Grumble, grumble

Posted by JoshDreamland on Oct. 23, 2012, 11:22 p.m.

It is time once again for me to express my immense dissatisfaction with the state of the world of computer science. This time, I am doing so at midnight after a long day, which is bound to make the rant more interesting (and much less coherent).

I could easily argue that this is a great time to be interested in the world of technology. Jobs in computer science are through the roof, so they tell me. Be that as it may, I am coming to realize that this is a shitty time to be in the market for a computer.

You see, I have used nothing but laptops for the past three years of my life. It was only a matter of time before the hard drive in my current laptop commenced crapping out on me, but I secretly hoped that it would last long enough for the plethora of new technologies sitting just around the corner to actually hit the open market and make it through some debug testing.

I've been following two major projects which I have long thought of as wishful thinking; the first of these is the Wayland project, a window server meant to replace X11. The second is the overdue memristor technology.

If you have read the Wiki page on the latter, you're probably salivating at the thought:

Quote: Wikipedia
They can also be fashioned into non-volatile solid-state memory, which would allow greater data density than hard drives with access times potentially similar to DRAM, replacing both components.
To me, that line sounds just about too good to be true. Honestly, I don't care if it is, because I'm not looking to replace DRAM; I'm looking to replace these fucking hard disks with a more robust alternative that doesn't break when moved outside its normal and doesn't cost a dollar per gigabyte with a 500GB ceiling (unlike solid state disks). I'd honestly be tickled shitless just to have it replace the current SSD technology, so solid state drives as we know them become the new Betamax and I don't have to pay for them.

As for Wayland, Windows people here will not only have no idea what it is, but won't really care. I have been interested in Wayland since NVidia decided that supporting Linux was too big a pain in the ass. At which point System76 decided that supporting NVidia was too big a pain in the ass. Now if you want a decent pre-built (which all laptops are) that can run Linux, your options are guess-and-check or ask around.

So basically, I'm a bit pissed off that my hard drive had to pick now to take a shit, because if it could have waited until next March I'd probably be able to replace it with an equivalent-sized memristor drive for less than I'd pay for a SSD of 1/5 the size.

Or maybe it'll be 2015 and I'll still be waiting for both of those nice things. Hell, I was in sixth grade when I first read about memristor technology, and it was three more years before anything significant happened with it. Either way, hard drive is on its way out now, and I don't know whether to shit or go blind. Or just buy a new version of the same HDD.

I'm thinking that whatever happens, there will just never be a laptop that's perfect for me. If I could clone myself, one of my clones would start a computer company, and manufacture Linux-based laptops which run Windows in a VM with full-blown DX11 support and hardware acceleration. It'd ship with a graphics card that scorches the table beneath it while rendering your favorite game in 2880×1800 at full settings, and Windows would have full access to it from the VM. Where it belongs. Where its abysmal window management and piss-poor design can't hurt you.

Meanwhile Linux would manage your filesystem (so, no file fragmentation), your hardware (so, no "oops I forgot what graphics card I'm using"), your boot sequence (so, no "WINDUS FAILED TO START because a virus went and overwrote some important shit"), your windowing environment (so, no Windows 8 one-app-at-a-time, and no grasping for any corner of the window so you can actually move/resize the fucking thing), and, above all, your backup of important Windows folders so the virus you are inevitably going to contract doesn't succeed in costing you any free time. Windows would exist as a virtual operating system for the sole purpose of running Microsoft Office and those pesky new Steam games that just never agree with that glorious piece of shit, WINE.


firestormx 8 years, 2 months ago

Hey look who it is!

Don't bother waiting for technology. Just drop some money on a SSD for the time being, and if a memristor actually comes out next year, then you can either upgrade right away, or wait for the price to come down. Either way, an SSD as your primary, and a regular SATA with an eSATA connection into your laptop won't cost you much money, and it'll hold you over.