Subject: Re: Slightly Off-Topic...
To: Paul A Vixie <>
From: NetBSD Bob <>
List: port-alpha
Date: 06/26/2001 10:36:55
> > ... the best technology is NEVER the cheapest technology. ...
> i completely disagree.  any engineer who makes something that's more expensive
> than it needs to be to get the job done is a bad engineer.  any consumer who
> pays for more expensive technology than they need for the job at hand is an
> idiot.

Hi, Paul....  There is yes and no to the above.  In computers, it is
probably somewhat foolish to overbuild.  But, consider the famous
Bugatti Royale car.  It was built to last the lifetime of the owner,
and guaranteed to that effect, absolutely.  The consumers that bought
them willingly paid 50 grand and more, in the Depression era, for them.
Every single one of them that were built are still running like tops,
and will probably run fine for another 100 years.  It was the best, yet
expensive engineering, built to last.  I can't say that for the average
PeeCee, even server level boxes.  Most are built to the minimum edge
they can push out the door.  Things like the VAXen and Alphas are built
to a more rigorous engineering standard, and that does cost more.  But,
what percentage of VAXen are still running from the 80's, vs what are
still running of the PeeCees or PeeCeeServer machines?  That would show
the relative best tech vs cheapest tech comparison.

> however, the total cost of ownership is higher than just the price tag, and
> bad technology that's cheap to buy into almost always costs more in the long
> run.  the thing wintel is good at is making these costs so indirect that they
> appear negligible.  they're not.  the total cost of ownership of a vax -- any
> vax -- was always lower than its competition -- even sun.  even when paying
> DEC's rather high support contract fees.  the vax was a masterpiece of
> engineering.  precisely because it took cost -- total cost of ownership --
> into account.

Good point.  Also, that is why we lesser hobby types can run a VAX forever,
and the same is not true of the average PeeCee.  The robustness of the
technology is what makes the difference.  Time will tell whether Intel
can handle that at the same level.