It’s amazing how far computers have come in the past 10 years. I remember when decoding a single JPG image took several seconds on my 386 CPU (that was around the same time I was dreaming about having a 1GB hard drive some day…). Even 7 years ago, encoding MP3s still took a many minutes per song and rendered the PC virtually unusable for anything else. Watching (or even encoding) movies on the PC was not even conceivable. Burning a CD still meant that you had to be very careful with what you did in parallel in order to avoid the dreaded buffer underrun errors.
Now, none of this is an issue any more. Earlier this evening I was burning a DVD while at the same time ripping CDs, watching an MPEG movie, and downloading files via Bittorrent. Heck, and this was even on Windows. :)