I visited my local Computer Show that’s held once a month yesterday – I missed the last four months due to scheduling conflicts, but I needed some gear in a hurry so I made sure to make time to attend. I also wanted to get a feel for what’s happening at the “street” level and this show does just that.
My first reaction on entering the show floor: “Where is everybody?” I had seen old vendor friends simply disappear over time, but this show was an epiphany:
There were only six hardware vendors and eight laptop vendors – talk about a paradigm shift!
A few years ago there was only one person selling used/refurbed laptops – now there are eight! Contrast that to the normal hardware crowd that numbered about 12-18 vendors, now only six showed up. The balance of the show was made of up vendors selling things like cell phone gear, trinkets and software.
The traffic at the show was very light – usually there were people lined up at the door waiting for the show to open – aside from a hardy few, no line. Most of the time I would have to elbow my way through the crowd to talk to vendors – no problem now!
I talked to the folks that were there and more than one was not happy with the way things have developed – a steady erosion of business for the hardware folks.
Which brings me to my question:
What happened to the enthusiasts who roll their own? I know some are out there, but our numbers are diminishing. Just look around at the hardware websites – more than a few have disappeared. Overclocking is mainstream – not the province of the “techno-geek” that it was in the early days.
I have nothing profound to say about this, but I do believe the business has shifted irrevocably and we are becoming dinosaurs. OUCH!
PS: Some show prices for CPUs:
Core 2 Duo:
6400: $225 – $240
6700: $500 – $545
AMD 4600+ AM2: $250 – $259
AMD 4800+ AM2: $299