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30 old pc ads that will blow your processor

Discussion in 'Political Discussion' started by patsfan13, Nov 10, 2011.

  1. patsfan13

    patsfan13 Hall of Fame Poster PatsFans.com Supporter

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  2. Patters

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    That's hilarious. I can store four photos from my camera for less than $12,000!
  3. patsfan13

    patsfan13 Hall of Fame Poster PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I remember lugging the Fujitsu 480 MB Eagle drives around they were 20k a pop in the mid 80's..... bundled with a Sun workstation you were look at 100k+

    :D
  4. The Brandon Five

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    Thank God the government passed laws requiring the cost of storage to come down. I mean, where we would we be now without that?
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  5. Patters

    Patters Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Yeah, Al Gore never would have had a chance to invent the internet if it wasn't for those laws.
  6. IcyPatriot

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  7. cupofjoe1962

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    I started working on a old RCA computer that filled about 1,000, sf and
    had 256k of memory.

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  8. wistahpatsfan

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    In high school, our science teacher brought in his brand new TRS-80 with 4k storage. We all thought he was a dork and a bit crazy. We learned about the binary system and wrote some crude programs. Played a lot of pong. It was another dozen years before I touched another computer.

    [​IMG]
  9. PatsFanInVa

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    My dad, who died in the 70s, worked on the/an ENIAC - yes, vacuum tubes.

    In high school, a rich guy left our town's school system "the computer." So you could go in "the computer room" and putz around in BASIC. There was one "monitor" where you could see motion (we called it the CRT, i.e., cathode ray tube... i.e., monitor.) We had dumb terminals and you had to work looking at the little printout on paper coming out to see what you were doing. I don't remember whether there were monitors that only showed text... maybe. It's running together w/subsequent memories.

    I pissed off my high school for writing a software program that predictably said to bet the Cowboys to cover the spread against the Broncos that year. They thought it was this incredible magic thing that "I got the computer to know the right answer," but of course it was a function of a bunch of stats and simple (and way too simplistic) formulae, getting a flip of the coin right, basically.

    The school was mad because other parents were mad they were promoting gambling.
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  10. patsfan13

    patsfan13 Hall of Fame Poster PatsFans.com Supporter

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    My first work was as a test engineer for the E&S PS2 system:

    [​IMG]


    It was a terminal and used a PDP 11 as a host:

    [​IMG]


    The graphic inputs for the system were really well thought out. They had a tablet, joystick, programmable function keys and a set of dials for manipulating 3d objects. Very advanced for the time.

    The graphics were vector lines.
  11. Wolfpack

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    Here's Harry Boy's first computer. It cost him $22,000.

    [​IMG]
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  12. PatsFanInVa

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    That was the i-bacus. You could buy a competitor with counters that were plain wood and not rounded for 10K, but, well, you know, that wouldn't be the same.
  13. PatsWSB47

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    I laughed out loud:singing:
  14. Michael

    Michael Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    In the 80s I worked on a Genigraphics workstation.

    [​IMG]

    It was built around a DEC PDP11. It used those 300 MB hard drives in your op. They looked like cake dishes. The best part was you refreshed the screen by hitting a button. It took so long to redraw you would work for 5-10 minutes just remembering where things were. And it was about a 10 step process just to rotate something. Macs just made it all to easy. :D
  15. patsfan13

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    What type of graphic apps were you doing?


    I used to know how to boot the PDP using the switches for the boot commands into the registers :)


    Most of out stuff was sold through Grumman Data Systems for design CAE work to Grumman Boeing and the like for aircraft design.
  16. PatsFanInVa

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    Glad you liked it... but that model got fried by the Y1K bug :(
  17. PatriotsReign

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    I got you all beat...in the 80's I worked on the Illudium Q-36 Explosive Space Modulator....

    I'm still waiting for the "Ka-Boom"...there was suposed to be an earth-shattering kaboom!!

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  18. PatsFanInVa

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    Here's something that's not meant to be about anybody posting here, but it's an interesting perspective that sort of got "stirred up" by seeing the pics of the actual people here at their early workstations.

    Okay we were all around when the state of the art was definitely here, but with some competition, in the whole tech arena.

    Now we're in a situation where code-writers say they can't make a living here - that there are some jobs still left here, but that increasingly those jobs get done elsewhere, or by people from elsewhere working here, at a comparatively low wage (contrasted, within a single career,) with a situation where the sky was the limit in terms of prosperity if you were an engineer coming out of school.

    My reaction to the pictures is a lot like I feel when I see pictures of auto-workers in the heyday of detroit, many decades ago. Everything looks very solid, very immutable... I expect the story to be that the machines change, but that the U.S. worker in the picture will be doing something more advanced to get to a future where the jobs are, of course, the "future" of American jobs.

    I'll stop there. I don't want to get all "analytical" about it and just have the same old arguments... I imagine we'll just have them anyway, but it's just an interesting instant emotional reaction to the nostalgic pics here.
  19. patsfan13

    patsfan13 Hall of Fame Poster PatsFans.com Supporter

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    There was a book I remember about that called "Crossing the Chasm"

    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0060517123/mikeleeorg-20


    It brought up a couple of points, things that were specialized (high value added) products over time transition to commodity product so the innovation required to produce them is reduced. This of course also reduces prices and increases value to consumers.

    A lot of tasks that required programmers can now be done by end users. I worked for a company that sold graphics software for scientist, it was Fortran libraries that sold for tens of thousands of dollars and required that you create each program to display scientific data. They sold another program that allowed you to take data from a DEC VAX minicomputer (cost ~1000k +) and make line and bar charts. It could cost up to 250k to run on a VAX cluster. Now Mathematica and Charting built into MS Excel of the Open Office can do far more without any programmers needed. Same with creating user interfaces web pages ect.

    Data that could take a year to format and present can be done in hours and at a cost that is lower by a factor of 1k.....

    Now 1 year olds can play with computers (iPad).

    Technology is and has always been a process of creative destruction.

    The downside is that the salesmen don't make 200k a year selling the stuff.
  20. PatsFanInVa

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    One interesting implication, let's stay way way at the forest level:

    You have a level of innovation, that level of innovation drives some employment, then the task is again progressively automated. Now office drones can make charts with Excel, where a long time ago, you needed a guy on a million dollar machine to make them.

    Okay cool. That's good. All the things we want cost less, because machines essentially do more of the work every day.

    Yet (of course) we get money to buy these wonderful new cheap things from doing work.

    Leaving aside tasks that have repeatedly resisted automation to that extent -- say, unclogging individuals' toilets and the like -- where does the work come from, eventually?

    I know, luddite perspective. The pat answer is, well, we invent more stuff. So there will always be a leading edge of tech workers, who can make it to tech management in their niche, before being completely obsolete and being spit out by the machine.

    Outside that cadre with the currently in vogue skill, we'll continue to have comparatively undesireable labor -

    We'll always need communicators.

    Right now we need a lot of skilled medical care workers (but watch out, when boomers are dying -- there will be a glut.)

    We always need a small number at the forefront of tech, which, by its nature, winnows the top tier starting with the moment they do something well.

    Then there's the clogged toilets. Maybe cabs (don't count on it,) maybe restaurant workers (also sort of depends, but a decent bet.)

    Outside of that, it's way more of a crap shoot than we acknowledge.

    Even assuming that the constantly forecast death by peak oil doesn't come to pass, what are the 1-year-olds working i-Pads going to make?

    Is there, in fact, a built-in engine of unemployment that's more powerful than the engine of employment represented by innovation?

    Perspectives?

    PFnV
  21. patsfan13

    patsfan13 Hall of Fame Poster PatsFans.com Supporter

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    The same thing happened from when everything was handmade by artisians and we moved to industrial production, or when crop production went from picking wild plants to cultivation to cultivation using animals to mechanized production of crops using machines.

    The future will depend on demographics, energy and innovations that we don't know about yet.

    The other question is how much of societies efforts will focus on production by the private sector as opposed to the overhead (ie government).
  22. PatsFanInVa

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    Sort of my point, 13.

    What was the length of the day each peasant or slave worked before mechanized agriculture? What proportion of the workforce worked in agriculture?

    The difference is that Capitalism, unlike Feudalism, very quickly eliminates the unneeded hours and of course, the pay for same. If the local vassal had more peasants than land to til, I think his best move was to conscript a few and try to grab more land. Or, if he were really machiavellian, he might pull a proto-Stalin, skim the most he could from the top, leave the rank and file with bare starvation rations to themselves, and wait for the first slight "downturn" (i.e., bad harvest,) to create a famine.

    Now there's no denying that our present material state of affairs is better than that. However, the increasing pace of technological change is different from and faster than that of the mechanization of agriculture.

    The idea is you have to do an hour of work to get an hour's pay. Rapidly evolving tech means you are less and less capable of finding that hour's work.

    So you can say that with companies trying to use a strict hourly pay/no benes model, we're casting off the last vestiges of Feudalism: everybody does a "contract" for whatever amount of time they get work for. That's the effect of outsourcing, off-shoring, even use of temps rather than employees. "Lean and mean" as they say.

    This is what the employer should do, absent any incentive to do otherwise. You and I disagree on whether there should be any such incentives, but that's another story.

    The real question is, from the bird's-eye view, let's say the amount of work that needs to be done turns out to be 1 hour per day per employee (or an 8-hour day from an eighth of the population.)

    The outcome in the global system we have now would be that 7 our of 8 would-be employees is reduced to destitute poverty, Dems say give them some gruel, Republicans say we can't afford to give lazy people gruel. Same old same old. (no fair saying "no, Republicans say there will be more jobs and suddenly there will be.")

    Think of your example. Is it a stretch to think that the agricultural peasantry worked a 12-hour day on average? Well, thanks to labor unions, we now have 8-hour days -- yet we do make enough in that 8 hours to do better than the peasant, because the peasant's labor hadn't been commoditized -- you worked until everything was done.

    So what happens if that 8 becomes 1?

    For now, we can say when the pay and standard of living levels settle, we will compete more effectively, and Asian markets present a few billion people who still need all the basic goods of modern life.

    Then what?

    One thing you start doing when you get a higher standard of living is breed fewer future "consumption units." The infinite growth paradigm, across societies, tends to crumble when it runs across the need to college-educate each "consumer" born.

    In other words, thus far, a modern standard of living seems to be very much in cahoots with slower population growth. I know you think this is bad and I think this is good. Regardless, it is fact.

    Tech does more work, and fewer consumers are born; technology outpaces reproduction, essentially.

    In this scenario, the question is not "what is the next technology we will develop," but "what is the next socioeconomic system we will create, after Capitalism?"

    PFnV
  23. patsfan13

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    Your post assumes a static linear effect for technology, this is wrong IMO. So the conclusions that flow from it are wrong.

    There certainly is room for more enterprises to grow the output per worker, the roles that workers play will certainly change, but the amount of work can increase.

    Since I am a conservative/libertarian I don't know about republicans and gruel. I do however have an opinion on the amount of overhead this is desirable. From my POV what we have seen is centralized socialized models undermining the traditional role of the family and consuming/destroying a lot of the bounty created by the recent technical revolution. So from my POV the policies you advocate have led to the current problems by consuming capital that would create more enterprises/job/wealth.


    The demographic/energy issues are of course the other major players. I think government has played a rather malignant role in each case. That is well outside the scope of this thread.

    So we can agree to disagree.
  24. PatsFanInVa

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    Precisely the opposite; I assume a continued acceleration of the pace of technological change as regards automation. This yields a faster and faster obsolescence of each cadre of trained worker.

    We're talking in generalities. Can it? Leaving aside the effect of wandering corporate hiring strategies, we're dependent on new markets -- as has always been the story in Capitalism. We're okay, in terms of a world labor demand... though not in the U.S.

    The growth of markets will be in Asia - time will tell whether we compete for those new markets. It's not birth-rate that's driving it; it's pre-existing population living without many modern conveniences. China's stabilized its population at about 3 1/2 times ours, I believe. But they've got anemic consumption, and total production on the order of ours (but still less, at this writing.) So there's huge room for growth. But it's not because the population is growing. Indeed, as a society becomes more likely to require advanced education, and as a society's women take roles other than those in agrarian economies, birthrates reliably decline.

    Yes, of course. I did stipulate that we differ on everything from the get-go. Yet I do not see a great lack of capital to create more enterprises/jobs/wealth. I see very wealthy corporate concerns that are much more interested in profit-taking than patient capitalization of business.

    Oh yeah, definitely. Hell, we're grown-ups. However, the earth does in fact have only so much bounty to surrender. We disagree on this too. Various estimates of carrying capacity will be reached at various times, however. At some point, the wheels come off just in terms of resource consumption. Hell, the water wars have started already, and will become more pronounced in our lifetimes. So clearly at that point, continuing to make bigger and bigger age cohorts won't be the answer. And we're starting to see now just what happens when an explosive growth period has to be supported in their dotage.

    I am interested, however, in whether or not you believe that the non-agrarian urban/suburban lifestyle is as conducive to large families as the agrarian lifestyle -- or whether they tend to atomize the family.

    PFnV
  25. patsfan13

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    So if a factory is 'totally' automated by robots, what jobs are required?


    Instead of say 2,000 people doing assembly line work you need 30 people to program the robots/CNC tools and then 20 people to repair them. The other people are freed up to staff other enterprises.


    E-MC^2 says we have unlimited energy here. The issue is how to tap that relationship.

    That is an engineering problem.

    The energy density of wind BTW is not going to solve any problems and will kill a lot of birds in the process harming the environment in the process.

    Fusion of something like Rossi's Ecat technology (if it works out) is a solution.
  26. The Brandon Five

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  27. patsfan13

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    Interesting article with links on pros and cons of IT ans how it affects the workplace:

    Does information technology destroy or create jobs? Debate heats up


    Does information technology destroy or create jobs? Debate heats up | SmartPlanet


    BTW I had read about this a few years ago expert systems that can be run by physician assistants that can diagnosis illness's better and faster than most doctors and can incorporate new information. The AMA will probably not like this but it could save a lot of money allowing people to focus on the correct test to verify diagnosis and freeing up the time of MD's.

    EasyDiagnosis online diagnosis of medical symptoms with expert system


    Medical software - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


    Lots of smart people working on very innovative projects.
  28. PatsFanInVa

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    Reducto ad absurdum suggested by the 2000 factory workers replaced by 20 on the tech and repair end:

    As you're pointing out, a lot of work can be eliminated through automation (the medical "arts," for example, are a mix of intuitive leaps and very categorized rote memorization; the second part can be handled by the machine, and we just have to trust that we can attract more intuitive PAs, right?) In any event, let's examine the extreme example, for the sake of argument, then parse the details of the pace of automation. Let's also set aside our energy fears (as you have done a priori by appeal to the lack of an ultimate technological barrier to conversion of matter to energy.)

    Under our current system, close to full unemployment would result from the extension of automation of as many tasks as possible.

    We would have work "haves" and work "have nots." The very few "haves" would enjoy a social status about that of medieval nobility. Using your example above, you'd have one in a hundred people working, and 99% unemployment. (i.e., just going by a 20 people instead of 2000 ratio.)

    Now, we will have newly emerging fields. So let's say the "ultimate" state is 90% unemployment, for a mere 10:1 ratio.

    Once again, even at that, in our lifetimes we are probably talking about an extreme case and an unlikely one. This is more about the end state of a tech-driven society.

    But looking at that extreme case, how does it coexist with a system in which you have the means to consume based on willingness and ability to work?

    How does this dovetail with your thoughts of a more "traditional" and "family based" society? Would you have one technologist responsible to get a job, with the rest of the family, from grandparents down through parents, getting an allowance from the 22-year-old recent grad?

    Our scenario suggests the peak earning years shift back to far earlier in a career on average.

    Our future scenario is you go to school, and if it's a good school it's defined not by tradition, history, well-roundedness, blah blah blah, but by currentness with what's going on in tech right now. The very best school -- the Harvard of the future -- will be defined by learning how to incorporate new tech knowledge in a lifelong way.

    For most, skills erode until they can't be shored up. You make management earlier, you become useless earlier. You make hay while the sun shines, and the next crop of recent grads provide the best bang for the tech buck at the entry level.

    Meanwhile the 90% without tech work -- whether because they're surplus based on the numbers, or based on their antiquity -- do not earn any coin the traditional way. In your reactionary system, even while all earning, responsibility, and decision-making is vested in the family's young adults, we make certain the elderly and middle-aged are entrusted solely in the hands of the youth (since any social safety net is overhead.)

    That's an end-state, with a sort of tribalism taking over for our current understanding, but with family elders supplanted by those with no lifelong learning, the youngest adults in the family.

    The other alternatives if you have 10% employment would be 1/10th of the work for a similar workforce to that of the present.

    In either example, clearly, since there is much less work than there is skill to achieve that work, you have a deteriorating condition because labor markets worldwide would be entirely out of kilter.

    Concentrate that labor and therefore wealth, and the 10% are able to educate their youngest, and perpetuate their standing. The barrier between the 10% and the 90% becomes less and less permeable, because meaningful participation is dependent on education (which of course isn't free or subsidized because that's "overhead.")

    The trends we both observe result in a bleak picture in a pure free market, particularly as we turn backwards to agrarian models of society to attempt to manage future changes to society.

    My point, in pondering this treetop level stuff, is to ask the question whether purist capitalism has not been supplanted already by the technological changes we've already undergone -- and whether this is not the natural state of future affairs (rather than something to kvetch about for those of us who are "labor-rich," although the "labor-rich" are still proles in the last analysis.)

    See the issue there?

    PFnV
  29. patsfan13

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  30. PatsFanInVa

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    I agree. We can't nostalgically complain that people don't have enough kids, when that's what they do when educational attainment becomes a more pressing demand and when women see it as possible that they can excel on their own in the workplace. The facts speak for themselves: in such modern settings, birthrates decline.

    I think whether you sell vitamins on the internet, work for the gubmit, drive a taxi, own a restaurant, work in software, work in a factory, or shovel manure, you have a stake in the future of the country... and you have your perception of yourself as an individual.

    I'll click the links to see where you're coming from, but the titles impress me as something short of disinterested neutral analysis ;)

    That said, can you, in your own words, get around the difficulty of rapidly accelerating technological change, long-term? I'm not saying it's bad. I'm just saying "er, what happens then?"

    PFnV

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