As everyone will know, today is the anniversary of the first manned space flight landing, and subsequently walking on the moon. What an amazing achievement it was, made even more incredible by the sheer manual nature of space flying as exemplified by the failed Apollo 13 mission. I thought it would be interesting to look back at 1969 and see what occurred that year in technology.
Hard Disks – IBM were selling the IBM model 2314 – with an eye watering capacity of 222MB (in eight separate disk packs) and a response time of 60ms. Follow the link and have a look at the picture. Then 2314 was enormous!
Internet – The Internet (or to be more precise, its forerunner, ARPANET) was a mesh of four computers.
Unix – Unix had just been invented….
look at us now…
Hard Disks – we can store 2TB in a 3.5″ drive with access times of around 5ms. That’s a 9000-fold increase in capacity.
Internet - In June 2009, Netcraft detected over 238 million websites – a growth of well, 59 million-fold…
Unix – Unix is everywhere in dozens of different flavors. As a server platform it is ubiquitous and touches almost every aspect of computing.
Unfortunately, space travel has not developed as quickly. I’m sure many people listening and watching the moon landing would have imagined we’d be living on the moon by now and planning to push the human race further out into space. Whilst technologists have overcome some of the most difficult computing challenges and given us faster and smaller computing devices, we still can’t overcome the one thing which keeps us and our space ships tied to the earth – gravity. The space shuttle was a great innovation but it still requires a propulsion system that constitutes 60% of the weight of the rocket itself. Perhaps in another 40 years we’ll have that sorted. I’d love to be around to find out.