Self Same computers

From: John Foust <>
Date: Thu Sep 6 18:42:11 2001

At 01:43 PM 9/6/01 -0700, McManis, Charles wrote:
>So what I predict, is that in the near future (probably 1 to 2 but certainly less than 5 years) you will only see "computers" sold as either big-bad-ass servers, or small embeddedable controllers. The middle ground, the so called "Personal Computer" will cease to exist as a general purpose machine. And only the programmers will notice.

With prices dropping so low, computers have become more
disposable. But even with the $200 Celeron 566 you can
buy today, it still has drive bays and memory slots and
IDE and USB I/O interfaces.

A vast part of the computer market is the selling of add-ons
and replacement components. How cheap will computers need
to be before you'll throw one away because the CD drive
stopped working?

Does commoditization necessary mean they'll no longer be
expandable, and that they'll be expendable? (Driving to the
office tonight, a very beat-up and rusty car very nearly
matched the speed of my 2001 model.) Does it mean people
won't want to buy replacement parts or upgrade options?

What might this mean for classic computers? In fifteen years,
some of them may be unbootable, as the ASP-like web services
they depended on have disappeared like so many dog-food-selling
dot-com ephemera sites.

To stretch the auto analogy, even in the smallest towns there
are still auto parts stores and repair shops and at the next
level, all the junk yards and parts dealers who fill the
needs of the repair stores.

With the surging wave of enthusiastic game-players who rapidly
drove the pace of graphics card development far beyond what
the earlier CAD and computer graphics market ever demanded,
has emerged a new class of computer owners who eagerly
upgrade, tweak, customize and polish their systems beyond all reason.
Just like car enthusiasts. :-)

- John
Received on Thu Sep 06 2001 - 18:42:11 BST

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