The Desktop Computer Comeback

It's senseless to do real computing on a laptop or iPad. For that, you need a big honkin' desktop.

Although people spend all day with their iPhones, iPads or whatever else they're using to casually search the web while watching TV or sitting at a cafe, most of them still have some sort of real computer on a desk somewhere. Some of these poor people (too many in fact) have been suckered into using a laptop as a desktop replacement. There's really no such thing as a desktop replacement.

That said, the honkin' desktop computer with the multi-core CPU isn't in vogue, plain and simple. The productivity benefits have been forgotten.

First of all, let's get real about computing in the modern world. It's not about looking things up on the Web; it's about getting more work done in a shorter period of time than ever before. This is largely because of the processing power of desktop computers. And, yes, a powerful laptop can be a workhorse, but get real. If given a choice between using a laptop – no matter how powerful – with a 15-inch screen and using a multi-core tower machine with two or three or four 20-inch to 30-inch monitors, why would I choose the laptop?

Yes, the big rig will cost more, but with just one or two monitors, it won't cost that much more.

The drawback to the desktop rig, of course, is lack of portability. I don't know about you but I don't have this overwhelming desire to have a computer with me 24/7. Others do.

I've noticed a few interesting phenomenon that bring us back to the olden days of the secretarial pool. Someone in your group will have an iPad or iPhone with an efficient Web browsing system. And the person will be adept at using these devices. Moreover, they're more than willing to be your secretary to show off their skills on these devices.

"I think we're lost, the restaurant isn't here."
"Let me pull out the iPad and figure out where we are."
"You do that while I go shopping."

I've noticed myself barking commands to these people. "See what the capacity of that hall is. I'll bet it's over 500." "Can you bring up a map of the area?" "See if there are any nearby ATM machines."

Never once does someone say, "Get an iPad and look it up yourself, you skinflint!' Of course not, because they love using these machines and need a rationale for owning the things. Meanwhile, the machine that pays the bills is the desktop machine, and many of these same people use underpowered laptops for this function.

I'm not sure why the buzz about desktops has waned to the point where nobody wants to talk about them. They're not totally uninteresting. Many use fiber connectors and have unusual architectures that are worth discussing. Maybe it's too complicated for today's audience. After all, they think Facebook is high tech.

Well you can do what you want, but it just won't be as good or as fast unless it's done on a big honkin' machine. Get one today!