Storage and Scale

As everyone knows, things change quickly in the technology industry. Storage and processor speed in particular have grown enormously over the years.

My first computer had a 2-MHz eight-bit processor (the Z80) and an amazing 48K of memory. I’m writing this post on a machine with eight 3-GHz processors with 9G of memory. When adjusted for inflation, I think both machines cost about the same amount.

It’s the growth in mass storage, though, that amazes me most.

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CES 2008

January 7-10 was the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. A few thoughts…

As always, CES was an interesting event to attend. The scale of the show is pretty hard to imagine if you haven’t been there before; it’s just huge. I don’t think attendance figures have been released yet, but projections were in the 140,000-person range. Exhibit space was something like 1.8 million square feet.

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Movie Notes

Holly and I went to see “National Treasure: Book of Secrets” earlier this evening. It was not a good film; I think there’s some argument to be made that the writers’ strike began much earlier than we’d previously thought.

The film was presented in a digital theater. This certainly isn’t the first movie I’ve seen projected digitally, but this was the first time I’d seen a normal film (as opposed to a demo) that looked significantly better than a conventional print. Color saturation was quite a bit better than I’d seen before (deep reds in particular were impressive), brightness was good, and there wasn’t a hint of the pixel grid pattern on the screen that I’ve seen come from some digital projectors in the past.

I’m glad it looked good when projected digitally, because that was pretty well the film’s only redeeming quality.

I can, however, recommend “Charlie Wilson’s War.” It wasn’t quite as visually striking, but it’s an excellent film.

[HD] Theatre of the Absurd

I was talking with a couple of friends recently about high-definition television, and they were a little surprised to learn that I really haven’t done anything of substance with HDTV. I’m an early adopter of technology, but I still haven’t made the move to high-definition television.

Yes, I have one high-definition set at home, but it’s only there because its predecessor spewed actual flames and then refused to power up. But even this lone HD set operates in standard-definition mode 99+% of the time.

Here’s why this early adopter is still on the sidelines.

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Fashionably Late

Perhaps by now you’ve heard of web logs, or “blogs,” in which one can tell the world about any foolish idea that happens to drift through one’s head. I’ve waited quite a while to get started, but I keep hearing rumblings that this “blogging” thing might really catch on one of these days. So I wanted to be ready.

In complete seriousness, this section of the site is designed to contain stuff that is too inconsequential to deserve an actual formal article, but that might nonetheless be of some interest to others.

So, enjoy. And keep your eye on this “blogging” thing. Someday, I predict that quite a few people will be doing this.

Desktop System Security Architecture

Over the last few days, Windows users have been hit with yet another email worm. Like many others, this one, the so-called “MyDoom” worm, entices the user to click on a file sent as an email attachment. This mode of attack has been around for a while, though this most recent incarnation is particularly clever; it masquerades as an email system error.

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