Thursday, March 09, 2006

Amazing Technology

Technology amazes me. My first computer didn't have a hard drive. It took up the entire desk and weighed a ton (and it was small compared to its contemporaries).

My first hard drive was external and held 20 or 30 MB. I never imagined filling up all that space. Compared to our currently technology this is laughable, especially when you look at the size of the case. Talk about big and clunky!

My laptop PowerBook G4 weighs less than 5 pounds and does everything a desktop computer can, plus it's wireless. It holds 2,000 times as much data as my first hard drive.

My Lexar Jump Drive Pro holds a gigabyte. It's the size of my thumb and holds 50 times more data than my first hard drive!

My 4GB iPod Nano holds over 200 times more data than my first hard drive!

I use my laptop, jump drive, and iPod daily and I am still amazed. If computer technology has advanced this much in the last 20 years, what does the future hold? I can hardly wait to see. Maybe I will live to see Star Trek type computers. Scotty, beam me up!


Math and computer geeks can skip this section; it is for the mathematically impaired (like me). I had to ask two different people to calculate the comparison of my first hard drive to my current technology. LOL.

How the heck are gigs (GB), megs (MB), etc. measured? Here's a quick reference from greatest to least:

Gigabyte = 1 billion bytes, or 1024 MB.
Most hard drives are now measured in GBs.

Megabyte = 1 million bytes, or 1024 KB
According to Wikipedia, a megabyte of data can roughly hold:
* one larger book (excluding images)
* one "typical" sized photograph with reasonably good quality
* a hundred small images
* roughly a minute of compressed music

For comparison: A CD holds 700 MB of data or 80 min. of uncompressed music

Kilobyte = 1024 bytes
This is how much a 3" floppy disk holds.

Byte = 8 bits. Standard unit of measure for computer storage space.

Bit = binary digits

Binary digits (or binary code) are the magic combination ones and zeros that make your computer work.


Jim said...

It's interesting that one MB could hold either the text of a large book or a single quality photograph. So one picture is worth a 100,000 words?

The Cat Bastet said...

Good one, Jim!