Saturday, November 10, 2012

Great big computer thingies

Way back when, during one of my other lifetimes... Incidentally, I am not sure that I believe in previous lifetimes, except those that I have lived over the past 55 years or so. Anyway, way back when – it was the mid-seventies – I actually studied computing at the University of Adelaide. Yes, kiddies, they did have computers back in 1975. Ok, the computer with which I had to work seemed to fill the entire ground floor of the building. Yes it’s true that, in order to run a very basic program, it was necessary to use a special typing machine thingy, to type holes in special card thingies. And so what if we did have to wait three days for the results of our program, printed out on what could usefully serve as toilet paper for giants. Did it bother us that it was only then that we could see where our inevitable error occurred, and that we would have to correct our cards, run the whole thing again, and wait another three days? All this in order to calculate the square root of some number or other. Well, yes, it did bother us actually; but we had no choice.

When you complain, as some people do, that your Samsung or Nokia smart thingummy is just too big and bulky, bear in mind that it probably has 10,000 times (that’s a nice biggish number that I just plucked out of the air, where it hovered enticingly before me) the processing power of that basement-sized behemoth at the University of Adelaide in 1975. Try carrying THAT around in you handbag (or manbag, if you prefer).

Borrowed from:

And don’t get me started on........

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