We’re starting a little series here, in an attempt to explain why the Personal Computer is not, in fact, dying.

We have some hardware to look at, some reasons to give you, and when we’re done, we hope you’ll understand why the PC is alive and well.

We’ll start with our 10 Reasons why the Computer Is Not Dying

1. Hardcore, insane gaming

Maxing out the specs in a game like Quake IV help show why the computer isn't dying

If this petition isn’t enough to explain how serious gamers remain about the computer, how about this: PC Gaming is at its highest levels since the 1990s.

And if the customization and insane hardware configurations aren’t enough, here’s one word: Minecraft.

2. Home Servers

Google is doing its best to kill off home print servers by letting you share a printer naked over the Internet. But there’s still room for the PC. But I’ve been having a ton of fun with Foxconn mini PCs and Android TV sticks. You can put Windows 7/8 onto a Foxconn or Linux onto either one and have a $100 solution to file sharing, remote video streaming and console emulation gaming. Building and configuring these babies reminds us why we loved computers in the first place.

3. Typing and writing stuff

We’re losing the kids here, but I’m 29 and I can’t write more than a few words on a mobile device. I have a small keyboard on my iPad, and it’s not much better. I’ve spent my life ruining my hands and wrists on a full-size keyboard, and I’ll die with my hands on a full-size keyboard.

4. Storage

The cloud may be growing, but if you have terabytes of unedited video for a movie project or work task, you still need a place to store it all on the cheap. And hard drives are cheap right now.

5. Video Editing

Again, this might fall under the category of “not yet,” but you need a powerful, actual computer to edit high definition video.

6. Programming

The computer isn't dying -- how else would you learn to program?

This is a no-brainer for professionals, but where would a generation of Kickstarter-funded apps, Freeware, Open-Source software, and general innovation be without a fully-customizable, configurable computer?

7. Infinite Customization

You can upgrade your hardware -- the computer isn't dying

Gaming consoles are largely un-upgradable. Tablets are almost wholly un-upgradable. Forget smartphones. Only a computer can change with the times. Even the most bloated and proprietary Dell or HP desktop can be brought to its knees and forced to do your bidding.

8. Multitasking

What a stupid buzzword. You’d think Samsung invented it. False.

I’m sitting at a Dell Studio XPS with upgraded video card and a paltry 8GB of RAM that I need to upgrade. I have two 24″ monitors. One is letting me watch Treehouse of Horror XXIV while iTunes upgrades my work phone to iOS 7. I’m typing this article, saving images to upload to it and add those Amazon associates links you never click on. I have four MS Word documents open in the background, the Google Analytics for all six Blast websites ready, and a Facebook chat going on, making sure that this article is finished as late as possible. It’s all in the name of multitasking.

9. Computers keep evolving and changing and getting better

Laptops begat netbooks. Netbooks begat ultrabooks.

Windows 8 begat Windows 8.1.

Dual monitors weren’t a thing 10 years ago.

Tablets will continue to get better, smaller, and more powerful. Battery technology will continue to improve. Wireless Internet will get faster.

10. The computer already died

Apollo. Commodore. Compaq. DEC. Eagle. MPC. Wang. Hell, even Zepto. The computer already died, folks.

OK, let me explain. Tablets started taking over the world, officially, this year when PC sales dropped almost 11 percent.

This might run counter to my argument that the computer is not dying, but look around. Have Dell, HP, Apple, Acer, Asus, and Lenovo all filed for bankruptcy the way so many computer makers did during the last 18 computer bubble bursts? computer makers have learned and grown and evolved! So now we have mini PCs and gaming rigs and video production suites. We don’t, however, have computer makers dependent on OS/2 Warp or DOS while refusing to address more than 256K of memory.

Tablets and smartphones are big now, and they will fade away the way laptops and full-size towers have faded. Things get smaller and better, and we — the users — eventually learn to make the device do what we need it to do. But the fact that the major computer makers, especially Dell, Apple, Asus are all. learning. to evolve.

Just look at Apple’s history.

About The Author

John Guilfoil is the editor-in-chief of Blast: Boston's Online Magazine and the Blast Magazine Network. He can be reached at guilfoil.j@blastmagazine.com. Tweet @johnguilfoil.

2 Responses

  1. headcheese3

    I’m not seeing the desktop dying out soon. Large desktops are still needed to have high powered rigs. Unless some revolutionary high powered, low heat, small form factor alternative comes to replace the rather large, high powered video cards, mother boards, PSU’s, etc. then larger desktops will still stay in existence.

    Reply

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