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Showing posts from July, 2008

Moore's Law and me

Arthur C. Clarke once opined, "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." I'm sitting here with a day-old   iPhone 3G .  Twenty years ago, I was sitting in front of a Commodore 64.  I paid about as much for the iPhone now as the 64 cost then (although adjusting for inflation, this probably means the phone was cheaper).  The iPhone weighs one-fifteenth as much as the C=64 keyboard (not counting disk drives, monitor, etc).  It has higher resolution (480x320 to the 64's 320x200), displays somewhere between four thousand and one million times as many colors as the 64, comes with internal memory equal to a 64 and about ten million 3.5" floppies for the C-1581 3.5" drive, is 600 times faster, has noticeably superior audio (okay, that's a huge understatement) and oh yeah, communicates at crazy-fast speeds compared to the modems available for the 64. Oh, and it's also a phone, and a music player, and a video player..

Apparently I've been slightly dead for several years.

I went to the post office last night and emptied the jam-packed mailbox.  Among the envelopes was one from the company my life insurance is with... containing a check! Hmmm... life insurance companies are supposed to send a check when you  die ... did I miss something? It turned out that seven years ago, I split a policy into two separate ones (a big term one and a small whole life one, for the curious), and when they set up the new policy, reducing the value of the larger existing policy, they forgot to reduce the corresponding monthly premium. So for seven years, they were accidentally taking out a couple extra bucks each month. They recently did an audit, and said "whoops!"  So they sent me a letter apologizing, with a check. And they didn't say anything about me  actually  being dead.   Whew .