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Compared to my 1st computer's memory ...

Displaying poll results.
This is my first computer
254 votes / 0%
My current one has 10 times as much
  869 votes / 3%
My current one has 100 times as much
  1783 votes / 6%
My current one has 1000 times as much
  4260 votes / 16%
My current one has 10000 times as much
  4170 votes / 15%
My current one has 100000 times as much
  4675 votes / 17%
My current one has 1000000 times as much
  7158 votes / 27%
640 KB
  3253 votes / 12%
26422 total votes.
[ Voting Booth | Other Polls | Back Home ]
  • Don't complain about lack of options. You've got to pick a few when you do multiple choice. Those are the breaks.
  • Feel free to suggest poll ideas if you're feeling creative. I'd strongly suggest reading the past polls first.
  • This whole thing is wildly inaccurate. Rounding errors, ballot stuffers, dynamic IPs, firewalls. If you're using these numbers to do anything important, you're insane.
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Compared to my 1st computer's memory ...

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  • Missing alternative (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Z00L00K (682162) on Friday July 19, 2013 @09:39AM (#44326805) Homepage

    > 1 million times.

    First computer was a ZX80 with 1k of RAM, current has 16GB...

    • My first computer was also a Z80, but my computer happens to have 1GB, so I'm right on target. (no, I don't need more ram on the computer on my desk, all of my hard-core processing is done elsewhere).
      • by tylikcat (1578365)

        This reminded me that I haven't gotten around to swapping out the other 4gb card for the 16gb card, which will bring me to 32... ...because since I haven't been trying to get multiple connected soft body simulations to work without being ridiculously unstable, I really haven't needed the extra ram.

        And then I read the last couple of sentences and laugh, remembering being a hacker kid in the early eighties.

        • by celtic_hackr (579828) on Saturday July 20, 2013 @08:17AM (#44336237) Journal

          So where's the 6,250 choice (640K -> 4G)? The 12,500 choice? The 25,000 choice (640K -> 16G)? But, I see we have a few dinosaurs out there on the list who actually had Z80s! Thanks for making me feel young again!

          But maybe the questions should have used ranges or a greater than/ less than qualifier?

          Come on, this is supposed to be a Geek site! Be precise and pedantic for God's sake. Or at least for Quantum's sake.

      • by cod3r_ (2031620) on Friday July 19, 2013 @12:32PM (#44328941)
        1GB in this day and age!!?!?! YOU NEED MORE!!!!! My phone has that much!
        • by RobertNotBob (597987) on Friday July 19, 2013 @01:21PM (#44329613)
          My phone does too.

          oddly enough, I have more of a need for RAM in my phone than my desktop.

          But if you want a good laugh, flex your google-fu and compare your phone's memory and processing capacity to that of NASA's Mission Control center when we launched Apollo 11. -- Not the lunar lander (that is outclassed by modern parking meters), I mean the Mission Control mainframe back on earth.

          That really drives home how crazy the whole "moon by the end of the 60's" thing was; and how amazing the success truly was.

          • by jd2112 (1535857) on Friday July 19, 2013 @02:00PM (#44330141)
            ...and how frustrating it is that even after 40 years of technological advancements it is a feat that hasn't been repeated since the end of the Apollo program.
            • Well, I think this illustrates that computing power is not that crucial of a factor in moon missions. There have been many technological advances in the years, but FLOPS clearly isn't what makes going to the moon hard.

          • My phone does too.

            oddly enough, I have more of a need for RAM in my phone than my desktop.

            i dont find that odd at all...lets face it we are all using our phones as our primary computing device these days...why not the high end ones easily handle 80% of our daily computing needs.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      > 1 million times

      But that option's not missing - it's the 2nd last one.

      • Do they mean the first one I owned, or the first one I controlled (at work)?
        If it's the first one I owned, then I'm only at the 10,000+ level. I had a PC-clone with 640KB, now I have two laptops with 16GB each, or 25,000 times as much, one at home and the other at work.
        If it's the first one I controlled, then I'm at the 1,000,000+ level. It was a PDP-8 with 4K of 12-bit words (=6KB), so the current stuff is 2,600,000 times as much.

    • by jandrese (485) <> on Friday July 19, 2013 @11:00AM (#44327779) Homepage Journal
      My first was a Commodore 64, current machine has 4GB of RAM. I rounded to the nearest answer. Maybe the poll should have been expressed in powers of 2? I'm at 2^16 for instance. Might make it hard on all of those people who started out with 640kb machines though.
      • by TWX (665546)
        Eh, works well enough. I went from 640kB to 12GB, so closer to 20,000 times more than before and I chose the 10,000 times more entry accordingly.
    • Mine was a ZX-81 with 1KB RAM and my current one has 8388608 times more RAM. (The numbers given in the alternatives really suck.)

      • My first computer was also a ZX-81 Timex Sinclair with 1k of memory, I was always writing BASIC programs that filled that up so I spent $70 on a 16k RAM Pack, then I had unlimited memory.
        • When I got my SECOND computer, (a TRS-80), I got the 4K model, because the 16K model (12K RAM was the only difference) was $300 more money (IIRC), and 4K was all I could conceivable use (at the time).

          Of course, even before that processor was outdated I was filling up 4K regularly. - SO I made extensive use of the cassette-tape backup.

          Imagine if memory was still 2.5 cents per byte.

          • by BeerCat (685972) on Saturday July 20, 2013 @08:48AM (#44336299) Homepage

            The other difference between the 4k TRS-80 and the 16k one (apart from the RAM, and the price) was that the bigger one came with a better BASIC:

            TRS-80 Model 1 level 1 (4k)
            10 P. "HELLO WORLD"
            20 G. 10

            TRS-80 Model 1 Level 2 (16k)
            10 PRINT "HELLO WORLD"
            20 GOTO 10

            Not having to de-code the ultra-short keywords made for much more readable progams.

        • I had the same machine, as my first. I believe it had 2k of RAM though.
          Also remember that accessing that massive 16k of RAM slowed the machine down quite a lot. :)
        • by ockegheim (808089)
          I so wanted one of those... a Spectrum seemed too much to wish for.

          In the end my VIC-20 had 3K.

          I've had this signature for a while:
        • The 16K cartridge was a standard extra piece on the ZX-81 system, along with your tape cassette recorder and your TV. People assumed if you didn't have the 16K cartridge, you must be a little kid or an initial customer still getting a good feedback from the keyboard. (Or a later customer, wanting to feel the keyboard feedback from his raw device again.) The cartridges were so standard that anyone with 1K or a third party 32K or 64K RAM pack was beset with incompatibility issues.

          And Sinclair's 16K was a p
      • by MiG82au (2594721)
        I believe it's related to orders of magnitude; something that the computing community rallies against (MB vs MiB) :p
    • by lazarus (2879)

      Same here. 1k to 12GB. Good thing the BASIC interpreter was in ROM! To get more out of it I ended up programming it in Forth and expanding it to 16k.

      Did you have to assemble yours from components or did it come pre-built?

    • by Travco (1872216) on Friday July 19, 2013 @12:32PM (#44328931)
      >1 billion times My first computer was the Digicomp 1 with a miraculous (I think) 6 three bit bytes of plastic straw memory.
    • by rijrunner (263757)

      The Sym-1 had 256 bytes.

    • by idontgno (624372)

      I'm in the same boat as you.

      My first was a 4KB TRS-80. (Before it was a Model 1. Before there were any other models.)

      My current machine is also 16 GB. That's 4x10^6 times more RAM. But I picked the ;gt;1,000,000 option, since it was the closest without going over.

      Moore's Law is pretty awesome.

  • TRS-80 Model1, Level 1 Basic, 4K of ram to a 16 Gig Retina Macbook pro.

    4,194,304 times as much.


  • No 512 option? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ericloewe (2129490) on Friday July 19, 2013 @09:48AM (#44326889)

    I find it odd that powers of 10 were chosen instead of powers of 2. Nearly all memory multiples would be powers of 2, and certainly very few would be powers of 10.

    • by Kjella (173770)

      Exactness would require too many options, you'd need 2^7, personally I'd need 2^18 and another comment here was 2^24 - all 25 from 2^0 and maybe beyond would be right for some. I think there's a limit of seven-eight poll options, so you'd have to do approximations anyway. I went with 100000, too bad I didn't go for an 8x8GB X79 board or I could have picked the real dinosaur option.

    • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

      It doesn't even say "greater than", and the chance of having an exact decimal multiple of your original computer is pretty slim. The whole thing is half-arsed, but it wouldn't be a Slashdot poll if it were competent. I'm not complaining, moaning about the options is part of the fun.

    • by naoursla (99850)

      2^10 = 1024 which is pretty close to 10^3. You can use that approximation to ballpark figures in the base-10 that most people understand.

      2^10 ~= 10^3 = a thousand = k
      2^20 ~= 10^6 = a million = M
      2^30 ~= 10^9 = a billion = G.

  • Where's the, "I'm old and I've forgotten" option? My first computer (mine as in, I was the only one who used it) had a 512MB HD. RAM? No idea. My second computer probably had between 128MB and 256MB of RAM (I guess, based on the time period). My third computer started with 512MB of RAM, and a tiny 40GB HD. Both got upgraded. My current computer has a tiny 512GB HD, but will be upgraded soon enough. RAM is a ridiculously large 16GB. I don't think I've ever used more than 5GB since I bought the thing. The Sys

    • by Quila (201335) on Friday July 19, 2013 @10:42AM (#44327507)

      If your memory was measured in MB, you aren't old.

      • Haha. There are multiple responses to that:
        1) I didn't get my first computer until I was already 'old', and I'm now even older. (Replace 'old' with 'middle-aged' as preferred.)
        1a) Perhaps because I just didn't realize how important they would become.
        1b) Or I couldn't afford one.
        1c) Or I lived in a place where they just weren't available (see also 1b, but realize that in some parts of the world didn't get TV until the 1980s, and some parts of the world still don't have access to over-

        • by jedidiah (1196)

          Not every one was rich enough to own a computer when they were young. Even primitive machines with no RAM to speak of were expensive back in the day.

          The first machine I wanted to buy but couldn't was $800 back when that was real money.

          The first consumer machine to have as much as a whole Meg debuted in the mid 80s for $1000.

      • by Kjella (173770)

        And if my dad posted to slashdot it'd be "If your computer was made with transistors, you're not old". Vacuum tubes FTW.

    • by MiG82au (2594721)
      How old were you when you got that first computer, because that's not that old? My first was similar; 540 MB HDD, 4 MB RAM, 486 DX2/66, and I'm 30.
    • The second computer I had was the first with a hard drive (40MB!), and I'm not old...

      • I remember those 40 MB hard disks. That was around the time Stacker and Doublespace were successful.

        • AND, when Drive Partitioning became a thing... Since most BIOS's wouldn't recognize more than 32MB. - Not that an RFM drive could pass that much data in a reasonable amount of time.
  • "A few crumbs" of memory on the HP. You could access and modify it with light switches on the front panel. So you could mess with the time-sharing BASIC on it, and replace the save with the scratch command, for when the teacher went on it.

    32Gig on the SchtinkPad. I'm not going to fish through all that memory.

    Swapping or paging? What's that . . . ?

  • Actually 10922.67 times as much (48Kb ZX Spectrum to 512Mb Asus EEEPC 701 4G).
    • Can you cope with an Eee PC 701?
      • Yep, with an appropriate choice of distro (Bodhi in my case, though Peppermint, Lubuntu, Crunchbang or AntiX are also acceptable) it's still quite useful. That's my home machine, of course. My work laptop is a bit meatier (Fujitsu Lifebook E780, Core i5, 4Gb RAM).
  • So, my first computer had 65,536 bytes of RAM and my current computer has (65,536 bytes x 65,536) bytes of RAM.

  • by Rob the Bold (788862) on Friday July 19, 2013 @10:07AM (#44327075)

    Something like: 7*log10(Ratio)+10 = your age +/-5 years?

    • by rwise2112 (648849)

      Something like: 7*log10(Ratio)+10 = your age +/-5 years?

      Yeah, really! If I compare my phone to my 1st computer, I'm at the higher end of this list!

    • by jkauzlar (596349)

      Mine came out to about 7 * log10(64kb/16gb) ~ 37, so it works without the +10. but I'm counting since my family's apple IIe at age 8. Still, fine work, sir!

      • Mine came out to about 7 * log10(64kb/16gb) ~ 37, so it works without the +10. but I'm counting since my family's apple IIe at age 8. Still, fine work, sir!

        I think to improve precision, the constant adder should probably be adjusted by the age difference between one's oldest sibling and also take into account relative prosperity of your childhood family. Maybe throw in something to reflect parents' occupations. But by then it starts looking like the IEEE salary curve-fit model, which IIRC had about eleventy-thousand variables.

    • Pretty good. First computer = 8MB, current = 16GB, so:

      7 * log10(2048) + 10 = 33.179 (I'll be 30 in November)
    • See a comment further up the page.
      Someone may not have got a computer until the 1990's but may already have been 50 when they did.

      • See a comment further up the page. Someone may not have got a computer until the 1990's but may already have been 50 when they did.

        I guess I should have included the disclaimer that my formula -- like Slashdot polls, horoscopes and psychic readings -- is for entertainment purposes only. One should not use their computed age for purposes such as registering for Social Security, Medicare or the Draft. Consult your birth certificate for these purposes.

        On a slightly more serious note, if one's childhood ended before the era of the home computer, the assumptions I made are not valid, and the age estimate will be even more inaccurate than it

  • TI 99/4A had 16KB, for those of you who don't remember.
    • by WillgasM (1646719)
      Wasn't it actually 256 Bytes on-board. The 16/32KB was from the expansion brick plugged into the side. That's how our parents enforced time limitations on our video games. If it was getting too hot, you had played enough for one day.
      • My recollection is that the base model TI 99/4A had 16KB built in, but it was actually video memory. The CPU had none, or only a small amount (256 bytes sounds about right). To run software stored in the video memory the CPU had to continually make requests to the video chip to transfer data from the video memory.

        The memory expansion modules that plugged into the side of the console connected to the CPU's memory bus. I heard that BASIC programs and other software ran a lot faster if you had a memory e
  • by LoRdTAW (99712)

    First computer was a Franklin ACE 1200 with 64k. My PC at home has 16GB so about 250,000 times as much memory. they could have ranges instead of static values, like 10 to 100 times 100 to 1000 times etc.

  • Compukit UK101 with optional memory expansion giving it a massive total 4K of RAM (including video ram).

  • The first computer that I bought was a Charles River Data Systems 68/35F with 512 kB RAM and a 1 MB add in board. The first ones I used were via punched cards taken by my CS teacher from my high school to the college - one run per day! I don't have any idea how much memory was available on that system. You learned how to program when you just got one run per day.

    Current systems run roughly 5,000 to 10,000 times the CRDS but it served the basic functions I needed. All the fluff added later just makes it ni

  • I picked 1000x because the first computer I owned had 2 mb (Unix PC/7300, a real kick-ass machine for 1987). But the first computer I used was a PDP-8 with a few K. It wasn't "mine", though - personal computers were still pretty rare in the late 70's.
    • Unless you count the programmable calculator I got in 1975. I guess it had about 256 bytes of memory, so that would raise the factor to my current (2gb) pc to 8000000.
  • I had one in '76, but don't remember how much memory it had.

  • Before I owned a "personal computer" per se, I started with a Nintendo Entertainment System with 2 KiB of work RAM and 2 KiB of video memory. My current Windows 7 PC came with 4 GiB of RAM. And now I use the latter to develop software [] for the former [].
  • I had Hayden's Stimulating Simulations and a big pile of magazines to copy programs out of. That's pretty much like ROM.


    I still don't know what ever came over me about 15 years ago when my wife asked if she could donate it to goodwill and I agreed... I had a couple of 1541s, a tape drive, crappy MPS801 printer, a 1702 monitor, and hunders of floppies with games of all kinds - even a few legal ones! ;)

  • Then (1995): An awful Compaq Presario CDS522. 4 MB RAM. 66 MHz Intel 486SX2 (that's right... no floating point unit). 270 MB HDD. 14" built-in monitor of questionable quality... I was so happy I finally got a computer. But the happiness quickly faded away as I began to realize how bad the computer was. Upgraded the memory over a year later with 16 MB to a whopping total of 20 MB but the system still sucked overall. I had to cope with it for two years until I managed to replace it with a newer computer.


  • My first computer was a TI-99/4A with 256 Bytes (yes, bytes) of RAM. So even with a moderate 8GB in my current computer, I still have 33.5 million times as much memory. Dammit, now I really wanna play Hunt the Wumpus.
  • You can really easily guess the average of a Slashdot reader just looking at the results.

  • Does the Atari VCS (Video Computer System) count as my first computer? Because my 32GB desktop today would make that "computer's" 128 bytes of RAM look tiny. We'd need a "268,435,456 times as much" category for that comparison.

  • My first computer was an Atari 600xl. It had 16k. My current computer is a Macbook Pro that has 8Gb.

  • I remember at the computer store, the IBM PC had just come out and they had one on demo. My dad loved IBM from his job, but the sales person recommended the Apple ][ because the PC had almost no software. The other alternative was the Apple III, but my dad said the Apple III was "too much computer." So my (Dad's) first computer was an Apple //e with 64k of RAM and two 5 1/4 Floppies. He bought it solely to run Visicalc and to do word processing. I had lots of fun copying and playing cracked games, and saved
    • So I am not the only one who started with the //e. I collected aluminum cans to save up for the joystick. My mom still think that was the best computer ever as all you had to do was put the right disk in to run what you wanted.
  • Not sure what the "640 KB" option is meant for...I guess it's the mandatory CowboyNeal option. Anyway, it should be "kB" (kilobytes) instead of "KB" (Kelvin bytes). Just sayin'.
  • by sootman (158191)

    My first modern computer, and the first one I purchased myself (a 75 MHz Pentium; used), had 8 MB RAM, though I installed another 16 before I even booted it the first time. I am currently sitting at my work laptop, which has 8 GB. So, that math is easy.

    As a kid, I had a Tomy Tutor, which, according to Wikipedia, was similar to a TI-99/4A, which had 256 bytes of RAM -- one-quarter of a kilobyte. So 8GB, times 1024 MB per GB, times 1024 kB per MB, divided by one-quarter, equals... about 32 million times more?

  • The first computer I "used" was my dad's 486. The first computer I really remember using is the school's Apple ][s.

    The first computer I owned was an old-even-at-the-time Thinkpad, with a Mobile Pentium and (IIRC) 64MB of memory. That's the one I'm counting as "my first computer", which gives me a mere 192x improvement. Had I counted from the 486 or Apple ][, it would have increased to 100,000.

  • by TyFoN (12980) on Friday July 19, 2013 @06:25PM (#44333155)

    174762.66 times :)

  • by ebcdic (39948) on Friday July 19, 2013 @07:55PM (#44333805)

    It should be clear you've got the choices wrong when the mode is at one end. My first computer had 384 bytes of RAM. This one has 12GB.

Never buy what you do not want because it is cheap; it will be dear to you. -- Thomas Jefferson


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