Thursday, February 19, 2009

I have a crush.

On netbooks.

I want a netbook. I don't really know why, as I don't have a good use case right now. but they seem cool.

I don't think I can jump on the iphone/android type platform just yet. Touch screens are nice (hmm, touch screen on a netbook?) but you are limited to doing things that someone allowed you to do and deemed important enough to get screen real estate.

Many of the programs that I use require ctrl or alt keys to get things done(or the program that manages my programs). I already routinely use a computer with about the same or less computing power relative to those platforms so that is not an issue.

I wonder what will sell computers soon. If you don't have a bunch of silly stuff running, you can get away with surprisingly little computing power. Everyone doesn't need a desktop. Multiple processors is nice, but mainstream programmers can't code for them yet

Note: Don't take this as an reason to get me a netbook for birthday/Christmas. I most likely will end up a few gens behind the current best and be very happy (ie: when I get one for $40 in two years)

1 comment:

Spatchcock said...

Multiple processors is nice, but mainstream programmers can't code for them yet

I just wanted to respond to this bit. Multithreading is challenging, but the typical desktop user receives most of the benefit from multicore because they're running multiple processes, each of which may be trivially mapped onto its own processor. Listening to music, while 'surfing the web' are great examples in which multicore saves the day.

That said, you don't need 2-8 wide-issue out-of-order cores with large, power hungry caches to do this.

I think the 'average user platform of the future' will have something like an Intel Atom or VIA Nano dual-core x86_64 with a corresponding low-power chipset. This should be sufficient to satisfy web browsing, light desktop publishing [i.e. Microsoft Office], and media playback [with HD video decoding accomplished by an integrated accelerator as it is now].

Put all that in a mobile form factor, and I guess you have a netbook.