Home > Uncategorized > Technological omen

Technological omen

July 24, 2011

Saw this while riding to work this week.  If you’re a manufacturer of desktop computers, it’s time to start worrying when people throw out their desks.  Especially desks made-to-purpose for desktop computers.

Discarded computer desk

A discarded computer desk, obsolete in perfect condition

If your computer company has not established itself in the laptop/mobile devices market yet, start polishing your resume.

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. July 25, 2011 at 13:29 | #1

    I don’t think desktop computers will go away any time soon, but the more mobile computers are clearly where the big growth is going to be. Desktops are still more expandable, repairable, and viewable than mobile computers. Anyone who appreciates those qualities will probably keep one around.

  2. Karen
    July 29, 2011 at 15:53 | #2

    Hmmm. I have two ancient desktop computers resting beneath my worktable, probably last turned on in 2006 and 2008, respectively. (One was my father’s; he’s gone now, but I haven’t done anything with his desktop.) I have two laptop computers, one bought in 2004 and another in 2008. The 2004 model got flaky, and I wanted new features, so I bought a new laptop in 2008. (If it had been a desktop, I’d have upgraded it myself — I built both of the desktops myself — but laptops are another critter entirely.) Now I’m looking to go into business for myself as a GIS illustrator, and the Adobe post-processing software wants more horsepower than even my 2008 laptop can provide…

    My workhorse laptop does WinXP. At some point soon, I want to upgrade one of these other machines to a modern processor and install a recent version of Ubuntu on it. But which one? And how much money do I want to spend? The desktop machines have good cases and power supplies, but the rest… Questions, questions…


    • July 29, 2011 at 22:15 | #3

      Many questions…

      With Ubuntu, I’d recommend going with the last long term support (LTS) version (10.04), unless there’s something in particular you need that only comes on one of the newer versions. They just redid the desktop in both Ubuntu and Fedora, and I think it sucks unless you’re using a small monitor or a cell phone. Yet another reason to stick with the LTS.

      As for the computers, you can try out Ubuntu on a live CD, which means you boot and run from the CD. It’s kinda nice for checking out what the thing is like without installing it. Ubuntu (as well as most big Linux distros) also will help you set up a dual boot system if you want.

      Your old laptop might be enough, at least if you can get at least a gigabyte of RAM in it, preferably two. That’s usually what you run out of first in 2D graphics software, in my limited experience. You can find out what’s possible here, as long as you can determine the make and model of your laptop.

  3. dof
    July 30, 2011 at 10:18 | #4

    I have three laptops with Ubuntu on them – I just grab the latest version and it works fine. There are two Lenovos and one Sony Viao. Both Lenovos have 3 gigs and I put 4 gigs in the Sony for $60. I also have a desktop machine that I built for $300 including a 1TB drive. They’re all old dual-core machines but they run really well. I am planning to give the Sony laptop to my mother this fall. She uses Ubuntu on a desktop computer but it’s a small apartment and she could eliminate one whole piece of furniture by switching to a laptop. There are of course lots of Linux distros but the only one I have used is Ubuntu. It wouldn’t surprise me if there were distros specifically to support GIS programs.

    I turn off the silly 3D desktop effects – hate to waste CPU cycles on them.

    There are a lot of GIS programs, some of them for Linux. But my knowledge of GIS is limited to maybe responding; “What is GIS?” if I were asked “This class of information systems stores and manipulates geographical data” on Jeopardy ;-)

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