Missing posters (was RE: How Moore's law stabbed us in the back)

Paul Prescod paul@prescod.net
Thu, 03 Jan 2002 09:34:16 -0500

ThosStew@aol.com wrote:
> And Adam's maligned post is, it seems to me, a pretty interesting one, though
> his train of thought chugs into the wrong (despairing) station. Fact is that
> Moore's Law does cut the price of a given amount of computing power in half
> every six quarters, and that companies have to increase demand, cut costs, or
> add features at a rate that tries to keep up, but may be inevitably doomed.
> My first computer cost about $4000 and had all of 4, or was it 8, megs of
> RAM. 

4 megs? I would have killed for 4 megs of RAM!

Even so, I think there is a missing link here. Moore's law is clearly at
fault for the increase in RAM but please demonstrate that it is at fault
for the drop in price and profit. Computers have become commoditized. I
don't see how that is Moore's fault. Is Moore's law to blame for the
fact that pork bellies are a commodity?

Moore's law is probably the primary reason you ever *replaced* that 4MB
machine and got a newer one. It is what keeps the PC hardware
replacement rate so much higher than the replacement rate of, let's say,
speakers or microwave ovens.

> ... On
> the other hand, to say that the only cost left to be cut is labor is
> _probably_ wrong: 

Let's presume for a second it is correct. What percentage of the workers
in the technology industry work for PC manufacturers? The vast majority
of us (on FoRK, at least) work in applications of PC technology. As
Moore's law makes it economically freasible to deploy computers in
toasters and earrings, we have more and more work to make them useful.
Moore's law built the industry. When it stops we'll be in trouble.

 Paul Prescod