28 April 2006
SETI League
PriUPS Project


Dear Mr. Computer Industry:

Would you like to be a hero?  If you were to make just two simple products, you would garner modestly more worship, and substantially less hatred from your customers.  Not to mention more money.  Needless to say, I'm about to tell you what those products should be.

Higher Resolution Desktop Monitors

I think it was about seven years ago that I first bought an LCD monitor.  It was a 15" monitor with 1024*768 pixel resolution, and cost almost $1500.   The price has come down by an order of magnitude, but the resolution hasn't improved by a single pixel!  Meanwhile, laptop displays have improved enormously, to the extent that you can have 1600*1200 pixels on a 14.1" or 15" LCD.  Quoting from a Dell white paper, "These higher resolutions result in the sharp, clear, and photo-like screen images required for applications such as digital imaging, multimedia presentations, and mapping programs. They also allow more digital information to be displayed on the screen."  Clearly, such displays are feasible, since they are being sold commercially, and they are beneficial, or I wouldn't have been able to find that quote so easily.  So, Mr. Computer Industry, can you tell me why I need to have a 21" LCD monitor on my desktop to achieve what can be accomplished on a 15" display?  Will you pay my neck oil bills?

Automatic, Bootable Backup of Hard Drives

Another things, Mr. Computer Industry, that you should be aware of: 

  1. Your customers' time is valuable 
  2. Your hardware is free
  3. The reason people don't make backups is not because they're lazy or stupid, but because they're busy*

Offer your computers with an extra hard drive hell, an extra hard drive for each day of the week! and make an automatic, complete, bootable, backup to these drives in the middle of the night.  That way when the main drive crashes, as it inevitably will, the customer won't lose more than a day's worth of data.  And far more importantly, won't waste hours or days of his time trying to reconstitute the operating system and all the applications and data who sail on her. 

"Bootable hard drive backup."  Please try to remember this phrase.

Not a Challenge!

I am not accepting excuses today.  This is not a technological or financial challenge.  All that is required for the first product is to mount a laptop LCD in a desktop frame.  All the hard work in making the displays is done.  With regard to the disk backups, "software RAID" allows mirroring disks.  Trivial technology allows turning them on and off.  I really don't need to explain further, do I? 

I eagerly await your reply, Mr. Computer Industry; my wallet opens to you!

*Of course, we're lazy and stupid, too, just like you are.  But we're sending you our money and expect you to pay attention no matter how busy you are!

Richard Factor