I just finished reading the fabulously nerdy Ready Player One, a book that celebrates the early days of computing. This set me to thinking about all the computers I’ve ever owned and how they’ve changed over the years. Thanks to wikipedia I was able to quickly put together a list.
What struck me most was just how much faster and better computers have gotten in such a short amount of time. Because I’m a nerd, I decided to make a visualization showing the progress. I used RAM as the yardstick because it’s pretty much the only easy constant to measure: processor speed is hard to compare, I have no idea how much hard disk storage there was in each machine, and there is a mix of laptops and desktops so size is out. The results shouldn’t surprise me, but it still did. It’s an object lesson in Moore’s Law. Every computer I have ever owned has more RAM than all the previous computers put together. If car performance had improved like this since the 80′s I’d be driving a million miles a gallon now. Thanks to XKCD for the inspiration for this visualization!
Click to enbiggen!