Saturday, April 17, 2010

AMD Turns A Profit

AMD's Q1 is in the black

The vagaries of the semiconductor business are not a particular strong point of mine, but this was nice to see.  I have an inherent bias toward underdogs, so the increasing Intel hegemony in the x86 processor space was a minor concern to me.  It's better for everyone involved for there to be good competition.  AMD seems to have some good stuff in the pipeline, so them turning a profit and remaining in business is likely to be a Good Thing™.

Having been a computer freak for decades, it's funny to think back on all the sturm and drang over these devices that do nothing more than push around electronic signals.  Not just Macintosh versus Windows, but Linux versus Unix, command lines versus GUI's, open source versus proprietary, AMD versus Intel, Nvidia versus ATI.

In every case, there was simply a problem to be solved, with multiple ways to solve it.  People chose the solution that best fit their needs.  A computer is a tool, and the best tool is the one that fits your hand and lets you be the most productive.  Nothing else really matters.  And yet, people nearly came to blows repeatedly simply because their own particular choice of tools wasn't universally admired and adopted. 

I was as guilty as anyone else at times, and yet I can look back and see how foolish it all was.  We get so personally invested in our choices, as if it is a reflection of our very worth as a human being.  I guess it's evidence that deep down, we're all insecure idiots who desperately seek some sort of assurance that we're not quite as stupid and worthless as we fear we really are.

This moves me to ponder just how much tribalism seems to be inherent in our basic genes.  "My X is better than your X" would appear to be built right into our DNA.  It doesn't seem to matter what the issue is, we automatically want to assert that anything associated with our own self is better than an almost identical thing associated with someone else.

My computer is better than your computer.   My car is better than your car.  My kids are better than your kids.  My ancestors were better than your ancestors.  My political ideology is better than your political ideology.  My God is better than your God.

The problem is, sometimes my computer really is better than your computer.  Or your computer really may be better than mine.  I'm perfectly capable of making bad decisions and wasting my money on junk - and so are you.  Knowing when a value judgment is appropriate, and when to accept that different people simply have different needs is the basis of wisdom, I guess.

All this from noting that AMD is finally back in the black, and has a better chance of remaining a competitor to Intel for the foreseeable future.  I guess I really am turning into a pretentious git.

No comments:

Post a Comment