By Ev Bogue - June 10th 2016
Whether or not Moore's Law is ending, it's obvious getting a disposable laptop is easy right now.
It's difficult to imagine that not even five years ago I was buying laptops for $2,500. And now I can get a new laptop for under $200 with nearly the same power level.
In fact, an awesome person in Brooklyn just gave me a few-year-old Thinkpad from a stack of him that he had lying around.
So the way I see it we can either freak out about the end of Moore's Law, the bottoming out on computer prices, and how no one seems to be making any money in technology right now. Or we can get a decent dev computer going right now for less than $200 USD and get to work learning technical skills for the inevitable moment when the tech bubble bursts back down and all of that money that's currently sitting unused in Apple's great overseas McDucktank begins flowing again in the tech world.
Because why would you buy a $2,500 hunk of metal from Apple when you can get an equally powerful hunk of plastic with the same exact configuration of silicon within it for 7% of the price?
Now of course a few people will go on pretending that anyone cares that they have the latest Macbook Air. In fact, you can too. Just get a Macbook Air AND a decent dev computer for less than $200. You can get the Macbook Air out at your sexy design meetings, and hack away at your disposable dev computer when no one is looking. This way you'll be hedging for the eventual future when Macs aren't cool anymore (right now?) and you'll have that decent disposable dev computer all ready to go at a moment's notice.
Maybe someday in the future there will be a superhighpoweredultra computer back in stores that makes justifying a > $1,000 pricepoint worth it. But for now let's just call it as it is, right now you might as well buy a cheap or used computer and use it to get your tech skills up.
Because why try to control the universe with your head when you can instead use that time and energy to learn how to program?
Choose a flavor of Linux and follow the installation instructions.
The point is to experiment. Learn new things. And get ready for the next wheel in tech to turn.
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