machine was a PPro 200 w/ 128 MB RAM running NT 4.0. Why? Because it was stable, and was fast enough to pull e-mail, run Office or Visual Studio when I needed it, or run terminal windows when I was connecting into various *nix boxen. It is good that Joe Sixpack waking up to the fact that they don't need the fastest box out there (now if my dad-in-law would just come to grips with this).

Of course, I now run off of a Athlon Thunderbird box, and I wouldn't go back to the PPro. But everything else ('cept the uVAX) is PII, K2/K3 or 486-era technology, which runs Linux and Winders just fine. Pretty much the only reason I could see for really high-end stuff is if you are an ubergamer, hardcore graphic artist or someone working with video.

Actually... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4743741)

After 3+ years with my trusty K6, I think this may be the season I make the big jump to something faster. Yay me.

Technical Error (1)

Gilgaron (575091) | more than 11 years ago | (#4743743)

"You're not going to be able to connect a DVD-recording drive to your PC unless it has either FireWire or a USB 2.0 port."

What happened to IDE? Still, recording a DVD would probably still suck on an older computer. I know CD burning works much better on my newer machine than it did on the old one, even using the same burner.

Not good news for MS and Intel (5, Insightful)

glrotate (300695) | more than 11 years ago | (#4743745)

Microsoft and Intel are finding that while they have a monopoly, it is a monopoly on a durable good. As such "the monopoly creates it's down competition and must take that into account in its production decisions" (nicholson)

In the extreme case the products are perfect substitutes, only the competitive price can prevail in the long-run i.e. price = marginal cost.

Re:Not good news for MS and Intel (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4743825)

I wonder how long it'll be before windows/CPUs have a limited life...

"Microsoft Windows XP: $99/yr"

I wouldn't put it past them...

Re:Not good news for MS and Intel (3, Insightful)

stinky wizzleteats (552063) | more than 11 years ago | (#4743853)

You make a brilliant point. The primary way M$ makes its money is through the M$ tax on new computer purchases. Little wonder they were trying to put all their business customers on a forced upgrade schedule a few years back.

Self-Absorbed Old People (1)

fobbman (131816) | more than 11 years ago | (#4743748)

Damnit, don't they know that I'm downstream from them on the Internet waiting for them to download their stuff? That new P4 would make the Internet go faster, and without it I'm left waiting my turn.

Buy that new P4. Help me get to my porn quicker.

Re:Self-Absorbed Old People (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4743861)

Processor speed does not speed up the internet. Your modem spped and connection is the only thing that affects the internet.

Well... (3, Funny)

ActiveSX (301342) | more than 11 years ago | (#4743749)

grandma and Joe Sixpack don't need a screaming new P4 to surf the net

That all depends on the browser [mozilla.org] .

***ActiveSX ducks

depends what you use it for (5, Interesting)

dandelion_wine (625330) | more than 11 years ago | (#4743751)

As Boogaroo, above, pointed out, gamers need to pretty much constantly upgrade. Used to be, developers put a lot of time and effort into making software compact and min spec - friendly. No more. The bigger and more demanding the software, the better the computer you need to run it. Everyone wins. Oh yeah, except the consumer.

Thankfully that's not where everyone's at. My parents need their email, a little word processing, and that's it. And if console games keep getting better (and offering network play), it may finally come to pass that gamers have their console and their word machine and never the twain shall meet.

Re:depends what you use it for (4, Insightful)

IIRCAFAIKIANAL (572786) | more than 11 years ago | (#4743879)

Thankfully that's not where everyone's at. My parents need their email, a little word processing, and that's it. And if console games keep getting better (and offering network play), it may finally come to pass that gamers have their console and their word machine and never the twain shall meet.


Or perhaps, eventually, console systems will feature word processors, email, and other such consumer grade applications, and the computer (in the classical sense) will again become something used at work and by hobbyists. If all of the major players (sony, nintendo, uhm... atari, etc :) pushed for an open document formats, it could happen. Consoles are all about simplicity, usability, and (relative) affordability - combine that with the kinds of computing tasks an average user wants, and they could change things.

That's the kind of thing that could put a business like Microsoft *out* of business. Maybe that's a small part of why Microsoft is trying to break into the living room - the eventual combination of all the disparate technologies in an average users life.

(yes, I know console technically == computer, but I think everyone knows what I mean)

(Yes, I also know this has been argued to death - I'm not claiming to have come up with these ideas :)

Re:depends what you use it for (1)

chamenos (541447) | more than 11 years ago | (#4743916)

it may finally come to pass that gamers have their console and their word machine and never the twain shall meet

i personally hope that never happens. i don't want to have to buy a separate machine to play games and do mundane stuff like send email and browse the web. i also like playing games on a nice CRT at 100hz instead of a TV at 60hz. besides, dedicated consoles aren't very upgradable.

speaking of TVs, i can browse the web, send email, watch tv, and play games all on the same computer at the moment and i hope that never changes.

well... (5, Insightful)

MarvinMouse (323641) | more than 11 years ago | (#4743755)

Okay...

I guess this article states the obvious. Of course people don't need faster computers. The only reason they'd need fast computers is if they are playing high-end computer games, or using Windows (which for some reason or another always keeps on making it's software more dependent on speedier computers, even though it is completely unnecessary.)

Most family friends, and people I know who need computers just need a simple box that allows them to chat online, play a few simple games, e-mail, surf the web, and perhaps play "The Sims". Since almost all of this can be done on linux, I buy older cheap computers, and i have a special "personal distro" of linux that I give them, which always works, and they usually have no complaints, since everything they want is included, and it didn't cost them much ( I just charge the price of the used computer I bought. ) For smaller families without much money this is great.

As well, for those families with the little brat that demands more you can usually appease them with something that is sub 1-GHz and has a good graphics card, since most games don't require screeching speeds.

Just from my experience though. Right now I am running off a 750Mhz Laptop, and I have been considering upgrading eventually to a small tower, but nothing with the numbers I have been hearing lately (2.0+Ghz, with 1Gb+ of RAM, etc.)

Well, maybe something with those numbers. ;-)

Re:well... (2)

Ted_Green (205549) | more than 11 years ago | (#4743895)

"I guess this article states the obvious. Of course people don't need faster computers. The only reason they'd need fast computers is if they are playing high-end computer games, or using Windows (which for some reason or another always keeps on making it's software more dependent on speedier computers, even though it is completely unnecessary.)"

Or, if they're using an X-server.

Time for PC Makers To... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4743759)

figure out how to make it a subscription service...

Ya (1)

Goalie_Ca (584234) | more than 11 years ago | (#4743760)

Even Windows Can't keep forcing people to upgrade no matter how horribly it manages resources. I doubt we will see a windows OS that WILL require a GHz machine any time soon. Unless Joe Blow is a 3d gamer or likes to do video creation, i doubt he will ever upgrade untill his computer no longer works.

Windows requiring 1Ghz? (1)

I Love this Company! (547598) | more than 11 years ago | (#4743860)

I doubt we will see a windows OS that WILL require a GHz machine any time soon.

Of course not! Just like Microsoft says you can run Windows 2000 on a 386 with 4MB of RAM.

Upgrade my mac? HA! (1)

dethl (626353) | more than 11 years ago | (#4743761)

Macs were meant to be used over longer periods of time than PC's were. I'm typing this post on a 2 year old iBook 466mhz...the only thing I need to upgrade on this machine is maybe the hard drive and ram

Re:Upgrade my mac? HA! (1)

Brad1138 (590148) | more than 11 years ago | (#4743851)

Really? 2 TRS OLD! Did you even have a GUI back then? I am writing this on my 5+ yr old PII 266, I could be using my 486-66 thats in the closet(dont ask why). I hope you can do more than post with yours.

Re:Upgrade my linux box? HA! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4743888)

I don't need powerful hardware to run Debian. I'm typing this on a 5 year old Thinkpad, at 166MHz.

Why upgrade? (5, Insightful)

IIRCAFAIKIANAL (572786) | more than 11 years ago | (#4743773)

The only reason to upgrade is obsolescence. Eventually your PC will wear out and you will have to buy a new one.

My in-laws are still using a PII and it suits them just fine. Same goes for operating systems - it's only due to forced obsolescence that they will eventually move off of Windows98. (ie/ when they eventually buy new hardware, no support for it in win98 will mean new OS)
<dons tinfoil hat>Perhaps this is why hardware life expectancy is steadily decreasing?</dons tinfoil hat>

Re:Why upgrade? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4743832)

While that is true for most users, there are still some of us who can max out any cpu they can buy.

With a dual Athalon XP with 2GB ram, I can still only convert DVD's to mpeg4 at about 1/2 realtime. My next machine is going to be a quad xeon...

Need to upgrade? (2)

inode_buddha (576844) | more than 11 years ago | (#4743775)

Yeah, they're just figuring this out. Of course, I went and did the "impossible" for a buddy of mine at work and installed XP on his Cyrix MII box with 96 megs of ram... People really need to begin asking themselves why things are spec'd the way they are, and maybe save a few $$$ As for myself, there's a few 486's and P75's sitting around here, perfectly adequate for 90% of the day-to-day stuff. I've got this monster dual PIII Coppermine box here with a gig of ram for the other 10%

Obviously.... (3, Interesting)

da_Den_man (466270) | more than 11 years ago | (#4743776)

The same goes for computer games. Gaming used to be the number one application for converting shiny new computers into wheezing husks. But even the latest pixel-pushing titles haven't kept up with the advances Silicon Valley has made in terms of processor speed.

They aren't playing ANY of the latest games. Unreal 2k3 stutters on a 2GHZ with 512MB and a GeForce3 card.

NBA 2k3 needs lower resolution to flow smoothly through some of the animations and events occurring on the "floor"

And I just bought 2 1700 AMD XP Athlons to UPGRADE my 1Ghz systems.

Maybe Mom & Pop don't need to upgrade, but they also don't use the computer for the tool it was designed to be.

games? (4, Funny)

Flamesplash (469287) | more than 11 years ago | (#4743812)

Computers were designed to play games? Maybe someone should have clued Babbage, Turing and the rest into this a while ago. We could have some kick ass gaming machines now, though they probably couldn't run notepad.

Re:Obviously.... (4, Insightful)

Knife_Edge (582068) | more than 11 years ago | (#4743891)

People don't use high-end computers for game playing much anymore (slashdot crown excepted, I'm sure). Why would they when they can get a game console for a couple hundred bucks? It fills practically the same need, but much much cheaper, and also works extremely reliably.

There may be a few 3D game nuts out there who absolutely must have the latest PC in order to play the games they want and have the money to purchase that PC, but that is a tiny minority. For most people, spending 10X as much or more on PC game hardware (versus a console) does not result in 10X the fun.

Frankly, I have zero pity for the self-indulgent wealthy fools who purchase high-end PCs for the express purpose of playing games on them. It's their money I guess, but what a waste.

Re:Obviously.... (1)

Dave2 Wickham (600202) | more than 11 years ago | (#4743894)

Well, 2GHz and 512MB RAM w/ GeForce 3 isn't the latest hardware! Sure, it's pretty new, but not the latest.

Of course, I'm stuck here with my PII 400 and can play loads of games though, just not the latest (which is annoying). Even many new games work at lower detail (NOLF2 :P). Hell, I was even playing UT2K3 on it for a while!

Re:Obviously.... (3, Interesting)

stinky wizzleteats (552063) | more than 11 years ago | (#4743909)

Maybe Mom & Pop don't need to upgrade, but they also don't use the computer for the tool it was designed to be.

Which brings up another point. I have played the computer toy chase game for years now, and I've gotten sick of it. I am tired of forking over the $2000 every 2 years that it takes to play the latest games. I've therefore decided that Half-Life and Starcraft are as far as I care to go, and will probably go console if I ever want more than that.

Re:Obviously.... (3, Interesting)

2nd Post! (213333) | more than 11 years ago | (#4743910)

That's awfully arrogant of you.

Mom and pop are exactly using the computer as the tool it was meant to be, and are quite satisfied. It's up to Apple, Dell, Microsoft, Gateway, and IBM to add new functionality (movie making, DVD burning, etc) that would prompt mom and pop to upgrade.

You sound more like a marketing tool, about 'needing' to upgrade.

Let them enjoy their computers, they'll let you enjoy yours.

It's no surprise to me.... (1)

Not Quite Jake (315382) | more than 11 years ago | (#4743780)

The PC I have would probably be put in the category of P.O.S. by you hardcore geeks, but it does just fine for me.
It was free, a gift for going off to college, and has about 128 MB of RAM (if i'm lucky) a 466 MHz Celeron, a 7 GB hardrive and everything else (soundcard, video card, network card) are all built in right on board.
I don't plan on buying a new one until I'm done with school and so far it has sufficed pretty well for surfing the net, downloading mp3s, oggs, movies, pr0n, etc. and even for recording music in my dormroom and bedroom. No hurries here.

Waste (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4743784)

Think of all the waste generated by the demand for games. Not just the money for continual CPU and video card upgrades, but there are studies that show how much water and energy it takes to make computer chips. All in the name of entertainment.

I'm not a gamer, so I used my P90 for 3 1/2 years before I replaced it. My current P450 is almost 4 years old now, and I'm not planning on replacing it for a good while yet. GNOME, Phoenix and Evolution run just fine for me.

But ... but ... (5, Funny)

kcbrown (7426) | more than 11 years ago | (#4743785)

Intel keeps telling me that a new P4 will make the internet go sooo much faster!

I'm so confused, I just don't know who to believe anymore!

:-)

Linux mainting my hardware investment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4743786)

New releases of Linux have actually been improving speed on the same hardware. Of course the latest and greatest KDE/GNOME can't say the same, but unlike Windows I can upgrade my kernel without upgrading the GUI. As a developer who's invested in some heavy duty build boxes, it's good to know I won't have to chuck my hardware anytime soon just to run more stable and secure versions of Linux.

Come to think of it, I wonder why hardware vendors coose to support Linux when it doesn't force the same bi-annual upgrading that Windows does.

Upgrade Cycle (1)

eSun (217758) | more than 11 years ago | (#4743787)

"Robert Clemenzi, an electrical engineer who lives in Manassas, is still using an older model that runs Windows 95. He has no interest in modernizing his computers, because what he's got works. "I'm petrified of upgrading," he said. "Every time I've upgraded it takes days to get things running. "

At that rate, he probably upgraded from a Vic 20 to Windows 95.

As foretold... (2, Informative)

ChTh (453374) | more than 11 years ago | (#4743793)

...by almighty Cringely. [pbs.org]

Such an amazing shock. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4743795)

The only reason to buy a new machine is to play the hottest latest kewlest videogames, and it's been that way for about five years. So, if that's not enough of a reason for most people to get a new computer, when are the game companies going to start designing games for slightly older ones? Assuming that "everybody's going to have more CPU and graphics than we have now" made sense, for a while... but now that there's a huge installed base of people who WON'T have a bigger machine next year, it doesn't anymore.

I can't help but think that games could be improved by having less emphasis on whiz-bang graphics and more on gameplay anyway.

Swinging the other way (5, Interesting)

the grace of R'hllor (530051) | more than 11 years ago | (#4743797)

I'm currently considering a downgrade.

Except for my gaming needs, I'd like a small (physically), extensible, *low-noise* little PC, with a comfortable screen and a decent keyboard.

It seems to me like the low-noise requirement is starting to appeal to more and more people. Hell, else the Via C3 would have been laughed at in *every* review it's gotten.

I'm currently thinking of getting an (otherwise worthless) Epia C3 933MHz box for server duties, provided I can hang my harddrives in there and keep those silent a bit.

Oh, where are you, Transmeta, with halfway decent performance low-noise/heat solutions?

It really is true (5, Insightful)

ekrout (139379) | more than 11 years ago | (#4743798)

People: most computer users simply do not care about running the latest and greatest applications on their PCs. They are quite content with Windows 95, Office 97, and AOL. To them, this is all that a computer does. The PC is merely a way to send email, instant messages, and write papers. The sad truth is that it's the same way for many college students as well.

From the article: Robert Clemenzi, an electrical engineer who lives in Manassas, is still using an older model that runs Windows 95.

This is another surprising trend in the PC world -- many users don't care about which operating system their computer uses to manage hardware devices and programs. Whether or not their machine's underlying system code is an inherently secure model such as BSD or an inherently virus-prone OS, they simply do not care. They will go to Download.com, perhaps, and install whatever free virus scan is available. Of course, the virus definition files may be a year old and they'll never update them, but they just do not know how to do this.

It's the same way for many users of Unix-type machines. All these hackers care about is getting a command line interface so that they can run a couple instances of the Vi text editor and the Mutt email client. Simple. That's all. It's just that straightforward. Whereas the average Windows users just wants to write and chat, the average Unix user just wants to code and post to mailing lists.

Re:It really is true (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4743836)

haha.. when i get mod points (every other week it seems), I'm going to mod you down regardless whether you're trolling,as you are in this case, or not.

Re:It really is true (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4743893)

Wow, the sheer amount of power that you command is awe-inspiring.

Fear you.

Re:It really is true (2)

inode_buddha (576844) | more than 11 years ago | (#4743902)

Amen, brother... this exactly fits 99% of the computer users I know. If you saw my previous post, the only reason I have the huge workstation is because I got sick of waiting 6+ hours on large compile jobs... otherwise, a P75, for example, is adequate.

Manufacturing Headlines (5, Informative)

Alomex (148003) | more than 11 years ago | (#4743802)

This is a trend that has been going on now for about ten years now. The average upgrade time has been slowly moving up, from 12 months to 24 months over the last ten years IIRC. My guess is that average home computer upgrade time has moved from 2-3 years to 5-6 years (with the exception of gamers, who ofetn live on the cutting edge).

For people to upgrade, they need to see sluggish performance. An upgraded GUI can soak tons of raw CPU power in ways that make you yearn for it (just ask the Mac folks about CPU consumption under the OS X GUI). Transparent windows, photo realistic icons, bayesian user interfaces, fully indexable content, database file system, you name it: these features can keep a P4 busy all day.

Until then, a slow pentium at home is all I need to surf the web and read e-mail.

I just did yesterday (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4743805)

I just got rid of my old p3 box and build a new one

I replaced it with a custom built box. it has AMD Athlon 1800, 256 MB ram, a 60 gb hard drive and running Suse linux 8.0. Its too much!

KDE 3.0 is too fast, tux racer runs at 100 FPS (on a 1024x768 display), and that hard drive is just sitting there. Its too much power.

Those athlons are hot too (mines 45c)

Re:I just did yesterday (1)

Goalie_Ca (584234) | more than 11 years ago | (#4743874)

I have an 1800 and mines 47C but in the summer mine was getting up past 70C. :(

Pentium 133 MHz now! (4, Interesting)

inc01 (628920) | more than 11 years ago | (#4743806)

I seriously think every software designer/programmer/whatever should have a Pentium-133 as their primary platform.

People with new, fast computers sometimes end up writing bloated software just because they don't realise that everyone doesn't have the same equipment they do.

I'm not a softeare developer, I'm a GIMP artist, so I'm allowed to use a Celeron-600 powered laptop. :p

Re:Pentium 133 MHz for developers (5, Insightful)

TeknoHog (164938) | more than 11 years ago | (#4743855)

You know, developers sometimes need to compile stuff. It's a pain to code if half of your time is spent building the binaries for testing.

Re:Pentium 133 MHz now! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4743913)

theres something called UNDERCLOCKING! It can slow a computer down to a snails pace.

Will we upgrade forever? (4, Insightful)

brejc8 (223089) | more than 11 years ago | (#4743810)

Begs the question. For things that individuals use computers for, will there come a time when we will simply run out of things to use the computing power on.
I remember when I got a 200MHz machine for my mother and I could not think of anything that she would want to do that would require anything faster.
Unfortunately then came MS products which want more and more computing power and flash heavy internet.

So is it stupid of me to think that once I upgrate her machine to 1GHz she will not need anything more? Or will programmers be able to use even more power?

Currently I cant think what anyone using a computer for just writing and looking at the internet would need faster processors.

Just figuring it out? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4743820)

You say this like it's a not a new thing.. but it is.

I know we've been saying this for years, but the reasons to buy a new pc have been diminishing rapidly as time goes on.

Last year's fast PC is still really really good. One from the year before that is still tolerable, maybe with a bit more memory.

A 500Mhz box with 512 MB of ram is enough, still, to do most things.
A 1Ghz-ish box with 512MB of ram is plenty modern.

No need or a 3 or 4 Ghz machine right now.. the software just hasn't changed enough.

according to intel... (1)

NightHwk1 (172799) | more than 11 years ago | (#4743830)

the newest pentium 4 processors are needed to fully "experience" websites, and streaming video.

and that somehow, a lesser PC hooked up to a cable modem has a slower internet connection compared to a P4 system on a similar cable.

[become a trained intel sales drone at http://retailedge.intel.com]

I'd say this was the perfect place for (2)

Matey-O (518004) | more than 11 years ago | (#4743831)

A linux plug:

I got a PII 266 laptop with a 8gb drive and 96 mb of ram. I bumped the ram to 384 and it runs Redhat 8 great.... ...But it also ran Windows XP equally well for surfing, email and light word processing.

But I went to Redhat as this was the first 'spare' computer I could singleboot to.

All for $100 (plus $60 for the ram)

Me neither (4, Insightful)

dimer0 (461593) | more than 11 years ago | (#4743834)

I'm going to be content with what I have. The only reason to upgrade PCs is for the games, but I'd rather spend $300 every 2 years or so to have my next-gen console.

Have not upgraded in three years since I went SMP (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4743837)

I've been running my dual Celeron 366's running at 550 on my Abit BP6 motherboard since September of 1999. It still suits my needs just perfectly. However, my main HD is a 10K RPM U2W drive. But nonetheless, the system is still faster than the new P4 systems in many ways. I have a laptop with a P4 2.4 CPU in it (before you say there's no such thing, read up because there is and has been ever since the P4 2.4 came out). I have a P4 1.8 system at work. Both of the single CPU systems I use on a daily basis feel pretty sluggish at times compared to the duals.

Duals are just plain awesome! I do plan on upgrading to an Athlon MP system. I will never go single CPU again!

My theory: Do as Slashdot does (1, Troll)

ekrout (139379) | more than 11 years ago | (#4743859)

Write once, never upgrade ;-)

Then get a celeron or duron based system (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4743862)

These chips are DESIGNED for people who dont need all that power.

The 800mhz duron in my laptop is all ill ever need.

"secure" PCs and "media" PCs (3, Insightful)

path_man (610677) | more than 11 years ago | (#4743867)

Call me a cynic, but the reality is that the PC industry needs a new reason to sell boxen. This is the next wave of marketing from the big three (two?) PC manufacturers along side of Micro$oft -- create fear, uncertainty and doubt among the majority of PC users who don't know any better and convince them that they need the new *secure* computers along with the latest generation of Windows crap.

Or create a Windows Media PC that allows you to plug your computer seamlessly into your entertainment centre and TV at home -- everyone knows we can't do that today (sarcasm).

The other huge push of course will be the .NET revolution that MS believes will snare all the unwitting mom&pop operations and casual users. And mark my words -- that 1999 Compaq PC that grandma has sitting on her desk at home just won't cut the mustard on the MS controlled .NET-enabled Internet.

It is truly sad, but the computer industry has sunk to the "whiter-than-white" marketing driven society that we all live in today. Intel, Microsoft, HP, etc. all step in line because they know that it's the only way they are gonna sell new computers. What's the world going to be like in 5 years? Hard to say -- but at the rate we are going now, it'll look an awful lot like today but with more widgets and gadgets than we ever need. And I'll still be typing away on my PII-400MHz and accessing the 'net via outdated software.

AMD is leaving (1)

scythian (46974) | more than 11 years ago | (#4743872)

Perhaps this is why AMD is branching away from CPUs ...

Seriously, no home user could ever need all of the power of today's machines for e-mail, web, writing, finances, etc. Unless you're doing home video or something similar, or want an amazingly fast game machine, you're fine. Sort of a bummer, though, can't exactly use the "Mom, I need something new ..." excuse anymore. I'm still having trouble justifying a switch to an iBook (from an eMachines tower / pc), since I'im fine for productivity with OpenOffice and Mozilla right now. Seriously can't think of anything I've used the computer for for anything other than Web, Writing Papers, Tracking Finances, and Playing some dumb games ... I digitized a movie recently, tht's all. I would have been happy on my old P1 / 75. As soon as Joe consumer realizes this fact, manufacturers are screwed.

-Rob

movies are making me upgrade :) (3, Interesting)

timothy (36799) | more than 11 years ago | (#4743873)

I have a medium-sized collection of DVDs. Among the movies it contain are favorites, like Barcelona, GhostWorld, and Annie Hall, that I sometimes want to watch just for a certain funny or intriguing scene.
I also prefer (not owning a large TV) to watch movies on a computer screen. I think would prefer this even if I *did* own a large TV, which is (drumroll) one reason that I don't. Ahem.

So I have been compressing my movies into DiVX;) using the excellent software dvd:rip [exit1.org] and enjoying the results.

This is a very slow process, and it's the first thing in a while which has specifically made me want to upgrade both processor (a 600MHz Athlon otherwise still feels very fast to me, and I'm in time-machine-based negotiations to lease a fraction of its power to the U.S. Space program circa 1962) and hard drive (because movies are big, even compressed).

timothy

And some people actually like slow computers (1)

Cliffm (44720) | more than 11 years ago | (#4743889)

My Fiancee has a couple of games from that she really likes to play, that on a PII 400 are very playable, whereas if she tried to play them on a P4 2ghz+ they would drive her insane. She had an opportunity to play a Shockwave game on both types of systems and she was very happy to go back to her PII. :)

PCU's are stilling idle (5, Interesting)

ToasterTester (95180) | more than 11 years ago | (#4743896)

Once you hit 1Ghz you hit the point of diminishing return on CPU's. Unless a hard core gamers or running some high end graphic or simularion software you aren't going to see much difference and Joe Public is seeing it. IMO the main contribitor is software, there is no popular with the masses software that needs that many CPU cycles. Most software is sitting waiting for the user to give it something to do. Then the rest of the computer system memory, buses, cards, and devices are way slower, again a lot idle cycles for the CPU. Intel has noticed this and has said they are going to start focusing more on power usage. Also this is part of the reason for HyperThreading, trying to take advantage of all those idle CPU cycles.

Yes, yes! (1)

ErixTr (601648) | more than 11 years ago | (#4743898)

640 kb of memory should be enough for everyone. BTW this is my first /. post after just reading for 6 months. Is it a sin not to have a cool signature? If yes then I'm a sinner. (Maybe this can be my signature.)

Give them a reason- a new use (2)

firewort (180062) | more than 11 years ago | (#4743905)

Computers are currently a few common things:

Word processor
Email/Web/Chat
Accounting
Games

And if that's all they are, and all they will ever be, then there's no reason to upgrade, outside of the dedicated gamer who needs the faster parts. The three former uses simply don't require it and haven't for years.

So what must they do if they want to keep inspiring people to buy? Give us new uses.

The multimedia PC is a step in that direction- using the computer as a home jukebox is a great idea, except that certain interests are determined to undermine that use.

Apple's making an attempt at it with their bundling of video editing software aimed at the home movie maker.

We need to see more moves in this direction that stretch the definition of what a computer is for, for the regular home user.

Then, and only then, will people have a reason to go out and buy new machines.

This is why Intel pays for crap software (1)

nagora (177841) | more than 11 years ago | (#4743907)

Intel approached our company with a view to giving us free equipment if we'd make the site use more processor power (Flash, Java etc). I assume they have some sort of deal with MS too. Intel need slow software in these days of fast processors.

TWW

Equivilent experience, not just equivilent tasks (3, Interesting)

swb (14022) | more than 11 years ago | (#4743912)

I'm sure that most people will disagree with me, but I think not having to upgrade your computer to get an equivilent experience as a person with a new PC is a fairly recent phenomena.

The key thing is "equivilent experience" -- sure, you can browse the web and send email on a 386 with 16MB of RAM running Linux, Lynx and Pine, but its not the same experience that a person running a newer system with a GUI, new browser, plugins, etc. I'd argue that an absolute bottom of the barrel equivilent experience would to have to be 98SE/ME on a PII450 with 256MB of RAM. Anything below that just isn't the same as P4 running XP.

Sure, there are some Linux trolls out there happy to deal with sluggish old P1s and P2s, but they're not getting the same experience.

I don't really notice a difference with my "old" computer (2.5 yr old dual PIII, WinXP) and brand-new P4s with XP. But had this been 4 years ago and I was trying to run Win2K Pro on a P1 166, it would have been glaringly obvious (yes, I have done this).

I'd attribute most of the comparability between 2-3 year old systems and new systems to the lack of overwhelming mobo throughput increases but mostly to the relative OS stability over the last three years -- the economic slowdown has definitely prompted MS to slow its OS upgrade cycle a little.

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