Well, my previous computer was a P3-800Mhz running Win2K, with 512MB RAM, 240 GB of disk space and a 19'' monitor. I've used that to develop web apps (ASP.NET/VB.NET), all kinds of Win apps (whether single or multi threaded, database frontends, network apps, CGIs, Fast CGIs, hardware control apps for card embossers and check printers - all using VB.NET, VB6 and Delphi 3), ASP and HTML sites, and finally to open telnet sessions to a Stratus box running VOS to develop using C, PL/I and COBOL (yeah, the real dinosaurs).
I bought a new one a few weeks ago (P4-2.4 Ghz, 1GB RAM, RAID controller, 0.3 TB disk space , kept the same monitor and Win2K). However, I have to admit that I could get my job done pretty well with my old PC, plus I could run Counter Strike and TFC perfectly. I got the new one just to satisfy my geek factor.
One thing that I found out over the years is that it's ok to have the fastest/best PC around to do your development (whether "best" means a fast or dual CPU, lightning-fast hard disk I/O and 21'' or dual monitors - it all depends on what you're working on)...BUT at some point you really need to test on the actual PC or range of machines that your application is going to be used on in the real world.
For example, your spec might be for an application that will read a proprietary flat file 2GB large and create an excel spreadsheet out of it along with an HTML report page, and all that is going to run on Bank X (where you know that they'll install it in a PII-400 box). In this case, I doesn't really mater if your app takes 30 second to finish on your dev box if it takes half an hour on the production box (in this case, you may have to go back to the code and make a better algorithm that will work decently on real-world PC's - unless of course you have already put in the extra effort to do that). Also, it doesn't matter if your HTML report looks really cool on your screen with 1600x1200 analysis displayed by Internet Explorer, because some poor chaps at the customer's site are going to view it under 640x480 or 800x600, using both IE and NetScape.
To summarize: yes, as far as developers are concerned, the fastest a PC is, the better. We just need to recognize the geek factor inside ourselves and appreciate the fact that sometimes we can do the job without a P-7 35Ghz box. And IMHO it's also important to be aware of the capabilities of most hardware used in the real world.
I often wish that the entries people add in manually would be added as a drop down list that other people could choose from to minimalize the repeat-answers, yet still allows you to add to the list if yours is not there.
Simple solution. Add a call to a function 'RunGoodCode()', then, in a few years, microsoft may write a function called 'RunGoodCode()' that may in some distant parallel universe will do just this.
Note: This depends on the code not being written in VB as RunGoodCode would not be a relevent name for the function. Also, the current MS management restricts the amount of Good Code released, so you will have to wait for or cause management re-structure.
Oh come ON! Tell me that deep down you are just dying for (and we ALL know it was John) this to be elaborated on, perhaps even with a shot or two of Bob participating...hell maybe David could even wear that PVC minskirt I was hinting he had stashed away in his closet...
¡El diablo está en mis pantalones! ¡Mire, mire!
Real Mentats use only 100% pure, unfooled around with Sapho Juice(tm)!
I have a PIII 664 MHz, 256 RAM, 20gig HD and a 19" monitor. For my line of work (Web dev (ASP.NET), web design and word processing (specs)) it is quite ample. It runs Windows XP and any .NET stuff perfectly fine.
Another monitor would be useful and some more RAM for when I get mammoth Photoshop designs, but otherwise for code editing and compiling in VS.NET it all chugs along smoothly.
Half Life during lunch-time LAN games also works very well.
And yes I have tried XP on some P4s and yes it is faster but only marginally so, nothing fantastic.
Frankly the only new gadgets and hardware I want are for my camera