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Schlock Mercenary
Something Positive
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Sluggy Freelance

December 24th, 2006

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12:45 am - Upgrade time ...
On Friday I gave my computer a little Christmas present, an upgrade from 1Gb to 2Gb. This was mainly driven by the way that Firefox seems to hover around 600-800Mb memory used (ok, I do have three windows open with about 120 tabs between them), which doesn't leave much for other apps. At the moment, "other apps" includes Gimp, which I'm using to scan medium format negatives (coming in at 7200x7200 and 150Mb each), which chews up memory quite greedily too. I suspect I've also got used to having 2Gb on my work laptop, on which I run zillions of apps quite happily.

Anyway, prompted by a recent post where someone listed the specs of the various laptops she's owned, here's a trip down memory lane and the specs of the various PCs I've had at home :

YearModel / typeCPU speedRAMMain storageGraphicsNetwork/comms
1982-1985System-80[1]2Mhz Z8016KbApprox. 150k Cassette128x48/B&WNone
1985-1991Microbee3.5Mhz Z8064Kb380k 3.5" floppy disk512x342[2]/B&W1200/75 baud Modem
1991-1996Generic PC20Mhz 386SX1Mb80Mb hard driveCGA, I think (640x200 / 16 colour ?)2400 baud Modem (later 9600)
1997-2000Generic PC[3]66Mhz Mhz Cyrix256Mb2.5Gb hard drive1280x1024 / 24-bit colour28800 modem (later 56k)
2000-2004Generic PC400 Mhz Pentium III512Mb20Gb hard drive (80Gb later)1600x1200 / 24-bit colour512/128kpbs ADSL
2002-2004Generic PC2000 Mhz Athlon512Mb80 Gb hard drive1600x1200 / 24-bit colour512/128kpbs ADSL
2004-presentGeneric PC2000 Mhz Athlon2Gb480Gb on three hard drives1600x1200 / 24-bit colour2 Mbps cable

[1] Australian TRS-80 clone.
[2] Wasn't fully bitmapped, though, so couldn't use that resolution fully.
[3] Built by kreggan :-)

To summarise: Everything is from 1000-100000 times faster/larger/shinier now than when I started with computers. It might seem that display technology has stalled a bit in the last few years, but that's because I haven't listed 3D performance in the table - that's where all of the recent gains have been.
Current Mood: geekygeeky

(1 touche | En garde !)


[User Picture]
Date:December 24th, 2006 02:36 am (UTC)
I bought a second hard 40Gb hard disk for my PC this week, more expensive because it's an external 2.5" drive ... and a couple of months back I bought an internal 320Gb drive for the PC.

For my first "real" home computer (an Atari ST Mega4) I bought a second hand 20Mb hard drive for £350 (which was a great deal in those days)
Price per megabyte, £17.50

40Gb external drive, £33, price per megabyte, £0.0008 (or a bit under 1/10th of a penny)
320Gb internal drive, £65, price per megabyte, £0.0002 (2/100ths of a penny)

40Gb drive, 21,212 times cheaper
320Gb drive, 86,154 times cheaper per megabyte (16,000 times the storage)

Scaling up that original 20Mb drive, 320Gb at that same price would be £5.6million pounds!

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