I just had a son!

Posted: June 23, 2014 in Uncategorized

Something that I never before dreamt would ever happen to me, has happened. I’ve had a son! My wife Joy gave birth to our son Joshua on the 7th of May, after a very long labour, which saw us both completely exhausted by the end.

He’s gorgeous and I think of him every second I’m awake, and then even in my sleep.

Obviously, sticking to the nature of this blog, I have to put a few geek related thoughts to all this.

The first thought really is looking at how far computing has advanced since I was born to when Joshua has been born is remarkable. When I was born, it was 1980. The home computer at the time was the Spectrum ZX 80, it was a 3 mhz machine with 1 kb of RAM and no storage. Now, the average home computer you buy has 8gb of RAM, an 8 million times increase! A quad core 3 ghz processor, 12 thousand times increase! Not including additional support processors like GPUs, sound cards and math co-processors! In 1980, the way to store programs at home was on tape cassette, which allowed for maybe 200kb on each side of the tape, today we have home computers with 2tb hard disks, this is a “10 million” times increase in storage! And obviously the access speed is much faster too.

Graphics wise, in 1980 we had games like battlezone, asteroids, and I think maybe tempest and pacman. Now we have games like Forza, Elite Dangerous, World of Warcraft, and Grand Theft Auto 5.

Other than those figures, network speed has gone from simple 2400 baud modems to 100mbit cable connections and even 1gig connections in some towns in South Korea and the US. 2400  baud is about 2.4k/sec 100mbit is approx 50,000 time faster.

So let’s project forward, let’s even assume that the number won’t increase as much and bring it back a little, so lets assume 1/4 of the increase in numbers by the time Joshua is 20 years old.

Speed: 12,000×1/4 = 3000x increase = quad 9terrahertz processors

Memory: 8 millionx1/4 = 2 million times increase = 8gb x 2million = 16 petabytes (petabyte = 1 million gigabytes)

Network speed = 100mbit x 12,000 = 1.2 terrabit connections at the lowest latency possible

Graphics = Real life quality

 

The only thing that’s not really changed much is the input and output methods. Most people today, still enter information into a computer using a keyboard and view information on a flat 2D monitor. Even the mouse hasn’t really changed over the last 30 years. It’s disappointing, but with the surge in interest in Virtual reality systems this last few years, this will hopefully change.

The book, “Ready player one” talks about a future where school children use virtual reality to go to school and learn subjects in virtual environments. this is the future I hope Josh will experience, his science lessons will be amazing, photo realistic graphics exploring the universe down to the depths of the Earth. He experience history by virtually visiting historical events and watching them like he was there. He’ll be able to visit friends where ever they are in the world, feel like they are in the same room and even shake hands with each other! Whether this will be by using a headset or a neural interface I don’t know, but it’s coming.

I’ve got to say, I’m sort of jealous of the world Joshua’s been born into, tech wise. I can’t imagine the way things will develop beyond what we currently have in science fiction, but my dreams of virtual reality helmets and video conferencing will seem stone age to him.

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