Monday, April 26, 2010

Old Technology

Monday, April 26

I happened across a computer magazine published before Windows became an operating system of its own. This is a time when one used DOS as the operating system and windows as a program.

Unless you worked with computers, you may be scratching your head and wondering what the hell I am talking about in the next few paragraphs. Granted, this is what some people call techno-talk. Mainly this is the language I used when I worked on computers.

My first PC compatible computer I purchased cost me over $1200. It was decked out 80286, 12 MHz with a 40 MB hard drive, 1 MB of RAM, monochrome video card and monitor, 5.25” 1.2 MB and 3.5” 1.44 MB floppy drives, and a keyboard running DOS 3.3.

I heard several mice click after that paragraph. Some even before they got halfway through the second sentence even. Matter of fact, I think I still have that computer in my storage shed. I used it for over six or seven years. Never did fill up that 40 MB hard drive. Can’t say that about a 40 GB drive I have in my desktop in my room.

Now, let’s come back to the modern day. Though my laptop is considered old technology, it has 4000 times the RAM memory (also called by some people the computer memory) and hard drive space. I am not going to venture on how much faster my laptop is. But if I were to by the equivalent amount of memory I have today at 1990 prices, that 160 GB hard drive would cost me $1,116,000.

That would buy me enough composition notebook that would last me a lifetime and still have over $1.1 million left over. (Especially if I can catch the 50 cent sale Wal-Mart has every fall.)

This amazes me on the advances made in computers and technology over the years that help increase the capacity as well as lower the cost of the technology. I hate to see what that 1 TB hard drive would cost me if I had to pay the 1997 price (1 TB is one million, million {trillion} bytes of information with one byte being one character on this screen). This would be $700,000 if my calculations were correct.

Now, we have things we did not have access to back in the early 90s, or at least I did not have access to. There are the jump drives, DVD/CD drives, and the Internet to name a few. If I so choose, I can turn my computer into a DVR and watch movies pulled off the cable on my computer screen.

Now, I think that is enough nostalgia about computers. Let’s talk about cell phones. A portable phone back in 1990 … Iaaaeeek…..

Sorry for the interruption. This is Stone’s internal editor. I had to stop this line of thought because we started to fall asleep. We will relinquish this line as soon as he wakes up from his trip to the past. Thank you.

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