Sunday, July 13, 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... all told, I think this replaces about 30 pounds of 1980s technology.  It must be magic.

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