When thinking of hardware, one of the first things I think about is hard disk capacity. A few weeks ago I could see the first tera-byte HDs available at a discounter in the neighborhood. Although my notebook has "only" a 160 GB HD, I have consumed about 4 hard disks in about a year! Not to tell that Windows didn't warn me in any of those cases...
The HD was always the part in a computer that goes rotten most often - that is usually the weak point in a computer hardware system. But as there is price pressure nowadays on memory manufacturers I fear quality going down for main memory also in the next years...
Lately I was at my parents with my 1 1/2 year old son and he likes very much pushing buttons - so "by accident" he pushed the power button of my very old 486 which I left 1997 there. I wondered why it was still connected to power supply. I could see the machine booting DOS 6.22 and I was expecting a scary noise and immediate HD crash (as manufacturers also say you shouldn't leave a HD too long without using it). - But nothing. Even Windows 3.11 started up. Then I got really curious and started a complete surface check of the 2 HDs - if I remember right a 120 and 420 MB HD - something like this. Result: Not a single bad sector! And I was using the newer disk at least from 1995 to 1997.
I am convinced that with the increase of hardware capacity and performance as well as in the same time reducing the size manufacturers do work hard on the physical limits (as currently known).
Further I lately consume one mouse per year and although the quality of the keyboard is very important thing for me when choosing a notebook, my 3 year old HP notebook now gets problems with the keys and accurracy - even the external HP keyboard.
When I look at current special offers in the neighborhood, usually some keys of the demo machines are already missing or broken. There are only two options: Either those got rotten so easily or people are stealing them because their models at home have the keys broken and people are looking for spare parts.
So what I miss is a little more focus on reliability and quality of the hardware in general!
And when looking for models that fit my needs I find notebooks with reflecting screens (they tell the colors are more brilliant - but reflecting screens are much more annoying then less brilliant colors...), horryful keyboard layouts (nothing for power-keyboard users) and strange combinations of HD size, main memory capacity and other hardware options. Netbooks currently get better, but for my needs too small for daily intensive work. Those are something for people that are permanently on the road or somewhere else where is not very much a working place and they want to look mails or surf the internet just occassionally (IMHO). And last but not least most vendors automatically include a Microsoft Windows preinstalled. For my private life I am not willing to pay that tax - I want a clean peace of hardware.
So when I went a few weeks ago to buy a new private notebook, it was difficult to find a notebook fitting my needs and the only vendor I found that was enough flexible was DELL (finally I got something assembled that was not officially available at their webshop). Although I can't tell about a long time experience right now, the overall quality seems to be better than everything else I have seen lately. - So fortunately it is still possibly to get a reasonable configuration.
But why it must be so difficult? - I think hardware vendors do not have the right to complain about bad business if they do not produce what people really need.
In many cases vendors produce configurations and focus on features, that do not fit the real-world needs of the customers.
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