There is an old adage in the auto sector that says your car loses worth as quickly as you drive it off the lot. The computer system and technologies sector is not so various, in that new components and systems are frequently pushing the envelope of functionality and worth, creating it not possible to have a best-of-the-line method for quite lengthy. The objective of this paper is to step back in time 10 years and examine the technologies landscape then to see how it compares to today’s technologies we know and really like.

Moore’s Law:

Considerably has been written, and significantly is nevertheless debated about the technologies axiom named Moore’s Law. Some men and women interpret the law to imply a doubling of computer system energy each 18 months to two years, when other individuals preserve it signifies a doubling of the numbers of transistors (microscopic on/off switches if you will) engineers are capable to print into the similar quantity of silicon. In reality Moore stated that transistor counts would double each year, which he later amended to be each two years) Regardless, this trend of functionality and transistor development has held accurate for more than 40 years.

Much more lately, Moore’s law has been applied to graphics processing units (GPUs) as properly. The GPU is in fact not even 10 years old at the time of writing. The official term GPU was coined with the nVidia GeForce 256 series of 3D cards. Released in August 1999, this was the very first chip that was capable to compute vertex transformations and pixel lighting in hardware. Due to the fact its release, graphics processing energy has followed a comparable trend of doubling functionality each 18 months to two years. This write-up is not a technical document, rather a glimpse into the previous 10 years ago to give you an notion of how far we’ve come in such a brief time.

A Small History About the Author:

The year was 1999. It was my sophomore / junior year in higher college. Now I will pause so that 90% of the readers who grew up in the 70s and 80’s can turn up their nose and cease reading.

Okay, now that that is out of the way, let’s continue.

I am an net kid. I got into computer systems, and all manner of electronic geekery just as the World wide web was becoming one thing that “just could possibly catch on”. My higher college was not pretty on the bleeding edge of technologies as it have been, but we have been 1 of the very first public schools in my region to be equipped with a complete T1 line and the 1.5Mbps of great devoted bandwidth that it piped by means of the network. Our network was constructed from a hodge-podge mixture of good Computer computer systems labs (Largely K6 200MHz/Win 95 machines), and a network engineers nightmare concoction of Macintoshes LC II’s up by means of new G3 iMacs.

In 1999 I was nevertheless rocking a 486 DX-33 Computer with 8MB of ram and Windows three.11 as my Computer at house, when my parents had a good Pentium 100 Windows 95 machine my siblings and I would fight for time on. So what was the point of these final couple paragraphs you happen to be almost certainly asking? Properly, that is exactly where I was, and what I was employing 10 years ago in computing, and hopefully it got you considering back a decade to what you have been computing on.


10 years ago now, The computer system planet was functioning itself into a frenzy, acquiring prepared for the close to future release of the brand new Intel Pentium III Processor. The greatest your funds could do was a Pentium II processor at 450MHz with Computer100 Memory. Rival AMD was carrying out alright for itself peddling its spending budget conscious K6-two series of processors. Your typical computer system price about $2000-$2500 at this time for a Computer with a strong Pentium II processor. The Pentium III was due to be released on February 26th, and was the topic of a vicious debate more than the merits of its constructed in one of a kind ID quantity. Also noteworthy was its inclusion of the very first SSE instruction set (The modern day Core i7 processor is at SSE4+). Even so without the need of application developed to make use of the new guidelines the processor was not significantly quicker than an equivalently clocked Pentium II CPU and took pretty a bit of heat from the press.


On the graphics front the war among nVidia and 3DFx was raging. nVidia, a relative newcomer to the field, was riding higher on best of their quite thriving TNT (Twin-Texel) video processor, when 3DFx was fighting to retain its market place leadership title with its Voodoo3 line of graphics cards. The Voodoo cards have been great performers, nonetheless the TNT cards had the benefit of 32 bit colour when the Voodoo’s have been stuck at 24 bits. ATI was about and kicking with their Rage series of 3D cards (specifically common as integrated chips in servers and workstations), nonetheless they in no way genuinely entered into the hardcore 3D accelerator race till the Radeon line debuted in 2000.

World wide web:

In 1999 the net boom was just starting and attracting enormous amounts of consideration and investment capital from all more than the globe. The large company of the time was in the search and portal company. Yahoo, AltaVista, Excite, and Lycos have been possibly the most recognizable and sizable players in this sector. Google -say-wha? Other firms from other industries, such as tv media, and ISPs have been taking notice, and acquiring up net portals suitable and left in an try to tap into the viral spread of the net. New technologies like Java have been coming into their personal, and started to lay the groundwork for the net as we know it now. Research determined that by 1999 about half of US households had a computer system, and most of the new computer system purchases have been getting created to get on-line.

Other locations:

PDA’s have been speedily becoming the new ought to have gadget. The Palm Pilot getting the device that led the charge. I myself had a Palm IIIe towards the later half of 2000. Private pagers have been nevertheless hot sellers, but cell phones have been acquiring smaller sized and a lot more sensible and very affordable. Also a war was heating up in the computer system memory segment. Samsung introduced new DDR memory chips that promised to double the successful bandwidth of current memory chips in future setups, nonetheless Rambus was busy building their personal higher speed RAM for use in higher finish Intel systems.


This field is possibly a bit also significant to cover right here, but a short OS recap: The Computer planet was operating sturdy with windows 98, and anxiously awaiting the updated Windows 98 Second Edition due out in May well 1999. The Macintosh crowd was plugging away happily on their Mac OS eight.five Machines, when awaiting an update to OS 9 sometime later that year. Linux was also beginning to come into its personal, as large name vendors like IBM have been beginning to bundle distributions of Redhat, Caldera, and other individuals with some servers.


I will admit this write-up was a lot more for my amusement and reminiscing than something else. I hope that someplace in the course of this mass of words and broken sentences, you also had some excellent recollections of computer system gear previous. It is excellent to recall the technologies we grew up with and we are fortunate sufficient to have the robust net we are applied to now to enable conjure up photos and technical specs of these glory days. Web-sites like the Tech Time Machine exist to enable us relive these days, and have a couple of chuckles at gear we believed we’d in no way use to its complete prospective. I recall touching a Pentium 200MMX machine for the very first time and getting in awe at its raw speed and seemingly infinite possibilities. Now I frequently get upset with the speed of my present 3GHz dual core Athlon X2 6000+ Computer. I can not even think about how several windows that Pentium 200 would be thrown out of now. It is a crazy planet we reside in.