Are you frustrated by the speed of your computer? Are you thinking it might be time for an upgrade? This old relic is sitting on a pedestal in my office as a museum exhibit. It brings back great memories of my first experiences with personal computers. It was a time before fax machines in the late 1980's.
One report that I ran back then took over an hour to start printing. I would press the start button and go to lunch and get my shoes shined. As I returned the report would start to come out of the dot matrix printer.
Three years later I was the proud owner of a 486SX computer – the latest in computer technology that I could afford. I had to work on that “old” buggy report one evening. I fixed the problem and pressed the “print” button on that hour long report in the hope I could get a cup of coffee before it started printing. I put my hands on the arms of my chair and barely lifted my bottom out of the seat when the report started to print.
I sat back down in disbelief.
How could a report that took more than an hour to print take less than a few seconds on this new computer? There must have been some error. I stepped through the code in debug mode.
There was no mistake.
So in a short three years the productivity of early computers increased more than a thousand fold. How many hours were saved by all the people who upgraded? The statistics boggles the mind.
This trend has continued from the early 1990's until today. In fact, the speed of computers and the continued ability of them to go faster has not changed. The concept of Moore's Law was introduced in 1965. The more transistors there are on a chip, the faster a computer can do calculations. The remarkable thing is that as the speed of chips increases, their price for the speed actually drops. In simple terms:
Moore's Law states that the number of transistors on a microchip doubles about every two years, though the cost of computers is halved
As you look at the cost of upgrading that five year old computer that seems to be a never ending problem, think twice as you justify the cost. Just remember the story of my report printing experience and calculate the time you’ll save with a faster, more reliable machine.
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