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SubjectRe: Minutes from Feb 21 LSE Call
cc list trimmed.

On Tue, 2003-02-25 at 16:41, Hans Reiser wrote:
> Scott Robert Ladd wrote:
> > But I honestly can't see how 8 processors can possibly make
> >Abiword run "better."
> >
> They can't, but you know it was before 1980 that hardware exceeded what
> was really needed for email. What happened then? People needed more
> horsepower for wysiwyg editors, the new thing of that time.....
> Now it is games that hardware is too slow for. After games, maybe AI
> assistants?.... Will you be saying, "My AI doesn't have enough
> horsepower to run on, its databases are small and out of date, and it is
> providing me worse advice than my wealthy friends get, and providing it
> later."? How much will you pay for a good AI to advise you? (I really
> like my I-Nav GPS adviser in my mini-van.... money well spent....)
> It is interesting that games are the only compelling motivation for
> faster desktop hardware these days. It may be part of why we are in a
> tech bust. When AIs become hardware purchase drivers, there will likely
> be a boom again.
> --
> Hans

It's easy to say that people don't need a multiple Ghz processor to run
most applications (games and AI aside) because it's true. But human
nature is such that people bought muscle cars with way more horsepower
than needed in the 60's and 70's before environmental concerns
intervened. The current slowdown in PC purchases may be more due to a
cyclical bear market than due to satiation of need. When the economy
turns around, and it always does, many people will opt for the $600 2.4
Ghz P4 instead of the $200 1.1 Ghz Duron. And not because they need it,
but because of other factors.

Now, fast forward five years. If AMD is still around, Intel will be
forced to offer ridiculously fast hardware just to stay in business. My
original point is that the Ghz race may be supplemented by a SMP/HT
race, not because of need (AI and games may help provide an excuse), but
because of greed and envy. Never underestimate those last two. And
that SMP/HT race could have an important impact on future kernel design.

Steven (Looking forward to his 2.4 Ghz P4 which will compile a 2.5
kernel faster than the 15 minutes it takes his 450 Mhz PIII today,
especially with Reiser4 patched in.;) )

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