Computing from 1976

ben bfranchuk at
Sat Dec 30 18:01:19 CST 2017

On 12/30/2017 3:55 PM, Fred Cisin via cctalk wrote:
> On Sat, 30 Dec 2017, Murray McCullough via cctalk wrote:
>> I was perusing my old computer magazine collection the other day and
>> came across an article entitled: “Fast-Growing new hobby, Real
>> Computers you assemble yourself”, Dec. 1976. It was about MITS,
>> Sphere, IMSAI and SWT. 4K memory was $500. Yikes! Even more here in
>> Canada. Now this is true Classic Computing. Have a Happy New Year
>> everyone. May the computing gods shine down on us all in 2018.
>> Happy computing.  Murray  :)

A good site for what was in the 1975-1980 era.
Yes you could get 16kb in 1976 is if you looked hard.

> OK, a little arithmetic exercise for you.
> (a 16C is nice for this, but hardly necessary)

I can  add, I have 10 toes. :)

> "Moore's Law", which was a prediction, not a "LAW", has often been 
> mis-stated as predicting a doubling of speed/capacity every 18 months.

> 1) Figure out how many 18 month invtervals since then, and what 4k 
> "should' have morphed into by now.

4K x 64 bit ram?

> 2) What did Gordon Moore actually say in 1965?
> 3) How much is $500 of 1976 money worth now?

Other than the 6502 and friends $500+ was and still is the price for the
cutting edge cpu.

> 4) Consider how long it took to use a text editor to make a grocery 
> shopping list in 1976.  How long does it take today?
> Does having the grocery list consist of pictures instead of words, with 
> audio commentary, and maybe Smell-O-Vision (coming soon), improve the 
> quality of life?  

I Smell-O-Vision all the time. Sniff Sniff , time to buy new veggies,
new meat and wash my socks.

  How much does it help to be able to contact your
> refrigeratior and query its knowledge of its contents?

I find I want use computers less , 5+ minutes to boot something that 
then needs to check the net. I use a all valve audio system and tubes 
are warmed up and ready to go before my music app exits the splash screen.

The real problem back the, was the lack of REAL disk I/O, with the high 
price of 8 inch floppy drives and media.


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