Re: Computer Economics Was: Re: Illth

From: John Conover <>
Subject: Re: Computer Economics Was: Re: Illth
Date: 7 Aug 1999 18:50:35 -0000

Michael L. Coburn writes:
> So...  Whats your point.  You've made a good example of what I'm talking
> about:  In the case of MS OS each user MUST download and install his own
> stuff or he must wait for one of the 1000 PC techs to come do it because
> in the vast majority of cases there really isn't any wy to install ONE
> central copy for everyone's use.  And even when such software is
> intalled and shared there is little chance of updating the ridiculous
> "registry" for each machine and in separating the user's "personal" crap
> from the actual company data.  Unix servers and DESKTOP SYSTEMS do a
> MUCH better job of this than does MS.  The IS department (as you wish to
> call it) is charged with the responsibilty of security and that includes
> protection against loss of data and extended downtime due to morons.
> IT IS NOT the job of IS to maintain a cast of a thosant PC techs or to
> impeded the progress of the organization with a bunch of bureaucratic
> horseshit.  I suggest that if you suspect your IS department of the
> latter then you should insist on firing the assholes and getting someone
> who can do aproper job of it.

Yea, the numbers I have seen tend to show that the PC is the most
expensive machine to support in the world, on a per user basis-about
$3K per year, per PC, in a large company, (not including initial cost
for HW of SW-just maintenence and support costs.) Several studies have
come up with similar numbers.

Now, whether the productivity enhancement is offset by the high
cost-of-ownership for a PC is debatable.

Whether it could be done in a more cost effective manner-like maybe
the Network Computer, (NC,) concept-is debatable, too.

Not surprisingly, IT workers are the largest segment of the workforce,
(surpassing automotive workers this year.)


BTW, the cost-per-unit-of-computation numbers are very high for a PC,
too. Most PC's are idle over 95% of the time. Of the time they are
being used, 65% is for word processing, 14% for spread sheets, 12% for
games, (mostly solitaire,) with most of the remaining as a smart
terminal (ie., databases and browsers.) Again, these are numbers for
the industry as a whole, YMMV. The studies were sited in EDUPAGE last
year, and the workforce numbers come from the DOC.


John Conover,,

Copyright © 1999 John Conover, All Rights Reserved.
Last modified: Sun Nov 14 00:01:43 PST 1999 $Id: 990807115046.15894.html,v 1.0 2001/11/17 23:05:50 conover Exp $
Valid HTML 4.0!