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David Smith

16 Days Ago

A Little Perspective On Computer Costs.

I got a Facebook post from one of the vendors I buy hardware from just after I mentioned the cost of 128MB CF cards in 2001.

What 2TB of storage would have cost in the 80's.

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Abbie Shores

16 Days Ago

Crikey!

 

Doug Swanson

16 Days Ago

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.

 

Carmen Hathaway

16 Days Ago

 

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.

Great topic, David.

 

Richard Reeve

12 Days Ago

Thank you, David for making me feel old ;-)

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.


 

Steven Ralser

12 Days Ago

I also remember the computer science class I took at uni - we had to use punch cards.

 

Drew

12 Days Ago

Steven, was those punch cards used for FORTRAN?

Heck, Google Drive has quite a bit of memory for free.

 

Dale Kauzlaric

12 Days Ago

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!

 

Mark Tisdale

12 Days Ago

The first computer my Dad got when I was little used cassette tapes for storage. Hard drive? hahahahahahahh!

This was it.



That video brings back lots of memories.

 

Drew

12 Days Ago

Mark, I remember looking at that computer in Sears! I was probably a late teen at the time.

 

Mark Tisdale

12 Days Ago

Drew - decent chance my father got it at Sears. LOL I honestly don't remember anymore. I wasn't that interested until it came out of the box.

 

REVAD David Riley

11 Days Ago

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.

 

David Smith

11 Days Ago

I started in high school in '78 on punch cards learning COBOL and RPG, then on to a little FORTRAN before the school got a bunch of Radio Shack TRS80's and BASIC.

Didn't touch a computer again until '95 when I bought my first Mac, a Quadra 950, 33 mHz, 16MB RAM and a whopping big 250MB hard drive.


 

Drew

11 Days Ago

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.

 

David Randall

11 Days Ago

I remember covering some holes and cutting others in those cards. Not sure what that did but it doubtless messed with some info.

 

Drew

11 Days Ago

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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