Monthly Archives: November 2013

The PC is not dead, we just don’t need new ones. Really?

Undeniably, there has been a major cultural shift away from desktops towards tablets and mobile devices.  But It seems every week another person defiantly declares that desktops are dead and “Post-PC” era is now upon us. 

“PC sales are declining, because people don’t need to upgrade.  They are good enough,” they emphatically chant in unison.  “PCs are dead.”   Translation — we don’t need to buy new ones – the ones we have are plenty good enough.

Hogwash. 

Personally, I’m tired of sensationalist articles about the PC market decline and making the conclusion that nobody likes or uses PCs anymore, or that they will disappear totally.

I’ve simply seen the pendulum swing too many times before.  I’ve seen the pendulum swing from mainframes, to PCs, to servers, to PCs, to tablets, to “the cloud,” and soon to the “internet of things” (or lots of insecure embedded devices and lots of insecure bloated software on network infrastructure). 

I see this logic applied in a dollars and cents way by corporate IT departments.  Every day, I’m struck by the quiet absurdity of giving expensive engineers inexpensive and painfully slow machines to ply their trades.  While I understand the lure of pre-negotiated discounts and standardized desktop deployments, I see first hand the waste in time, effort, and labor using slow computer systems that are “good enough.”

I’m using a 2008 Mac Pro, which I regularly bring it to its knees.  I’ve upgraded the RAM and upgraded to SSDs.  While the upgrades have definitely improved the machine, I will soon be upgrading to a bigger, better machine just as soon as I can.  

If all you are doing is writing PHP, JavaScript, and looking at Facebook, then yes, you don’t really need a fast machine, but please spare us from your prognostications and preponderances of the future.