I was listening to a popular weekly technology podcast (hint hint) when they mentioned how Intel has made a chip for a Gateway PC which, when you need to, you can upgrade in place with a $50 upgrade card. According to PC Magazine (here), the card is used to unlock hyper-threading and additional cache. While the first reaction may be, and was on this podcast, 'wait a minute, why aren't they giving me all the capability?', one of the participants quickly added: '..wait a minute, this is a really good idea... think of the costs savings, extending the life of the processor and...'. OK, obviously I paraphrase, but you get the point. Capacity on Demand has come to the desktop.
While reading many of the news items related to this clearly shows the initial confusion reflected in the podcast I listened to, others are starting to realize the implications. How long until we have extra processors available to turn on? When do we finally get raid devices for disk that ensure we don't ever lose things on these sometimes fragile home systems? Will we ever get to the point where our desktops get dynamic snapshots to enable variable leasing schemes? ....or the ability to turn on more power for temporary periods of time?
My peers and I joke about how we have been cheating for decades by knowing about large systems and watching those capabilities stream down to distributed platforms. Now, maybe, we're able to talk about and share some tech insights with our kids or grand-kids!
"All right Grandpa, turn up the computer and turn down the thermostat, the grand-kids are coming!"