Computers migrating form factors from mainframes of the 1960's to the smartphones of 2010's onward! How much computing horsepower do you need?
6 Teraflops of gaming performance, the next Xbox will be the most powerful game console computer in the world! Millions will buy it, making the console cost to performance ratio an extremely good value in terms of computer hardware performance per $ spent.
Too Much IT hardware = Low Utilization
I use an overpowered power optimized 2014 notebook / laptop to tweet & blog. I listen to Pandora on an antique iPod Touch streaming Wifi music. Our 2014 smart TV has Netflix so tightly integrated that the remote control features a Netflix button.
Meg & I both use newer iMac's for heavier desktop computer use, in my case for video editing in iMovie mostly! I mostly only use my galaxy Note 3 (thanks Jaeson & Alicia) when I am mobile, away from wifi at home. I use a home built linux desktop for special online tasks. I plugged a first gen. Google chrome cast into an 2012 TV that was gifted to us, to add "smart" but rarely use it! I sometimes use a 2nd gen iPad like a giant iPod Touch. Meg rocks an iPhone SE.
In the past we used an Apple TV, it sits idle for now. Similarly our Nexus 7 tablet is drawer parked. I was gifted a Samsung tablet win 10 computer that also gets very little use. I move between platforms in an episodic burst pattern with randomness mixed with seasonal use case patterns dominated by photography, writing, video editing & gaming.
I use 3 actual made in Japan Canon cameras (S90, SX40 & T5i) to shoot photography and video, the SD cards from them can be work flow processed on one of many computers, platform independent. I am not big on using my phone as a camera unless it is the only camera I have with me. I shoot more photos & video during warmer fair weather, outside, and in performing self analysis, found that my IT behaviors are both adding to my life while taking away from my health, causing me to step back and reconsider what I am doing with these powerful versatile digital information tools.
YouTube can be a TV or a DIY tutor, a school or a media sharing platform : many things to many people to the tune of billions of hours of video uploaded every day! Big tremendously huge data!
3G gave way to 4G LTE, now 5G the topic of discussion at Qualcomm & mobile network operators like AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and Team Mobil. Fierce competition between the aforementioned cellular companies driving greater mobile network performance innovations so that people can use unlimited data plans to watch youtube almost anywhere populated with IT infrastructure.
RSS News Feed
The MSN homepage auto-scrolls a diverse collection of news articles spanning the gamut of genre coverage that I find periodically interesting to burst browse upon loading up the Edge browser for fun!
Twitter itself has become a remarkable custom news feed engine because of what I follow. I tweet a lot these days for the sole intended purpose of sharing ideas that I believe will help the world through the eyes & minds of other people. I publish this blog with a similar intention to help others!
So how much computer horsepower do you need
Gaming + Video Editing = A lot
Casual Youtube + Web = Not much
Most of the computer hardware released since 2012 regardless of platform is powerful enough for the majority of human computer use cases in general purpose information technology use cases, those end use cases that dominate public IT use average overall.
Nobody can stop technology now!
The digitization of information for the benefit of billions of people online now saves billions of trees by eliminating the need for paper & printing : redundant duplication & material waste thereby minimized. The manufacturing of computer hardware has a heavy environmental toll, one that is well balanced by the reduction in eco-system destruction enabled by the digitization of information across all platforms.
Computers are electric, thereby enabling information technology to be powered by solar, wind, geothermal, hydro, nuclear, natural gas or clean coal or any combination thereof. Computers are becoming more energy efficient every year, mainly because of the miniaturization of it technology mostly poignantly emblematic of the smartphone revolution from 2007 kicked off by the first iPhone. A smartphone from 2017 has more computational power than a laptop from 2007. Intel for example struggles to build a powerful mobile chipset while ARM processors are now able to edit 4K video on a phone powered by a tiny lithium ion battery.
Someone showed me a $40 smartphone yesterday that randomly died. I laughed at the idea of a $40 smartphone, imagining what kind of half baked short cuts the Chinese must have taken to churn out such a cheap piece of unreliable e-waste. While I disagree with the pricing scheme used to inflate the cost of iPhones & high end android phones like the Google Pixel lineup, I think there is fair middle ground where quality and value can coexist peacefully. The $400 iPhone SE for example offers the best of iPhone 5 design with the internal information hardware of the more expensive, fragile iPhone 6S. Bend-gate is a catch word designed to convey the weak mechanical integrity of the iPhone 6, 6S, 7 and the plus size versions of these phones : all of them can be easily bent in half by any normal person with reasonable hand/ arm strength. Even small children can bend the iPhone 6 & 7 in half, check YouTube for examples. Apple's engineering staff went full on zealot mode with the phone designers, the correspondingly outrageously thin aluminum chassis giving rise to the bend gate fragility issues.
Unethical Sealed Rechargeable Batteries
Sadly sealed batteries have become a norm of consumer betrayal as Samsung and other OEM's continue moving towards designed obsolescence. Officially they claim the sealed battery was chosen for the enabling of water sealing, thinner form factors and enhanced run-time. Of course any sane logical adult who things about this would realize the manufacturer real motivation, to sell more units. Samsung once touted interchangeable batteries in advertisements making fun of Apple iPhones for their lack of user replaceable batteries, depicting iPhone users tethered to an electrical outlet with a charging cable, waiting for their iPhone to charge as a slick looking Samsung phone user hot swaps a battery into their Galaxy S5 or previous Samsung phones.
The Note 7 fires are emblematic of why sealed batteries suck! People who were holding the Note 7 when thermal runaway started were unable to remove the battery to keep it from ruining the expensive phone hardware. This is safety problem of such magnitude that Samsung recalled all Note 7 and expunged them from the world. On March 29th Samsung will launch the Note 8 and I am almost certain it will contain a sealed non-user replaceable battery.