How Moore's law stabbed us in the back

Adam L. Beberg beberg@mithral.com
Tue, 1 Jan 2002 15:12:42 -0800 (PST)


So lets get right to it, Moore's law is fierce beast we lost control
oh and his invisible hand punched us in the face, among other places.

A simplification of price is:
Price = Demand / Supply.

Moores law controls supply, making it double every so often - 18 months is
the usual number. The problem with this, is that to maintain the price
demand has to rise just as fast. Remember how the computer you wanted was
always $5,000 no matter what? You really wanted it to, you demanded it, your
friends mocked you if you had last years model.

But no Moore. My computer does more then I can possibly use it for. I can't
click the mouse fast enough to slow it down no matter how much Microsoft
tries. A PDA packs enough power to do anything I need, just needs a real
keyboard and monitor, forget the desktop PC.

Demand stopped. People have all they can use. No new killer apps in sight.
You know it, I know it. Moore knows it too. If i want to talk to someone I
use my free phone minutes. If I want video I turn on the satalite box - not
some broadband device. They are shipping CD's in cereal boxes now which
preaty much means they are next to free, 64MB of RAM is $3, with $11 of
shipping. Moving a couple grams of atoms pays, moving bits doesnt.

So that new PC you're drooling over might be $700 w/17" monitor included.
And this is going to half every 18 months or so. Soon the PC will come in
the cereal box, and they will be a choking hazard to boot!

Now, if what your selling is going down in price, your supplies better be
dropping to. Since the only variable cost in the tech industry (moore
controls the cost of atoms) is human labor... guess what.

Have a nice day now.

- Adam L. "Duncan" Beberg
  http://www.mithral.com/~beberg/
  beberg@mithral.com