Re: Nil, Not Material

Date: Sat Mar 24 2001 - 18:09:56 PST writes:
> For the longest time, the price of computing and technology just kept going
> down and down and down. In the last few years, however, demand for tech
> outstripped supply. We began to pay more for power, not less. We began to pay
> inflated prices for technology, whether it be for Sun (SUNW:Nasdaq) computers

But not PCs. The last couple of years have seen the emergence of the
$500 PC, the $150 Visor and Palm, the $500 handheld iPaq, the $2
megabyte of RAM, and the $2 gigabyte of disk.

> or Vignette (VIGN:Nasdaq) software

But not Apache software or StarOffice software or...

> Meanwhile, the cost of personal computers stayed high even though the
> benefits stayed pretty much the same. With the exception of voice, I think
> everything costs much more than it used to because we had a bottleneck --
> demand that far exceeded supply.

I'm not sure how the benefits have stayed pretty much the same; as far
as I can tell, the highest-end PC I could buy in 1998 was far less
capable than the lowest-end PC I can buy today, and for a little more,
I can buy CD-RW drives, gigantic flat-panel monitors, wireless 802.11
cards, HDTV-output video cards, DVD drives --- things that either
simply weren't available in 1998 or cost a lot more.

It doesn't make sense to talk about "supply" and "demand" of
"technology". Technology is not a product of manufacturing; it is a
product of research and development. There is not a limited supply of
Vignette StoryServer licenses. The manufacturing costs for many of
the items listed above are only a small fraction of the sale prices;
while manufacturing costs can go up due to undersupply of
manufacturing capacity, the effect on the sale price will be minimal.
How much does it cost to "manufacture" another StoryServer license?

There *is* a limited supply of brains to do research and development,
and R&D costs could reasonably be expected to go up; but half as much
work put into enhancing StoryServer does not translate into being able
to ship half as many copies.

I suppose it could translate into more money spent on the same amount
of R&D because researchers and developers can command higher salaries.
I don't see this as a problem for the economy, just for the class

> Exchange: Nasdaq NM
> Delay: at least 15 minutes
> Last Price: 6.5625 at 16:00 EST

Ha, ha. At least 15 minutes. Plus eight days before I read the email.

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Fri Apr 27 2001 - 23:14:52 PDT