Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Got Nuttin' Today....

Just been tinkering on yet another ( ! ) laptop for my friend's animal rescue place.

This one had a hard-disk that was on it's way out, so I ran to Best Buy yesterday to grab a new drive, and now it's finishing up all the Windoze Updates.

I bought a 500 GB Seagate drive for FIFTY BUCKS....think about that a second.

The first brand-new hard drive I ever bought was in December of 1996. Fry's Electronics was having an after Christmas sale, and I bought a Western Digital 1.6 GB drive for TWO HUNDRED BUCKS.

And that was a very good price at the time.

So, what this means is that the drive I bought has over two-hundred and fifty times the capacity for one-quarter of the price.

In other words, the "raw" price-per-bit has dropped by a factor of one thousand in the twenty years since I bought that first drive.

And the reliability and performance have increased by a great margin, too.

I haven't bought any memory lately, but the first memory I ever bought was sometime in 1995 for my son's first computer.

I paid $35 per MEGABYTE for it.

4 meg of memory cost me about $150 out the door back then, and IIRC it wasn't even EDO (Extended Data Output) memory, just "regular" FPM, or "Fast Page Memory".

Today, 4 GIG of memory is about $25 at Newegg, or  greater than FOUR THOUSAND times cheaper.

And it's much faster memory, to boot.

I'm not sure if this makes me feel old or not......


  1. My first PC was a turbo XT clone, clocking (once you pressed the "turbo" button) at two megahertz. And with that blistering speed came a 40 megabyte hard drive, a 5 1/4" floppy drive, and an amber-on-black CGA CRT. I think we paid around $300 for the thing, back around 1990. We thought it was magic. :) And yeah, I do feel old, now that you mention it.

  2. Those things were like $1500~$1800 when they were new in the 1980's!

    One of the guys I work with on the Iowa remembers his first new hard drive. It was 30 meg, and cost $900, and then you had to cough up another $200 or so for the controller card.

  3. My 1st PC, I think 1988, was an XT. I went with a Hercules video card, because CGA just sucked so badly on resolution. I kitted that thing out with the full 640KB, and a 3.5" floppy, in addition to the 10MB drive and 5.25" floppy. The whole package was over $2000 -- I think $2300. Replacing the 8088 with a Nec V20 was significant performance increase. IIRC, the Turbo switch got me 10MHz. Fun times.

    I just recently upgraded my old Core2-Duo system. New mobo, i3 CPU, and 8GB ram, for $200 and change.

    Did you see the latest 2TB thumb drive?

    Yeah, starting to feel a little old.

    1. A 2 TB thumb drive......it boggles my mind!

  4. Haha. We were on Okinawa in the late 80s, early 90s. I remember when the hard drives were external and if you could afford a 25 MEGABYTE drive, you were doing good. And it was probably used at that! And it was a big, blocky drive. I seem to recall the first external ones were all mostly 10 megs.

    In Nebraska, mid 80s, Commodore 64. TRS-80. I don't remember what the IBMs were. Commodore 64 used a cassette tape. Oh, can't forget ATARI with the PONG game!
    Our first screens were the green screens. Except for the Atari on the tv which used black and white!

    I remember the XT clone. I LOVED my Commodore SX-64. The transportable, 25 pound computer, I think it was? With it's little 5 inch COLOR screen built in! Computer, keyboard, 5 1/4 inch floppy AND the 3 and a half inch hard disk drive, a complete unit! The keyboard unlatched from the console- it protected the screen and drives when closed; and connected by cord. Used it the whole year my tour in Korea, and the 4 or 5 years on Okinawa. I sold it before we rotated back and I wish I still had it.

    1. I still have and use my Commodore 128. For what I use it for, it works perfectly.

      I had my original Comofore 64 until a few months ago. I had been damaged in my move here from my apartment, and my wife was constantly harping on me to throw it away, so it wound up in the dumpster.

      I kept the power supply, though. It went for $65 on eBay!

    2. Nice on getting a little extra money! Sorry you lost the computer in the move. They are finicky about that sort of thing.

  5. You should have seen the pricing in 1986.....let us not discuss computation!l horsepower either. Or modem speeds. Or network speeds......

  6. One of the guys I volunteer with on the Iowa told me he paid $900 for a 10 MEG disk back then, and had to buy a $300 controller card to use it in his PC.


Keep it civil, please....