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"Good Enough" Computers Are the Future 515

An anonymous reader writes "Over on the PC World blog, Keir Thomas engages in some speculative thinking. Pretending to be writing from the year 2025, he describes a world of 'Good Enough computing,' wherein ultra-cheap PCs and notebooks (created to help end-users weather the 'Great Recession' of the early 21st century) are coupled to open source operating systems. This is possible because even the cheapest chips have all the power most people need nowadays. In what is effectively the present situation with netbooks writ large, he sees a future where Microsoft is priced out of the entire desktop operating system market and can't compete. It's a fun read that raises some interesting points."
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"Good Enough" Computers Are the Future

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  • Welcome to my world (Score:3, Informative)

    by jsiren ( 886858 ) on Wednesday April 22, 2009 @04:31PM (#27678689) Homepage

    Not willing to spend a lot of money on something that will lose its value faster than... well... anything, really, I have adopted the "good enough computing" doctrine years ago: I find computers that are sufficiently powerful for my use as cheaply as possible - nowadays they're usually free. I have gotten several perfectly good computers by saying "I can take that off your hands if you want.

    So far all my software needs have been covered with Linux and other open source software.

    I do have two Macs, but they follow the same philosophy: the combination of hardware+software is good enough for the purpose, and keeps its value better than a PC. [source: local sales of secondhand computers]

  • by mr_mischief ( 456295 ) on Wednesday April 22, 2009 @04:40PM (#27678835) Journal

    iLife '09 already tries (and does a decent job, if the demos are to be believed) of categorizing your photos by setting and subject. It uses face recognition and any embedded GPS data in the image file from your camera to do so.

    BTW, I'm not an Apple fanboy, and I'm pissed that's what was covered in their presentation Sunday that was supposed to be about how environmentally friendly their systems and manufacturing processes are.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 22, 2009 @05:26PM (#27679499)
    The ARM-based Nokia N810 [] already has Flash 9 []. That link is talking about an update to Flash 10 for ARM.
  • Re:meh (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 22, 2009 @05:33PM (#27679617)

    You are overlooking the changes in generations. Your mother (though I could be wrong since I don't know her age, but I'm guessing) was probably born in a time before personal computers or at least before the widespread use of them. People like you and I (I was born in the late 70s) have grown up with personal computers being fairly common and so we use them more often and to do more things. The amount of use is only going to increase with each successive generation, as they will be born into a world with more powerful computers that are all interconnected more and more.

    The point is that your mother might not get much use out of a computer, but her generation is a last of a dying breed. People from my generation or later will certainly get much more use out of computers and will therefore always need better hardware to keep up with advances in software.

  • Re:Smart enough... (Score:4, Informative)

    by 427_ci_505 ( 1009677 ) on Wednesday April 22, 2009 @07:15PM (#27680809)


  • Re:Smart enough... (Score:4, Informative)

    by Urza9814 ( 883915 ) on Wednesday April 22, 2009 @08:33PM (#27681503)

    Mounting my shared disk space from the university. Which I need to do frequently, as I don't have a printer, so I have to transfer all my papers over to the network space and then go to a lab to print. So in Windows, I have to type in the massive string that is whatever the hell the drive is I'm trying to mount (I don't even know it), then put in my username and password, and select a drive to mount it to, etc, etc. On Linux I just run a shell script and enter my password.

    Though I suppose I could have both of them do automount, but I don't like automounting network disks like this...because if I'm not on the university's network, the system starts spewing error messages about not being able to find it. And as I leave the campus network at least once a week, and have multiple network disks that I mount, that would also be rather annoying.

  • Re:Smart enough... (Score:4, Informative)

    by somersault ( 912633 ) on Wednesday April 22, 2009 @09:03PM (#27681753) Homepage Journal

    I did wonder if it was something like that, but if you can create a bash script then you can also create a logon script: use something like

    net use U: /del
    net use P: /del
    net use U: \\MY_SERVER\users
    net use P: \\MY_other_server\public

    in your Windows logon script then it will auto-mount the drives (without any annoying messages resulting from a persistent share not being able to find the network path when you're not on the Uni network). We use that kind of thing in our logon scripts at work.

    (copied the script lines above from [] )

  • Re:Smart enough... (Score:2, Informative)

    by Fierlo ( 842860 ) on Wednesday April 22, 2009 @10:08PM (#27682217)
    You don't even have to go through that menu.

    Most people think 'theme' means desktop background, so that's probably where they'll look first. And what is everyone used to? Right-click on the background, and pick "Change desktop background."

    That actually just opens up to inside the 'Appearance Preferences' on the background tab. The Theme tab is the first one in there.

    That's how I'd explain it to someone, at least.

Statistics are no substitute for judgement. -- Henry Clay