2017-07-24 23:58:03 UTC
This summer marks forty years since I first started using personal
computers,beginning with a Processor Technology Sol-20.As an S-100
architecture machine,the 8-bit Sol had a 64K memory limit,and offered
8- and 16-kilobyte expansion cards to build up to that level,which cost
$529 each for the 16K.
Today I took delivery of a new disk drive because one of the current
ones on my computer has been acting up...it cost about half as much
as those old memory cards,and that it includes eight thousand times
as much memory (i.e. a 128-megabyte RAM cache) is a minor incidental
feature that scarcely registers in the purchase price.
For those who wanted to move beyond loading software and languages into
the Sol's memory from audio cassettes whenever starting it up,we were
able to get single-sided,single-density,hard-sectored 5.25" floppy disk
drives ("diskettes",to pedants,since the more expensive 8" floppy disk
units from Sol itself were supposed to be the future but never caught on).
Each disk(ette) had a 90K capacity and files had to be created with
fixed sizes before they were filled (The disk operating system also
had to be loaded at start-up as an add-on to the basic "personality
The disk I got today can hold more data than sixty million of those
The World Trade Center towers MUST rise again,
at least as tall as before...or terror has triumphed.