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  Daily Column, July 12th 
  Jul 12, 2001, 05:00pm EDT 
By: Dan Mepham

Good afternoon. As Iím sure youíve noticed, things around here have been a bit slow lately. In fact, things in the hardware community as a whole have been rather slow lately. The fact of the matter is, July looks to be a pretty boring month. Aside from a couple small introductions, there are no major product introductions scheduled at all. Second quarter earnings announcements are underway, but quite frankly, I think we all know how the vast majority of those are going to turn out, so donít expect any surprises there.

While the slow times arenít necessarily good for our traffic rates, they are, however, just what the industry needs right now, a bit of time to cool off. The last year was an extremely fast-paced one, highlighted by Intel and AMDís ongoing attacks against one another that brought us newer, faster processors almost every few weeks. While websites such as this, and their tech-savvy readers revel in the onslaught of new technology, the average computer user, by contrast, does not.

There was a day, not so long ago, when Intelís introduction of a new processor was a huge event. Urged on by Microsoftís ever-growing operating systems, a new processor, or technology in general, launch was met with a flurry of buying action, as even home users could reap tangible benefits. Further, that technology wasnít about to become obsolete in three weeks, leaving buyers more confident in the PC as an investment. Now, there are new processor and technology launches so often that the average user has grown weary. Why invest in a state-of-the-art system, when itís going to become Ďoldí technology within a month? Further, people are beginning to see that the hardware has moved too far ahead of the software. You donít need the latest Pentium 4 to play the newest games. You can do that just fine on an 700 MHz Pentium III. And the average consumer knows that now.

Give a kid a chocolate bar every month, and heíll probably look forward to it each month. Give him twenty a day, and I bet you heíll get sick of them. July will likely be a little different for most of us who have grown accustomed to the fast pace. On our side, there will most definitely be less to write about, which could be hailed as somewhat of a mixed blessing. On your side, youíll most definitely find less to read about this month, which, depending how much reading youíve done in the past, may be a bit disappointing. However, on the whole, I believe July, and the slow summer months in general will prove to be just what manufacturers and the hardware community needs, a time to slow down.

Dan Mepham


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