As Borepatch was pointing out recently, Moore's Law seems to have ended in the last couple of years. This means the amount of processing horsepower has stopped doubling every semiconductor generation (about two years), and the current processors aren't much better than when my Dell was made. His source also pointed out processor speed hasn't really advanced in about a decade, either. Getting clock speed above the mid-3 GHz range is going to involve solving some tough problems that relate to handling microwave signals (make no mistake: 3 GHz is microwave!), and I wouldn't be too surprised if speeds don't go up appreciably for another 10 years.
There have been improvements in computers; the two big trends have been fattening the internal pipes: bringing everything in the box up in speed, and improving power consumption. My desktop at work is marginally faster than my home box, but most notable to me is the speed of loading programs and booting windows. The reason for the better speed is that there's a fatter pipe between the disk drive and the rest of it. There's a Solid State Drive in it, and I decided to go looking down that road. Solid state drives are the same technology as in USB thumb drives; electrically erasable programmable read-only memory, or EEPROM. Electrically erasable and rewritable while being called read-only memory may sound like an oxymoron, but it's a technology that can keep data intact without power applied, unlike the dynamic random access memory or DRAM from which your computer executes its programs. EEPROM is slower than DRAM, but still many times faster than mechanical hard drives.
Figuring that I really wasn't using that much memory, I bought a 128 Gig SSD. The day has been rather a disappointment, as far as the computer goes. I ran the Samsung migration utility and it seems little more than just copying everything to the new SSD. It didn't change any references whatsoever, so, for example, any program that had a desktop icon link to a program on the C: drive still refers to the C: drive even though that program in on the SSD and the computer thinks the SSD is a higher letter. Everything, including Windoze, still runs from my C: drive, making the SSD a high-priced, very small capacity, additional drive. I can't get my BIOS to recognize the old hard drive and the new solid state drive both as options to boot from, and when I do convince it to try to boot from the SSD, it can't; the migration utility must have left important stuff out.
The battle will resume tomorrow. If you're old enough to use a computer, you've probably seen this cartoon: