Left to Your Own Devices

Over the first two weeks of term, 5,355 new users registered over 13,000 devices on our IT networks. That is, on average, about 2.5 devices each or 15 in every 6-person flat on campus.

Screen Shot 2015-10-16 at 13.12.25That made me wonder about the hardware that students are now carrying about with them. When I first arrived at Sussex in September 2000 and took up residence in East Slope, I lugged one of these “Tiny” beauties up to the top flat (number 60-something, right at the back). I’d got it a month or so previously and was sooooo pleased with the technology. It had come in a bundle with a printer and a free digital camera that was the size of a brick and could hold eight pictures at a time. EIGHT. That’s less than the texts the contemporaneous Nokia 3310 could hold.

Students with laptops were relatively few and far between; I remember getting my first one three years later. These days, I imagine that there aren’t a huge amount of desktop PCs in student accommodation, and the market mirrors the decline.

The drawn-out death of the desktop is part of the overall bleak outlook for PCs; so far, 2015 has seen a continued decrease in sales of PCs for all but Apple products. Stateside, the balance has now swung in favour of the mobile-only users (those accessing the internet on phones or tablets).

In 2014, twice the amount of people used desktops as used tablets or phones to access the internet. Now, only a year later, desktop users have halved and mobile-only users have taken the lead.

I thought I’d get my Excel on and have a look at some of our figures to see if we’re moving in line with market trend, and guess what? Just 10 of you bothered carting a desktop PC onto campus this year. We’re not looking here at total users on campus, just the new users & devices registered in the September of each year. Have a nice graph, and muse upon the death of the desktop. Have you ever used one/owned one/had one at home anyway?


I got some of my facts and figures from these articles:

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  1. […] a recent post, I looked at the changes in equipment that students are using. One in four new students registered a tablet on the IT network this September, up from one in […]

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