For those unfamiliar, Moore’s Law is an observation that the number of transistors in an integrated circuit doubles approximately every two years.

By Max Roser, Hannah Ritchie –, CC BY 4.0,

In 2005, Moore stated that this projection cannot be sustained indefinitely and in 2016 the International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors moved away from this style of road mapping. Moore further said that the Law that he helped develop would likely end around 2025.

So what does this have to do with laptops and computers?

Simple. It shows a fundamental and unnecessary need to purchase a brand new machine based on CPU performance alone, at least for the majority of users. One thing that has been made clear is, that outside of certain chip requirements like TPM 2.0 for Windows 11, some laptops that are over 12 years old are still fully capable of doing the tasks that their owners require them to do. That of course is before you introduce Linux into the equation which further extends the usefulness of some older hardware.

Even if you do require Windows 11 and need a TPM 2.0 chip to ensure it is officially supported, you are still left with 5 generations of CPUs that are able to meet those requirements.

In recent years, one of the best things about CPU advancement has been power efficiency and the battery technology to support it. This is one of the reasons that laptops with 50Whr batteries can outlast their predecessors that had 99Whr batteries. But how much better are our CPUs for handling modern tasks? I would suggest outside of a very small group of people, the majority do not benefit directly and immediately from the incremental updates to chipsets that are currently taking place outside of video rendering technology (graphics cards) and even those advancements are likely debatable. We also have multiple cores now within a single CPU socket that, if the software is built to take advantage of, can lead to further performance gains but not usually at the scale we’d expect of two cores doing double what a single core would. That is a topic for another day.

Therefore it isn’t too much of a stretch of the imagination that buying a used computer or laptop is actually viable. This was further exemplified at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting chip shortages. Used laptops increased in value not only because the supply of parts to assemble new ones was depleted, but older laptops were still capable of fulfilling their required role for many users. Again, there will always be the exception of those that need one of the new features coming in the latest Intel or AMD chipset, but for people who need a reliable computer for email, coding, document production and other tasks that older CPUs are more than capable of handling, it makes these processes more accessible to a wider audience and potentially help individuals take their next steps. I’ve had the pleasure over the years to read many comments on my channel about people doing exactly this; buying, finding or being gifted a cheap laptop to do the work that they needed to do and move forward.

All this taken together, the final message to deliver is that the majority of people don’t NEED a newer computer, they might WANT a newer one though. This could be based on a real or imagined need that the new piece of technology solved, but making that choice in part is a privilege that consumers shouldn’t take lightly. I’ve been using my used ThinkPad X220 since 2018 around the house running Linux for a variety of different tasks and it continues to perform admirably. To see my journey of upgrades and mods, see the playlist below.

If you want to see how far your dollars can stretch entering the world of used, quality hardware, I suggest this fantastic ThinkPad Price Guide to get you started.

ThinkPad Price Guide V7


Crowdfunding has changed the way people create and experience technology. However, not all technological projects benefit from crowdfunding. Companies that choose to crowdfund tend not to have a lot of access to vendors and manufacturing long-term, so items are created on short lease contracts and in batches. In this article, I wanted to quickly describe some basic types of crowdfunding that I’ve self-defined in the hopes someone else might find it helpful.

One thing anyone considering crowdfunded projects needs to remember is: they are not a store and there is no guarantee that the product will be delivered. There is no recourse for the person providing the funds in 95% of situations and it remains the company’s choice on what they choose to do about bumps in the road.

Always remember that crowdfunding comes with risks and you should make decisions based on the evidence you have, not what you believe. That can be a tricky thing to differentiate between especially if you are really excited about something being offered.

All that being said, for sake of argument, crowdfunding in my mind fits into three broad categories.

Standalones: These are the projects that to me, crowdfunding does best. They work upon release and do not require additional support down the road. They don’t require consumables, servers or software updates to keep working the same way they first came out of the box.

An example is the Snoopa Vmate gimbal camera I backed earlier last year. While it has firmware updates and an app, it can be used directly from the camera, which should add to the lifespan of the device. Like several crowdfunded projects, I wouldn’t hope much for warranty issues or spare parts, but in the meantime, it was an expensive solution to get some unique shots I couldn’t otherwise get with my traditional camera setup.

Dependent: These are projects that I think are the highest risk. Beyond the initial launch of the product, they require additional infrastructure to function. That can be software updates or supplies that the company has to provide. The IoT movement has learned time and time again that your devices can become useless bricks if the update tap is turned off.

The Unihertz Titan that I backed a while ago had a variety of challenges on launch but managed to navigate most of them. Android 10 has been delayed rather significantly and while it has been released, can currently only be flashed manually or pushed to your device by request. Like any phone, its lifespan beyond the hardware will be dictated by the software updates and when they are cut off.

Independent: These are the projects that make a company sustainable. They might start out on crowdfunding sites, but due to success and a different business model, they break the mould and get access to continual manufacturing and can move into the big leagues.

Mobvoi comes to mind when I think about a company that has graduated from the crowdfunding platform. While I didn’t back their very first project, I did back the Ticwatch E and documented my time with it. Mobvoi has gone on to manufacture their own products independently from a crowdfunding platform. A version of the Ticwatch remains my daily driver for my smartwatch.

Anyway, I hope you’ve enjoyed reading my ramblings on the subject and perhaps you will find it useful when you are deciding which project you might back next or if you want to back your first.