Weekly Classic Computer Trivia Question (20141205)

Noel Chiappa jnc at mercury.lcs.mit.edu
Sat Dec 6 20:55:29 CST 2014

    > From: Jerome H. Fine

    > I would point out that one reason that memory may have stayed with 2 **
    > 30 is that memory is usually produced and sold in multiples of 2 ** 30
    > these days

Main memory has pretty much _always_ been sold in blocks that were exact
powers of two, for obvious reasons (at least, powers of two of the word size
of the machine in question)...

(Although occasionally, back when, one used to see things that were 1.5 times
a power of two, e.g. on a 16-bit machine, 12KB, 96KB, etc - physical and cost
constraints tended to produce those. I don't recall the last time I saw
something that wasn't a power of two - probably those 96KB jobs.)

With disk drives, on the other hand, one can get all sorts of arbitrary sizes,
produced by the number of cylinders, numbers of heads, etc, etc.


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