iPhone

I have my lovely new iPhone, I am indeed an Apple fanboy. While my old phone is able to do more (until Apple release the SDK in February), the usability of iPhone coupled with the unlimited internet access tariff makes it perfect for me.

I get tied into an eighteen month contract, which is fine, I'm happy to stick with a phone for that amount of time. But looking to the future also makes me look to the past.

One of my first computers was a 48K ZX Spectrum. In 1982 it cost £175 and (unsurprisingly) came with 48 Kilobytes of memory (although a chunk of it was taken up with screen memory – no 'graphics cards in those days…).

My iPhone has 8Gb of memory – this works out to be equivalent to 166666 “ZX Spectrums” of memory*. Lay them end to end and you get a line of Spectrums 38.83 Kilometres long (a shade over 24 miles). That's from my house to Southend on Sea.

It'd also cost more than £29,000,000.

1982 to 2007 is 25 years, I'm hopeful to live for another 25 years (dying before I'm 60ish would be a bit unfair methinks). So I wonder what sort of phone I'll be using then.

Until then I think I'll be eating as cheaply as possible…

(Actually my first computer was a Texas Instruments TI99/4a, but comparisons to that would be silly).

*Assuming that my maths is correct – this is no guarantee of accuracy.

16 thoughts on “iPhone”

  1. My 1st was a ZX81 though i went the distance and bought the 16K wobbly ram pack – my 2nd computer was (and there is a element of pedant here) the TI~99/4a great machine and also the 1st 16 bit machine widely available. Pity it had an 8 bit address bus really.Gets coat…

  2. Wasn't so much the 8-bit address bus, as the fact that all the “main” memory was only accessible by asking the video chip for it. The TMS9900 CPU could use a chunk of memory as just registers – in a sense it was a bit like the RISC processors that would come later, but at the time it was based around a Texas Instruments minicomputer architecture, shrunk down to a single chip. To actually get anything from RAM you had to write the address into two registers and then read a third to get the value. For *every single thing* that you wanted to read…Bit of a shame, if it hadn't been for this “papering the hall through the letterbox” memory arrangement it would have been a very powerful machine – almost as powerful as the Atari ST, but at least four years earlier!

  3. My first computer was the Sinclair ZX81, with 1K of memory. Yes, 1K, 1024 bytes. Not 1M, no. Nor was it 1G.A couple of years ago, I bought a new motherboard and processor, Sempron 2800, nice and quick, “Ooooh”, thinks I, “I'll get a *gig* of memory!” So, 60 quid for the memory alone, I now had *one million times* as much memory as my first ever computer.

    I had to buy another processor and board a couple of weeks ago. Actually, I had to buy a new graphics card, but since I needed a PCI-E board for it, that had to come to. A gig of RAM is now 20 quid. So, for 1/5 of the price of my first computer, bought around 25 years ago (scary!) I have a million times as much memory. Let's not even discuss the 750G of disc space spread (thanks to raid loveliness) over three spindles with 1-of-N redundancy…

    The TI99-4a was an interesting beast. 256 bytes of memory addressable by the CPU, and everything else was accessed through the graphics chip. I kid you not.

  4. i want a iphone as well but i can't afford one at the moment. My first computer only had 69kb of memory on it and it was a spectrum. i hope you enjoy your iphone

  5. I'm an apple whore as well…. If they put the letter i in front of anything. Imagine the iAmbulance though, perhaps under the line iMed… or even iCare!

  6. Well I hope all you very sad people don't expect to mount any third party software (including non-apple ringtones) on your expensive iPhones – cos if you do, the very first software upgrade will convert your baby into a very highly priced plastic brick – this has already happened in the good old US of A…Now there's a thought for would-be Tommy Coopers – how to instantly convert 24 miles and 29,000,000 into a housebrick – just like that!

  7. I don't quite get the big deal the iPhone. Since when does the launch of a new phone make the news?Sure it's pretty, but if I wanted a new phone i'd rather get something like an N95. 8GB of storage, 3G for browsing and it costs a lot less. More gizmo for less money.

  8. OMG! You are *so* right! Why, if only I'd known that before placing my hard earned cash down on the tabletop!There is a reason why I went from someone who was cynical about the device, to someone who wanted one.

    'Windows mobile'.

    Third party apps are coming, I can wait. I don't tend to use anything other than the default ringtones and the phone just works. Actually it's a pleasure to use – so I'm more than happy to take a hit in functionality. It's all about the tradeoff, and it's one I'm happy to make.

  9. I do agree that the amount of hype around it is *awful*. Even the BBC seem intent on mentioning it every half hour on it's news channels.It's just a bloody phone – albeit one with a shockingly nice UI.

    I'd also agree that the N95 has more functionality, but as I say elsewhere, I'm happy to trade that off for the ease of use/UI.

  10. In my experience, it's faster than my supposed 3G experience. Also I come from the days of dial-up, so I don't expect much.If internet speed is your main concern I'd suggest a different phone. Find a friend (or a shop) and have a play around with one would be my advice. There are better featured (and cheaper) phones out there – you really are paying for the UI.

  11. Sad sad sad sad so very sad. I've seen one in action in America and still cannot see the attraction. Just another way for people to get hold of you and pester you.

  12. I'm constantly amazed by the devotion that people give to Apple. I reckon they're just another technology company, capable of satisfying their customers, but equally capable of annoying them. They've certainly annoyed me in the past, which is why I wrote my Apple.com is evil post. But I can't escape them. The guy who I call 'boyfriend number 2' in my blog got himself an iPhone, after which he was telling me how much he LOVED his iPhone every time I spoke to him!GB xxx

  13. …as far as some of us are concerned, you guys could well be talking Martian… :PThe first computer my dad had was an Amstrad, in all its green-and-black glory. Had precisely 1 computer game, some kind of helicopter flight simulation that came without instructions. The whole family combined could never work out how to make it do more than just fly straight up until it ran out of fuel and crashed in a big, green explosion onto the landing pad.

    …happy days. I would tell you about the size of my mate's staff discount at Apple, Tom, but you'll only get jealous!

  14. The first computer my dad had was an Amstrad, in all its green-and-black glory.They were good machines those! They used them on oil rigs in the early 90s. I used to repair them a lot in my Saturday job in a computer shop in Aberdeen, mostly replacing disk drives that had been gunged beyond repair.

    The only thing that went wrong with them was the rubber band in the disk drive wore out or broke. You could replace them, or pull up the adjuster just like tightening the fan belt on a car.

    We got one that had been hosed down with sea water when the deluge pumps had kicked in due to a false fire alarm. I washed all the salt off the bits with clean water and dried it out, and to the great surprise of all present, it worked perfectly when I put it back together.

    Truly the Toyota Hilux of the computer world.

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