Andrew Ducker (andrewducker) wrote,
Andrew Ducker

Technology of the Future - Today!

I remember being amazed when you could first buy a desktop PC for under a thousand pounds. This would have been in 1998, or so. There was discussion of it amongst the people at work, amazement that you could buy something which might be a bit rubbish but would still allow you to do some word processing, play some Quake 2*, surf the web on our awesome dial-up modems, etc.

I would have been blown away to discover that in the far-flung future star-date of 2014 you'd be able to get a desktop PC for £100.

Moore's Law, of course, does its work. Your computer power per pound pretty-much halves each year.** But then this machine, although pitiful by modern standards, would wipe the floor with anything from back then. 2GB of RAM, and 160GB of hard disk space sounds rather rubbish to me now, but back then I'd have killed for anything even close to that spec.

I don't quite want one of these. If it came in a box small enough to fit under the TV and was completely silent then it would probably make a great media PC, but I'm more impressed by their existence than anything else***.

*Unaccelerated, of course. You weren't going to get a 3dfx card for that!
**Give or take. We get more cores nowadays, which is harder to put to full work. And the frequency wars ended up some time ago, but the number of instructions per clock tick has gone up, I believe, if not quite as fast as we'd all like.
***They're mostly in demand in places like Africa, South America and Central Asia, according to this.

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