Durability of Computers


computer durabilityI became fascinated recently by the realization that we all take for granted the durability of computers now days.  In the early days of computers many parts, for example vacuum tubes, had to be replaced constantly, almost every hour and sometimes more often.  Later on spools of magnetic tape had to be juggled in and out of use, being replaced or reused throughout the day whilst a computer churned away its massive calculations.  Even when PCs shrank down to the size of a small desk the parts inside the thing were often likely to break and need replacing with what sounds to us now absurd frequency. Once a week or once a month seems shocking I know!

We are very lucky to live in an age where most parts in a modern computer can last well into the 5 year range.  With proper cooling and regular maintenance such as dusting components and keeping vents clean and clear they can last much, much longer.  With this in mind, you can see how one might forget the age of a PC altogether as long as it dutifully continues to perform its tasks.

The same thing applies somewhat to software.  Windows Server 2003 which was released in, go figure, 2003, while aging quite gracefully is now over 7 years old.  I was speaking with another technical support professional that gleefully informed me that he was still in middle school when that operating system was released.  Needless to say it made me feel super old.

Recent advances in hard drive technology, removing most of the moving parts mean that computers will be lasting longer and longer before they breakdown.  This means that the operating systems we use on them will start lasting longer and longer.  I am astounded even today that Windows XP is still alive and kicking even as the wind down all the methods to buy it.  Every day I hear creative stories from my user base telling me how they manage to keep implementing XP on new PCs that they introduce into their networks.

Wrapping this up, put that all into perspective as we move forward into the future the next time you think about how terrible it is that your PC is running slow or that some part has failed after many years of faithful service.  We are all really lucky.


About JayCooper

Puzzled WebWizard from Mount Juliet Tennessee. Married for 20+ years to a wonderful wife with two great boys, both teens.

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