Tuesday, December 30, 2008

EL Wisty in space

Now here's an interesting fact, as the late, great, Peter Cook may have said when adopting the persona of EL Wisty.

I caught the last bit of the Royal Institution of Great Britain Christmas Lectures on TV this evening, and discovered that the little chip on your credit or debit card (as in "Chip & PIN") has 30 times more computing power and 100 times the memory of the computer that was the guidance system which took Apollo 11 to the moon in 1969.

Just take a moment to think about that.

Absolutely incredible, and something which clearly supports Moore's Law which basically states that every two years the number of transistors which can be placed on a circuit board doubles. This law is also generally taken to apply to the characteristics of lots of electronic devices, such as memory etc. I still remember big old radios full of lovely glowing hot valves. Fortunately by the time I was being taught Radio, TV and Electronics Servicing at college the transistor age was well and truly here, so the age of fragile valves, like that of steam, had gone.

Incidentally, have a look at the video below (WARNING - PG) to see the unedited original reaction of Neil Armstrong to his one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind! A version is also on my own Website.

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