When I was a wee lad, I had a computer.
Truth be told, I went through several – a couple of spectrums, a QL, a plethora of PC’s, a G7000… you get the picture. Well, one of those has survived.
Say hello to the Commodore C16/+4. This little beauty has 64Kb of RAM, an embedded BASIC interpreter, a computer-controlled tape-drive and a goodly selection of expansion options. Why is this important, you ask? Well, to put it in context, the Spectrum I had (the rubbery key one!) had 16k of RAM (and no storage). Today, The computer I am writing on has 8GB of RAM. If we pretend (because it’s easier, and entirely possible) that I had 16GB of RAM in this little beastie, I would have one million times more ram at my disposal than approximately twenty five years ago.
And storage? Let’s talk about storage. Twenty-ish years ago, I had a PC with a 20MB hard disk. Today I have a 2TB disk, that’s one hundred thousand times larger. I just bought a USB stick with 16GB of storage on it, that’s 800 times larger, and I carry it about in my pocket. I’m so blase about that fact, that I often forget to take it with me, and instead fish out one of the other two sticks (an 8GB and another 16GB).
My first smartphone had 32MB of flash (and 4MB of ram). That’s more storage (and coincidentally a much faster CPU) than my PC, back then. And now? I wouldn’t even sneeze at it. My current phone has 16GB of storage and a dual-core CPU running thousands of times faster – and it’s old hat compared to the spanking new ones that just came out.
Sometimes I wonder how people can ignore all this, and keep on thinking everything stays the same…