Re: Is IT growth slowing?

Subject: Re: Is IT growth slowing?
From: Bruce Byfield <bbyfield -at- progeny -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 03 May 2001 12:01:40 -0300

John Fleming wrote:
> Here's my own perception on software upgrades, and I'm going to focus
> heavily on MS products here (at the risk of being labelled an MS
> basher, which I probably am).

I long ago came to the conclusion that software upgrades were the
software industry's version of planned obsolescence.

Last fall, I upgraded my business computer (I work largely from home).
The hard drive had 1000X the capacity of the one on my first computer,
the RAM was 250X greater than on my first computer, and so on on down
the line. Yet, apart from the fact that I am now working with graphical
interfaces instead of text-based ones, I am doing essentially the same
tasks and I am only slightly more productive - if that - while doing
routine work.

I'm sure that graphical and audio designers are far more productive with
modern computers than with those of 12 years ago. Gamers are probably
over-joyed at hardware developments, too. However, for the average user
of an office suite, I doubt that modern computers offer much that was
not available in the late Eighties. Yet, during that time, the average
computer user has probably upgraded 4-6 times, largely out of fear of
being left behind.

You can see part of the planned obsolescence in what hardware is
developed. Chip makers continually trumpet the speed of their newest
chips, coming out with a faster one every few months or so. Yet clock
speed alone is not an accurate measurement of how fast a computer runs.
Meanwhile, although it is possible to find .20 dot-pitch flat screens,
monitors have averaged .24 to .26 for the last six years. Similarly,
standard printer resolutions have stalled at 600 x 600, with laser
printers capable of 1200 x 1200 available only at huge jump in price. As
with cars, the clockspeed of a computer is a sexy figure, so it is
constantly advanced, even though it is not that important. But monitor
dot-pitch and printer resolutions aren't, so they either stagnate or
progress extremely slowly.

Bruce Byfield 604.421.7177 bbyfield -at- progeny -dot- com

"Hal-an-Tow, jolly rumbelow,
We were out long before the day-O
To welcome in the summer time, to welcome in the May-O
Summer is a'coming in and winter's gone away."
- Traditional, "Halston Furey Dance"


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