Surfing & CAD: Staying at the Leading Edge


It’s interesting to see the similarities between surfing and technology: It’s an art figuring out when and how to catch a wave, whether in technology or in the ocean. Starting to paddle forward too soon or too late can spell the difference between being at the leading or the bleeding edge.

If you start too soon, you might expend too much unnecessary effort. In the case of technology, you usually have to pay a premium for the latest hardware and software.

If you wait too long, you miss catching the wave. You can’t catch a wave by passively floating. You must swim/paddle forward. It takes some effort, sometimes a lot of effort. It’s great exercise. In technology, waiting too long means that you waste the opportunity to gain strategic advantages and to enjoy the benefits of new technologies. It’s like being stuck using bicycles for transportation, when a car or a plane would be better choices.

As the Summer slowly comes to an end and we all get ready for the next school semester, I’ve been trying to spend as much time at the beach as possible. This has given me the opportunity to reflect and I’d like to share some of my insights:

1. If you haven’t already, upgrade to a Solid State Device (SSD) drive. They’re a lot faster, don’t make noise, have no moving parts (unless you consider electrons) and use up a lot less power. In some cases, I’ve seen booting times drop from over 8 minutes to under 1 minute! Applications that took over one minute usually load in less than 20 seconds. This kind of performance improvement is something you want right away.

I recommend getting either a 240GB or so drive for about $200, 180GB for $160 or at a minimum, 90GB for $60 after rebates ($80 at the store). I’m very happy with The Corsair Force 3 series. And no, I don’t work for them nor receive any incentives… (yet? )

Max out your RAM. If your computer is older than 5 years, seriously plan upgrading. When you buy a new computer, unless you upgrade frequently, it is wise to pay a premium for either the latest or almost the best.

Time is money. Be wise how you spend both. In the final analysis, be inspired by knowing that the human brain is still the best design tool AND that one secret to success is to learn to do the most with what you already have.

Warm regards from Los Angeles,

Emmanuel

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