Seeking Alpha
View as an RSS Feed

Retired Securities Attorney  

View Retired Securities Attorney's Comments BY TICKER:
Latest  |  Highest rated
  • Qualcomm: The Enemy Of My Enemy May Not Be My FRAND [View article]
    Thank you, Markman Advisors, for a clear, concise, summary of a complex yet very important topic. You hit the "meat" and successfully avoided the "chaff". Your article will impact my investing going forward.

    Well done.
    Apr 18, 2015. 01:15 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Micron: More Questions Than Answers From Latest Conference Call [View article]
    Phred, kg,

    >>Retired Securities Attorney could probably sleepwalk thru this.<<
    Nope. Even wide-awake it's too complicated an answer for a book or eight.
    Apr 14, 2015. 09:58 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Micron Technology: SSD Price Tipping Point In Sight [View article]

    I have never figured out what to do with all my old computers given my paranoia. So I just keep them all. I use them as decorations in the spare bedrooms etc.

    Thanks for the tip on copying the drive store. I'll try it the next time. I have been copying the whole drive anyway. I just didn't know what to do with it.
    Apr 10, 2015. 11:44 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Micron Technology: SSD Price Tipping Point In Sight [View article]

    >>...manufacturers are gonna make this decision for the consumer.<<

    Yes and no. Manufacturers will make this decision not "for" the consumer exactly, but rather the way they think the consumer will think is the better way. Also, where there are competing considerations of variable value to different consumers, they will offer an option. I can buy my XPS with a 1TB 5400 rpm HDD, or I can get a more expensive 15,000 rpm HDD or even an SDD. To me, the quicker boot is worth more than the extra money. To others, the money is worth more.
    Apr 10, 2015. 11:40 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Micron Technology: SSD Price Tipping Point In Sight [View article]
    Thanks, Ramtekus.

    Do they make good door stops?

    Maybe with my next set of replacement computers I will have them custom designed and built. The problem is that I don't know anyone in Las Vegas I could trust to do that.
    Apr 10, 2015. 03:29 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Micron Technology: SSD Price Tipping Point In Sight [View article]

    I'm not as smart as Phred (didn't go to Yale) but I will give you my answers:

    <<Which of these two comments do you disagree with?>>

    Both of them.

    1. >> Client PCs are at 20% penetration today and that will linearly grow to 40% by 2018 <<

    Nothing on earth grows linearly. If humans are involved, growth is exponential.

    2. >> SSD price per GB will be >4x HDD Price per GB for a 1TB PC for next 4 years.<<

    They might be now aren't now if you look at the fastest 10,000 rpm HDD with the lowest capacity against the cheapest SSD. This is, after all, the appropriate comparison because it is as close to an "apples-to-apples" comparison as we can get though it is still miles away from equality. I'm going to compare adding a second data drive to an already pre-configured workstation to get as close to apples-to-apples comparison as I can manage to create.

    A 2.5" 600GB 15,000RPM SAS Enterprise HDD costs $543.75 when added as a second drive to an already pre-built Dell workstation.

    That is a price of $1.10 per GB.

    A 512GB 2.5" Serial-ATA Solid State Drive costs $768.75 when added to that same pre-built Dell workstation.
    That is a price of $.67 per GB.

    The difference in price is about 65% or $.44 per GB.

    True, it costs more upfront but if you add into the mix the homeowner's electricity savings from not having to keep the hard disk drive continuously spinning and from not having to keep the computer fan continuously spinning since the computer with the SSD doesn't need a fan, you get a different equation. With the amount of time I use my computer (about five hours a day) and a 13.34 cents per kWh electric rate, I calculate that I save about $22 a year in electricity bills.

    If we assume a four-year useful life for the computer, that $22 a year comes to $88 and brings the cost of the spinning media to about the same as the cost of the solid state drive.

    Now add into the mix that SSDs are much faster, more durable, etc., etc., etc. and I see the start of the tipping point coming as soon as someone markets their SSD to consumers and teaches them this.

    True, if you compare the cost of six 512GB SSDs to one 3 terabyte HDD, the HDD is much cheaper. But the better way to run that much storage on a home computer is with two drives: a fast SSD for the operating system and programs (256GB should be enough) and a second cheap HDD for data, photos, movies, etc.

    In my view, the range of tipping points is already here. The proof of that is that you already see SSD drives as options on high-end home systems at all the major OEMs. SSDs will continue to take over roles now performed by HDD until something better comes along. Both SSDs and HDDs have their advantages and will still have their advantages in four or more years. I use both. I run two drive systems with an SSD as the Operating System and Programs drive and a second HDD for all the data.

    The future started months ago.
    Apr 10, 2015. 01:58 PM | 8 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Micron Technology: SSD Price Tipping Point In Sight [View article]

    Thanks for the unique, first-hand insight. Very useful stuff.
    Apr 10, 2015. 12:33 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Data Center Group Drives Intel's Profits [View article]
    Best one yet, Bruce. Thanks.
    Apr 8, 2015. 07:07 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Micron Technology: SSD Price Tipping Point In Sight [View article]

    >>Like lets first just try defining in investment language what you mean by "SSD Price Tipping Point".<<

    I'll try my hand at that for you.

    The "Tipping Point" is actually a range rather than a point. The range is the price level per Gigabyte at which computer buyers (and OEMs) start selling computers with solid state drives ("SSDs") instead of hard disk drives ("HDDs"). The range extends through the point at which no one wants a hard disk drive any longer.
    Until now, HDDs have been much cheaper than SDDs so cost sensitive buyers have purchased computers with HDDs. OEMs naturally built what buyers wanted. Now, the price of SDDs has come down to where, although still more expensive than HDDs, some computer buyers prefer the SSD for its faster speed and greater reliability. At the point where the price of an SSD is the same as that of an HDD, few will want a computer equipped with a HDD. The SDD generates little heat so requires no fan and is therefore lighter and costs less to operate. So the "Tipping Point" is different for different buyers.

    I hope this helps.
    Apr 8, 2015. 02:22 PM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Prepare To Buy Intel Ahead Of Its Developer Forum In China [View article]
    Nice job, Bruce. Please continue keeping us informed.
    Apr 7, 2015. 04:28 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Micron Technology: SSD Price Tipping Point In Sight [View article]
    Mucho Kudos to Phred, and to Russ, for analyzing this issue.

    We should not get misled by the phrase "tipping point" into thinking that it is, in fact, a "point". It is actually a range of points where various different things happen.

    For example, in the typical consumer case, a two drive system with a 128GB boot drive used only for the operating system and frequently used programs, and a second HDD spinning "data" drive for all those movies, photos, etc. works quite well. Add 8 or 16 GB of DRAM memory to cache data and you're all set.

    My "C" drive containing Win 7 and all the many programs that I use consumes only 86 MB. My D drive for data is 1 TB and uses only 109 GB. I offload data which is not accessed in more than two years to the backup drives but all ten years of my data would not fill my 1 TB data drive.

    My new XPS 13 holds two operating systems, all programs, and all of both my and my wife's current (accessed within two years) data in a grand total of 117 GB. It's a 512 GB SSD so we're good for a while.

    This creates a new paradigm for home computing.

    You crate your own client-server system with all home computers networked to a laptop with a 512GB or larger fast SSD. Nobody saves anything locally. All content is saved as you create it over the network to the laptop's SSD. If you are paranoid (as I am), everything is hard-wired.

    When you travel (as we do every week) you just close your laptop and bring it with you. Voilá! Portable everything.

    As an added bonus, adding or changing content while on the road requires no copying and pasting since it is all there when you get home on your portable server.

    Also, you can plug the laptop into a dock and use it as a client while at home with mouse, keyboard, two large monitors, whatever.

    A full-blown computer refresh is already underway. I may have started it when I bought a Dell XPS 13 to use as a portable server with a core I7 Intel drive and a 512GB SSD. Over the next three years, the whole home computing model is going to change.

    Thanks to Russ, Phred, William, Bruce, Jaret, and others including myself, it is totally predictable.
    Apr 7, 2015. 12:21 PM | 14 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Will The Potential Intel-Altera Deal Benefit Intel? [View article]

    Intel is a monopolists in the line of business represented by selling high-powered processors for use in servers. Acquiring Altera strengthens its hold on this line of business and could stifle competition from others.

    That's an antitrust concern. I did not practice in the field though.
    Apr 3, 2015. 11:52 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Micron: Memory, Oligopolies And Valuation [View article]

    No, he isn't distorting anything. He's an option player. Essentially a gambler with an edge. He is looking ahead only that far because there is a lot of money to be made gambling on options which expire in a few days.

    I don't roll like that.
    Apr 1, 2015. 04:15 PM | 15 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Micron And The Game Of Memory [View article]
    Brilliantly done. Needless to say, I mostly agree.

    Some things to consider:

    1. The pasture here is continuously growing. This is a complexity all players have to adjust for.

    2. The prisoners don't have any information about who told whom what. The payers in our game have very good information about the other players' intentions. The equipment suppliers are full of leaks about who is buying what.

    3. It takes time to make any money buy going for market share. You have to build the fab space (which you may already have) and then market to customers (the cat's certainly out of bag by then since they will tell their other suppliers), sample (cat further out of bag) and then with the consequences of everyone expanding.

    4. An oligopoly can collude legally by playing follow the leader, etc. But it is much easier to do it illegally and not get caught. Meet at conferences and trade shows and make the deals. Do not use email. No telephone talk.
    Meet, agree, and stick to your word.

    Demand is expanding and everyone is expanding their ability to serve that expanded demand. That's just good business practices.
    Apr 1, 2015. 03:54 PM | 14 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Will The Potential Intel-Altera Deal Benefit Intel? [View article]

    You are correct that there are anti-trust implications for the deal.
    Apr 1, 2015. 01:44 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment