30 January 2009

I Remember When...

... I had to walk to school in snow three feet high!

KRON, San Francisco, 1981

How our lives have changed over the past 30 years. back then, those 300-baud modems (and the computers to connect them) were incredibly high-tech and not cheap. I remember telling people that even the cheap computers i was selling back then (the Apples, the Ataris, the Commodores) were more powerful than anything the US government had perhaps 15 years before. Hard drives and Random-Access Memory were very expensive options. Not quite a year before this video was taken, the DEC Micro-Nova system in the back of our store came with 10 total megabytes of disk storage (5 fixed, 5 removable), and 64k per user in memory: sticker price was $25,000.

Interesting to note:
  • we have devices many orders of magnitude greater than those capabilities in devices smaller than thumbnails given away as toys today.
  • the same newspapers experimenting with such tech back then haven't been able to monetize their experimentation; many are dying or dead.
  • my regular morning wake-up to the world starts by reading bits from 15-20 newspapers (and occasionally TV from the BBC) scattered around the globe, from Seattle to New York to London / Paris to Tokyo, complete with text, photos, and (increasingly) real-time video.
All hail Moore's Law.

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