Thanks for the article, it was a good read, as were some of the comments. I doubt you'd be surprised at how far specs have come since 1999 though :) The phone I'm currently using is a year and a half old, but is dual core with 1gb ram, comparable to most low end walmart netbooks in the $200-$300 range today.A GHz is not just a GHz, and there's a lot more to it than the number of cores. Even a Netbook's Atom, which is a horrible, neutered piece of shit compared to any other x86 processor today, will absolutely destroy the best ARM architecture found in smartphones and tablets (the Tegra 3 from nVidia). Widen the competition to include even the 17W processors found in the Macbook air and its competitors, and there's just no competition.
Quite true. As much as I personally love the ARM platform from an engineering standpoint and as useful as they can be for simple data processing tasks, they're still mostly toys. I'm glad, nay ecstatic, that some of you out there can and have done this to save money on electrical usage and hardware costs, but there's just far too many caveats to make it a practical solution for people who need
computers to do any form of work that extends beyond data entry and entertainment consumption.
After all, there's a reason why things like the Atrix with the Lapdock and the Transformer Prime are still niche products. I don't doubt that the technology will advance to that point eventually, but we're not there quite yet. Unfortunately, when we finally do get to that point, things like privacy, data security, and free (speech and beer) computing will likely be things of the past (or at least marginalized to the fringes) due to people embracing being hemmed into platforms they no longer control and paying monthly or trading their privacy online for access to these services. The great commoditization of the consumer.
Z, now you know a bit more about why
I approach cell phones the way I do and provide the style advice that I have. It's never been any sort of grudge against you. I view smartphones as a gateway technology towards a very anti-mustachian future with computing, so I advocate trying to avoid being dependent on them or any other form of technology much beyond tool usage. Most smartphone users aren't actually end users, they're a product... commodities paying money to buy equipment they've been told they need to allow other
people to make money off them. If you're fine with that, more power to you. I know it's not a rosy, happy, optimistic Star Trek future type of idea and likely not going to be too popular a sentiment around here because of it, but I'm not keen on the idea of my fellow man being treated like the digital equivalent of CAFO feed lot beef, either.
We're a society too dependent on technology to function, and we're supposed to be a community of badasses here. Granted, we're a community of badasses who have been blessed and enabled to live this lifestyle due to the progress of technology, but.... When was the last time any one of us were actually badass enough to do simple arithmetic without a calculator, let alone go 24 hours without being online? As minimal consumerists, are our lives truly enriched by letting large corporations know who we meet, where we go, what we socialize about and what we do... especially when we're paying good money to let
them do that? Where do we draw the line? Is replacing a semi-stationary computational device with an always-on always-connected mobile one a convenience or a liability?