For all the costly and failed efforts by media companies to create and charge for online material, blogging suggests that the web works best as a link to other people—and a way of finding and raiding their content.
Now that I have some idea how far and fast I am going on my bone shaker, I took a quick spin today: 13.6 miles. I used the speed information to gauge what cadences and gear combinations felt comfortable. I found 14/15 mph to be pretty easy to ride along at, but I couldn’t push myself much faster than that. I could have the cyclometer set wrong as well. The wheel size is 26 x 1.5 and the tire size is 26 x 1.95. While I think it makes sense to use the tire size, I’m not sure if I’m right.
But in any event, an hour’s steady work can’t be bad. I’ll worry about the finer points as I go.
How far has computer technology advanced since this was written in 1972? In the proceeding chapter, Kemeny describes the then-new GE 635 machine that ran the Dartmouth Time Sharing System: the “dual processor system is capable of some 10 million multiplications per minute.”
That works out to be 166,166 multiplications per second. (I’m assuming these are “fixed-point” multiplies: no decimals allowed.)
A Pentium 4 can do at least one multiplication per clock cycle; for a 1.7GHz P4, that’s 1.7 billion multiplications per second. Rounding a bit, that 2002 Pentium 4 is about 10,000 times faster. (And if that GE 635 cost 10 million dollars
The question I have to ask is, where has all that power gone? On what have we spent all the speed? Do we do anything 10,000 times faster or even 10 times faster? Or do we instead use this tool more than the other (pen and paper, sliderule, calculator, ledger book), thereby soaking up the capacity?
As much as it seems we should have a surplus, when you look at examples like the one above, there still seems to be the demand for more.