Leave a Tip: LEDs

October 18, 2020

Have you ever noticed how computers parts seem to be getting bigger these days? Graphics cards are taking up two and three slots, fans are bigger and not as loud, and AMD ThreadRipper CPUs are so big now their owners have to pay property tax. But, parts aren’t just getting bigger, they’re also getting brighter. And I’m not talking about artificial intelligence.

I turned on the Amazon Prime Twitch game streaming service the other day and I saw a guy sitting in his room with shades on. Now, wearing shades indoors signifies one of two things to me: you’re either blind or you can’t even stand the sight of your own code. But this guy wasn’t blind, nor was he surrounded by half-empty Mt. Dew cans, three-day old pizza, or a stack of Programming for Dummies books. While I kept watching he eventually switched his camera angle in the stream and I saw it–but barely. There was a computer case sitting on the table next to his monitor with what looked like what I can only describe as an interstellar light beacon. This thing was likely giving him a tan or signaling Matthew McConaughey.

That’s the new trend now, putting LEDs on everything: motherboards, RAM, SSDs… I saw one streamer with LEDs on his jacket. Maybe they help keep the jacket warm, because they definitely weren’t making them any easier to watch. They was streaming Alone in the Dark, which was just a touch ironic.

But, here’s what I say about the trend: calm down with the LEDs. Computers were never easy to look at in the first place. We don’t have to make it harder. So, just let your computers be boring, ugly, and simple. In 10 years your eyes will thank you; your computer will never fall out of fashion, because it never was in fashion; and you won’t regret this decision unlike that LED gaming chair that caught fire last year.

Remember, I’m on call if you need me. We’re all in this together, Engineers.

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