I Want a New Computer

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So I've been using a 2019 Razer Blade base model laptop for the past year or so and it is great, it does everything I need, its undamaged it has plenty of power and the trackpad is amazing, frankly I don't think I can ever use another trackpad again. When I got it this Razer was arguably the best laptop on the market under $2,000. I want a new computer. I'm looking at getting an eight year old Thinkpad.

I've watched a lot of Linus Tech Tips videos on YouTube where they review build and test various computers and celebrate the ever increasing performance that the newest tech is achieving. They talk a lot about how products can be improved to have better performance but they rarely talk about when you actually need that level of performance. Does the average person need a high performance computer? No.

There are really only about four reasons to have a beefy computer, playing triple A video games, video editing, using various CAD programs, and software development. The stuff I do falls into one of those categories, the Linus Tech Tips people regularly do those things, but odds are you don't, and frankly where there are times when I need all the performance I can get from my computer, 90% of the time I don't, why am I needlessly wearing out an expensive machine to do stuff something I can get off of Ebay for $200 can do? Why are you?

I guess the answer lies in the fact that computer hardware has continuously getting faster and cheaper. Computing history has been playing out just like Moore predicted. But the thing that I don't ever really see being seriously considered in discussions of Moore's law is the fact that as the efficiency of hardware increases the demand for developers to make efficient software is decreasing. We've gotten to the point where the high end computers of 15 years ago struggle to browse the internet, that's not because the computer has aged, it is because the internet has aged. There are several uncreative memes about how Google Chrome (which by the way don't use) eats all of a computer's RAM.

The thing is I don't need to use bloated programs if I don't want to, I've decided that .txt is by far my favorite file format, computers have been working with simple text files since they were invented. When I buy an old Thinkpad I don't think I will even put any sort of word processor (like Microsoft Word) on it, because I don't really need one. Although if I did an old computer would still work just fine. Again, contrary to what the hardware manufacturers and their shills would have you believe, an older computer can most likely do everything you will need it to just fine.

I hope my rant made a bit of sense to a layperson, if you are tempted to get a brand new powerful computer and you don't have a good reason for the power (and you haven't been spoiled by a magnificent Razer trackpad like I have) then don't. You don't need new tech, you need tech that works. I'm buying an old Thinkpad and will try to use it for any type of work that I can do using vim (including maintaining this site), anything else will be the Razer's job.

Use old tech, don't bother with the new stuff unless you have no choice. It is better for your wallet, better for the environment, and it is an exercise in resisting potentially harmful societal trends.