Yeah...true. My first computer job was with a thing called a "mini-computer". It occupied a large room with a huge, dedicated air conditioner. It came with a mini-fridge sized hard disk that required circulating oil and gave us 275 Megabytes. The manufacturer said that we could never use that much storage.
Perspective is everything. I still remember a friend assisting us in purchasing our first computer in the late 90s.He was into desktop publishing & said he was envious of the 2 GB system we were getting. And that'd likely be all I'd ever need.
I think I just heard my 12 core monstah chuckling.
Oh yes, Doug! I'm just old enough to remember punching hole in cards and then dropping them in hopper ... As for memory I still have my the old Dell laptop squirreled away in the UK which had a "trackball" (remember those) and a 1GB HDD which was described as being "so much storage it is inconceivable to see how it could be filled," if I recall correctly - how poorly they guessed about photography, gaming and incredibly bloated and inefficiently designed software...
It doesn't seem that long ago when a 1MB memory stick (or USB key, as they used to be called) cost £100. I recall a colleague "smuggling" one from Sweden years ago to save on duty.
For the geeks out there this table on cost per MB is fun (https://jcmit.net/memoryprice.htm) down from $50-$100,000/MB in 1975 to $0.004/MB for the last 4 years or so.
We had to use a slide rule for the first years of engineering school in the 70s. Computer science class used punch cards with Fortran and the computer was housed in a big room. Then at the end, we had to buy a calculator with not much more than basic functions for something like $150, the good ol' days!
Like Dale, I did the punch card thing at college (in the early ‘70s) and had to wait a week for the results.
I still have my NASCOM 1 from 1979. In bits and non functional. I rode the knowledge gained from building that machine all the way through to retirement, retraining several thousand telecom engineers along the way.
As a cost comparison, the Nascom 1 kit cost about the same as a MacBook Air (inflation adjusted).
2MHz, 1KB, 2KB compared to 1.6GHz, 128GB, 8GB.
And you had to solder all the components onto the Nascom 1 PCB.
WOW! You guys are old! LOL!
I was fortunate enough to work on a mainframe. No punch cards. I also managed to get my hands on a FORTRAN compiler for PCs. I believe it was FORTRAN 77. It saved me so much time because I was able to use the old EDIT DOS word processor to type my programs and compile them from my home PC.
Those old punch cards are the same size as a dollar bill because IBM adapted their cash counting hardware to their computer business.
A hole lets a metal rod pass through and complete a circuit. the circuit trips a switch register. The registering could be mechanical or electrical such as a toggle, capacitor or even magnetic. there is a matrix of said registers corresponding to all the possible hole positions in a punch card.
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