[LINK] 'Cloud Computing doesn't fly'

Kim Holburn kim at holburn.net
Tue Sep 28 13:22:08 EST 2010

On 2010/Sep/28, at 12:02 PM, Stilgherrian wrote:

> On 28/09/2010, at 11:57 AM, Marghanita da Cruz wrote:
>> Is there any evidence that old computers become unreliable
>> due to hardware failures?
> While I'm well aware that the plural of "anecdote" is not "data",  
> certainly my experience is that things like capacitors on  
> motherboards eventually go pffft, to use the technical term.

I believe that there was a batch or a series of batches of  
electrolytic capacitors from Taiwan or China that were really bad but  
in general modern capacitors shouldn't wear out.  I think those bad  
caps should have been subject to recall but weren't I seem to remember  
that if you got a Dell motherboard with blown caps they would replace  

> Less so with servers, but with desktops and laptops the flexing as  
> they warm and cool at startup and shutdown does eventually cause  
> cracks in circuit board traces and solder joints.

Bad workmanship, although in the last decade or so some of the large  
chips are running much hotter and there are internal stresses as  
well.  Desktops have to cope with all sorts of things that a server in  
a controlled environment doesn't have to.

In general it used to be the case that things with moving parts were  
always the first to go.  As we get chips with smaller and smaller  
elements, the chips running hotter, chips themselves are getting less  
reliable - although things with moving parts are still mostly the  
first to go.

I run a laptop at home that I bought in 1999.  It still goes but  
slowly as today's software has passed it by.  Physically it is falling  
apart but electrically it is fine.

Kim Holburn
IT Network & Security Consultant
T: +61 2 61402408  M: +61 404072753
mailto:kim at holburn.net  aim://kimholburn
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