It’s True. More People Use Smartphones Than Desktop/Notebook PCs

A survey of 2000 people 18 and over in several developed countries/markets found that 68-86% used desktop/notebook PCs but 76-96% used smartphones. USA was on the low end while UK, France, Germany and Japan were successively higher in both categories.

Besides the bare facts, I conclude

  • 8-10% use smartphones but not desktop/notebook PCs
  • USA, which is on the low end of desktop/notebook usage is on the high end of tablet usage (11%) so tablets are definitely cutting into desktop/notebook usage

This is entirely consistent with M$’s drop in client division revenue. M$ is barely present in smartphone/tablet markets. 10% can have a huge effect on consumer demand. Decimation gets noticed. I expect this will grow and M$ will continue to drop in market share for the next few quarters and “8” will have little traction. People prefer chocolate bars in their hands rather than vapourware. The acceptability of */Linux on ARM and consumers’ influence on business IT could well open the door to more widespread use of */Linux on desktop/notebook PCs.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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56 Responses to It’s True. More People Use Smartphones Than Desktop/Notebook PCs

  1. Flying Toaster says:

    @oiaohm

    That x86 produces and arm produces are not two different companies.

    Intel used to have their own ARM chip line called “XScale” and it has been sold to Marvell for six years. Intel is by no means obliged to offer the latest fabrication technologies unless otherwise stipulated in an agreement between the two companies.

    Do your homework.

    Flying Toaster 40nm. There are very good reasons not to go under that with current tech. Yes remember even that the new tile is 40nm it still can process data faster than the x86 chips of the same silcon chip size using a smaller nm.

    I really don’t have any more patience for this. Show your working or stop pestering me with your source-less walls of text.

    @Rob
    No, it would not. We were using coaxial cables back in the 1970s.

    Yep, and I am pretty you would lug around the terminals just like you would Android cellphones. Otherwise, I would like to see the relevance of this to whatever – if any – point you were trying to make.

    This is also to disregard your previous statement that “the PC was just for large businesses who needed something cheaper than a mainframe”, even though I could hardly imagine something along the line of Lotus-1-2-3 would have warranted a mainframe of any sort.

    Here’s a YouTube video of a guy using a regular PC as a server: 11s login the first time. 9s the next time.

    I also happen to use regular PCs as servers, and at one point used a machine with Windows 7 Home Premium as a print server (as any “workstation-oriented” Windows NT release, per “M$” convention, can handle up to 10 clients at a time for printer and file sharing and without client licenses). And, unlike you, I actually take steps to maintain those machines.

    My students certainly preferred them. In one lab I had a mix of thin and thick clients so students saw the difference. We converted the thick clients to be thin. The normal thick clients clatters all over the hard drive to log in or to start and application while the terminal server has lots in RAM from others who have done similar operations.

    Plenty of people say that “conventional” medicine is evil and you should take sugar pills instead, or that the moon landing was a hoax and you should start preparing for alien invasion or such. With your background as a physicist (or so I heard), you ought to know the importance of a controlled environment when it comes to unbiased comparisons. There are barely any details in your story on how you have set up and maintain those “thick clients”, and the only thing your readers (or at least I) can gather from you is the fact that that at one point there was this one “MCSE” who left behind a Windows Server, with proper documentation or otherwise (as you are reluctant to specify), for you to look after. Given such lack of crucial information, how is anyone supposed to treat your conclusion on Windows or Linux as valid?

  2. oiaohm says:

    Flying Toaster intel makes some of the best arm processors. Of course you would not know this. That x86 produces and arm produces are not two different companies.

    2007 range of LG stuff is too young for the one I am refering to.

    Smart ThinQ first generation. 1999. This is one of the early experiments of computers in devices. Basically a general computer merged with a fridge, washing machine…..

    Of course a person like you who don’t know history would forget this fact. Flying Toaster. Yes a time in the past general computers were fused with fridges. History has a habit of looping.

    Flying Toaster 40nm. There are very good reasons not to go under that with current tech. Yes remember even that the new tile is 40nm it still can process data faster than the x86 chips of the same silcon chip size using a smaller nm.

    Texas Instruments makes satellite rated chips. Sorry you cannot at this stage operate a processor in orbit around the earth dependably under 40nm. Use to be 90nm there have been some break threws. Hardened tech does place some limits. Ie bigger. Tilera is the same as Texas there stuff is satellite rated. Some Texas stuff is deep space rated. This is resistance to cosmic radiation.

    http://hexus.net/business/news/components/22539-28nm-new-32nm-say-arm-globalfoundries/
    Start reading. Remember every AMD chip comes from global foundries. Yes I can also dig up where intel also does this. 28nm is the smallest for mobile device production you find. Going under that your power consume goes up that has be cured. There are some more power hungry arm chips at 20nm.

    Arm goal is 14nm by 2014. By the way current intel stuff in production in 32nm. Yes arm chips from right makers are more advanced in production than the x86 chips. Yes this is because the x86 is not the first chips threw the production at a new nm level ARM chips are not the first either.

    Currently there are some AVR 32 bit processors in production at 14nm. Due to being a slower processor the leak issues to be solved at 14nm don’t prevent it from operating.

    The order starting at 14nm AVR/PIC/other crappy microcontrollers then ARM 20-28 nm then Power 28-32nm and x86 32nm then AVR/PIC… stuff again harderned this is the start of 40nm+ production then arm and tile for hardened usage cases so 40nm then Power for hardened usage cases 42nm(slightly larger due to em reaction) and x86 for harden is still 90nm tail of hunt by a long way. All the bugs of production get worked out on the smaller less complex chips. The production lines work there way up to a complex chip like a x86 and tile. Yes a tile chip is not a simple design.

    The more complex the chip the long it tames to come into production with the new nm levels.

  3. oldman says:

    “oldman, you know this and yet you continue to call them “dumb terminals”. What’s with that? Refusal to face the future?”

    As the lead architect on my institutions citrix implementation thin clients are very much on my radar. The difference is that I am not just using thin clients as an attempt to pave over WIndows with linux. The service in question will be providing virtualized windows desktops running closed source applications. Liinux as a desktop, while it may be present as one of the environments offered, will not be the predominant offering.

    The above aside, none of this changes the reality that this solution is nothing more than a modernized version of a dumb terminal. Remember Pog, the so called think client becomes a useless hunk of metal if/when there is a failure at the central site or in the path to the central site, and as someone who works in enterprise IT right now, I can assure you that things do happen.

  4. oldman wrote, “Dumb terminals are soo much fun, eh Pog?”

    There are no dumb terminals involved. Many thin clients have audio I/O and show a GUI, not text. They can be much snappier than “normal” desktops and notebooks because the servers do the hard work and often have tons of RAM and RAID which eliminate bottlenecks. My students certainly preferred them. In one lab I had a mix of thin and thick clients so students saw the difference. We converted the thick clients to be thin. The normal thick clients clatters all over the hard drive to log in or to start and application while the terminal server has lots in RAM from others who have done similar operations. oldman, you know this and yet you continue to call them “dumb terminals”. What’s with that? Refusal to face the future?

    Here’s a YouTube video of a guy using a regular PC as a server: 11s login the first time. 9s the next time. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K-FNFZsWX9Q

    Here’s a YouTube video of a guy using a more powerful server: http://youtu.be/UdL-ipL-OwQ

    Yes, logins in 2s are fun. Other operations are snappy. see about 10:40 in the video.

  5. oldman says:

    “Now M$ makes a lot of money from people who don’t realize that they don’t need M$ to run a thin client.”

    Dumb terminals are soo much fun, eh Pog?

  6. Flying Toaster wrote, ” am pretty sure a thin-client with a 300 bps modem would have been a better way to go.”

    No, it would not. We were using coaxial cables back in the 1970s. They were 10 mbits/s more or less, just marginal for a GUI but snappy for a textual interface like we used. By the time Ellison and SUN promoted thin clients for GUIs, 100mbits/s was available and it worked. M$ nearly wet its pants and cranked up the technological evangelists to criticize it. Now M$ makes a lot of money from people who don’t realize that they don’t need M$ to run a thin client.

  7. Flying Toaster says:

    The one with a VIA x86 in the door. Not the new power effective arm versions.

    No.

    Yes it runs windows 98.

    Read your own link – it doesn’t!

    Unless of course you have updated it to something sane by today standards what is normally a Linux. Basically yes there is a fridge out there that will run Libreoffice.

    Look, I honestly don’t care if English is your fifth language or you just happen from suffer from some form of thought disorders, but, to be honest with you, anyone with reasonable ability to understand written English can easy tell from the article that:

    1) the appliance range in question does not run Windows 98,
    2) it is not meant for general-purpose computing, and
    3) it doesn’t support LibreOffice.

    If I can’t even expect you to be able to comprehend your own source at all, how can I possibly expect you to come up with an argument that makes sense?

    Lot of times I am not making stuff up. I just have a better history knowledge than most people.

    I can’t argue with that, now can I?

    Level of geo-redundancy is also key. Some businesses will not care about 24 hours of lost data.

    Really? And what would they be? Laundromats for Dubiously Obtained Incomes?

    geo-redundancy done properly. Does not require a cluster.

    Maybe you weren’t following, but both I and Mr. Pogson were talking about computer clusters when you decided to chime in with your irrelevant tidbits.

    In fact arm normally has the fabrication technologies before x86.

    Seriously? The Tilera TILE64 processor you were banging on about came out in 2007 with a process node size of 90nm. Even the new chips the same company launched in September last year had a process node size of 40nm.

    And, don’t worry – ARM chip manufacturers with own fabrication facilities such as Texas Instruments are none better.

    This is part common sense. Arm chips are smaller so a defect ruining a section of the silicon you have higher odds of recovering more chips if something is wrong with the production line than first up producing x86 chips.

    Even amd production lines get the same treatment.

    Thanks for the info, even with it being entirely made up and all that!

  8. oiaohm says:

    Flying Toaster
    “And, no, it doesn’t run LibreOffice. Stop making stuff up as you going along. (Don’t I start feeling sick of repeating this line!)”
    O yes there one you are looking for the older LG with the 15 inch screen in the fridge door. The one with a VIA x86 in the door. Not the new power effective arm versions.

    http://technologizer.com/2011/09/03/ifa-lgs-net-connected-appliances/ Yes it runs windows 98. Unless of course you have updated it to something sane by today standards what is normally a Linux. Basically yes there is a fridge out there that will run Libreoffice.

    Really you failed to do your homework correctly.Flying Toaster. Lot of times I am not making stuff up. I just have a better history knowledge than most people.

    geo-redundancy done properly. Does not require a cluster. Cluster is optional. Key thing to geo-redundancy is that data is replicated from location to location. Heck if you are evilish you can pull this off with rsync scripts.

    Level of geo-redundancy is also key. Some businesses will not care about 24 hours of lost data.

    Local server allows in case of temporary disruption from connection to the rest of the geo spread network for operations to processed as normal. Basically loss of connection to the geo group should not be a major issue as long as it restored inside the tolerance of data loss window.

    “The point not about the number of cores or the speed. It’s about whether ARM chip companies have leverages in fabrication technologies, which are crucial in keeping oneself ahead of the competition. And that missing the point thing and such and such.”

    In fact arm normally has the fabrication technologies before x86. Since its arm is cheaper due to low licensing costs is more affordable to run the new techs with arm than x86. Yes intel makes arm chips on there new production lines before they make there first x86 chips.

    This is part common sense. Arm chips are smaller so a defect ruining a section of the silicon you have higher odds of recovering more chips if something is wrong with the production line than first up producing x86 chips.

    Even amd production lines get the same treatment.

  9. Flying Toaster says:

    Flying Toaster, the first PCs that I saw cost ~$5000 at a time when a lot of ordinary folk had annual incomes not much more than that.

    To use a tired catchphrase, “Cool story, bro.”

    I am pretty sure a thin-client with a 300 bps modem would have been a better way to go. One has to wonder why that didn’t catch on at the time, though. Dangit, M$!

    OTOH, a smartphone for ~$100 is a great bargain for all but the poorest humans.

    And how is that supposed to be a better option than a $500 box saving for the, well, “poorest humans”? If meaningless streams of consciousness and emotionally charged commentary are all that you can come up, then may I recommend you to just drop them already? No one is going to buy a price comparison between a PC XT circa 1983 and a cheapo Huawei Android phone from 2012 as a legitimate argument for or against anything – not any sane person anyway.

    And $100 smartphones are horrid.

  10. Flying Toaster says:

    Sometimes you have to think before commenting. Yes there is a LG fridge with a arm chip in it with a LCD screen on the door that does run LibreOffice. Yes there are.

    You are thinking about the DIOS, which has a built-in HDTV that you can access the Internet with.

    And, no, it doesn’t run LibreOffice. Stop making stuff up as you going along. (Don’t I start feeling sick of repeating this line!)

    Some are its all down to the dpi of the LCD screen and the colour quality of the screen. Not the connection that much.

    No joke, Sherlock. It’s been fun reading walls of text featuring your stream of consciousness drifting into various irrelevant tangents. But, hey, when you finally realize that’s the whole point the entire time, please by all mean let me know.

    Again this is knowing what you have and if it suitable. The answer is not black or white. Heck there are some LCD monitors that are complete crap as well.

    Again, thanks for missing the point entirely and adding nothing meaningful to the discussion.

    Quad and 8 core Arm chips coming at multi ghz in the next few years.

    The point not about the number of cores or the speed. It’s about whether ARM chip companies have leverages in fabrication technologies, which are crucial in keeping oneself ahead of the competition. And that missing the point thing and such and such.

    ActiveSync the fact Linux servers can provide it is the distributive bit.

    Did I even mention Linux servers anywhere? Boy, no wonder you have such a notorious reputation preceding your person!

    Idiot. Next generation arm is for server and has something scary.

    “Idiot”? How am I not grateful that you didn’t call me an “educated stupid”, my gentle time-cube man!

    But, then again, just where did I mention servers in my last comment? And how are servers related to general-purpose anyway?

    Geo-reduncany there are many cheaper ways to do it effective.

    “Cheaper” than what?

    Big reason why entire cluster disconnected from clients is because of no local server near the clients as part of cluster failure to geo correctly causes that failure.

    Do you even know what geo-redundancy is, or what the clusters in question are for, my dear time-cube man?

    Costs are not that bad if your planning is done right. Shock in most cases a office with 100 staff normally does not make more than 20 meg of data a day.

    Again, some source to back up your statistics would be nice.

    Yes a lot of cluster idiots think that building a cluster you can get rid of the local servers.

    Cluster idiots? Are they like “educated stupids”, but more densely packed? And do they believe such lies as the 1 day deception and the Greenwich Mean Time?

    The inquiring minds deserve answers on all these.

  11. Flying Toaster, the first PCs that I saw cost ~$5000 at a time when a lot of ordinary folk had annual incomes not much more than that. By 1980 more were available around $1500 just for the box and it was an innovation when a box started costing less than $1000. A lot of people considered PCs too expensive until the 1990s. My first inkjet printer, HP’s first, cost me $700 in the 1980s. OTOH, a smartphone for ~$100 is a great bargain for all but the poorest humans.

  12. oiaohm says:

    Flying Toaster
    “Unless you are telling me that there are refrigerators that can also do spreadsheets, I honestly don’t see any point anywhere in your argument.”
    Sometimes you have to think before commenting. Yes there is a LG fridge with a arm chip in it with a LCD screen on the door that does run LibreOffice. Yes there are.

    “Not that it tells you if an HDTV is indeed fit for being a computer monitor, though.”
    Some are its all down to the dpi of the LCD screen and the colour quality of the screen. Not the connection that much. So HDTV and LCD montior in some cases is the same LCD screen inside so have the same quality output.

    Again this is knowing what you have and if it suitable. The answer is not black or white. Heck there are some LCD monitors that are complete crap as well.

    “We are looking at a complete upgrade of fabrication facilities every 2 years.” Arm is about 6 months for fabrication upgrades.

    Quad and 8 core Arm chips coming at multi ghz in the next few years.

    ActiveSync the fact Linux servers can provide it is the distributive bit.

    Flying Toaster
    “”Hardware” that has bunk to do with general-purpose computing? Sure.”

    Idiot. Next generation arm is for server and has something scary. 3900 server in a 2 U 19 inch rack case. So yes very compact and insanely powerful general-purpose computing. You cannot fit that amount of processing power of a x86 in a box that size. Arm massive production in the next few years x86 will have to fight for the general-purpose market.

    Factories that are setup for arm will kick up for server just as simple as they kick up for anything else.

    “And, by the way, have you ever thought about the possibility of an entire cluster disconnected from the clients or destroyed due to fire, floods, earthquakes and other man-made or natural disasters? Geo-redundancy is expensive to implement, my friend.”

    This is why you need to watch some recent LCA videos. Geo-reduncany there are many cheaper ways to do it effective.

    Big reason why entire cluster disconnected from clients is because of no local server near the clients as part of cluster failure to geo correctly causes that failure. I do proper geo as part of my job. Costs are not that bad if your planning is done right. Shock in most cases a office with 100 staff normally does not make more than 20 meg of data a day.

    Yes a lot of cluster idiots think that building a cluster you can get rid of the local servers. If you do that you have not read how to geo properly. You are a cheap ass so will suffer.

  13. Flying Toaster says:

    That’s the desktop metaphor. It works well with business. It was designed for business. That’s not what is going on with the mobile devices. Just as the PC and the desktop were disruptive technologies so are the mobile devices and the software that goes with them.

    I guess iOS and Android support for ActiveSync are indeed disruptive, to your world view at least.

  14. Kozmcrae says:

    “Ever worked at an office? Then, in all likelihood, you have already produced plenty of paperwork with standard cover sheets or letter heads. Ever operated a business?”

    That’s the desktop metaphor. It works well with business. It was designed for business. That’s not what is going on with the mobile devices. Just as the PC and the desktop were disruptive technologies so are the mobile devices and the software that goes with them.

    You’re still thinking with your disk. The world does not revolve around the desktop anymore. Get used to it.

  15. Flying Toaster says:

    @Robert “Mr. Obtuse” Pogson

    . When they were in their prime productive years, the PC was just for large businesses who needed something cheaper than a mainframe.

    Italics mine.

    PCs cost $thousands, and these folks annual income was just a few times that.

    Nonsense. The last box I built for someone else (out of good will, since I don’t go around wearing a t-shirt telling everyone to buzz off) costed $500, and that included a license for Windows 7 Home Premium. Threw in a monitor, mouse and keyboard and you would end up with the same price as a $am$ung Galaxy Nexu$ (see what I did there?) or a Motorola Atrix.

    So what was that ludicrous claim about “small”, “cheap” computers again?

    Let’s see: 80% of desktop/notebook PCs use Intel CPUs and 20% use AMD, with compatible instruction sets… Why aren’t there “5 top CPU makers”? Answer: The Wintel monopoly finds exclusiveness easier to manage.

    Show me some proof for the alleged causation and I’ll call that a proper answer.

    Let me get this straight here, from 2004 and 2012, these are the fabrication technologies that Intel has used for their desktop processor range, along with their first chips ever used such technologies:

    90nm – Prescott – 2004
    65nm – Ceder Mill – 2006
    45nm – Wolfdale – 2008
    32nm – Clarksdale – 2010
    22nm – Ivy Bridge – 2012

    We are looking at a complete upgrade of fabrication facilities every 2 years. People who know how to develop these thing don’t work for free, and equipment of such precision is a heavy investment on its own. If you think any Joe Sixpack can just go and turn a pile of sand into processor chips, then think again – and fabless companies such as Marvell, VIA and Tilera obviously don’t count.

    There are lots of PCs not connected to a printer, not used in business, and not having a spreadsheet application. Multimedia PCs or gaming PCs come to mind.

    Then I sincerely look forward to the day when people play the likes of Crysis on dumb terminals.

    Chuckle. Even M$ is selling software for thin clients these days, FT.

    When Office 365 out-sells Office 2010, by all means let me know.

    A lot of people want server-centric computing: FB users, Gmail users, App store users, Internet users…

    Or “Internet users, Internet users, Internet users and Internet users”, but saying this is to ignore the fact that there are plenty of elements in even Facebook that demand client computational power – ever heard of this stuff called “Facebook games”?

    Anyone who wants a fleet of PCs that are easy to manage and cheap to own and operate wants thin clients.

    Fleets of thin clients are worthless on their own without backbone infrastructures. Again, catch-22 applies.

    Just look at all the businesses that are busy converting to web apps.

    As I said, “fat clients with complementary cloud-based services are what now people settle on for their needs”. I have yet seen any total conversion success story making the news. Humor me, by all means.

    @oiaohm

    Flying Toaster the same device in my link is a 200 dollars or less with android or kde solution on it.

    An android tablet. Very purpose-built indeed.

    LCA2012 videos compared to LCA2011 and LCA2010 shows a clear trend and attitude change.

    I can also say the news reports from Afghanistan show a clear change in standards of living in the country. Seriously, what’s the difference between that and your ham-fisted argument?

    You really do need to watch some of the LCA training on how do clusters should be designed to prevent these issues. Proper designed clusters do not fail due to single point failure.

    I like how you have thrown in life-cycle assessments there for no obvious reason rather than to make a pathetic attempt in making yourself sound knowledgeable. And, by the way, have you ever thought about the possibility of an entire cluster disconnected from the clients or destroyed due to fire, floods, earthquakes and other man-made or natural disasters? Geo-redundancy is expensive to implement, my friend.

    ARM is in fact the most dominate hardware sold not X86 by volume.

    If you mean purpose-built SoC chips, sure. But what does that have to do with general-purpose computing?

    Most number of peripheral devices supported by a single OS goes to Linux by about half a million.

    And your reason of not citing a source is… ?

    Sorry ARM 4000+ different chip-set combinations in production.

    My ADSL modem runs an SoC ARM chip. So what?

    Unless you are telling me that there are refrigerators that can also do spreadsheets, I honestly don’t see any point anywhere in your argument.

    x86 is a very small drop in a very large ocean of hardware development

    “Hardware” that has bunk to do with general-purpose computing? Sure.

    But due to HDMI wire to wire compadiblity with DVI duel link most go through to a max of WQUXGA (3,840 × 2,400) @ 33 Hz with GTF blanking (2 × 159 MHz) in arm.

    What does that have to do with ARM? Honestly, are you nuts?

    PC video cards are another matter the HDMI port is normally crimped so cannot go out to max of HDMI.

    More random nonsense to rival the infamous time-cube website, from oiaohm, as usual.

    Of course if you are hooking these devices up to a crappy LCD they will look crap as well.

    I don’t need you to tell me what my point is. Thank you very much.

    The arm devices are more than able to put out a equal quality display to a desktop for most general usages events.

    Again, what does any of that have to do with ARM, x86 or any instruction set architecture? Stop making stuff up as you go along, already!

    Some cheap no brand LCD are not as bad as others. Reason they are brand LCD inside a cheap case.

    I’m well aware of that, thank you very much.

    Not that it tells you if an HDTV is indeed fit for being a computer monitor, though.

  16. oiaohm says:

    Also the cross between Linux desktop and Android is getting smaller.

    The directfb system now works on Android to a point. That can run X11 server inside that. Yes horrid. Its only a matter of time before we start seeing Linux desktop apps popping up on Android tablets.

  17. Hanson wrote, ““A computer is a computer. It is natural that good software run on any computer and that computers should use a variety of hardware.”

    Fundamentally wrong, Pogson. Fundamentally wrong!”

    Program Hello;
    begin
    writeln(' Hello, World! (but only on Wintel)')
    end.

    What the Hell do you think an OS is supposed to be? It’s an abstraction so the details of the hardware and OS disappear for the app and its users. Wintel is an aberration designed to support a monopoly. Reality is that people want things done and they should be able to do their work on anything that computes.

  18. oiaohm says:

    Flying Toaster the same device in my link is a 200 dollars or less with android or kde solution on it. Zenithink ZT-280 C71 .

    First generation tech is always expensive later generations become quite cheep.

    “Is this change bring changes. Yes quality assuranc processes are increasing in all FOSS projects.” LCA2012 videos compared to LCA2011 and LCA2010 shows a clear trend and attitude change. FOSDEM will show the same trend. Debian is slowly installing a framework to run QA on every package. Fedora is mostly complete. You just look around at the work the QA projects are doing. Lot more focus.

    Basically what class of documents you want to see. General change in action. Or detailed new full audit processes I can present both.

    “Clusters of computers also give you single points of failure that can cripple your business operation, and that means risks.”

    You really do need to watch some of the LCA training on how do clusters should be designed to prevent these issues. Proper designed clusters do not fail due to single point failure. Particularly the very complete multi geno location clusters. Of course businesses normally don’t spend the right money acquiring the right grade cluster I will not dispute that.

    “Given the variety of hardware available on x86 for Windows as compared to any combination of architectures and operating system, I am pretty confident to say that there is simply no factual grounding in your obviously bogus claim.”
    ARM is in fact the most dominate hardware sold not X86 by volume. Does not help that Samsung hard-drives count as arm devices.

    Most number of peripheral devices supported by a single OS goes to Linux by about half a million. Windows XP comes in number 2. Windows vista/7 comes in number 3. Yes a lot of legacy devices don’t work on Windows 7 and Vista the reason why its behind XP.
    Shockingly bad next is AIX
    Then Apple. Yes its bad that one of the commonly thought of desktop OS’s come after AIX on supported devices. Remember AIX is IBM power hardware only.

    “Given the variety of hardware available” This metric Arm is first by a huge margin think hard drives, printers, network switching, pacemakers….. the variety of hardware is basically everything if a type of device with a computer exists you can better there is a arm version somewhere . PPC is second x86 is third. Yes shocking right x86 is not number 1.

    The metrics do suggest something unnatural is going on. Why do thing that don’t hold number 1 positions have such a large market share. Yes there is also not as much variation between x86 motherboards as many people would think. Yes there are many brands of motherboards when you remove bios differences. The number of chipsets you are looking at on x86 in new boards is only 8 in common x86 ie AMD and Intel. Max of 16 when you go to the edges like VIA.

    Sorry ARM 4000+ different chip-set combinations in production. Yes there is a reason why Linux kernel developers call ARM the worst nightmares from hell. x86 starts feeling like sanity.(yes this does explain why Linux developers fight tooth and nail for x86 access it is simpler)

    Out of production chip-set combinations in arm for items produced in the last 4 years about 100 000.

    Yes ARM is what you call rapidly developing. Yes those 100 000 are items that made it to sale. I am not counting the ones destroyed because they did not sell.

    x86 is a very small drop in a very large ocean of hardware development. Cause only 4 companies world wide can make x86 chips. VIA, Intel, AMD and IBM. IBM is currently making none. Compared to the many thousands of companies that can make arm chips including Nvidia, Intel and VIA. Yes shocking right that all the x86 makers bar AMD also have had a arm chip in there product range at some time.

    HDMI to DVI is quite good. HDMI is smaller to place on side of device. Most devices do full digital DVI duel link through the HDMI port. Of course DVI duel link is lower than what HDMI 1.4(2009 version) should do. 2560×1600p75 decent 4096×2160p24 as min to get approved as a HDMI 1.4 device.

    But due to HDMI wire to wire compadiblity with DVI duel link most go through to a max of WQUXGA (3,840 × 2,400) @ 33 Hz with GTF blanking (2 × 159 MHz) in arm.

    PC video cards are another matter the HDMI port is normally crimped so cannot go out to max of HDMI. Yes proper HDMI and Duel Digital DVI are basically interchangeable for the quality they kick out.

    Of course if you are hooking these devices up to a crappy LCD they will look crap as well. The arm devices are more than able to put out a equal quality display to a desktop for most general usages events. 3d processing they are still a bit lacking.

    Some cheap no brand LCD are not as bad as others. Reason they are brand LCD inside a cheap case. Due to production over runs. Of course you have to know what you are buying to get decent crap in the bargain basement bin of no brands. Yes could hit it lucking but with the stack of crap from defective production runs that end up in that bin as well the odds of junk is high.

  19. Flying Toaster wrote, “It is natural that good software run on any computer and that computers should use a variety of hardware. It is unnatural that Wintel should exist.

    Given the variety of hardware available on x86 for Windows as compared to any combination of architectures and operating system, I am pretty confident to say that there is simply no factual grounding in your obviously bogus claim.”

    Let’s see: 80% of desktop/notebook PCs use Intel CPUs and 20% use AMD, with compatible instruction sets… Why aren’t there “5 top CPU makers”? Answer: The Wintel monopoly finds exclusiveness easier to manage. M$ produces more bloat. Intel ramps up throughput to make the bloat seem normal. Repeat. The Wintel treadmill. ARM has not been part of that but has been excluded from retail shelves largely because of technological evangelism, not technical merit. Now that ARM has become widely accepted, we see the lack of competitiveness that Wintel breeds. This year, consumers have choice, finally.

    Flying Toaster wrote, “people (even including the likes Larry Ellison) have tried selling the idea in the 80s, 90s and 00s – nobody wants it. “

    Chuckle. Even M$ is selling software for thin clients these days, FT. Thin clients are selling like hotcakes. Anyone who wants a fleet of PCs that are easy to manage and cheap to own and operate wants thin clients. Servers are more reliable than PCs last time I checked, simply because they use better hardware and are managed by experts and not ordinary users. A lot of people want server-centric computing: FB users, Gmail users, App store users, Internet users… It’s valid and mainstream. Just look at all the businesses that are busy converting to web apps.

  20. Flying Toaster wrote, “I am sorry, but do you actually think people in general are really that illiterate? Sure, I can’t really say the same about everyone, but I am pretty confident that plenty of so-called “Aunt Tillies” out there had already used the likes of Lotus-1-2-3 before you were even born. “

    A recent survey of people over 18 found ~15% do not use computers at all. I have several relatives who are old enough that is the case. When they were in their prime productive years, the PC was just for large businesses who needed something cheaper than a mainframe. PCs cost $thousands, and these folks annual income was just a few times that. The survey also shows young people may not use desktops/notebooks but smartphones instead so there are two categories where spreadsheets are irrelevant. The old ones use paper and the young ones are in school and may not specialize in science/technology/business where spreadsheets are common.

    There are lots of PCs not connected to a printer, not used in business, and not having a spreadsheet application. Multimedia PCs or gaming PCs come to mind.

  21. Flying Toaster says:

    I suspect the people using these devices wouldn’t know a spreadsheet from a twin sheet.

    The phrase “I suspect” makes no more a valid argument than “the horoscopes say” does. It is what goes before an assumption that is based purely on your imagination and not much of any observable evidence. Self-proclaimed men of science such as Pogson himself should have known better about this.

    Ever worked at an office? Then, in all likelihood, you have already produced plenty of paperwork with standard cover sheets or letter heads. Ever operated a business? Then, in all likelihood, you have already written tons of lengthy email with a similarly lengthy signature attached to each piece. I am sorry, but all these are the actual norms in the business world.

    “[T]he people using [smartphones and tablets] wouldn’t know a spreadsheet from a twin sheet?” I am sorry, but do you actually think people in general are really that illiterate? Sure, I can’t really say the same about everyone, but I am pretty confident that plenty of so-called “Aunt Tillies” out there had already used the likes of Lotus-1-2-3 before you were even born. Besides, there is simply no mutual exclusivity between smartphones and desktops. Arguing that people are ditching desk/laptops because the sales of smartphones are growing is like arguing that people are ditching their refrigerators because the sales of electric kettles are blooming – it’s idiotic however you look at it.

    “Hanson Exactly. Once they are making there own hardware with there own direct shipping to end users the whining about vendors getting in the way will reduce.”

    Sure. It has been 20 or so years since FOSS advocates start banging on about open this and open than, but thus far I have not yet seen a viable business model from the FOSS camp that will make shipping their own hardware a reality. Even putting aside that, have you thought about what it would be like to ship, say, a browser in its own dedicated hardware? Oh, my bad – it’s called a Chromebook, and we all knew how that went. Electronics aren’t cheap, and when you come up with a product does something, you’d better make sure that certain something is well worth the cost or else people are bound to look for alternatives that are similarly priced but can do much more than your product is capable of.

    Is this change bring changes. Yes quality assuranc processes are increasing in all FOSS projects.

    Then show me such increase, by all means.

    Wake up, Hanson. Motorola was doing that in public a year ago…

    And with a price tag of some whopping $800 excluding additional dedicated hardware for the purpose of looking like a laptop. Small and cheap indeed.

    It is natural that good software run on any computer and that computers should use a variety of hardware. It is unnatural that Wintel should exist.

    Given the variety of hardware available on x86 for Windows as compared to any combination of architectures and operating system, I am pretty confident to say that there is simply no factual grounding in your obviously bogus claim.

    When hooked to a large screen, people will be able to use these machines for spreadsheets.

    Screens come at a cost. And if you think the typical HDTVs w/ HDMI inputs are good enough to serve as replacements for computer monitors, then rest assured they aren’t. The cheap ones with no-name brand are particularly terrible at giving you clear pictures, and don’t worry – I have tried.

    I suspect one of the roles of smartphones will be as storage devices so someone working on a spreadsheet can take it home or put it on the web or … The possibilities are many.

    I think you are thinking about USB dongles, and Office workers are pretty familiar with that particular technology.

    It’s the same thing as modelling the universe on a regular PC. One option is to do it on some supercomputer cluster and just to use the local device for control/monitoring. It’s all good

    Clusters of computers need to be set up and maintained by someone, and that means costs. Clusters of computers also give you single points of failure that can cripple your business operation, and that means risks. Your model is indeed quite enticing, but at the same time pretty naive. And, don’t worry, people (even including the likes Larry Ellison) have tried selling the idea in the 80s, 90s and 00s – nobody wants it. It’s simply catch-22 all the way, and fat clients with complementary cloud-based services are what now people settle on for their needs, for better or worse.

  22. Hanson says:

    “A computer is a computer. It is natural that good software run on any computer and that computers should use a variety of hardware.”

    Fundamentally wrong, Pogson. Fundamentally wrong!

    A computer (in the sense of: a not-limited general purpose computing device) is a computer if someone wants it to be seen as a computer and someone accepts it as such. Just look at one of your favorites, the Kindle Fire:

    http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/news/2012/01/kindle-fire-dwarfs-other-android-tablets-in-market-share.ars

    It’s an Amazon consumption device and it’s a safe bet to say that most people use it exactly like Amazon wants them to. To them it’s simply not a computer.

    Now you’re gonna say: “But it is a computer! And you can root it!” Yes, it is. And yes, you can. But the Kindle Fire doesn’t turn into a computer IN THE PERCEPTION of most people. A waste basket, too, doesn’t suddenly become a chair because some people turn it around and sit on it.

    Maybe it’s hard to believe for you, but there is no natural, original meaning embedded in a thing. A thing is whatever it’s successfully labeled as.

    In my opinion, you simply fail to understand that this is not a technical problem, but rather a problem pertaining to the realm of philosophy and/or sociology, and consequently knowledge.

    And if you don’t believe that either, perhaps I can appeal to your natural science instinct: nearly everyone would, without a doubt, accept that 1 + 1 = 2. But much fewer people would accept that 1 + 1 = 10. Yet, the latter is also true. But only if you know that there is such a thing as a binary numeral system! Is that ignorance? Or is it just not necessary for one’s daily life to know that there are other numeral systems besides the decimal system? I’d say: yes. Just as it isn’t necessary to know that you can root your Kindle Fire etc. and turn it into a “real” computer.

    Haven’t you learned anything from “The Matrix”?

  23. Kozmcrae wrote, “I suspect the people using these devices wouldn’t know a spreadsheet from a twin sheet.”

    When hooked to a large screen, people will be able to use these machines for spreadsheets. They can run them as local apps, web apps or cloud thingies. I suspect one of the roles of smartphones will be as storage devices so someone working on a spreadsheet can take it home or put it on the web or … The possibilities are many. It’s the same thing as modelling the universe on a regular PC. One option is to do it on some supercomputer cluster and just to use the local device for control/monitoring. It’s all good.

    No doubt someone will mention humongous spreadsheets but we all know those are better left on databases which are usually on servers anyway.

  24. Kozmcrae says:

    “I hate to break this to you, but no one – and I emphasize “no one” here – wants to work on a spreadsheet or type out their paper on a phone or a tablet.”

    I suspect the people using these devices wouldn’t know a spreadsheet from a twin sheet. Your thinking is shaped by your experience. They will not be using their mobile computers like we used our desktop computers. I hate to break this to you but your thinking is stuck in the last century.

  25. Hanson wrote, “I don’t think it will turn out that way in the future across the majority of smart Linux devices.”

    A computer is a computer. It is natural that good software run on any computer and that computers should use a variety of hardware. It is unnatural that Wintel should exist. Of course not all software or hardware endures but there is no inherent flaw in FLOSS or ARM to prevent them from thriving in diverse environments, unlike that other OS and the power-sucking x86 stuff. The world does not owe Wintel a living and FLOSS and ARM are to be complemented for persevering and doing a lot of good work. The natural end-point of Moore’s Law is that the CPU and RAM will be tiny stuff that will fit in a keyboard/mouse/monitor and we can pretty well ignore them. At the same time Wintel does not earn $hundreds per seat just by existing.

  26. oiaohm says:

    Hanson FOSS only targeted hardware you can bet will come with video out and keyboard and mouse in. It makes hacking and diagnosing why the prototype software you just made stuffed up simpler.

    Question you have to ask self is how much feature to feature match this will put on the rest of market. Thinking FOSS only targeted hardware also can be shipped as Android devices as a side door in a different colour case with a locked boot loader. Yes we could see screen and keyboard end up as mandatory features.

    This is my problem Hanson I need more FOSS devices in the market to see what effects it going to exactly do. There is quite a bit of force due to the duel nature of this hardware. Yes it all about Android and Desktop Linux being two sides of the same coin. So something built for one in time will work for the other unless boot loader stops it.

    Android and Desktop Linux are not as independent as people would like to think they are. This is what screws the predicting future up.

    Interesting times ahead basically. We have not seen chaos like this since the start of the PC market.

  27. Hanson says:

    I’ll be the first to admit defeat, but I don’t think it will turn out that way in the future across the majority of smart Linux devices.

  28. Hanson wrote, “It’s a damn shame that smartphone manufacturers and service providers are so unhelpful in this matter and just refuse to market the devices in such a way!”

    Chuckle. He jests.

    Wake up, Hanson. Motorola was doing that in public a year ago

  29. oiaohm says:

    Hanson Exactly. Once they are making there own hardware with there own direct shipping to end users the whining about vendors getting in the way will reduce.

    “You’ll have another half-assed solution, and everything will soon be forgotten.” Not exactly.

    Is this change bring changes. Yes quality assurance processes are increasing in all FOSS projects. Your project running on FOSS hardware. Blaming the hardware kinda does not work that well. Since you should be able to exactly find the hardware fault if it is a hardware fault.

    Number of excuses for failures reduce.

    Of course the FOSS world never accepts locked down hardware. Its just its nature even if the have there own they will still fight to have more hardware open.

    The effects are too complex at this stage for me to predict anything exact outcome. Hanson. I need to see how it plays out.

    Few years ago considering a fully open hardware solutions was not even possible. You would come up short on video cards and other items.

    World has shifted Hanson http://aseigo.blogspot.com/2012/01/reveal.html The GPU and CPU in that has no closed firmware.

    Really its now where next. Years of work to build a open arches is starting to pay off.

    “Linux-only market” Most likely not. There are quite a few other OS’s that might attempt a run. AROS, Haiku, L4, freertos and some other warped ones. Note L4 and freertos are major-ally used versions people normally don’t know exist. Embedded is there normal home.

    FOSS only market yes. Linux-only not so much. Linux only at the start most likely.

    FOSS based OS’s running all on the same Open hardware is more than possible. At long last OS’s that have got no driver love from anyone might be able to get somewhere.

  30. Hanson says:

    “wine” -> “whine”

    Too much misspelled words today. Please accept my humble apologies.

  31. Hanson says:

    “Hanson you got the question wrong”

    No, because it’s exactly the same question in the end.

    If you take the Stallmanian ideal to its logical conclusion, it means that you have to move beyond the software market. That doesn’t imply producing your own hardware in a sort of hobbyist way, as that would be most likely unfeasible. But it does imply that you, for all means and purposes, create your own market which ultimately needs to be a Linux-only market.

    Otherwise you’ll dick around year after year. You’ll continue to wine about Microsoft or another company playing unfair with their trying to lock down platforms as much as possible. But ultimately you’ll accept it, someone will find a way around the problem (even on ARM), you’ll have another half-assed solution, and everything will soon be forgotten.

    If you’re so sure of Linux, a Linux-exclusive hardware market with open hardware shouldn’t be a problem AT ALL. Linux users in German Linux forums often enough claim that they’d be quite happily paying more for open hardware which is guaranteed to work flawlessly with Linux.

  32. oiaohm says:

    “Who do you think they are going to sell to?”
    oldman At first there own what there are quite a few.

    This is the question I am currently wondering about what next after there own. You can bet for sure they will not stop at just targeting there own.

    Will we see other project built on top of this hardware targeting particular market segments most likely. This is how Linux Distrobutions formed. So open source hardware we should expect to go the same path. Multi vendors targeting different segments.

    Does this put the projects directly more targeting more open public market yes.

    This is really a event I have been waiting for. One of the signs of a Linux desktop possibility is hardware being made only for Linux to the requirements Linux needs.

    These more open devices will grant the promise of mobile and desktop in one in time.

    There is one big change about this the numbers of Linux consumed in these devices will be more countable.

    Problem is it will not be just one device. I would not be surprised to see something “Spark” down the track build custom for the electrical development trades with means to function as a DSO programmer and other useful items for them.

    This is the road I see Linux on. We have had the OLPC shown for schools to us over and over again. We can see how perfect it was made for that market.

    Now we will see different open source groups start segmenting the market. So designing devices to go after each segment.

    Ubuntu is talking about directly providing arm machines by 2014 its in the LCA2012 video they gave. Life is going to get interesting. Since we know Linux distributions when one does the other have to copy or beat.

    All this lets lock the EFI talk is now seeing these open source project see hardware as something they have to get made specially for them.

    This is the end of direct fight to get people to convert basically. To fight to have people buy devices ready to rock.

    Some of this hardware will be upgradeable some will not be.

    Start of a new hardware age. Where this ends who know at this stage. Will this make the competition between distribution way more serous hell yes. There is profit to be made from hardware sales with your groups logo on it.

    This was an event I have been waiting for. This is the kind of event that had to happen before the year of the Linux desktop could even be possible. Cannot get OEM fully on side. Stuff it be own OEM and be done with it. Forget trying to bribe these OEMs it not going to happen.

    Really your guess is as good as mine basically oldman. My crystal ball not able to see exactly where this is going.

  33. oldman says:

    “It is becoming more a game of when more and more open source projects are moving from just making for existing hardware to getting hardware built to the specs they need.”

    Who do you think they are going to sell to?

  34. oiaohm says:

    Hanson you got the question wrong
    http://aseigo.blogspot.com/2012/01/reveal.html

    It is becoming more a game of when more and more open source projects are moving from just making for existing hardware to getting hardware built to the specs they need.

    Hanson android has got as the foot in door with hardware compatibility.

  35. Hanson says:

    According to Pogson you will soon be able to plug keyboard, mouse and monitor into your smartphone and suddenly have a fantastic computer. It’s a damn shame that smartphone manufacturers and service providers are so unhelpful in this matter and just refuse to market the devices in such a way!

    Sure, my PlayStation 3 is also a general purpose computer underneath. But it hasn’t been made with the intent of being a general purpose computer! Sure, you can use it against this intent, just how you can turn around a waste basket and sit on it. But most people will not understand this. And this simple truth will be never understood by Pogson & Co. They’ve all drunken the Cory Doctorow kool-aid, how general purpose computing will die.

    And it’s just too funny how Pogson & Co. rave about Android and it’s win over Apple and Microsoft, conveniently forgetting that Android smartphones, too, are just poised to be the locked down platforms of tomorrow.

    Well, in the end you can always buy Raspberry Pis for $35.

  36. oiaohm says:

    Dr Loser
    “Inter-process in Dalvik is done by kernel.” And an astonishing advance in Operating System technology that is, to be sure.

    The existing Inter-process systems were not used.

    http://elinux.org/Android_Kernel_Features New system exists just for Dalvik yes binder is Dalvik inter-processes. Dalvik does not have a secuirty framework part.

    Java and .net both attempt todo secuirty on the inter-process stuff above the OS. So leading to more active processes.

    All secuirty framework parts are pushed to kernel as well.

    You asked a complex question you got a equally complex answer.

    Basically Dalvik is not posix based. Its a new beast using new methods that was written specially for it. Yes even shared memory management is different.

    askmem is a nice one. Its like posix memory management but its not quite. In includes a clause under low memory it can nuke it out of existence.

    Yes memory management has been messed with as well. So the idea of we can just swap the kernel is kinda a no go. Android has to be on a Android compatible kernel. If your kernel cannot act how a Android device needs you are not a option.

  37. Flying Toaster says:

    Correction:

    paper -> paperwork

  38. Flying Toaster says:

    The lady I was conversing with was not talking about herself or people of her age.

    In case you don’t understand what has been explained to you, let me put it in language you can grasp:

    Reading comprehension fail.

    I hate to break this to you, but no one – and I emphasize “no one” here – wants to work on a spreadsheet or type out their paper on a phone or a tablet. Even reading anything more than 5000 characters is a strenuous task on a “small” “cheap” device. I am sorry, but until people start dealing with official business in SMS talk (e.g. “awsum kthxbye lol”), the real world at large is still way, way off from you big-screen/keyboard -less fantasy. So, keep on dreaming, kiddie.

  39. oldman says:

    “I guess she sees it in her adult children and in her grand children.”

    I can actually agree with the lady in question. At age 57 with bad eyesight I regularly surf this site squinting at the browser in my feature phone blackberry. Its actually not that bad when you just want to read content.

    However as soneone who HAS attempted to even do something as simple as taking notes with this same phone as well as a smartphone , I can assure you that it is fantasy to think that it is usable for general purpose computing.

  40. kozmcrae says:

    “I’m not even claiming that tiny little screens and the absence of a usable keyboard or mouse are an absolute barrier to use by people over the age of … let’s just use my age, which is 50.”

    The lady I was conversing with was not talking about herself or people of her age. She was talking about young people and people being introduced to computers now.

    I didn’t really specify that. It just floored me that someone her age could see what’s coming. I guess she sees it in her adult children and in her grand children.

  41. Dr Loser says:

    @Koz:

    Not really. Uncertainty is not a necessary hypothesis.

    I’m not even claiming that tiny little screens and the absence of a usable keyboard or mouse are an absolute barrier to use by people over the age of … let’s just use my age, which is 50.

    I am merely suggesting that in a significant number of cases there are fairly obvious accessibility issues.

    But feel free to come up with stupid advertising tags. And, please, for the Love of God, never grow up. There’s some sort of need for abject recalcitrant stupidity out there … I’m not sure what it is, but I am a forgiving sort of person. When I find it, I’ll let you know.

  42. kozmcrae says:

    “Speaking of Grannie Public, I assume Koz’ friend has exceptional eyesight for her age. The accessibility level of small gizmos is not especially good.”

    Promote uncertainty.

  43. Dr Loser says:

    @oiaohm:

    Very interesting. Not a single sentence made sense.

    “Inter-process in Dalvik is done by kernel.” And an astonishing advance in Operating System technology that is, to be sure.

    Is somebody else out there able to answer my question?

  44. oiaohm says:

    Dr Loser That is what is interesting about Dalvik.

    Oracle Java JVM fires up a few processes for inter-application. Dalvik does not. Inter-process in Dalvik is done by kernel. Have checked .net I think it does in a few placed. Basically kernel level inter-process code was added specially for Dalvik.

    “Has anybody counted the number of simultaneous processes running on an Android?”

    That is how the rootkit that carriers were using was found. Native application for android can access the /proc and you can get a exact count and what processes they are. Basically there is no process management in the Jit with Dalvik really. It just calling out to the host kernel.

    Basically install a debian like program contained run and run a ps and see everything running on the android. Android has not done anything special with process management. But do remember about android evil wakelocks.

    If you application does not tell the OS that it needs to be kept running the Android kernel will presume that it is not critical and can be stopped without notice.

    Android flips process management idea upside down to most systems. Don’t tell you are suspend-able now.

    Windows and General Linux works on if you are idle for long enough you can be suspended.

    How can you say nightmare if the host OS does not act like android linux kernel and you are running Dalvik you now how have a emulation problem. You lack the normal process management events. Were untagged tasks will be just straight up suspended under load. So now you can have a nice overload event trying to emulate Android due to the OS you are using having incompatible task management.

    Yes android is more kernel bound that most people would ever guess.

    Fun part general Linux desktop will be getting the means to operate the same if not informed about usage requirements even if you are running at the moment I can suspend the system now.

    Android really does want to be in suspend state when even it can the different process management makes this more than true. It also avoids the issue of running background not import tasks holding the computer out of suspend.

  45. Dr Loser says:

    @Robert:

    Or, to summarize the above:

    Yes they do. “Use” is a rather feeble verb.

    So what?

  46. Dr Loser says:

    @Robert:

    This is a question based on genuine interest (you see, I do read your blog for information and the occasional pearl of wisdom).

    Has anybody counted the number of simultaneous processes running on an Android? I mean, it’s got a Linux kernel, and Linux follows the *nix pattern of forking whenever it feels like it. Come to think of it, most of the JVMs I’ve come across like the odd dozen processes here and there.

    I hadn’t thought about it before. You could be right. Maybe the Android implementation genuinely does get around this inconvenient tendency of modern computers.

  47. Dr Loser says:

    @Robert:

    Actually, it’s not at all obvious that “smaller is better” for reasons of heat (and therefore power consumption). You’re forgetting your physics again, aren’t you? Both heat dissipation and signal interference at the level of the transistor are signficantly easier to deal with on a larger die.

    If you mean “functionally crippled is better” for those reasons, then I would agree. But there are sacrifices involved, and it’s not at all clear that Grannie Public wants to make them.

    Speaking of Grannie Public, I assume Koz’ friend has exceptional eyesight for her age. The accessibility level of small gizmos is not especially good.

  48. Dr Loser says:

    @Koz:

    Cool story, bro.

  49. Flying Toaster says:

    Correction:

    Twitter (obviously)

  50. Flying Toaster says:

    Yep. It’s pretty obvious that smaller is better for many reasons: cost, weight, space, price, noise, heat, cost of operation…

    As Clarence Moon points out, this is true only if every bit of communication is reduced to the size of a Tweeter entry. Otherwise, a bigger screen and a comfy keyboard is always the better way to go.

  51. kozmcrae wrote, “They’ll all be using those small computers”.

    Yep. It’s pretty obvious that smaller is better for many reasons: cost, weight, space, price, noise, heat, cost of operation…

    Once people see that they get the job done the dam bursts and they can see outside the box. It’s an inevitable consequence of Moore’s Law as long as we don’t need ever-increasing computing power. I like to demonstrate the speed of a computer that’s “slow” to students. I’ll take an 8 year old PC that’s obviously slower than a new machine and programme it with some arithmetic so they can get a feel for what a MIPS is. They are so fast, one needs to do hundreds of millions of operations to notice. That gets their attention. So, what makes a modern PC slow? Hundreds of I/O operations per second or 100 processes running simultaneously, things that are mostly frills on the task the user wants done. That’s the legacy of Wintel, wasting resources to keep the cash-cow going.

  52. Clarence Moon says:

    “how do you come to the notion…”

    I think that it is pretty likely that anyone who only has a cell phone will become interested in surfing the internet and will eventually come to purchase a PC since that provides a far better experience than the tiny screens on phones or tablets. Perhaps they will acquire a tablet, too. I find the Kindle Fire to be fairly useful, but any sort of intense use of the internet shows it to be a laggard.

    The major problems occur when you need to input data, such as for this blog response or for replying at length to an email.

  53. kozmcrae says:

    I happened to be with an elderly woman the other day. She must have been in her early 70s. Some how the conversation came around to computers. She pointed to the flat screen monitor on her desk and said, “few people would be using these big computers pretty soon”. She continued, “They’ll all be using those small computers”, meaning the smart phones and tablets we were just discussing. I nearly fell off my chair. And she’s not a geek in any way either.

  54. Clarence Moon, how do you come to the notion that “It is likely that the small percentage who do not have both a cell phone and a PC will eventually acquire a PC after sampling the values provided from rich internet access.”

    PC shipments used to grow at 10% per annum and now they are flat. The number of people using IT is still growing at 10% p.a. and more. Then there are tablets. They show no sign of slowing down after last Christmas when they blew x86 PCs away. At that rate, in a couple of years there will be more tablets running than x86 PCs as well.

    “Tablet PCs overtook desktops as the second best-selling PC category in
    European channel sales during the last three weeks of trading before Christmas, averaging 20% unit share of all PCs sold,” commented CONTEXT CEO and coJ founder Jeremy Davies. “The good news is that, despite a drop of 16% in average selling price of a Tablet PC compared to the same period in 2010, the overall share of revenues accounted for by Tablets hovered around 18%.”

    see Tablets boost European PC sales in run-up to Christmas

  55. Clarence Moon says:

    “Decimation gets noticed.”

    How do you come to the notion that this imaginary 10% are somehow lost customers for Microsoft’s PC OS? In the first place, the article you cite makes the case that cell phone users do not abandon use of their PCs at all and more than 80% of the phone users have PCs already. It is likely that the small percentage who do not have both a cell phone and a PC will eventually acquire a PC after sampling the values provided from rich internet access.

    Just as PC users have constantly sought better and better PC models that could deliver faster response, greater memory capacity, and richer display modes, cell phone users will likely follow the same siren song and acquire a PC.

  56. Hanson says:

    “The acceptability of */Linux on ARM and consumers’ influence on business IT could well open the door to more widespread use of */Linux on desktop/notebook PCs.”

    The iPhone hasn’t had a significant halo effect, the same will likely be true for Android phones. Inferences like this, by the way, are why I constantly try to make you aware of the fact that consumers are buying a smartphone as a smartphone. They don’t see it as a general purpose computing device, and they won’t ask: “Can I install this smartphone OS on my PC?” That’s only happening in your dreams.

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