[Date Prev][Date Next][Subject Prev][Subject Next][ Date Index][ Subject Index]

Re: Labels and other "Panel" formats

MCSWAIN@xxxxxxxx wrote:
> Leslie et al: Sorry to be a bigmouth,

You're not!

> but I watched this same process
> over my father's shoulder in amateur radio; first, equipment had vacuum
> tubes and relatively simple circuits so that one could build and
> experiment at home for a small amount of money, or scrounge up surplus
> parts from a tv repair shop or the local university's maintenance facility.
> Then, microprocessors came in, and the projects in the magazines got more
> and more complicated, and expensive, to the point that most HAMS could not
> understand the circuitry of their transceivers much less repair them;

I imagine the history of technology abounds in similar examples. I believe,
e.g., that the first automobiles were designed so that drivers could make
repairs themselves.

When what was once an item for hobbiests becomes an item for everybody, I
suppose this is inevitable.

> but he failed to address the
> issue of accelerating technology; it is not being addressed in computer
> magazines, because they are compromised by having to lay off advertisers;

Quite so. I note, for example, that when the magazines report their tests on
whatever it is they are testing that month they compare the latest versions of
the item in question from mfgs. A, B, and C. The do _not_, however, compare
mfg. A's version 3.7 with A's 3.5, in regards speed, ease of use, etc. After
all, Mfg. A might not want to advertise in a magazine that pointed out their
last version was better than their present one.

> what happens then, is the PC field becomes driven by corporate cycles of
> buying equipment, using it through a short fiscal/tax life, discarding it
> and writing off the tax break, purchasing new equipment to keep up with
> the competition, which might somehow be able to function faster than you.

Indeed. Our CFO once explained to me that after 3 years, the computer equipment
was valueless as far as the bookkeeping went.

> Meanwhile, those of us outside the corporate revenue, allocation, spend,
> use, discard, buy new cycle cannot possibly keep up, and must whine
> because very good software becomes obsolete, or new software comes only
> in versions for equipment we do not have and cannot afford.

Certainly! Game developers seem to be the worst offenders. I just read somewhere
that "Riven," the sequel to "Myst," requires 75 mg of hard drive space, and at
least a Pentium 133 (or was it 166?) with at least 16 mhz of RAM (no doubt 32 is
"recommended," which means you'd best have it).

But what do I know? I confess having been bored to tears by Myst after about a
day or so.


Leslie Bialler
Columbia University Press