Farewell old computer: Motherboard failure (and an easy recovery)

We'll miss you, computer.

Seven years isn't a bad run for a low-end desktop. But everything dies eventually, and the old Celeron-based eMachines desktop that's lived under Katy's desk since before university had its turn last night.

No viruses, here. No trojans, toolbars, keyloggers or other malware either, for that matter. The little beast was still on its original load of WinXP Home. Not bad for a computer that's seen as much use as this one has. No, this was purely a hardware issue, as the photos below will show.

Has display technology stagnated?

I came across an old Jakob Nielsen column this afternoon, dating from November 1995. He predicted / hoped that, when computer monitors and network connections caught up with the human factors research of the day, we ought to have 27" x 40" displays at a whopping 1200 dpi (that's 1.5 billion pixels), driven at 120 Hz by graphics cards packing close to 5 GB of memory.

The digital parasite: high frequency trading, evolved

It was bound to happen, sooner or later. Technology evolves at incredible rates, and greed is by far the strongest driver in that evolutionary process. In many ways, the tech world is beginning to mimic the biological world. We have neural nets (analogous to the brain), genetic algorithms (analogous to the process of natural selection), and now we have digital parasites that are at least as aggressive and tenacious as their living counterparts.


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