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Processing nostalgia

It should come as no surprise that processing power over the years has changed.  Today my BBC model B with a full 32KB of RAM (a computer’s short term memory) was taken out for one of Carole’s 365’s.  For a little fun I’ve placed one of my Raspberry Pi’s (512MB RAM) on it as a comparison.

Both are single core.  (No sh!t) But while the Pi is a £25 700MHz the BBC-B set my family back several hundred pounds and managed a paltry 4MHz.  If you include the 5¼” disk drive, the BBC-B weighs quite a bit.  The Pi and its SD card are so light you have to check to ensure you definitely put it in your pocket.

Compare each of these with what’s probably in your pocket – a quad core phone boasting double the Pi’s RAM – and it isn’t hard to see how far we’ve come.  Nowadays kids grow up with touch screen phones and tablets, helping their hand-eye coordination by playing Angry Birds, Flappy Bird, Bad Piggies, Minion Rush, various versions of Sonic the Hedgehog and Hill Climb Racing.   We had Chucky Egg and Manic Miner.  I’m not bitter about it, far from it, I’m happy my son has the opportunity to play these games but I’m tempted now and then to set up the BBC-B and see how he fares with the games we grew up with.

Thirty years ago the BBC-B pretty much took up all of my free time, especially when the weather turned nasty.  Nowadays I can recall only a handful of the commands I once spent hours typing in.  Anyway, here’s a photo for nostalgia’s sake.  Enjoy.

BBC Model B with Raspberry Pi

BBC-B Manual

BBC-B Manual

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  1. […] hope you enjoyed this little trip down nostalgia lane! Here’s Biker Dude’s blog post on the […]

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