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« Lies and Power | Main | I Guess I'm "Naive," Too »

PC Revolution

The Earth is just about half-way through the agricultural revolution where one worker can on average produce food for two workers and their dependents now. From the beginning of the agricultural revolution that freed up folks to make other goods and services around 1750-1850 to today where we have only half of workers worldwide give or take working in agriculture, 6 times as many people and 35% more calories per person from 1960-1990 alone.1

Compare that to the BBC radio report saying that since the dawn of the PC revolution (I got my Apple ][+ with disk drive and language card mail order near the dawn of the personal computer revolution in 1983). We are nearly at one billion PCs worldwide and on a pace for 3.5 billion PCs worldwide in about ten years.2 Interesting times indeed.

Posted by Sam Dinkin at September 14, 2007 03:28 PM
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There are already over 2 billion cell phones worldwide.

The 1 billionth GSM phone went live back in 2005.

Posted by Daveon at September 16, 2007 02:55 PM

Umm, but then again... I, for example, own seven of those PCs. The oldest of them is a Gateway that I stopped upgrading about seven years ago, followed by a Winbook laptop that was never upgradeable... etc. How many people will actually own those 3.5 billion PCs?


Posted by bbbeard at September 17, 2007 12:05 AM

Seven years ago, when I started working in GSM RF optimization, I happened upon the interesting claim that GSM was in more countries than McDonalds.

In a discussion of the proliferation of computing power, the less prolific CDMA standard is more on topic. The extraction of a single call from the combined output of the CDMA network requires processor power that was only in scientific data centers when I started paying attention to computers. There are plenty of people with zero interest in computing walking around with 60 to 100 MIPS in their pockets.

Posted by triticale at September 17, 2007 06:50 AM

Might be only a few hundred million people owning the first billion PCs, but the next couple billion will probably bring in another billion owners. We might hit the majority of people on Earth owning at least one computer in no more than another decade.

Posted by Sam Dinkin at September 18, 2007 09:43 AM

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