Monday, June 25, 2007

Upcoming Visit of Le Tour to London

A head of Le Tour 2007 arriving in London next week, I thought I'd post pictures from the Tour of Britain 2006 arriving in London...

This rider tried to break clear - but on the rapid circuit of St James' Park a bunch sprint finish was inevitable.

From Tour of Britain 2006

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Explosion of Data

I've just added 512MB of memory to my laptop - bring the memory in it to 1GB. It cost relatively little and appears to have breathed new life into the machine. It had started to feel very sluggish - and had occasional fits of spinning the disks and not doing a lot else! But the question is why do I need that much memory in a PC? The first computer I "owned" had 16K in it and no usable external storage - unless you count my parents tape deck and the audio tapes that played high pitched noise into the system to reload code carefully typed in - or games bought at relatively great expense... OK, that system only had 16 colours and did very little - but you could program it and it entertained me for hours... The next system the family owned had the incredible amount of memory of 256K - and 3 inch removable drives - we upgraded the box to 512K and added a 720K drive to the original 180K one... Two books, complete with diagrams, got written on that machine... I've just add 1000 time that as an upgrade - OK the modern machines does things we'd never dreamt of - but 18 months ago 512MB in a laptop was a lot! My first lap top had 64MB, and the second maxed out at 256MB. But is was only 20 years ago that 512K was more than enough to support a very usable system - at that rate we'll be putting terabytes in personal system. We are already approaching that in large system today - I was going to say in super computers - but they have even more because we've moved to building super computers from hundreds, if not thousands of separate boxes. The conclusion I draw, the software writers have shares in the companies that make memory. [I also personally think the day of a true software developer is dead - most of them these days use a graphical tool to pick items of a menu, then add a small amount of logic to each item - rarely thinking about the consequences of adding a Excel spreadsheet to one of those items, but that is an entirely different random thought] So where is all the data we store in these system coming from. I'd suggest that the human race is probably creating more duplicated and redundant data a month, than useful unique data exists in total... My suggestion - buy shares in the companies that make memory and disks - there is no evidence that the rate of data explosion is going to slow!