January 12, 2017
Moore's law illustrated (II)
From PC Magazine in the early 1980s. Remember, these are kilo-bytes, one K being equal to 1024 bytes.
At the above prices, adjusted for inflation, 4 GB (giga-bytes) of RAM in 1982 would cost 22 million dollars and the memory card would be bigger than a regulation basketball court. Today 4 GB costs twenty bucks and is about the size of your thumb. Moore's law in action.
Thanks to giant magnetoresistance technology (GMR), which won its inventors the 2007 Nobel Prize in Physics, the price/performance curve of hard disks has been no less staggering (also called Kryder's law).
Back in 1982, a 5 MB (mega-bytes) hard disk cost $1995. Accounting for inflation, $1995 compounds to $4975 in 2016 dollars. By comparison, a 500 GB hard disk today goes for one percent of the price, holds 100,000 times as much data, and is at least 1000 times faster.
As slow as those old 8088 and 80286 CPUs were, they often weren't slow enough. Back in the day, a figure you always checked on a computer's spec sheet was its wait states. That is, how long the CPU just sat there twiddling its thumbs waiting for other stuff to get done.
Moore's law illustrated (I)
The accidental standard
MS-DOS at 30