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Quot Future Proofing Quot The Great Illusion

"Future-proofing" is one of the most misleading ideas spread about in the PC enthusiast community, in my opinion. The sole beneficiaries of the quest to stay on the so-called "bleeding edge" are 1) the hardware manufacturers, and 2) users who seem to have egos that need constant massaging.

In truth, there's really no need to get the latest and the greatest hardware; in fact, I think it's downright silly (I wanted to say "stupid," but that might offend) to be an early adopter. This goes for everything in the world of computing. Whether it's new hardware or new software, I don't see the wisdom of being the first on the block to have the newest whateverthathingamajig is.

Case in point: Look at most of the really hyped-up "revolutionary" releases. Bioshock comes to mind; so does Windows Vista. Early adopters became, essentially, the manufacturers' beta testers, albeit testers who actually paid for the dubious privilege.

For hardware, it's the same. How many times have we all come across horror stories of bad video drivers for the first releases of the latest and greatest AMD/ATi or nVidia product? You may say that's a software issue, but actually not, since these drivers are an essential part of the hardware itself. AMD's X2 line was also plagued with myriad timing issues before the various Optimizers and hotfixes solved the problems.

But why do enthusiasts all jump in and play the game of "I want it! Me first!"? Part of it, I'm convinced, is for the bragging rights. Again, this is just a salve, some poor massage for a really malnourished ego. The other, more "reasonable" rationale is the whole idea of "future-proofing."

To buy into future-proofing, though, is just as foolish and pointless as the need to have bragging rights, in my opinion. NOTHING is future-proof. Today's latest and greatest will ALWAYS be superseded by something else just a couple of months later.

Let me repeat: NOTHING is ever FUTURE-PROOF.

I understand that my opinion on this matter is anathema to most PC enthusiasts who are hungry for ever-more performance (and, don't forget, hungry for that next ego-massaging fix). But I guess I'll indulge in some hubris now and say that I'm more sensible, because I let my current needs dictate the timing of the next upgrade.

I don't wish to spend all my money just trying to keep up with the Joneses. The lie that is future-proofing is mighty expensive (in case you didn't know this very obvious point). I guess I'd rather just spend what I've got and stretch it as much as possible. In the meantime, my equipment is still plenty fast enough for me.

Just some thoughts here meant to provoke yours.

I welcome all comments and thoughts.

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