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Are computers getting any faster?

This looks like the stupidiest question ever. The short answer: Yes, but not really.

From a pure technical standopint, computers are getting faster. The P4-2GHz that I have in my PC right now is certainly faster than the 286-12MHz I had a decade ago. There is no question about that.

So why are they not really getting any faster?

Because the things we ask from the computer increase as fast as their processing power. We now have graphical interfaces, anti-aliased fonts, translucent drop menus, nice drop shadows, antivirus checking everything you are doing, spell checkers running in background, and I must be forgetting a bunch. All in all, starting up your computer and writing a 1 page letter, printing it and shutting down will take the same time with my P4 1GHz than it took with my 286-12MHz. But it is getting significantly slicker, smoother and I am now more assisted than I was.

Moreover, I can now do a bunch of things I could only dream of with my 286: Editing movies, music, hi-res pictures (>640x480) and so on...

So, no computers aren't getting any faster, but yes, computers are getting functionally richer.

Categories : General rambling
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