Site Header
Top Divider Bar
Spacer Tom A. Wright's Home Page
  Books by Tom A. Wright
  Tom A. Wright's Thoughts
  Games Created by Tom A. Wright
  About Tom A. Wright

Tom's Blog Articles

Most Recent Post

Past Posts

George Lucas Ruined
My Childhood and
Other Such Non-sense

Death of the PC?
Not Likely

Enough With the
Damned Cliffhangers

Whose Bright Idea
Was It To Group
Science Fiction With



Death of the PC?  Not Likely

My Thoughts by Tom A. Wright


It seems everywhere I look, the media is declaring that the PC is dead. I've read this in newspapers, online news stories, and have heard it on television news. With the popularity of smart phones and tablets constantly growing, you can actually see why people may believe this. Even Microsoft has jumped on the bandwagon with their latest operating system, Windows 8, mimicking the operations of the new portable computing devices.

What you do not see or hear from the news sources is how much people really HATE Windows 8. Nor are they talking about the limitations of the portable computing devices. Sure, having a tablet is a major convenience. I personally have an older Kindle for downloading electronic books, and love it. I also wouldn't mind having a more advanced tablet for the portability. These devices do serve a purpose for the people who buy them. They may even replace a PC for a good percentage of the people who buy them. But the limitations of these devices are huge. Most mid to large businesses cannot use these devices for all their processing needs. Data entry, spreadsheets, databases, and other business related software will simply not work anywhere near as effectively as on a PC. And for personal use, tablets are just too small and limited to do many things a desktop PC is capable of doing. Let me cover just a few things I personally use my PC for that will be impossible to perform on any tablet existing, or still on the drawing board.

1) High End Graphics - I use multiple graphics programs to create and manipulate high resolution images. Some of the projects I've worked on required pushing my PC memory to the maximum RAM. I've even run out of memory and had to save where I was, then reboot my computer to clear some more memory to continue. The current tablets available today don't have enough RAM to do the same job. Even when the tablets do increase their RAM, you still have to work from a small screen. Manipulating graphic files is far easier with a large monitor and a mouse.

2) Computer Animation - I've long used a 3D animation program called TrueSpace to create 3D graphics and animation. Since Microsoft bought and removed this program from the market, I've started learning Blender. To create a complex 3D animation, any of these types of programs require high RAM capacity, as well as a high end video card and huge amounts of hard drive space. Unless the technology changes drastically, there is no way to fit a video processor into a tablet that would enable it to come anywhere close to what can be done with a middle of the road video card for a PC. Also, screen size makes the idea of computer animation on a tablet idiotic.

3) Video Editing - Many people shoot videos with their camcorders and edit them on their PC. Although the requirements of editing video are not as intensive as computer animation, it would still be very hard to make a tablet that can handle the flow, storage and manipulation of high resolution video. Again, future tablets may eventually acquire the memory muscle to do the job, but screen size is still the tablet's demise.

4) PC Gaming - This is the big killer of the tablet. Even though there are console games like XBox, Playstation and the Wii, many people prefer to play their games on their PC. Modern games require a higher level of video cards than a tablet could ever fit inside their tiny, thin frame. Also, larger screen sizes gives definite advantages to online first-person shooter games. Die-hard gamers would never trade their PCs in for a tablet.

5) Web Page Design - Although the computing power of tablets could easily handle this task, there are still limitation that would adversely affect using one to do so. I am notorious for multi-tasking when creating my web pages. Besides using my Dreamweaver program, I many times need to open multiple browser windows to search for required information, many graphics programs to create images I need, and sometimes I'll even jump into 3D animation program. Bouncing back and forth between these programs is far easier with a larger screen, and an operating system that gives me fast access with my mouse. A tablet and its touch-based operating system would be a huge hindrance.

On top of these limitation, there is one serious flaw in tablets. They are an entire computer in one disposable package. This means that you have to actually buy a completely new tablet every couple of years to keep up with the latest technology and software. The same applies if you have mechanical problems. With a PC, once you buy a complete one, you can update or repair as needed. For example, I've used my last PC monitor for 15 years. If I hadn't decided to upgrade to a larger wide screen version, I could probably have kept using it for many more years. I've also upgraded my PC video card about once every 4 years or so. When my last motherboard on my PC started giving me problems, I simply bought a new one, updating the processor as well. All in all, the money I've spent on maintaining/upgrading my PC would be far less than buying a new tablet every other year, and I get far better performance.

So, don't believe the hype. Many people may ditch their PCs for tablets, but a large percentage won't. Tablets are good for portability, the casual web surfer, and many other uses. They may even have some uses for businesses. They will not, however, totally replace the PC. Too many of us hard-core users need them.

May, 2013

Tom A. Wright
Copyright © 2012 Tom A. Wright