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My PC use accounts for __% of my computing time

Displaying poll results.
0% - 20%
  1189 votes / 5%
20% - 40%
  1272 votes / 5%
40% - 60%
  1879 votes / 8%
60% - 80%
  4256 votes / 19%
80% - 100%
  12033 votes / 54%
I don't even own a PC
  807 votes / 3%
Does using it as a footstool count?
  671 votes / 3%
22107 total votes.
[ Voting Booth | Other Polls | Back Home ]
  • Don't complain about lack of options. You've got to pick a few when you do multiple choice. Those are the breaks.
  • Feel free to suggest poll ideas if you're feeling creative. I'd strongly suggest reading the past polls first.
  • This whole thing is wildly inaccurate. Rounding errors, ballot stuffers, dynamic IPs, firewalls. If you're using these numbers to do anything important, you're insane.
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My PC use accounts for __% of my computing time

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  • ... and not the Apple/Mac discussion one.

    *mutters something about insensitive clods causing confusion*

    • by RatBastard (949)

      Most people here are too young to remember that "PC" used to mean "IBM Personal Computer Model 5150". "PC" has become a generic term.

      • by markdavis (642305)

        The generic term for "PC" is just "computer". Why people can just call their damn computer a computer, I will never understand. Perhaps "desktop" if they want to be more descriptive

      • by kermidge (2221646)

        If I recall a-rightly, the term "personal computer" was first used in the October '78 issue of Popular Electronics; when IBM entered the market they very carefully for three years always phrased their ads "the IBM brand of Personal Computer" before they ever used PC to mean their own machines whether used as a description or as part of a model name. The term later was extended to the clones.

        Most people I knew at the time called their machines computers, albeit sometimes by TRS, Pet, etc. in discussion as r

        • by number6x (626555) on Friday March 09, 2012 @10:12AM (#39300829)

          'Microcomputer' was used more often from the late 70's through the early 80's. 'PC' became more popular as IBM clones became more popular in the mid to late 80's.

          Almost no one except businesses and schools bought IBM pc's at first. They were ridicuosly expensive, had fewer features than the competition and there was a very small selection of software for them. After the BIOS was reverse engineered and the cheaper clones started hitting the market, the platform became very popular.

          • by arth1 (260657)

            From what I remember, the common term was "hobby computer" before IBM. People had them because they wanted them, not because they needed them.

            IMO, PC really should cover any kind of computer owned or operated by a single person, whether it's a desktop, laptop, media center, touchpad or server. It's a personal computer in contrast to business, research or communal computers.

        • by tverbeek (457094)

          IBM's product name for the 5150 was most definitely the "IBM Personal Computer", followed by the "IBM Personal Computer XT", and "IBM Personal Computer AT". It was right there on the nameplate.

      • by jbengt (874751)
        And fewer still remember that personal computer was a generic term meaning a small computer you owned and operated personally before IBM used the words "Personal Computer" in the names of the IBM model personal computers.
      • by Geoffrey.landis (926948) on Friday March 09, 2012 @11:02AM (#39301351) Homepage

        Most people here are too young to remember that "PC" used to mean "IBM Personal Computer Model 5150".

        And definitely most people here are too young to remember that "PC" used to mean "program counter".

      • by JTsyo (1338447)
        For the purpose of this poll I've considered my Windows workstation to not be a PC. Just my personal computer and laptop.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 08, 2012 @06:29PM (#39295331)

      I'm assuming that by PC, it is meant personal computer, such as laptop or desktop that has a real keyboard, mouse (or pad) and screen and is operated like a conventional computer, and runs a conventional operating system such as Windows, MacOS, Linux, *BSD. A netbook would be considered a PC in this sense.

      And by "other than PC", it is meant the new contemporary collective of Internet-connected non-PC computing devices such as smartphones (iPhone, Android, Windows Mobile), handheld tablet devices (iPad, Galaxy Tab, Intermec handhelds, etc.) and so on, since these kinds of devices are the newest "disruptive technology" in the business, and it makes a lot of sense to compare & contrast their use against the "legacy PC" in such a poll as this.

      I guess you could count servers and mainframes as "non-PC" computing, but somehow I doubt that is what the poll creator was thinking of in this case.

      • by Nutria (679911)

        The operative word is "My".

        I have *my* computer, and next to it is a company laptop. Also, I ssh (using the company laptop) into a legacy timeshare system (OpenVMS Alpha, if you care to know) that I help manage.

        So, my total computer usage is "My PC" + "company laptop" + Alpha/VMS.

        "My PC" percentage is approx 25%.

        • I was assuming "My PC" meant my personal or work computer as opposed to other people's computers when I'm helping them figure stuff out (family member or coworker).
          • by Nutria (679911)

            Understandable, but I just don't think of the company's laptop as *my* PC. Maybe there's a age/philosophy difference here, like this [] recent Slashdot article?

            • by Muros (1167213)
              I do think of my company laptop as my computer. And my PC in the office as well. Not mine as in legally owning them, but mine in that I can do whatever the hell I want with them, as long as I have a functional machine for my job. I do have full admin rights to the entire network, but my work PC is one I can happily break when testing stuff and not have to worry about people yelling at me. I don't touch the machines used by other admins. Those are their machines.
              • by Nutria (679911)

                "Will I get fired for getting caught viewing porn" is my ad hoc whether a computer is mine or the company's.


                • by corsec67 (627446)

                  Does that change when in a hotel room with the computer?

                  Since my work computer is most often in my office, that changes what is appropriate more than what device I am using. Of course, being the IT department doesn't hurt...

                  • by Nutria (679911)

                    Does that change when in a hotel room with the computer?

                    No. They still paid for it, and the Windows license, and installed their software suite and shipped from their "desktop services" dept (our company uses more than x86, so IT encompasses more than just PC geeks) etc. Thus, obviously, it's their PC.

                  • Does that change when in a hotel room with the computer?

                    Only if you buy it dinner first!

        • by mooingyak (720677)

          I understood that "my" a little differently, as in "My" PC usage accounts for X % of "My" total computing time. Not "My PC", as in ownership is irrelevant, whether it's mine, my company's, my friend's, or whatever.

          I voted in the 60-80 bracket, but if I do it your way I'd drop to 0-20, as I rarely use my home PC nowadays.

          • by Creepy (93888)

            Yeah, it is a bit ambiguous use of the word my, and it appears to mean a reference to self and not a specific PC. However, that puts me in a bit of an impossible position because I use several desktops simultaneously, often remote to VMs, but sometimes other PCs. Because some of these are servers (Lab Manager), I wouldn't count them as PCs, but some are not servers, so I have to count them. That puts me over 100%... Also do I count my mac? Do I count my smart phone, which is more powerful than a 5150 in eve

      • by mooingyak (720677)

        I was debating whether or not to count my DVR and other less obviously computing devices that still have processors in them. I figured my total usage is mostly but not completely PC.

        Past the more obvious DVR, iPod, phone there are things like the subway turnstile. I swipe a metrocard and then go through. There are computers involved. Does that count? Also the machine I buy them from. Does the TV count too? When I use the DVR, am I booking double time with two devices at once?

        • by jedidiah (1196)

          I never think of my PVR as a PC despite the fact that it actually is one. I set it up to be an appliance and tend to treat it like one. Any time it does otherwise, I view that as an annoyance.

          Some people just have a pathalogical proxy marketing need to pretend that things are what they aren't even. Such attempts to conflate do no credit to the "beneficiary" in question.

    • by jamesh (87723)

      and I assume 'computing time' refers to a batch system processing your punch cards

    • Macs use Intels too :-)

      It all depends what is called compute time. I hate smartphones and tablets. But I do have a kindle. So 100% time on computer when doing computer like stuff. About 80% when doing book like stuff (assuming a Kindle is a computing device) :-)

  • Isn't any use of a PC also a use of computing time?

    • by dargaud (518470)
      Yes. So ? I assume using a smartphone to call or watch movies also count as computing time.
      • by anyGould (1295481)

        Yes. So ? I assume using a smartphone to call or watch movies also count as computing time.

        Yes, and isn't my smart phone also a "personal computer"? It computes, and it's on my person.

    • Isn't any use of a PC also a use of computing time?

      That may be, but I'm choosing to focus on the word "my" in the phrase "My PC". See, eight hours a day of my computing time is done on the job. That is a PC owned by the company I work for. The remainder is split between my PC, my media player, and my smart phone.

      • by mhajicek (1582795)
        But as you say "See, eight hours a day of my computing time..." it's still your computing time, even if it's on another persons computer.
    • by WillKemp (1338605)

      Isn't any use of a PC also a use of computing time?

      No, "PC" stands for "personal computer" - which includes tablets, smart phones, desktops (whether Linux, Mac, or Windows), but not mainframes, and not embedded systems. So the question's asking what proprotion of your computer use is not on mainframes or you car's computer, etc.

      • by Muros (1167213)
        But how much of your time on servers is done remotely from a PC? Most of mine is. I rarely use server consoles.
        • by Creepy (93888)

          And how much of your server time is using a virtual PC? About half of mine is, about 30% on top of that is logged into a virtual server. I spend nearly all of my login time on virtual machines, and even my primary desktop at home is often running a virtual machine more than the primary OS (which is Windows, mainly because I haven't gotten my work VPN software to work in a VM and it is Windows or Mac only).

    • Well no, I spend some time computing on a mainframe.
  • by MetalliQaZ (539913) on Thursday March 08, 2012 @05:34PM (#39294603)

    Honestly, serious question. Is this asking me how much time I spend on my own machines vs. those at work? Is it asking how much computation is local vs. in the cloud? Is it asking how much is laptop vs. cell phone or tablet? Impossible to answer this.

  • 'Of Course We Are In a Post-PC World,' Says Ray Ozzie []

    (Glances at the loooooong "80% - 100%" bar above)
    • Re:Beautiful! (Score:4, Insightful)

      by DeathFromSomewhere (940915) on Thursday March 08, 2012 @05:56PM (#39294927)

      This whole thing is wildly inaccurate. Rounding errors, ballot stuffers, dynamic IPs, firewalls. If you're using these numbers to do anything important, you're insane.

      You only need to take a quick glance at the Windows 8 discussions to realize that slashdot is not representative of the majority of people.

      • by Muros (1167213)
        It may however be representative of the majority of people who really use computers. Most people use them as a technologically advanced version of pen and paper.
        • by RR (64484)

          It may however be representative of the majority of people who really use computers. Most people use them as a technologically advanced version of pen and paper.

          That's techie elitism. Who's to say that the majority of people aren't "really" using their computers? Would they be better off without computers?

          I might not like that most people use computers as game machines that do Facebook, with no more typesetting ability than a typewriter and no more programmability than a microwave oven, but that's the reality of it. They have the spending power, and they're making computers cheap enough for the few of us who can really enjoy them.

        • Nothing like a good no-true-scotsman fallacy in the morning :)
    • 1. Slashdot isn't the best spot for common usage. A lot of people who need a PC because they cannot do what they want on a normal Tablet.

      2. This Post-PC erra is more about the need to go out and get new PC's not as much as what you use already. A 6 year old PC is still rather well supported today. 6 Years ago the Intel Core 2 duo was out. While we are on the i7 now we are not getting any major extra features from the server, just a speed improvement. Compare that with the years 2002 vs 1996, 200 mhz vs.
  • by RatBastard (949) on Thursday March 08, 2012 @05:41PM (#39294729) Homepage

    I use my PCs (well, one's a workstation, but that's not important right now) about 85% of the time and my tablet about 15% of the time. Most of what I do on computers can't be done on a tablet. (Until they can squeeze Xeon chips and 24GB of RAM into a tablet, that is.)

    My wife is the opposite. Her usage is 85% tablet and 15% PC. But she doesn't do the same things I do.

    (This excludes times spent on computers at work as I have no choice in that area.)

  • 80-100%... Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by CanHasDIY (1672858) on Thursday March 08, 2012 @05:43PM (#39294753) Homepage Journal
    Because unlike tablet owners, I actually have more important shit to do than surf facebook and play Angry Birds all day.
  • silly question (Score:5, Insightful)

    by pbjones (315127) on Thursday March 08, 2012 @05:53PM (#39294895)

    asking /. people if they still use a PC? like asking a race-car driver if they still drive a car. but I would keep an iPad if it was free.

    • This poll seems to be a response to recent talks about a post PC era some believe we are already in. Apparently it is not the case here.
      • by jedidiah (1196)

        I have access to an iPad. I don't use it most of the time because for what I do, it is not terribly convenient. This bit RIGHT HERE being a "key" sticking point.

        Even if I perused Slashdot on the tablet, I still would respond on something else.

  • 8-9 hours per day on my work machine. But then at home, I have 2-3 hours per day that get split between:

    iPad (mostly ebooks, not PC time)
    XBox (not PC time, but it is a version of Windows after all)
    HTPC running Win7 Media Center. Is this PC time or not? (DVR, Netflix, live broadcast, Hulu)

  • ...what operating system is installed.

    • by steveg (55825)

      Hmm. I spend a most of my working day sitting in front of my worstation, which is essentially a PC. However, probably half of the terminals on my desktop are open on one or another server. I'm not sure what percentage of my attention is on any given server, or on the workstation.

      But I chose the OS on all but one of those servers, the exception being the Sun V880 running Solaris 8.

      So does that make them PCs? They all (except the Sun) are sitting in a rack.

  • Is that wallclock time or CPU time?

    If it's the latter, my laptop isn't really noticeable compared to the HPC clusters at work.
  • by oneiros27 (46144)

    Who still uses OSes that don't have accounts on them?

    All of my computing time is attributed to an account. I mean, I'm not running old-school time accounting, but it's all run by something.

    (I assume by 'PC' we're not refering to tablet computers, cell phones, video game consoles, etc.)

  • 80%-100% is hard to achieve. I'm assuming sleep accounts for roughly 33%.

  • 90% on my computer, 10% on my phone, most of that checking email. Home PC is a monster gaming rig with dual monitors (going Eyefinity on next upgrade!), so calling it a "personal computer" is sort of like calling a modern cell phone "a telephone." Accurate, technically, but sort of missing a lot of the important details. When I'm not on my home PC, it's donating compucrunch power to the LHC. iPad and any tablet really doesn't get to claim PC cred until it's plugged in 24/7 and doing mathematical computa
  • by rossdee (243626)

    Runs 27 * 7

    (No, not 24/7 which means 24 divided by 7 (which we used to use as an approximation for PI back in the day when we used slide rules.) Or it could mean the 24th July (the day before the anniversary of when I bought my first computer (TRS80) back in '79

    Now get off my (snow covered) lawn

    • No wonder 40 year old nuclear reactors melt down. You should have been using 22/7. Or 355/113. Even better, you should have used a slide rule with pi marked on it, like on mine.

  • PC at home, PC at hobbybench, PC at my cubicle, crap man even the oscilloscope on my workbench at work runs windows 2000 with a power pc cpu, second display providing normal windows desktop, and wifi (though we dont get on the net with it)

    when I can get away from the PC I sure as hell dont want to do more of the same by lugging a laptop, or dicking with a phone ( I might have an e-reader on hand), I want to get away from the PC :: using the definition of PC before IBM as just personal computer ::

  • by srussia (884021) on Friday March 09, 2012 @02:26AM (#39298265)
    You insensitive clod!
  • All of my computers are quite impersonal. They aren't sentient and have absolutely zero personality.
  • I consider any usage of my TouchPad to manage my iTunes, VLC, or other media services running on my PC as regular PC usage, then anything I do solely on the TouchPad as non-PC computing. I don't do any server side computing, so it's between the TouchPad, my FrankenPre 2, my desktop and two (one fully functional) laptops. I'd say it's pretty obvious.
  • I use my corporate WinXP laptop less than 10% of the time - mainly for Outlook and the IE-only internal websites. Most of the time I'm at work, I'm on my Fedora desktop (I'm the Linux admin for my company, with a side of OpenVMS). For meetings, I take my iPad - if something comes up I can use SSH from the iPad. When I'm out and about, I've got the iPad and iPhone. At home, I'm usually on the iPad. Since I got the iPad two years ago, I use my MBP at home about 10 - 15% of the time.

    Unlike the usual Apple-h

  • With all of the news about the "post-PC" world, this survey indicates that for at least one segment of the population, the PC still accounts for the overwhelming majority of computing time.

    This, for some reason, is reassuring to me, as I have not yet succumbed to the lure of the thinly-sliced consumption device.
  • Because that makes up a huge percentage for me and would essentially blow any other usage type out of the water as result.
    • Definitely the most important question for this poll.

      I assumed it didn't for a couple of reasons, the major one being choice; the close second being the poll would be monstrously stupid if it did.

      But on the other hand, as I said in another post if it doesn't include work usage then the options should pretty much cap out at 50% (with a >50% "I work at home" option or something).

      I'm pretty sure whoever made the poll was just an incompetent idiot.

  • I'm surprised to see more than a couple of high percentage responses.

    For starters, I only use *my* pc when I'm not at work, so you can pretty much cap it at 50% (8 hours at work, 8 hours at home) but of course I actually do things other than sit on the computer all day, as most do.

    I'd say even if I used my PC exclusively (which I don't) the absolute upper bound for this response would be 25% (commute to/from work, gym, cooking/eating dinner, playing with the pets)

    Not to say there aren't people who work at h

    • Yeah I'm really surprised at how top-heavy this poll is. Seems that mobile devices really aren't popular on Slashdot. Maybe it's because almost all of them are closed these days, or maybe the older folks don't have the eyes for it :-P

      I do probably around 60% of computing on PCs - as in laptops and desktops. The rest is on my phone, although it's as much a fully-open PC as any laptop, the biggest difference is that has an ARM-based CPU. When I'm traveling I use my phone more like 80% of the time.

Science is to computer science as hydrodynamics is to plumbing.


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