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Open Source Programming Hardware

Will The Death of the PC Bring 'An End To Openness'? (infoworld.com) 501

Slashdot reader snydeq shared "11 Predictions For the Future of Programming" by InfoWorld's contributing editor -- and one prediction was particularly dire: The passing of the PC isn't only the slow death of a particular form factor. It;s the dying of a particularly open and welcoming marketplace... Consoles are tightly locked down. No one gets into that marketplace without an investment of capital. The app stores are a bit more open, but they're still walled gardens that limit what we can do. Sure, they are still open to programmers who jump through the right hoops but anyone who makes a false move can be tossed...

For now, most of the people reading this probably have a decent desktop that can compile and run code, but that's slowly changing. Fewer people have the opportunity to write code and share it. For all of the talk about the need to teach the next generation to program, there are fewer practical vectors for open code to be distributed.

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Will The Death of the PC Bring 'An End To Openness'?

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  • False premise (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 15, 2017 @07:10AM (#53671149)

    The PC isn't dying. Not at all. Despite tablets and mobile devices, there's a lot of work that can't easily be done on them. There are lots of jobs that still require or are much easier when done on a PC. This question is built upon a premise that is false. As long as there's work that requires a PC, and there will be for the foreseeable future, the PC sure isn't going to die.

    • Re:False premise (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 15, 2017 @07:21AM (#53671171)

      I'm a Graphic designer. Work is only increasing, who do you think makes all the GFX for the console's/tablet's? a tablet just isn't powerful enough yet to design on, nor give up the screen real estate of a pc ( I work with x3 50inch screens) I work in an office with other's who code, I dont see them switching either, never see a console you can code on or a tablet suitable.

      Maybe one day the consumer base will switch but those of us use that build for a living Pc's wont be going away anytime soon.

      • Re:False premise (Score:5, Informative)

        by Ol Olsoc ( 1175323 ) on Sunday January 15, 2017 @10:59AM (#53671629)

        I'm a Graphic designer. Work is only increasing, who do you think makes all the GFX for the console's/tablet's?

        This! Because someone actually has to make the consumer's stuff.

        This death of the PC and other stuff keeps coming up, and the sycophants of it are always lacking in some basics. They are the same people who said that our smartphones crappy cameras made DSLR's redundant.

        What has happened is that tablets and smartphones have allowed the computer challenged to join in the fun, but those folk are pretty much consumption only. Somebody has to make what they consume.

        And I've found that there is absolutely no replacement for real estate. So my iMac is serving me up with 2-27 inch screens, and my HP laptop is routinely connected to a 27 inch monitor as well. So it is functioning as a desktop except when I need to take it with me. Usually to present to people what I have produced.

        Now, the market is changing. Since consumption only folks are performing the vast majority of computing device activities, such as using Facebook or other look at something, then type a few words, then look at something else - the market for the desktop and it's inherent power is going to shrink.

        But go away? nope, nope nope.

        ( I work with x3 50inch screens) I work in an office with other's who code, I dont see them switching either, never see a console you can code on or a tablet suitable.

        Ohh yeah, now that's some serious real estate! I drool - I work out of home now, and am running out of wall space, or else I'd join you in that much view.

        Part of my work is similar to yours, I do video work and photography and graphics. So the need for a lot to look at is there. But I also do a lot of work with spreadsheets, relational databases, and pdf's and web development - and all of those programs are running at the same time. Trying to do that on one small screen is doable but slow as molasses, and my extra screens and real estate they provide have long since paid for their money outlay.

        Maybe one day the consumer base will switch but those of us use that build for a living Pc's wont be going away anytime soon.

        I think that the consumers have already switched. And they are on a platform and form factor that works for them. I do wonder however, what the young folks are going to do when they age a little and presbyopia kicks in. At that point, even the PeeWee Herman smartphones of today will be kinda small for them.

        • Just because someone has to create works doesn't mean everyone needs to have this capability "without an investment of capital," as the article puts it. There will still be PCs for a price, and established businesses will still be able to afford this price just as established video game studios can afford console devkits.

      • If the PC becomes a professional only device, the price will rise out of the cost of the average consumer. Look at the non-adware, update-controllable versions of Windows 10. It's only a matter of time... hopefully decades out.

    • Re:False premise (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Bruinwar ( 1034968 ) <bruinwar@@@hotmail...com> on Sunday January 15, 2017 @07:38AM (#53671209)

      Agreed. With all the phones & tablets & the apparent attitude that PCs are dying, everyone still uses them. My stepson lives in a co-op with a ton of other 20somethings & not all of the own a PC but they sure like to use his when they have a need. Our local library's machines are almost always in use with people waiting. I sure as hell can't do any real work without a PC.

      The demise of the PC is desire of the the greedy men that rule the world. Lock them down, no more of this wild west internet stuff. They've been telling us the PC is dying for years now & iOS, Android & now windows fucking 10 (still mostly open though) IS THE FUTURE. I wonder if some day using regular PC on a public network will be outlawed.

      A 7+ year old PC is fast enough for most. This is the only reason PC sales are not what they once where.

      • Re:False premise (Score:5, Interesting)

        by mlts ( 1038732 ) on Sunday January 15, 2017 @09:10AM (#53671381)

        The PC isn't dead. There are just a bunch of people in marketing divisions which -want- it dead, because they want to replace the commodity priced item with free OS choices and privacy settings that the user can choose with a device that has to be tossed in 1-2 years, dumps telemetry data 24/7 with the user unable to a single thing about it, and requiring all transactions to go through some type of gateway, where they guard it, and do their best to monetize every transaction. This is a damn good deal for the tablet maker. It doesn't do much for the consumer.

        This type of lockdown isn't new. About 12-13 years ago when Windows Mobile smartphones were used, Sprint only allowed signed applications on their devices, and one had to pay several thousand dollars to play in their ecosystem.

        PCs are not going away anytime soon. I doubt there will be a tablet that has decent GPU performance that can handle two 4k monitors. In the PC world, $350 gets you a card that can easily handle this task.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      This all comes from people misreading statistics... seeing a "percentage decrease" in desktop market share, while the absolute number of desktop PCs in use has most likely increased it's just been dwarfed by the explosion of non desktop PC users who buy phones and tablets. The desktop PC is just a stable market, at the most it might be cannibalised by laptops.

    • Re:False premise (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Half-pint HAL ( 718102 ) on Sunday January 15, 2017 @08:20AM (#53671299)
      Consider this: what demographic is most likely to tinker and experiment? I'd say it's older children. But parents are giving kids tablets instead of fully-fledged PCs, so they won't have the same access to tinkering tools. Also, as the kids grow up in Tabletspace, they'll most likely become accustomed to tablet-like ways of working. And OK, being honest, a lot of tablet workflows are better than PC workflows, but mostly because they're not part of a continuum of change. Most major music and photo packages are still heavily-hacked versions of an analogue to the analogue world, and tablet workflows are designed not for people who know the task, but for people who know tablets. There's no reason we couldn't make similar workflows for PCs, but for wordprocessing, coding and the like, the PC workflow can't be replicated on the tablet.
    • Re:False premise (Score:4, Insightful)

      by 0100010001010011 ( 652467 ) on Sunday January 15, 2017 @08:40AM (#53671347)

      The reason they're seeing a decline in sales is PC has plateaued performance wise. 3-4 old generation Intel chips are still competitive. I'll *never* realize the energy savings with how much I use my desktop. My laptop has a 3940XM [cpubenchmark.net] that is still very competitive speed wise and is 4 years old.

      In the same amount of time I've upgraded my GPU on my desktop 3 times because of advances in CUDA.

      • I have a number of refurb Thinkpad 410s, 420s, and X201s etc. Stick them in docks, and for many things, it is a nice, quiet desktop, with enough oomph for most things, runs both Windows and Linux well, all cost under £150 each, some had smashed screens, and were got off ebay for under £30. Give them new HDDs (or hybrids) or SSDs, and you're happy. To get something that runs Windows 10 well, you need to spend close to £1000. To get Windows 10 without all the rubbish MS has baked into it, yo

      • Re:False premise (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Ritz_Just_Ritz ( 883997 ) on Sunday January 15, 2017 @09:32AM (#53671435)

        +1000

        With the exception of the video card and a relatively cheap 512GB SSD, I also haven't seen the need to buy a new PC until it outright fails. It's still humming along on the i7-2600K processor and 16GB of RAM that it came with 5 years ago. While I'm sure there are workloads that can benefit from the latest and greatest, for most people there just isn't any compelling reason to upgrade. We're starting to see the same phenomenon in the cell phone ecosystem as well.

    • by msauve ( 701917 )
      Not just literal Personal Computers, but what about servers? It's not like database or web servers will get replaced with iPhones.
      • by tepples ( 727027 )

        Would people put a server in their house? Carry a pocket size battery powered server with them in order to do work while riding the bus? Or pay $5 per GB to an ISP to get data on or off?

    • by allo ( 1728082 )

      The PC will die slowly. You will plug in your tablet on a monitor, mouse and keyboard to do such work. And then some kind of hybrid app from a closed appstore will allow you to do this work. It won't look much different, but come from the same restricted ecosystem from which mobile apps come.

    • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

      The PC isn't dying. Not at all. Despite tablets and mobile devices, there's a lot of work that can't easily be done on them. There are lots of jobs that still require or are much easier when done on a PC. This question is built upon a premise that is false. As long as there's work that requires a PC, and there will be for the foreseeable future, the PC sure isn't going to die.

      Even Steve Jobs said in a Post-PC world, we'd still have PCs.

      He likened a PC to a truck. In other words, they're a pretty much all ar

  • by Billly Gates ( 198444 ) on Sunday January 15, 2017 @07:10AM (#53671153) Journal

    Back when I was more of an GNU zealot a decade ago I predicted open platforms would kill dumb phones as we saw the beginings of the smart phone starting.

    Reason being is the PC won over the Mac because it was open. You did not have to go to the mighty Jobs and beg to be compliant and certified. Of course DOS the 8086 and most of the PC programs/DOS were absolute crap! But hey, coders loved it with it's limitations because of the low barriers of entry and DOS allowing assembly and low access to system calls.

    Atari almost died in 1982 because they tried to control everything.

    Boy, I was wrong :-( Android we all hoped would be a GNU OS with all rooted phones and terminals and hacks back in 2009 when we read about it. Nope. Is it too late and why won't Google be more open? Apple too. If they make barriers low and allow more with their phones more apps will come to Apple even if they lose out on iMac sales temporarily.

    • by swb ( 14022 )

      Blame the carriers, at least in the US?

      The carriers insisted on shoveling their shitware onto even the pre-smartphone feature phones, weather applets, ringtones, and their prominent branding and it carried right through to actual smartphones. Their shitty bloat was unremovable, too.

      And then there was the carriers skittishness about an open device with access to their network. I suppose this was a real worry at some point, but with modern smartphones the baseband processing is almost a separate component a

    • Boy, I was wrong :-( Android we all hoped would be a GNU OS with all rooted phones and terminals and hacks back in 2009 when we read about it. Nope. Is it too late and why won't Google be more open?

      Android is open, rootable and hackable. Most OEMs make phones that are locked down, but Google's Nexus and Pixel line have unlockable bootloaders (note, however, that Verizon required the Pixels to be locked down; buy from Google for the open version), and full source code to the OS is available, including build toolchains. There are binary blobs for firmware (as is the case for lots of PC hardware, too), and Google's own apps are closed source, but the operating system is absolutely open and hackable. Ther

      • by guruevi ( 827432 )

        The problem is that nobody goes after manufacturers that violate the GPL. If Google were to put their money where their mouth is, they should pursue ALL the manufacturers that refuse to release the GPL code to their Android software.

        Here are some of the big GPL violators:
        Amlogic
        MINIX
        Samsung
        HTC ...

    • by tepples ( 727027 )

      Atari almost died in 1982 because they tried to control everything.

      Atari died in 1983-1984 because it couldn't control everything. A flood of bad third-party 2600 titles was giving video gaming itself a bad reputation, and retailers stopped being so willing to stock new releases. This left the market open for Nintendo to come in and use the lockout chip in the NES to ensure at least a minimum level of quality.

  • Raspberry Pi (Score:5, Interesting)

    by HuskyDog ( 143220 ) on Sunday January 15, 2017 @07:16AM (#53671157) Homepage
    Even more need for platforms like the Raspberry Pi then!
    • by Osgeld ( 1900440 )

      you know the pi3 has about the same horsepower as a 14 year old Pentium 3 right?

      • by radl33t ( 900691 )
        And considerably more powerful than a rpi B or zero, which are plenty sufficient for a great number of computing tasks, including state of the art engineering design work, scientific analysis, publication, etc.....
        • by Osgeld ( 1900440 )

          yea I would like to see that considering it takes quite a while for it to load a web browser and crash on the first page becuase its out of ram

    • Re:Raspberry Pi (Score:5, Insightful)

      by HuskyDog ( 143220 ) on Sunday January 15, 2017 @10:26AM (#53671541) Homepage
      OK, my comment was too short for many people to grasp the point, for which I apologise (my wife had just yelled "Lunch!").

      I was trying to suggest that as big manufacturers attempt to lock down their platforms, there will be an increasing need for those interested in software openness to create their own platforms which don't have this problem. When I wrote "like the Raspberry Pi" I didn't necessarily mean like it in power (although my Pi3 is capable of a lot of useful stuff) but like it in being produced by a manufacturer with a strong interest in it being readily programmable.
  • by prefec2 ( 875483 ) on Sunday January 15, 2017 @07:19AM (#53671167)

    For once, we will have PCs in future to write software. In addition we have open devices such as the raspberry pi , arduino and others.

  • The death knell of PC is but one example of the end result of wealthy companies who exist these days to be little more than patent whores, maintaining armies of legal teams ready to do battle to crush the very definition of competition, destroyed by their patented flavor of capitalism.

    Future wars will see death by pen from a suit in a courtroom instead of death by rifle from a uniform on a battlefield. Political correctness is hardly of value when the end result is the same.

  • by GeekWithAKnife ( 2717871 ) on Sunday January 15, 2017 @07:28AM (#53671195)

    the death of the PC has been a thing for a while...and yet it's not dead, not even close.

    With general computing power and even decent graphics becoming ever cheaper and integrated even into some monitors at a fair cost the CapEx of a PC compared favourably with consoles.

    Where a PC currently wins is versatility. I can Skype, Administer, Game, Code, Design, View and FB on one platform with ease and more importantly I can do this in almost any way I want on various software platform/s stacks.

    Let's not forget I can typically expect to extend the life of the platform or change it's usability case with hardware upgrades.

    No walled garden, console, smartphone or the like comes even close. all they do, if used at all, is complement my PC usage.

    I'll not bother to list the amount of useful activities that are obviously inferior (to the layman) on other platforms.

    Restriction to a person's freedom always results in that person seeking a way to circumvent or resist that restriction and learning to avoid restriction in the future...

    Death of the PC they say? -tell uswhat genuinely better replacement is coming along and I'll agree...
    • Err - you're missing the point.
      " -tell uswhat genuinely better replacement is coming along and I'll agree..."
      You don't need a better replacement for a good solution to go away.

      "Restriction to a person's freedom always results in that person seeking a way to circumvent or resist that restriction and learning to avoid restriction in the future... " - no, it doesn't.
      Most people will in general go along, if it's not 'too bad' - or they have not experienced anything else.
      Few people with consoles got PCs because


      • Maybe I am...time will tell.

        In principle I agree, you do not absolutely need a better replacement for a good solution to be left unused....but you often do.

        Freedom to do what you want is a basic instinct. Yes a lot of people that do not know better simply accept the status quo but give people credit. A PC often means people do not have to choose between doing one thing or another. Consoles can have better UI, more stability but hte PC gaming is "good enough" with faster load times, and often better grap
  • by sanf780 ( 4055211 ) on Sunday January 15, 2017 @07:47AM (#53671221)
    The thing is, most people ask for convenience. A PC is a very sofisticated tool, and nobody is RTFM anymore. Desktops and laptops are prone to get infected with viruses, and OS and software updates are seen as cumbersome to most people. The fact that just installing Adobe Flash might lead to ransomware being installed because of one shitty advertisiment network tells you a lot. The public thinks that tablets and mobiles are less prone to viruses, and for some walled garden it might be more true than on the other.

    And by the way, the article is wrong. The first PCs were not easy to code for. Sure, MSDOS 3.3 did include gwbasic, but for anything complex you had to license compiler software from somebody else. TurboC and the like were not free, you know. Or you could always code in assembly.

    'Member GWbasic? 'Member shareware? 'Member BBS? I 'member. (South Park reference)

  • by Dunbal ( 464142 ) * on Sunday January 15, 2017 @08:09AM (#53671255)
    Establish that the PC is dying in the first place.
    • Dying users might be the real question. From TFS;

      Fewer people have the opportunity to write code and share it.

      I can't think of person who has lost the ability to 'write code and share it' except those that have died.

  • No and no (Score:5, Insightful)

    by wjcofkc ( 964165 ) on Sunday January 15, 2017 @09:08AM (#53671377)
    First, enterprise and industry are wholly dependent on Open Source. This kind of snuck up over time, and with big corporation supporting the Open Source software they need. So if all the programmers go because we can't teach elementary kids to "code" because they have no "real computer" to "code" on. First off, the desktop and laptop class computers *will* still be there. Second, the kids still won't learn programming in a classroom led by a teacher with no programming experience and who is regurgitating material from a book and doesn't have the foggiest notion of how to handle something that goes wrong.

    Open Source is not taught, it is encountered and embraced. Open Source programming is community. Those people who have oh so specialized cognitive abilities will naturally gravitate into the Open Source world. Not everyone belongs there and the idea of introducing this into curriculum is a waste of time when they should be learning something else. Of the Open Source programmers I know and have otherwise met, not a single one of them were taught about it in school. However, many got started in programming at a pre-teen age.

    You can cite figures of slumping PC sales for sure. But what about the balancing figure that shows people aren't buying new desktops because the one they bought five-years ago is still blazing fast. Right now I am writing this on a Windows 10 tablet. It's a great device but the quad-core Cherry Trail and four gigs of ram are nothing to write home about... oh, a Bluetooth keyboard and I can code away on this tablet. Next room over I have the desktop I built when I need serious horsepower for something or need my nerd fix. It is 6-core AMD machine with 16 gigs of ram, a 120 gigabyte SSD and, integrated video. That is straight of 2011 and I call that my fast machine.

    I could get back into carrying on about Open Source, but this statement:

    Fewer people have the opportunity to write code and share it.

    Reveals the depth to which you have no clue whatsoever what you are talking about. There are plenty of people around here who might take the time to write a small book about it for you, but I am not one of them.

    • by IMightB ( 533307 )

      I'm typing this as I transcode Bluerays for my plex server on my 4yo 8core PhenomFX black with 32GB of ram. I'm currently wishing for the latest gen processor as, ripping the BD Disc took 30 minutes, and then transcoding it to the 1080p30 SuperHQ in handbrake is going to take ~ 5 hours. I guess if your surfing the web and checking emails, computer have been fast enough for a while, but if you actually do real work, for example a jenkins build farm for a whole company you still want the cutting edge.

      • by wjcofkc ( 964165 )
        I was speaking of the common person, the family type, the average consumer and average user, not people going all SJW on blueray disks.
  • Tablets have pulled away from the PC market all those users who primarily do mail, browsing and Scrabble-class games. The way forward for desktops is to upscale into the professional market. When you want to run Autocad or Photoshop, nothing will substitute for a fast desktop.

    There are also changes taking place in the way people work. In my consulting days I used a large laptop for everything; now that all my heavy software is being run in the home office only, I run a desktop there and a tablet on the road

  • by petes_PoV ( 912422 ) on Sunday January 15, 2017 @09:31AM (#53671433)

    Early software was written because the author needed to perform a function that existing software didn't address: either in terms of utility or quality.

    The PC magnified this need, with millions being sold but only crappy commercial software to run on it. Whether the free/share-ware in question was a Windows app or a different O/S, the same voids were filled for the same reasons. (If Windows software had started out as low-cost and high quality, would freeware have become so popular? Discuss.)

    The argument now is whether that phase is over. Do we have enough apps? Can we (users) do all the things that we wish to, with the software that is available to us, now? Do we prefer to spend 99 on an app that has "star" ratings, user feedback, integrated installation is (almost) guaranteed not to make our hardware die, send SPAM or steal our data - or do we prefer to download something for zero cost and then spend hours trying to configure it and bend it to our will?

  • by Charcharodon ( 611187 ) on Sunday January 15, 2017 @09:45AM (#53671461)
    Huh? This is no difference a decade or two ago with most people with PCs using them with services like AOL. They didn't us the "open" hardware or software, they just used what ever locked down crap peddled to them by the gatekeepers. Same goes for 99% of Apple users.

    The only difference now is they use a smartphone or a laptop rather than a desktop.

    The difference now is you can buy a computer for a few hundred dollars, even less if you just need hardware connected to the internet, along with a firehose of an internet connection, and can pretty much do what ever you want. That is as open as it gets.

    The real heart of the matter is that most people could give a flip less about coding up their own solutions, any more than they are willing to change the oil on their car. They never will. The minority that is willing to do that will be the ones selling them solutions.

  • by ET3D ( 1169851 ) on Sunday January 15, 2017 @09:55AM (#53671473)

    Couldn't find an exact figure, but this [statista.com] got me an approximate figure.

    Which goes to show that tons of people don't mind going through minor hoops to get into the app store.

    Does the OP have any proof that "Fewer people have the opportunity to write code and share it"? If anything, it's easy these days to get a professional development environment for pretty much any programming task, be it a pro version of Visual Studio for free or a free professional game engine. And people use them, as is evidenced for example by the huge growth in the number of PC and mobile games being published. Not to mention that consoles are a lot more open than they were in the past, with lots of indie games being available, and a normal Xbox One can be used for console development.

    So even disregarding the sensationalist "PC is dead" angle, I feel that pretty much everything in the OP is not only unsubstantiated, but the opposite of the truth.

  • Protip: if you're not sure whether you should use it's or its, the needful is it;s.

  • For anyone who needs to store a over a Tb or so of media and share it locally, it seems the PC remains the only way to do it. You can't send all that through high speed cable, or at least it would be stupid to do it, so the cloud is not an option. As long as there is a basic use like that, the PC will not die.
  • by Dixie_Flatline ( 5077 ) <.moc.liamg. .ta. .hog.naj.tnecniv.> on Sunday January 15, 2017 @10:53AM (#53671619) Homepage

    I can't really back this up with any data, but it's my speculation that all the people that NEED PCs are still getting them. What we're seeing in the area is that people that never actually needed everything a normal PC offers have migrated to phones and tablets. If you're just doing email and Facebook, a desktop machine is overkill, but there was no other choice for a long time.

    There will always be programmers working on these sorts of "open" machines. We need them for academic and industry work and there's not any way that's going to change. Apple itself will always be a maker or a purchaser of those sorts of machines themselvesâ"OSes can't be made on heavily restricted machines.

  • by emaname ( 1014225 ) on Sunday January 15, 2017 @10:54AM (#53671623)

    What is the basis for this claim; ie, the PC is dying? I get the impression someone is pushing an agenda.

    It may be that people who were using their PC primarily for gaming are beginning to opt for consoles more (if I understand the term "console" correctly), but there are a lot of people who don't play video/online games.

    And if the major software manufacturers decide to move to consoles, I think that will encourage more people to use FOSS.

    I have a hard time imagining SAP or Oracle releasing their products on consoles. And wouldn't they end up all wanting their own console? Imagine having a console for each business application.

  • /docow1 NO /docow2 STUPID /docow3 TRUTH YOU

    The truth is that there are more opportunities for people to become programmers than ever before. Free education abounds. There are programming tools that run on common handheld devices. I don't know of an easier way to make a functional app which actually does stuff than Tasker, for example. You can install a complete Linux system on your Android phone and use it for Android development. Whence come these bullshit assertions that there are less opportunities to be

  • by epine ( 68316 ) on Sunday January 15, 2017 @11:16AM (#53671669)

    Are we talking the 'death' when a generational math prodigy turns twenty-five?

    Or the 'death' when a the fastest of all fast-living rock stars turns thirty?

    Or the 'death' when an formerly fetching actress turns forty?

    Or the 'death' when a corner-office executive producer turns fifty.

    Or the 'death' when a commercial pilot turns sixty?

    Or the 'death' when a professor emeritus turns seventy?

    Or the 'death' when a defeated American presidential candidate turns eighty?

    Or the 'death' when everyone's favourite preschool teacher turns ninety (on Okinawa)?

    Or the mostly-just-resting 'death' when the queen mum turns one hundred?

    And we're still not done. George Burns lived an entire Windows 95/98 maximal uptime (49 days) after his one hundredth.

  • by swell ( 195815 )

    It's good to feel that you are in control.

    My grandparents' radio was a cabinet four feet high and two feet wide. It had a face that showed the names & frequencies of ~30 AM stations across the country. There were eleven knobs to adjust. When you turned it on it took a full minute to warm up and produce the pleasant background hum. A skilled operator could tune in stations from far and wide.

    Modern radios often have no knobs, no fine adjustments for the skilled operator to fiddle with. They are common app

  • PC sales are declining, but not with the demographic that the article is worried about. The folks who want to compile and run they're own stuff are a minority of the population. The folks who want to compile and run code buy just as many desktops as they always have.
  • I mean reading about programming from a guy that has on more than one occasion talked about virtual memory but literally has no clue about what it actually is makes me a little dubious. Anyway aren't they still sell tens of millions of PC/Laptops every year? They're just not replacing them every 2 years since a 5 year old laptop/desktop is good enough these days. (Can't wait until he'll say tablets are dead when they've just reached saturation as well.)
    • by Lumpy ( 12016 )

      5years? My Macbook pro from 2011 still beats the hell out of most laptops made today. and it's benchmark numbers are only slightly lower than $900 laptops sold today as new. My workhorse Toughbook that I use for the garage CNC machine is from 2005 and it will not need to be replaced until it DIES.

      Maybe if intel started making processors that gave us real speed gains over processors from 2 generations ago? My desktop i7- 4th gen is benchmarking better than the latest and greatest from Intel's 6th gen.

  • I think standardization of PC components would allow the average Joe to upgrade their desktop box piecemeal. Want a new graphics card? Pull A out of slot X, replace with new component B. Same with network adapters, motherboards, even modems.

  • by Hognoxious ( 631665 ) on Sunday January 15, 2017 @11:45AM (#53671807) Homepage Journal

    Fewer people have the opportunity to write code and share it. For all of the talk about the need to teach the next generation to program, there are fewer practical vectors for open code to be distributed.

    Sure, modern machines don't boot up into BASIC (though I have two that start up in bash). But there's eclipse, Code::blocks, various QT things, and if you hold your nose even community editions of Visual Poodio that you can get with a few clicks for exactly zero of Her Germanic Majesty's finest pounds.

    I want to know what this person is smoking, so I can go get some.

  • by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Sunday January 15, 2017 @12:09PM (#53671903) Homepage

    Sorry but Intel will forever make desktop, workstation, and server processors, and you wil lbe able to buy cased, power supplies, motherboards, etc...

    Calling the death of the PC is one of the single most stupid trends in "journalism" I have seen in the past 5 years. I have heard these wannabe bloggers calling the death for a half a decade and it is still not even close to true.

  • by mysidia ( 191772 ) on Sunday January 15, 2017 @12:15PM (#53671929)

    Just because the exponential growth of sales has ended, thus the PC is now in structural decline....
    does not mean the PC is dead.

    All it means is that New people who never owned computers before are no longer getting in at a fast rate.
    There's a huge population now who have purchased desktops more than 4 years ago, but less than 8 years ago,
    who already have all the Laptops and Desktops they will need for years to come. We're largely still running Windows XP and
    Windows 7, if we can, or perhaps Linux, and we don't like changes Microsoft made in Windows 8 and Windows 10.
    New operating systems are no longer a reason to upgrade hardware.

    Our personal computers are lasting longer between upgrade cycles, and we need new ones less often.

    This is a good thing for consumers, and a terrible thing for the hardware and software industry.

    Industry in decline, or no longer exponentially growing does NOT mean the product is dead, it means a thing called
    Market saturation was reached, new growth will not be possible, since everyone who would demand it has already
    has bought it, and does not mean there is no future demand for PCs. They are rather ubiquitous in fact.....

  • by JustNiz ( 692889 ) on Sunday January 15, 2017 @12:15PM (#53671933)

    For something that is dead I see and use an awful lot of them.

  • by Jim Sadler ( 3430529 ) on Sunday January 15, 2017 @12:52PM (#53672107)
    Your next PC just might be a smart phone. The computing power of smart phones is getting close to the power of some desktops. So we may see docking stations that you simply plug in your monitor and key board and speakers and drop in your smart phone thus eliminating that box we are all used to having
  • by JWSmythe ( 446288 ) <jwsmythe AT jwsmythe DOT com> on Monday January 16, 2017 @02:42AM (#53675107) Homepage Journal

    Oh, are PCs dead again? What is this, the 15th consecutive year they have ceased to be?

In seeking the unattainable, simplicity only gets in the way. -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982

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