SHCC WYSIWYG Article from June 2006

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This article was written by Don VanSyckel, the club president, as a part of "The President's Pen".  This article appeared in the June 2006 WYSIWYG newsletter.

PC Prices Continue to Fall

by Don VanSyckel

Prices continue to fall. I check the newspaper ads most weeks for three items:

1)hard disks (regular ATA type)
2)memory sticks a.k.a. USB thumb drives
3)laptops

Hard drives. Every PC has at least one. People seem to have quite a thirst for more and more disk storage so many people have either added a second hard drive or replaced the original hard drive. I tend to 'abandon' the original hard drive to the OS (Windows for most of us) and add a large second drive for data. I can remember when I was waiting patiently (well maybe impatiently at times) for hard drive prices to creep down to $1 / Gbyte. This was great. Now a few years later I'm not only waiting for hard drive prices to get down to 30 ¢ / Gbyte and also for the size to go up to 500 Gbytes or more. To put this into perspective, at $1 / Gbyte a 250 Gbyte hard drive would cost $250 and at 30 ¢ / Gbyte the same hard drive would cost $75. Quite a difference. The hard drive size is so I don't have to have too many little 160 and 250 Gbyte drives mounted in the PC.

USB thumb drives. Many PC users have found USB thumb drives very handy to move files from one PC to another and to have certain files be portable, such as pictures. A couple of years ago I was thrilled to get a 256 Mbyte USB thumb drive on sale for $100. Now you can get 1 Gbyte USB thumb drive for $30 and the new 2 Gbyte USB thumb drive for $80. Wow on a byte basis each byte costs 5% of what it used to.

Laptops. Many people these days have a laptop if they travel or move around a bit. When we travel my laptop helps in unloading pictures from the camera, let's me make notes about the trip and the activities we do, plays DVDs, and let's me check my email. There's nothing wrong with my laptop but I would like a larger screen, a screen that is day-bright, and a larger hard drive. I haven't seen just what I want yet at a price I'm willing to pay which is lower than if I had no laptop at all. I have seen laptops as low as $500 but not with any of the features I want. I would settle for $800 price tag with the features I listed above. The closest I've seen is in the $1200 range. Prices continue to fall.

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