$2000 and the search for power


Alejandro Rodrigues

The view of the side of my own computer case, proudly displaying the complicated and meticulously placed, powerful components insde.

By Alejandro Rodrigues, Staff Writer

There’s a moment in every student’s life when they’re exposed to an art, a form of digital content creation that speaks to them personally. Video editing, photography, graphic design, game creation, or they simply want to play games on their computer. There’s just one problem. Their home computer simply can’t handle it.

This issue of PC power is actually a new development specific to this generation.  Earlier, if one was curious about construction, photography, game design or video editing, the tools for such a task were simple. Find a carpenter to shadow to learn the trade, simply taking and developing photos is an analog process, game design consisted of maybe some marbles and chalk, and video editing was just cutting reels of tape.

Today is a different story. The cutting edge of society has allowed for the creation of marvelous content that’s been well processed, produced, edited, and created. This leaves many hopeful amateurs sitting in their chair before they’ve even started. The other half takes up their task and toil to push past these obstacles of comparison to the greats, yet get halted by the same thing.

Most home computers are over four years old. Despite such a recent upgrade in one’s machine, technology has moved so fast that each new year the prospective phone likewise antiquates its predecessor. As dutiful a nerd I am, we can call on the great words of Gordon Moore, one of the founding fathers of intel, the technology company breaking and setting standards for hi-tech since 1965. He noticed a trend that that the number of transistors per square inch on integrated circuits had doubled every two years since their invention.

Alejandro Rodrigues
Samsung’s latest in 4K television technology displayed at a conference hosted by Best Buy.

Or, he noted that processing power roughly doubles each year.  He’s absolutely correct. The technology landscape changes drastically every two years. Take for instance 4K televisions. Announced in 2014, 4k was such a staple experience to the 1%. Yet, in 2015 the technology was adopted heavily, allowing the average consumer to have massive displays in their own home for a fraction of their original cost. Following Moore’s law, this January in 2017, mass produced 8K technology was announced at CES, a global technology convention between the world’s leading researchers and manufacturers.

This never ending machine of making new machines is tiring. However, being unable to explore the opportunities and careers that this new technology can provide is even more so. Countless stories of students interested in mixing music or make movies because their personal computers are too weak to handle the load. I was in this group myself until I went all in on a future in technology and spent 7 months of paychecks to build Her. 

The amount of time researching and comparing prices spent on this beast alone was enough time to fill up the anticipation, yet I still am in awe of the possibilities. I’ve already mixed a couple horrible tracks, doodled in Photoshop, edited 4K video, and played gorgeous games. My computer did it all without blinking a single LED.

Alejandro Rodrigues
Intel’s top of the line 2016 computer processor core. The brain currently running my beast machine.

Beyond bragging about a serious accomplishment, this computer built together by an amalgamation of a 17 year old’s witty idea, YouTube tutorials, and some premium parts stands for a certain type of opportunity.

Creative opportunity. I can make anything and everything from a career, to a 3D model of Marten Skrelli’s left nostril. Imagine what every student could achieve with such processing power at their fingertips. The only thing they need to get started is about $2000 and a need for some power.