An afterthought

That subject line probably caused screams around the world, but it's true, and this is coming from an overclocker who is also modding his case. Allow me to make my case.

There was a time when overclocking was HUGE. Maybe not outside of the Internet folk, but it was HUGE. You could overclock a 486DX2 66MHz to 80MHz: a 21% improvement in ALL APPS, and a difference of hundreds of dollars. This was such a HUGE deal that ethical (!) debates were sparked (is it unethical to get more than you paid for?) and there were scams and usenet was on fire.

I later overclocked Pentium Pros at work to speed up SETI and Blood.

Even recently I overclocked my poor 1400 to the mid 1500s, overclocked my PC133 ram to about 142MHz, and overclocked my geforce 2 from 200/225 to 240/255, all to get CnC Generals work. Except for the video overclocking, it barely made a difference.

Nowadays you can eek maybe 10% more out of your CPU (without expensive cooling solutions), which makes almost no difference in games since videocards are the bottleneck.

Of course, people like me overclock those too, but with the exception of turning the early radeon 9500 into a 9700 Pro, there is nary a word about it.

So, is it really a fad? Some might say it's still common, so it's not. Well, it's still around, but so are yo-yos and hoola hoops.

I've been using packet-based wide-area networks since 1985, starting with IPSS (International Packet Switch Stream), which was an X.25-based network that covered much of Europe and parts of the US.

I also frequented bulletin boards, and still think "The Bread Board System" was better than any other BBS of its day. Nothing else came close. (Wildcat was trashy, but cheap.)

I forget when I moved onto the Internet, but I'm sure it was to howls of protest. I can tell you that I ran the official first IPv6 node in the UK (I believe a company in Aberdeen registered their node one day later). It was also one of the best-connected, sporting 8 tunnels at one point.

In all of that time, I can't say I've seen "real" fads. Most of the technology, or the concepts, have stayed around in one form or another. Push technology (where the server proactively sends data) is essentially the model CORBA and RPC use. That's why Microsoft had to lock-up all the RPC code on Windows, as you could push viruses onto a system,