Friday, April 16, 2010

Now that's a lot of memory?

""Mike, you are best friend I ever had."
"That is not a joke, Man?"
"No joke. Truth."
"I am-- Correction: I am honored and pleased. You are my best friend, Man, for you are my only friend. No comparison is logically permissible."
"Going to see that you have other friends. Not-stupids, I mean. Mike? Got an empty memory bank?"
"Yes, Man. Ten-to-the-eighth-bits capacity.""

-excerpt from The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Robert Heinlein

I was reading this and it reminded me how old this title really is. My favorite author is most assuredly Robert Heinlein, but every time I read one of his books or short stories, they rarely come across as dated to me - but this little tidbit jumped out at me.

Ten to the Eighth bits is 10x10x10x10x10x10x10 = 100,000,000 bits.

100,000,000 bits divided by 8 = 12,500,000 bytes.

12,500,000 bytes divided by 1,000 = 12,500 Kilobytes.

12,500 Kilobytes divided by 1,000 = 12.5 Megabytes.

This was in reference to the memory available to a computer which in the book was not only running every system in Luna City and other Warrens on the moon, but was also Self-aware!

12.5 Megabytes today is a joke. Which goes to show - even science fiction sometimes doesn't stretch things far enough!