Hunting Specifications

Hunting Specifications
29 Nov 12

Numbers. It’s all about them, isn’t it? Who has the bigger ones, wins and get all of the customers. At least that was the case back in the jolly 1990s, if you ask me. If I mention the MegaHertz wars, some of the older people in the crowd probably roll their eyes to hard they can see their brains.

Back then, whoever had the more MegaHertz won, regardless of what any other number was. So skewed was the perception of these devices that most cared for little else to judge how good it was. By and large, it wasn’t a completely bad measure either, but it all spiraled down into a cesspool of marketing and confusion for consumers as the numbers started getting more and more irrelevant.

I’d say that nowadays numbers, most but perhaps not all of them, are just pointless as a way of showing the superiority of one device over another. Take as an example who has the most apps in their app store. Completely irrelevant! It really means nothing and whenever I see it as some kind of indicator of how good a device is, I just stop reading and go somewhere else. As much as some companies and their fanboys would like to believe it, it’s not about the total number in this case, but rather the number of quality apps that is important.

A device can have great numbers, on paper, and be a royal turd in actual usage. The different between the two is nothing short of huge. The fastest processor and the most amount of RAM mean nothing if the software that runs atop it is designed and built by under-developed marsupials with attention disorder. Of course, the inverse is also true, as great software will make your eyes bleed and nose hair curl if the hardware doesn’t make it fly.

But don’t just take my word for it, go check out pretty much any computational device currently for sale and try to let me know that the numbers aren’t good enough for most people. Special edge cases not withstanding, isn’t it just a huge sack of marketing? If one flat screen TV has a dual-core processor and the other does not, will it ever matter? Will the compact camera with the most MegaPixels produce the best photos, compared to those with a lower number? If you can get a laptop with even a mediocre processor by most measurement, is that not enough for doing what people do the most?

Storage is possibly the one area where numbers still matter, to some degree, but that’s it. Unless you have a very special use case, the numbers don’t mean squat any more!


Robert Falck

Robert is a freelance tech writer from Sweden. You can follow his posts here on the British Tech Network, listen to him yap away on the British Tech iOS Show and read even more of his stuff on his site or you can even follow him on twitter @streakmachine. (But you won’t find him on Facebook!)


Robert Falck


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