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Desktop Computing is Dead? Hardly.
incrediBILL




msg:4512461
 11:12 pm on Oct 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

Everyone keeps saying desktop computers are dead but friends at lunch today brought up this topic again and said the same thing I've been saying: We don't need to upgrade. Just because we aren't buying desktops doesn't mean we aren't using desktops. It just means the hardware has finally outpaced software which was, until recently, a frequently occurring leapfrog event requiring updates of hardware to keep pace.

The fact that my current computer is an 8GB quad core and under a decent load barely touches 20% of the CPU on Win 7 should give you a clue why I, and many others, aren't buying new desktop machines.

Sure I'm buying new phones and tablets because my previous phone and tablet, like my previous computer, was slower than hell. However, my current 4-5 year old desktop still seems just as fast as the day I bought it.

More likely than replacing the PC will be an upgrade of an SSD (solid state disk) to make it go much faster than this old HDD can spin and that alone could make it last another 3-4 years. I might also add a 3rd and possibly 4th monitor, but that again won't help lagging desktop sales.

PC makers simply need to face the hard truth that they're now delivering product that has a purchase cycle more like a car than the rapid computer sales cycles of yesteryear and adjust accordingly before they find themselves in dire financial straits.

 

Andy Langton




msg:4512462
 11:21 pm on Oct 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

It's a good point. Another factor is that Windows itself has improved pretty drastically in terms of the bogged down/re-install cycle that probably triggered a few desktop purchases on those that don't know how to fix such problems.

That said, PC's used to be the *only* way to get online and perform basic tasks, whereas now there are lots of options. But clearly there are lots of "heavy lifting" tasks that there is currently nothing on the market that to beat a standalone machine with a full-sized keyboard.

Leosghost




msg:4512463
 11:25 pm on Oct 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

This is why Apple have made it not possible to upgrade the RAM in the new Apple 21.5-inch iMac..nor in the new macbook pro..( the RAM is soldered in in both ) so eventually they can just make their OS more RAM hungry and thus force you to buy an all new Apple computer..

MS have noticed this "trick" and the "app store trick" and are moving into making their hardware, and running their own "app store" too..

[edited by: Leosghost at 11:27 pm (utc) on Oct 25, 2012]

brotherhood of LAN




msg:4512465
 11:26 pm on Oct 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

>heavy lifting

Even then, hosting/cloud can do that and be quite economical.

IMHO desktops for the mainstream and most part just need to be 'fast enough' to get online & handle whatever software you like running on there, which for most people would be some office software and a browser.

Gamers/hardware intensive programs will want something a little more hefty.

I can't think of anything that's CPU/IO intensive that I do on my laptop (which for all intents and purposes could be called a desktop).

SSD seems the way to go as storage is typically the bottleneck.

I'll be upgrading when the laptop starts falling apart.

Leosghost




msg:4512470
 11:35 pm on Oct 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

Google tried pushing a laptop that could connect to the web and run software from there ..wasn't very successful for them ..even when they cut the price..no-one wants it..
Those who only want to "consume" buy tablets or use smart-phones..

SSD is OK for an OS ( as long as you have a back up of the OS outside the "box" ) but as when SSD goes titsup it has no possibility of recovery..it really is not a good idea for storage..

Andy Langton




msg:4512474
 11:54 pm on Oct 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

Yeah, the chromebook lost me at "don't open too many tabs at once" ;)

incrediBILL




msg:4512487
 1:32 am on Oct 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

SSD is OK for an OS ( as long as you have a back up of the OS outside the "box" ) but as when SSD goes titsup it has no possibility of recovery..it really is not a good idea for storage..


The same can be said for almost any storage medium depending on whether it's a hard media failure vs. a corrupted write which can be repaired. That's why we make backups or use cloud drives so when it goes go tits up you slap in a new drive and get back to business in a couple of hours. Whether it's SSD or HDD the strategy is about the same.

The problem with Windows, unless they addressed it in Win 8, is that when you do have to replace a computer or the HDD at a minimum, it's a very painful event. Compare that to getting my new Android phone or tablet where Google Play knew of all my previously installed apps and reinstalling them was a breeze as well as retaining all of the data from the previous phone. Even the Nexus 7 tablet knew of all the Android apps I owned and gleefully downloaded everything that was compatible to the Nexus 7.

Reconstructing a similar reinstall on Windows devices is traumatic and I'm not sure a similar Windows app store is going to solve that problem unless traditional Windows software ends up being part of the app store.

Something about buying a piece of software costing hundreds of dollars from an 'app store' just seems wrong.

GaryK




msg:4512494
 2:01 am on Oct 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

but as when SSD goes titsup it has no possibility of recovery

Not sure if I'm allowed to mention brand names in Foo, but there's a program that's been around forever that can fix almost any issue with storage media whether it's a HDD, SSD or even flash drives. It can take a very long time to fix everything, but if you don't have any backups it's better than nothing.

Am I naive to think that so long as people need traditional software and even apps there will always be a need for desktops? I can't imagine working on and compiling a program on a Surface, or any other tablet-type of platform.

Leosghost




msg:4512499
 2:12 am on Oct 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

Mention it..

Whether it's SSD or HDD the strategy is about the same.

My last visit to a "clean room" ..weren't many SSDs on the rigs to be fixed ;).. Kinda hard to open them..whereas getting at platters is awkward, expensive, but not beyond possible.."fried SSD" ?

GaryK




msg:4512508
 2:21 am on Oct 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

Mention it..

SpinRite

Leosghost




msg:4512509
 2:24 am on Oct 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

What would make re-installing windows far less painful for the average user, is if so many items of software didn't think that they had to be on the same drive as the OS..

Sure one can force some of them to be "elsewhere"..but some are just stubborn and won't work anywhere else..and some insist that that is where their license files have to live anyway even if they can be persuaded to live on another drive..

Leosghost




msg:4512511
 2:30 am on Oct 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

**Thought that would be it :)..not 100% efficace (<=can't remember how to say that in English for now, it's 04.30 am here ) ..but agreed..:) usefull in the "toolkit" along with live linux discs ( knoppix )) and various boot sector repair tools, and other win fixer stuff, password killers etc..**

His screen saver used to bluescreen my win98 box though as soon as it kicked in ( took it off after just an hour or so )..couldn't be bothered to look through his lines of code ( not that it had many ) to find out why..very "tie dye" teeshirtish.. for a screensaver it was..from what I saw of the screen caps on his site way back in what was probably the previous century to this one..

**thought I posted that part already, too many tabs open,;)**

[edited by: Leosghost at 2:44 am (utc) on Oct 26, 2012]

SevenCubed




msg:4512512
 2:31 am on Oct 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

:) I sent GaryK a PM to ask if it was SpinRite before he posted it here. I've had it for many years.

GaryK




msg:4512514
 2:49 am on Oct 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

His screen saver used to bluescreen my win98 box ... couldn't be bothered to look through his lines of code

That was ages ago. I think it was called ChromaZone and it was written in pure assembly. The simplicity and elegance of assembly is another reason why I think/hope desktops will never go the way of the DoDo bird.

efficace (<=can't remember how to say that in English for now

Effective. :)

Leosghost




msg:4512521
 3:12 am on Oct 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

Effective. :)


Merci:) et bon nuit..( amazing how you can forget your own 1st language, when you aren't using all of it every day )..would have bugged me to have not had the word :)

That was ages ago.
certainly was..
I think it was called ChromaZone

Yep I think that was it..I probably have a copy of it around..seem to remember it as being tiny ( for what it said it could do ) like around 20k..
and it was written in pure assembly

Indeed twas.
The simplicity and elegance of assembly is another reason why I think/hope desktops will never go the way of the DoDo bird.

With you there:)

btw..talking old software that is very useful and works on all win upto 7 ( haven't tried it on 8 ) ..SpaceMonger ( shows how much space file used ..standalone exe ..works on linux under wine too, reads all attached drives, whatever the file system)..and another, an indexer ( but it has trouble on drives of 2T and up ) Cathy..I use it to keep track of all my optical media..both freeware..

J_RaD




msg:4512588
 10:03 am on Oct 26, 2012 (gmt 0)


almost any issue with storage media whether it's a HDD, SSD


you can't fix and SSD when the R/W has been wore out, its just dead, and no magic tool will bring it back.

g1smd




msg:4512596
 10:21 am on Oct 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

What would make re-installing windows far less painful for the average user, is if so many items of software didn't think that they had to be on the same drive as the OS..

The biggest pain in the proverbial is that damned Registry. Who thought that was a good idea?

BeeDeeDubbleU




msg:4512608
 10:56 am on Oct 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

We are talking tools and toys! ;)

J_RaD




msg:4512634
 1:37 pm on Oct 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

while normal software isn't pushing hardware much, games are deff leading the charge.

I've had to upgrade a few times, but as with all my systems i build them with in place upgrades in mind... this is part of the reason I stick with AMD stuff, their sockets last a long time and you can swap chips out with ease.

CPU... RAM... VIDEO

good to go for another few years.

Then you gota do a new board and ram.. well when DDR4 gets here anyway, don't even need to replace the chassis, just keep reusing it. *as long as you have quality stuff* heck you don't even need to reinstall your OS, just install chipset drivers and go go go.

if you are buying OEM junk, well... you don't really have these options except ram, as they all use the cheapest of the cheap parts and really don't want you upgrading crap.

engine




msg:4512648
 2:23 pm on Oct 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

The desktop as we know it is just hardware. What would I replace it with?

I don't really care about the physical size of the 'unit.' What I care about is the interface and the 'unit's' performance.

I use a multi-screen setup and need a good kb and mouse (pointing device). The processor must be fast enough (no need to be a speed demon), and adequate memory. Adequate data storage is a key, and its archiving which is a critical point. I'm not so worried if it's SSD or HD.

I also need to 'go mobile.' The latest smartphones are great for that, but inadequate to replace the desktop.

It's straightforward in my mind: I need a desktop.

Now, if I wasn't doing the work i'm doing, it may be a different story.

I agree, it's not the end of the desktop, but I think it has been the end of the desktop as a mass market item since the iPad and smartphones became mainstream.

onlineleben




msg:4512649
 2:49 pm on Oct 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

I need a desktop to leave my busines stuff in the office and not take it upstairs into the home. With a laptop there is always the danger that you try to combine business and family time.

engine




msg:4512652
 3:01 pm on Oct 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

I read this article about Win 8, which surprised me. I've not yet had the chance to try Win 8, but, has Microsoft killed the desktop?

Why you shouldn’t upgrade to Windows 8
[pcworld.com]

Andy Langton




msg:4512656
 3:06 pm on Oct 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

Not really - but they have gone for a "half and half" approach (half metro, half desktop). But it's surprisingly easy to live with. It feels like they want everything to be their new interface, but know people are still accustomed to the traditional desktop.

Personally, I understand why the critics hate it. But from what I've seen so far, the average user likes it. And I'm not planning on rolling back yet (which is saying something, as I'm pretty fussy ;))

scooterdude




msg:4512681
 4:26 pm on Oct 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

The more I read about windows 8, the more I think Vista, I think I'll let this one pass me by , and who knows what the future holds, I never felt short changed by not having vista

I have a windows phone and its okay for a phone, but I'd never have it on a laptop or desktop

Thank you Microsoft for telling me what I should like, but no thanks !

Long Live Windows 7 !

scooterdude




msg:4512682
 4:29 pm on Oct 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

An If I get really hacked off, I gonna convert to Apple !

Did I really say that, :)

J_RaD




msg:4512690
 4:56 pm on Oct 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

ha, you really wanna be stuck with apples computer upgrade cycles? and the lack of any upgrade ablity, ask the mac pro users how they are feeling... they are jumping ship and converting to back to PCs (as if macs aren't pcs anyways)

apple has pretty much told the pro users where to shove it.

J_RaD




msg:4512691
 4:58 pm on Oct 26, 2012 (gmt 0)


I read this article about Win 8, which surprised me. I've not yet had the chance to try Win 8, but, has Microsoft killed the desktop?


i think everyone is freaking out about nothing... maybe for the sake of freaking out and having some click bait articles.

incrediBILL




msg:4512805
 8:19 pm on Oct 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

Another reason desktop sales are probably faltering is hand-me-down desktops. Much of the hardware now being discarded is still fast enough (for non-power users) and new enough to run the current OS and get people online.

I know that's how some schools, churches and lower income people get computers.

J_RaD




msg:4512845
 10:42 pm on Oct 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

I pass on refurbs all the time, some people just need a cheap computer.

I've got one on my bench now actually.

Most of the time I can pass on better hardware and under cut the OEMs at the same time.

BeeDeeDubbleU




msg:4512911
 8:02 am on Oct 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

I need a desktop to leave my busines stuff in the office and not take it upstairs into the home.
My office (with two PCs and a laptop) is upstairs in the home. ;)
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