June 10, 2009

Our Desperate Need For Speed....

Most of us will never put the pedal to the metal while in our cars...but knowing the ability to hit 120 mph gives us a sense of purpose. So what's the real reason for a faster computer? 


  1. I hate to be forced to do anything. I think that's why I get very irritated when my Internet provider makes me feel like I need to upgrade and stay ahead of the game.
    I'm very complacent and can find my comfort zone and stay there for ever. Technology won't let you do that. It keeps messing with you to get faster. When you go faster...you miss a lot of things.

  2. Because computer speed isn't analogous to car speed. You don't drive 120 MPH because there's no need to, it's unsafe for those around you, and it's illegal, so getting a car that fast is nothing more than an ego boost. Computers, on the other hand, have increasingly complicated and sophisticated programs that require ever-increasingly advanced systems in order to run them.

    Windows 95 needed, if I'm remembering right, less than 40MHz to run. Windows XP can kinda-sorta scrape by on 233MHz. Both of those are for just the OS itself. If you wanted to actually do anything on them, you'd need higher speeds still. Fallout 3, for instance, has an absolute minimum of 2.3GHz, or 2300MHz, nearly 10 times the requirements of Windows XP. And as programmers continue to expand their art, they will continue to require increasingly powerful computers to run their creations.

    Further, programs like BOINC allow you to use extra processing power you may not be currently using to further goals that advance the cause of humanity itself, such as the Rosetta@home project, which uses spare processing power to further our understanding of biochemistry, and hopefully eventually cure diseases such as HIV and Malaria.

    In terms of internet connection speed, you don't really NEED a faster connection if you're just doing bare-bones browsing, but faster connections do help drastically if you're using the web to its fullest potential, such as watching streaming video broadcasts like the BBC or most other news channels offer, or if you play online games, or if you use services like Steam or Impulse.

    Human culture and technology have always expanded to fill the voids around them, even if they are voids of our own making. Not immediately seeing what benefits there are to something doesn't mean they aren't there if you really look.

  3. I can tell from your system descriptions you're a PC person. I'm a Mac. Give me my graphics and a lot of memory and I'm a happy camper. I can see your point that speed is a necessary component that plays a big part toward processing power in important areas of studies and to hasten the best possible outcome.
    I like the way you emphasize the importance of speed when it comes to the various recreational opportunities offered.
    My outcry about speed and do we need it has a lot to do with how I'm constantly being forced fed to upgrade when I'm perfectly fine where I am. I believe in having speed but don't interrupt my comfort zone to implement it.

  4. There is no difference in function between a Mac and Windows machine.