quote: Windows vs. Ford For all of us who feel only the deepest love and affection for the way computers have enhanced our lives, read on. At a recent computer expo (COMDEX), Bill Gates reportedly compared the computer industry with the auto industry and stated,
"If Ford had kept up with technology like the computer industry has, we would all be driving $25 cars that got 1,000 miles to the gallon."
In response to Bill's comments, Ford issued a press release stating:
If Ford had developed technology like Microsoft, we would all be driving cars with the following characteristics (and I just love this part):
1. For no reason whatsoever, your car would crash.........twice a day.
2.. Every time they repainted the lines in the road, you would have to buy a new car.
3... Occasionally your car would die on the freeway for no reason. You would have to pull to the side of the road, close all of the windows, shut off the car, restart it, and reopen the windows before you could continue. For some reason you would simply accept this.
4.... Occasionally, executing a maneuver such as a left turn would cause your car to shut down and refuse to restart, in which case you would have to reinstall the engine.
5..... Macintosh would make a car that was powered by the sun, was reliable, five times as fast and twice as easy to drive - but would run on only five percent of the roads.
6...... The oil, water temperature, and alternator warning lights would all be replaced by a single "This Car Has Performed An Illegal Operation" warning light.
7....... The airbag system would ask, "Are you sure?"before deploying.
8.. ...... Occasionally, for no reason whatsoever, your car would lock you out and refuse to let you in until you simultaneously lifted the door handle, turned the key and grabbed hold of the radio antenna.
9......... Every time a new car was introduced car buyers would have to learn how to drive all over again because none of the controls would operate in the same manner as the old car.
10.......... You'd have to press the "Start" button to turn the engine off.
The person who forwarded this to me added:
quote: PS - I'd like to add that when all else fails, you could call "customer service" in some foreign country and be instructed in some foreign language how to fix your car yourself!!!! Or, call the government agency who controls Chrysler and General Motors.
[ August 07, 2013, 05:57 PM: Message edited by: Pete at Home ]
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quote:The observation made in 1965 by Gordon Moore, co-founder of Intel, that the number of transistors per square inch on integrated circuits had doubled every year since the integrated circuit was invented. Moore predicted that this trend would continue for the foreseeable future. In subsequent years, the pace slowed down a bit, but data density has doubled approximately every 18 months, and this is the current definition of Moore's Law, which Moore himself has blessed. Most experts, including Moore himself, expect Moore's Law to hold for at least another two decades.
We used to compare running Microsoft MS-DOS with flying (can't find online), which went something like "If flying was as efficient and safe as using a computer running MS-DOS, airplane tickets would cost $1, planes would take off in 200 feet of runway, climb to 30,000 feet in seconds and explode twice a week killing everyone on board."
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There has been variations of this for years. But the observation is true. The real issue though is that when comparing two high technology types of industry the rate of change in reliability, cost, performance results, and negative performance results is what allows both industries to be right.
Cars that make +40 mpg equivelent exist. They happen to mostly by hybrids. With the exception of some Indian manufactured vehicles and Volkswagen TDI vehicles, they cost the manufacturer more to make than they can sell them for. They are so advanced compared to a car from the 1980's that its almost unfair to compare them. When they breakdown literally your only real option is to take them back to the new car dealership for service. And in terms of the hybrids the recycling cost of the car as well as the material sourcing for the car cost almost as much as it does to actually build the car.
Then you look at computers. Production cost keep dropping on components. MTF has remained constant, however component manufacturing lifetimes have shrunk so much that in general once a component breaks it is neither cost effective to replace the component nor would you want to do so because the state of the average art will likely have doubled 18 months after you bought the components new. Then there is the fact that component lifecycles are plateaued or suddenly become technological evolutionary dead ends. And to top it all off common shared patent technology patents often act as artificial moats preventing either innovation or resulting in lowest common denominator function based on the shared common patent due to the fact that individual component manufactures can not agree to the specifications of extended feature sets that the common patents otherwise would allow. (See Samsung and Apple's latest ITC scrap over common shared patents for core operability features of early generation iPhones. Obama's veto of the ruling is one of the things I agree with because had he not made that ruling it is highly likely that moving beyond 3G and 4G mobility networks would have stalled to a snail's pace.
And we haven't even gotten to Windows, OSX, or 10,001 flavors of Linux.
But then again you could imagine what might happen if the industries adopted each other's business models. If computers were manufactured as automobiles are we would be in for some shocks. For example if core processors which are essentially the engine of a computer had the life cycles of automobiles, we would see decades between introductions of new processor chips. Every six months the exteriors and ergonomics of the exterior products would change. It might be nice to have a Harvest Gold colored PC. But things like hard drives would likely be treated like the suspensions of most Automobiles. Instead of torsion arms and struts you'd see the cheaper and lower engineering performance of coil over shocks with swing axels or solid axels. Our hard drives would be ancient FAT 16 or FAT 32 still. And if you wanted performance you'd have a market much like the automobile industry has- you want to go fast, corner well, and never break a sweat you'd be paying a Buggatti level price tag for state of the art.
What is most interesting to me is that industries often just adopt a stance regarding the end product that is essentially "that's the best we are going to do...even though we could do a lot better". And consumers tend to adopt a standpoint of quiet suffering on the expectation that the next time they buy a product it will be in a slight manner better. So in the case of both cars and computers they have both seen amazing progress in our lifetimes. But at the same time the progress has been actually far slower than it likely could have or should have been.
Case in point I recently saw one of the first advertisements for the Honda CVCC. 1972 model year seated two children and two bags of groceries but it got 40 MPG. Those of you who are car buffs or engineering geeks might recognize the CVCC as the origin of the Honda Civic. And if you wanted to know the current capacity of the Civic it's now two small adults in back and two medium adults in the front with an MPG of 31 and an additional 400 cc of engine displacement.
Would anyone pick a CVCC over today's Civic? Not very likely. But while the CVCC is commonly recognized as one of the most important technology leaps in engine design and considered to be one of the best car engines made in the post World War II era, you don't see it in the current Civic and in fact the CVCC isn't currently used by Honda. It's a case of Honda certainly could do better in its engine technologies, but simply doesn't. Even taking into account the change in how the EPA measures MPG, the original gets superior efficiency compared to the current. As to why theCVCC isn't still used its basically a result that it was cheaper to not optimize the combustion chamber and slap fuel injection and a catalytic converter on it to meet emission laws. Plus the consumer of today isn't comparing the cars on the market to the cars of the distant past. No consumer probably even realizes that if the CVCC engine had stayed in production the Civic of today would likely get 60 MPG.
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The comparison would probably show a little less skew if you lined up the timing of the first combustion engine with the first microchip rather than taking a very mature technology that already benefits from over a century of investment and comparing it to a new and rapidly evolving one.
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