Efficiency vs. Obsolescence

Discussion in 'Motorola Droid' started by Pele, Jan 15, 2010.

  1. Pele

    Pele New Member

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    It's an ongoing battle when dealing with technology. You buy something and the next day something better comes out. The Droid is the first time I've bought a first generation product so shortly after launch. I always wait for a second or third generation to come out or wait until the first generation has been out for a while and had time to debug.

    But I'm wondering, how long will it take the Droid to become obsolete beyond the point of use? I mean the Nexus One has a 1 GHz Processor compared to the Droid's 550 MHz. (Both the Droid's ARM Cortex and Nexus One's Qualcomm Snapdragon chips are based off of ARM architecture, so I'm counting them as similar, unless someone wants to correct me.)



    I'm sitting here in front of a Pentium 4 with a gig of DDR2 RAM. It's my work computer. I mainly use it for writing ****. (But I'm a government worker, so your tax dollars really pay me to surf the web for a few hours a day.) And it's already obsolete with all the Core2Duo machines out there...

    Back in the day, I did the same thing on a 386 with 8MB of RAM running Windows 3.1 and Word 6.0... Prior to that, an 8088 with 640K RAM running DOS 6.22 and WordPerfect 5.1... But they all got the job done and fairly efficiently, I might add.

    The key was hardware limitations.

    When processing power, RAM, and storage space was limited, people who wrote programming had to make their code as efficient as possible. Otherwise, the computer would respond sluggishly and productivity would drop. (Contrary to popular belief, computers were originally business machines and their primary purpose is for work... Unlike the internet, which is for porn.)


    Now we've got clock speeds in the multiples of GigaHertz with over half a billion transistors and megs of instruction cache on a single chip 1" chip... We've got so many clock cycles coming out our ears that we're GIVING them away to run background processes like SETI@home and the Human Genome Project...

    We've got Gigabytes of RAM coupled directly to the frontside bus and Terabytes of hard drive space... And it's getting cheaper and cheaper. Hell, you can buy this **** at Wal*Mart.

    So now, coders don't have to worry about efficiency of their programs. Sloppy instructions here or there and commented out bugs here or there won't make a noticeable difference in processing time on a newer, high end machine... Who cares about the measly couple extra megs of RAM that get used when a bunch of variables get declared and then unused. We've got several gigs to go around and then we've got swap space.

    All one has to do is look at the recommended system specs for the past several Operating Systems:
    Windows 2000: x86 Pentium class 133MHz, 64MB RAM, 650 MB of drive space.
    Windows XP: x86 Pentium class 300 MHz, 128 MB RAM, 1.5 GB of drive space.
    Windows 7: x86 1 GHz processor, 1 GB of RAM, 16 GB of drive space.

    I mean every couple years,we TRIPLE the requirements... Just to run a basic OS... No apps, just the OS.


    Now it used to be that the embedded market still had to conform to efficiency standards... There's only so fast a processor and so much RAM you can run off of a battery. Not to mention heat dissipation inside an embedded device such as a phone or PDA is difficult. Flash is still more expensive than rotating disk. And bandwidth on the go is limited and a bit pricey...

    But Flash is getting cheaper as is mobile bandwidth. 1xRTT was replaced with EVDO... Sprint's going WiMax... Who knows what new High speed wireless technology is going to come out next... And processor technology and RAM are advancing to make things smaller and more power efficient.

    How long can we stick it out with our Droids before they become pieces of crap?

    That all depends.

    Load up Yahoo.com... Look at all the crap all over the screen. If you've got a Yahoo mail account, load that up... Look at all the stuff they've got. Links to other stuff, graphics...
    Sure it looks nice, but it's not efficient. I'm here for mail; That's all I wanna see.

    Now look at Google.com... Load up your gMail account...
    Clean... No real graphics. Google is still making beaucoup bucks from advertisements, and they still have time to pop in a neat little variation on their logo for the holiday.

    That's efficiency.
    That's the key to making the hardware last longer.
    I'm hoping google and the other Android OS and app developers keep it up.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. TimChgo9

    TimChgo9 Member

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    Technology outpaces itself so quickly these days, that it is hard to keep up.

    How long before our Droids become useless, so to speak?... I don't know, but I imagine within a year, things will look different on the Android landscape. It's hard to look at my Droid and think of it as ever being obsolete, only because I think it is a powerfuly device and will be able to stand on it's own for the next two years or so.
     
  3. RW-1

    RW-1 Silver Member

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    Real simple:

    Will the things the Droid does now be any different a year from now? No.

    Will it make calls and surf the web? Yes.

    Will it run your apps? Yes. Though we;ll have to see what apps at that point.

    The only thing that make the device obsolete is when you can no longer use it for your needs, not because you compare it to the latest and greatist that has been released. This is marketing, not fact.

    Windows 7 is out, yet millions of PC users are still using older systems running XP just fine. That meets their needs. Are they slower? Yes. Are they not the latest? No. But they can still use them.

    And I'm sorry, but recommended is just that, recommended. I have an Dell E510 stock from acustomer who upgraded, I took it home and threw 7 on it, it runs faster and better as is than with XP. (you may go look up the models specs, not going to copy here).

    Point is that it is a perception, not a fact for devices when to go to the next one.

    You can only say is is worse off because you are comparing it to something newer, it does not magically make the device itself unusable.

    (did all those 1st gen iphones suddenly become unacceptable for use when the 3g came out? Nope ...)
     
  4. Guurzak

    Guurzak Member

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    When Verizon shuts off their EVDO and CDMA radios and goes 100% LTE. Until then, it'll continue to be usable and effective, even though there will certainly be plenty of newer/faster/sexier handsets on the market.
     
  5. marlonrh

    marlonrh New Member

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    Yes. Your prose is too prolix.
     
  6. Million

    Million Member

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    Its the way of the world and life... they'll always come out with something bigger, 'better' and more bloated. Thats how they make money. There is no difference between generic name brand and a big name brand product... its just to make money etc.

    As far Droid, people just have to step back and look at what they really need and learn to feel satisfied with it. Problem is most people are sheep, and they'll more than willingly jump to buy the next nicest coolest shiniest gadget available.
     
  7. Garemlin

    Garemlin Developer Relations

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    I think the only people it will become obsolete to are the ones that have to push their electronics to their absolute limits. And those who must have the latest and greatest. I'm usually not one to buy a first Gen anything either. But the Droid does so much more than any phone I have ever owned and then some. Can't see me outgrowing it or getting bored with it anytime soon. Unless of course it gets to the point that the things I want to do with it are beyond its capabilities.
     
  8. Pele

    Pele New Member

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    This is one thing that hadn't occurred to me.

    However, I was more getting towards the point of when will apps no longer be available for it... When will the Android apps that are available be too resource hungry for it to run?

    We obviously can not just throw a new processor or DIMM into the phone. Flash storage and software is the only thing that's upgradable.
     
  9. TimChgo9

    TimChgo9 Member

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    As far as a phone goes, the Droid more than meets my needs, and probably will for some time to come. An old friend of mine used her Palm Treo 650 for almost 5 years before switching to a Blackberry just recently.. only because it did what she needed it to do. Yeah, it was 5 years old, but it wasn't obsolete she had to replace it when it quit working on her . As a personal organizer, I used a Handspring Visor for nearly 6 years, until it wouldn't work properly.

    My Droid (a gift from my kids) is probably all I am going to need for the forseeable future. I have been looking for a device that is completely customizable to my needs, I had a Palm Treo 650 a few years ago, but that didn't work out so well, because of the limitations. I went back to regular cell phones for a few years, and used my Handspring, and an organizer up until the Handspring quit working. Now, all of the organizer's functions are in one device, and I don't need anything else. The Droid is my organizer, calender, notepad, Bible, Dictionary, to-do list, alarm clock, and game machine all in one. Gone are the sticky notes, organizer, to-do list, and notebook...all of which were misplaced at one time or another, pages missing, and my desk was a pile of paper reminders and notes, and my computer monitor was little more than a holder for Post-it notes. . The Droid hangs on my belt, and is always there for whatever I need it for. Nothing beats this thing in my opinion, and I am so glad to have it. Obsolescence? Not any time soon.
     
  10. NVash

    NVash Member

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    Its like comparing an Atari to a PS3. An iPod to an iTouch. No doubt the next Droid will be faster, apps better and more than likely unable to play on our current Droids. I have a friend with a G1, he said it can barely emulate games and theyd be really slow. Thats when the Droid will be useless. When the newer one comes out and they stop releasing updates for the old one. When the apps are made for the newer one but this one cant handle them because it doesnt have strong enough hardware. Surely when this next Droid comes out they wont make two different versions of Apps, one for the old Droid and one for the new. At that point even the Market may be just about useless. So no more Updates, no more Market. Then you could still use it, but why would you? Some flaws in your Apps will never be addressed so you have to deal with them. They probably did get addressed in the newer version of that App but thats for the newer Droid. Thatll get annoying after awhile. The fact that the Nexus One, from what I read and understand, is almost two times as fast as the Droid with an even better camera annoys me to be honest. I knew this Droid would be old news after awhile but daggone, it hasnt even been out four months yet.

    I dont know, I really dont put much thought into it. Im pretty sure in two years this Droid will be outdated, old news, everyone will have one just like the iPhone and the new one will be out. Ill just switch to that with my New Every Two.

    Whats this LTE thing? And isnt Verizon going 4G? Wont that impact the Droid?
     
  11. Benton

    Benton Member

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    Verizon and Vodaphone are pioneering the LTE (Long Term Evolution), system which will provide 4G. The LTE footprint is quite small now with a broader rollout (globally) starting this year. There are trials for LTE in several markets in Asia and US, possibly others but this is all I have read about. Full implementation of LTE will still be a couple of years away and in a relatively short period of time...possibly within 2010, devices to operate on LTE will become available and eventually will eliminate the current devices just as digital devices replaced the older analog ones. For some providers LTE will replace their CDMA and GSM networks.
     
  12. jstafford1

    jstafford1 Super Moderator
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    LTE is verizons 4G network, like CDMA is there 3G network.
     
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