Saturday, October 20, 2012
Good Old Days
I vaguely remember that shortly after I got out of school in 1980, there was some kind of personal computer available for around $5,000, and it only had a floppy drive. I drooled over it, as I had my first job that paid real money (right around $17,000 a year), but I didn't buy one. Rent, beer & gasoline still had higher priorities.
We bought my wife a Leading Edge PC with a Silver Reed daisy wheel printer when she enrolled in graduate school in 1985. It was loaded, it came with the full 640KB of memory, dual floppy disk drives, a Hercules compatible graphics card, and a hi-res monochrome monitor, all for only $2800.
The Texas Instrument mini-computers I was working with had five megabyte Winchester disks the size of record players. Yes, you could buy one, I suppose, if you were made of money. The last hard disk I bought holds 250GB and cost less than $100. That's 25,000 times the capacity for 1/34th of the money, or 1/200th of the money if you allow for inflation. That's like a five million to one increase in storage capacity per dollar in less than 30 years. Mass production is wonderful, isn't it?
Picture from Fail Desk via Scott.