In the 1980s the personal computer made a debut in homes across America. Since then technology has brought us cell phones, laptops, PDAs (personal digital assistant), netbooks and now tablets. Personal computing devices have become smaller, smarter and faster all at the same time.
Throughout this time we have also seen advances to the internet. From Google Docs (now called ‘Drive’) to online bill paying, the ‘cloud,’ cloud computing that is, continues to improve our lives with connectivity and options. How does this translate in choosing a personal computer in this day and age?
Hard Drive Space:
In the 1980s one gigabyte (GB) of storage cost $193,000.00 and the standard hard drive space was 26 megabytes (MB). The last couple of decades of advances have taken us through GBs (one GB equals 1024 MBs) with the standard desktop computers on the market today offering from 500 GBs to 1 and 2 terabytes (TB) of storage space on the hard drive and many laptops offer between 120 GBs and 256 GBs of storage space, depending on how much you are willing to pay. Of course, the more hard drive space you require, the more expensive the computer. .
It used to be that programs used up the majority of the hard drive space on personal computers. A commonly used software, Microsoft Office 2007 uses over 500 MB of storage space – just the software suite alone!! That does not count the various templates one can download or even the files you create and save. And QuickBooks Simple Start 2008 – not even the full version of the software – uses over 650 megabytes (MB) of storage space! Fortunately cloud based programs, including Google Drive and QuickBooks Online offer alternatives to storing the programs on our personal computers by being web-based programs.
Obviously in this day and age mobility is the key. The more mobile you are, the more opportunities and possibilities are literally at your fingertips. What if something goes wrong with the internet access in your neighborhood and it is out for several days? How will you update your blogs or Facebook status? You’ll want a laptop, netbook or tablet that is Wi-Fi capable, that way you can just pack up your mobile computer (desktops get a little clunky when toting from place to place) and head to your local coffee shop, bookstore, library or even hospital. All these generally offer WiFi access that would not be available to you with a desktop.
All in all, the cloud affords us the options to purchase smaller, cheaper computers. Laptops used to be more expensive than their desktop counterparts, but now days the laptop is the cheaper option. With so many cloud based programs and storage options, do you really need to lug around a laptop with 256 GB or MORE of hard drive space?