Weekend tech reading: Why the PC still matters

By on July 15, 2012, 11:48 AM

Alive and booting: 8 reasons the PC still matters Many, including Apple's Tim Cook and Steve Jobs before him, believe that we're entering a "Post-PC era" where smartphones, tablets and cloud-powered thin clients like Google's Chromebooks will eliminate traditional computers. Sales numbers seem to back the desktop-deniers as the most recent Gartner report shows Q2 PC shipments 0.1 percent lower than they were at the same time last year. So this week, when Microsoft COO Kevin Turner said that we're actually in a "PC Plus" era, he raised a few eyebrows. Live Science

When art, Apple and the Secret Service collide: ‘People staring at computers’ Maybe an email, or a phone call from Apple. Instead, my first indication that something was “wrong” was a real-life visit from the organization best known for protecting the President of the United States of America. They rang the doorbell a few times. It woke me up, and I tried to ignore it. There were always kids playing with the doorbells in our apartment building. But the kids don’t normally shout, “this is the Secret Service, open the door,” so I took that as my cue to get out of bed. Wired

Valve picks up another all-star Linux developer With Valve Software's ambitious plans for Linux, they have just picked up another Linux development all-star. Their latest hire has been working on Linux games for more than a decade, is a former Loki Software developer, and he's the creator of SDL. The latest person that Valve just hired to join their Linux cabal is Sam Lantinga. Sam Lantinga was one of the original Loki Software developers where he worked on porting games to Linux like Rune, Tribes 2, Railroad Tycoon II, and many others in the late 90's. Phoronix

Tech disasters: The worst $#!% that ever happened to our electronics You know how it is. You install Windows 2000 shortly after its release, get it all set up, have everything running perfectly, but there's one thing that's bugging you. The Windows directory, specifically its name. "WINDOWS." In all caps. Shouting at you. What operating system do you use? WINDOWS! It's just so... uncouth. Ars Technica

Emily, you did nothing wrong, but you made mistakes Emily, you have not done anything wrong, but you've made a few mistakes. I expect you don't recognize them. Indeed, I doubt anyone has brought these issues to your attention before. The fallacious attack by that copyright freak seems to have led the discussion in a different direction. What were these mistakes? First of all, they had nothing to do with "theft". Richard Stallman (responding to this)

The 3D hype bubble is now completely busted The evidence that people are getting tired of 3D continues to pile up. The latest bad news comes from Nintendo president Satoru Iwata, who in an interview with The Independent admitted that interest in 3D is "perhaps slightly on the wane again." Although Nintendo will continue to offer 3D in its handheld gaming devices, it won’t be a major selling point, says Iwata... Time

The bookless library They are, in their very different ways, monuments of American civilization. The first is a building: a grand, beautiful Beaux-Arts structure of marble and stone occupying two blocks’ worth of Fifth Avenue in midtown Manhattan. The second is a delicate concoction of metal, plastic, and glass, just four and a half inches long, barely a third of an inch thick, and weighing five ounces. The New Republic

Multiple pass inkjet prints For many years I been experimenting with making images on my Wide format inkjet printer without the use of a complex digital computer file (my usual mode of working). No sophisticated software, no filters, no blending modes, no computer manipulation just the transparency of the printers ink interacting as each new layer of ink is laid down one on top of another. Campbell Laird

Explosion at Shaw Communications headquarters knocks out service to thousands Thousands of Calgarians were hit by "a major telecommunications failure" Wednesday after an explosion in an electrical room at Shaw Communications’ downtown headquarters. The impact was wide ranging -- affecting radio stations, Internet service, hospital computers, government networks... Canada

A million-year hard disk It seems these days that no data storage medium lasts long before becoming obsolete -- does anyone remember Sony's Memory Stick? So have pity for the builders of nuclear waste repositories, who are trying to preserve records of what they've buried and where, not for a few years but for tens of thousands of years. ScienceNow

On the ugliness of Wikipedia Here is an empirical truth about Wikipedia: Aesthetically, it is remarkably unattractive. The gridded layout! The disregard for mind-calming images! The vaguely Geocities-esque environment! Whether it's ironic or fitting, it is undeniable: The Sum of All Human Knowledge, when actually summed up, is pretty ugly. The Atlantic

Comic-Con 2012 pictures, screenshots and photos Get the latest Comic-Con 12 live pics from the show floor, including booth displays, cosplay, video game screenshots, and more! G4TV




User Comments: 22

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Jay Pfoutz Jay Pfoutz, Malware Helper, said:

Oh no...here we go again with the post-PC era. There goes all our paychecks. :p

1 person liked this | Ranger12 Ranger12 said:

I think desktops will be around for the foreseeable future just because the newest and fastest hardware never fits in laptops, tablets, or smartphones. My desktop today is the same size as my desktop I built ten years ago. The latest and greatest hardware is introduced for desktops because desktops are uniquely capable of the cooling and power needs of new hardware.

treetops treetops said:

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Staff
Julio Franco Julio Franco, TechSpot Editor, said:

I believe it's a matter of form factor, not just performance alone. I can get some work done using mobile devices (smartphone, tablet, etc.), but on my desktop I'm more comfortable for longer hours and I'm way more productive.

ikesmasher said:

I agree with above.

Benny26 Benny26, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I also agree with Julio here.

A few weeks back I moved house and considered dropping my broadband in the new house due to being able to do pretty much everything on my phone in regards to the Internet. Only took me a week or so to realize it was getting tedious having to focus for long periods on the phone. Eventually I got my Internet back and noticed there's nothing more comfortable than the desktop.

Guest said:

Desktop for most everything..Like said above, phone or tablet not that good for long periods of time.Plus the older you get the bigger the screen you need to be read websites easier..IMO.:)

Adhmuz Adhmuz, TechSpot Paladin, said:

You know, god forbid you sit down at a desk and use a computer, when it comes to working and being productive being on the go is one of the most distracting things. When you are at a desk chances are theres a reason for it, and you have something to do. This can all still be done from a laptop connected to a kvm, but its just not the same even with the performance boost of resent years. Expandability (Upgraded-ability), connectivity and performance all specialties of the desktop computer, something no other device can do. Also glad to hear the 3D fad has already moved on, what a useless concept (For the entertainment industry exclusively)

ikesmasher said:

I'm actually surprised that convertible tablet notebooks/netbooks didn't hit a bigger market- they are really cool. Maybe with Windows 8 we will see that more.

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

I commented from day one that the whole 3D fad was just that. Amazing how manufacturer's decided (apparently without any customer research), that since "Avatar" was a big hit, that meant everyone wanted 3D and tried to cram it down our throat in every way, shape and form.

I personally don't know of a single person who has made a purchase in the last 3-4 years based on 3D capabilities. I suspect in 2 years it will be completely gone only to resurface as "the next big thing" 30 years down the road.

Guest said:

Sounds like yet another group of CEOs high on their own success. I can see smartphones becoming more important than PCs but I cannot envisage the end of the PC. There is simply no substitute for a big screen and the greater capabilities we get as the hardware gets larger.

ET3D, TechSpot Paladin, said:

A lot of businesses have moved to laptops. Both me and my wife are software developers and we work on laptops. They are hooked to decent keyboards, mice and often monitors. They're more costly and less powerful than desktops, but they have advantages, such as being mobile (you can just take your work as is home or abroad or to present it at a meeting) and surviving power outages (without need for bulky UPS's which last for only a few minutes).

I think that desktops will continue to be around, but they'll continue to be marginalised.

As for 3D, the problem is that it's not convenient. Even if you don't need to wear special glasses, you have to adjust the depth of the game, you have to keep your head just so. In the end the result is just not worth the hassle. For some people the hassle is great. I can't go to movies with my wife because most of them are 3D and she finds the glasses extremely uncomfortable and doesn't see the 3D well.

MilwaukeeMike said:

I believe it's a matter of form factor, not just performance alone. I can get some work done using mobile devices (smartphone, tablet, etc.), but on my desktop I'm more comfortable for longer hours and I'm way more productive.

Form factor is unrelated. Like ET3D above me, I work for a company that has us all on laptops with docking stations so we can bring them home and to meetings. It's not a stretch to say a phone will be able to do this, but in many cases we're already past the desktop PC.

For my home however... I can't imagine not having a desktop. Even if performance gets there someday, I still like building my PC.

MarkHughes said:

I am a software developer and at my company we all use laptops with docking stations. I also use a laptop at home for my personal use, I don't have a desktop anymore. But I might get one again in the future as they do have merit as people above have rightly said.

Johnny Pappis Johnny Pappis said:

Exactly people dont understand that technology needs to start out in a certain form factor and it takes alot of R&D to shrink it down to the size of say a tablet or smart phone but when it first comes out towers are where its at, Desktops are becoming the sports car of Computing it caters to a smaller and smaller part of the market but thats where the power is for enthusiasts!

1 person liked this | Marnomancer Marnomancer said:

Oh no...here we go again with the post-PC era. There goes all our paychecks. :p

Haha, +1.

I said the same thing about that auto-problem-handler thingy. Tech-support's future is in doubt.

Really, the PC is here to stay for a long time - in evolving forms, but yes, always there.

Guest said:

People who claim that the PC era is nearing its end, obviously have never been very productive with computers to begin with and that is a FACT. I don't seem myself rendering HD movies, 3D models, watching HD movies, editing large image in Photoshop or doing work in Excel on a phone, tablet or even a laptop. It's not just about computer power but also about high end software, a rock solid keyboard, one or more 24-27" monitors, extra drives, DVD/BLu-Ray burners, high end audio, etc plus being able to build your own machine and maintain it without have to rely on service centers, repair costs, delays, etc or being able to upgrade every partm, without being forced to buy a complete machine. Even with a laptop you're very limited. My daughter has a 3 year old laptop and her touchpad is failing. Good luck repairing that yourself. Good luck upgrading its processor or adding a better graphics card. No, you guys can go ahead with your silly tablets and laptops as your main computer, I need a real machine!

Lionvibez said:

People who claim that the PC era is nearing its end, obviously have never been very productive with computers to begin with and that is a FACT. I don't seem myself rendering HD movies, 3D models, watching HD movies, editing large image in Photoshop or doing work in Excel on a phone, tablet or even a laptop. It's not just about computer power but also about high end software, a rock solid keyboard, one or more 24-27" monitors, extra drives, DVD/BLu-Ray burners, high end audio, etc plus being able to build your own machine and maintain it without have to rely on service centers, repair costs, delays, etc or being able to upgrade every partm, without being forced to buy a complete machine. Even with a laptop you're very limited. My daughter has a 3 year old laptop and her touchpad is failing. Good luck repairing that yourself. Good luck upgrading its processor or adding a better graphics card. No, you guys can go ahead with your silly tablets and laptops as your main computer, I need a real machine!

Couldn't have said it any better my friend.

Leave the tablets for the isheep.

Real men use desktop computers lol!

davimous said:

Some people drive smart cars and some people drive sports cars.

Guest said:

Some people drive smart sports cars, some drive non-smart, non-sports cars.

Furthermore, some drive smart but non-sports cars, yet more non-smart sports cars,

and some just don't drive at all.

Some people just have a wine gum lodged in their anus like David Orcus.

nismo91 said:

I used to rely on laptop for my primary machine, until last year I realized it's too darn expensive for me to get a laptop which is as powerful as my budget rig. sure I have to sync files manually between my desktop and laptop, but it's much cheaper, faster and easily upgrade / downgradeable. there's one time I realized I'm only running on 1360x768 32" LCD and most of my games therefore doesn't even require a GTX560Ti. downgrade back to 8800GT with older PSU and sell both for a Logitech G27. wouldn't be possible if it isn't a desktop PC.

so is PC still matters? the hell it is. I'd prefer to do long-hours work on my desktop PC on fairly large LCD using full sized ergonomics keyboard and mouse. I used laptop if im on the go but it wont last me long before im gone tired or RSI occured.

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