My very first computer was the Timex Sinclair. As a kid, I was amazed by the fact that I could write little instructions on this thing and have it actually do something on the screen. It wasn’t a great computer. It didn’t have a real keyboard and the memory would completely wipe when you turned it off. You had to save programs using a tape recorder or write them down by hand and then retype the whole program each time you turned on the machine. Oh, and it had this annoying habit of power-cycling if you happened to bump it too hard. So there was a lot of typing involved.

Then my dad got an IBM PC XT. This thing was state of the art at the time. I think ours had 20MB of hard drive space and the CPU ran at a blistering (for the time) 6MHz. Compared to the Sinclair, it was a powerhouse. Just the fact that it had a hard drive and a real keyboard with working keys was a huge win.

Now, I’ve got an iPhone. The gap between this device and those first computers is absurd. It’s got hundreds of times as much memory and is hundreds of times faster. And this thing fits in my hand! And yet, for all the progress that’s been made, I find myself thinking the same thing for each of my computers: “I wish it ran a little bit faster…”

3 Responses to “Progress”

  1. Bevz Says:

    Your first paragraph brought back some great memories of my own early days with computers! As well as an iphone I also have a macpro and yes, both could do with being a “little bit faster” 😉

  2. NinjaHERO Says:

    I remember when my dad bought his 8086. The guy at the store told us we would never be able to fill up the hard drive, 32 MBs of space. Those were the days. DOS, you were a harsh mistress. C:\dir…….

    Looking at the specs on the Iphone now just makes me laugh. We have come so far, but we still has so much farther to go. Come on AIs

  3. Mach Says:

    As fast as computers have gotten, I think I only really appreciate it when I compare it to how slow they were before. So when my apps run slow, I like to consider what it would have been like to write something like that on one of my old computers. I think Mach Dice would have run about 1 frame per hour.