atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#1599: Friday night droning.

So it's Friday night. I'm not doing anything useful.

We had rain today. This afternoon, before I hit the sack, it was warm and humid outside, and there was no wind. Perfect for severe weather. And the Chicago area--particularly the northern part--got a lot of severe weather today. Down here, not so much; rumbles and rain. I am just as happy that this is so.

I slept last night, yet around 2 PM I faded out--I guess I didn't get all that much sleep last night, despite going to bed at 11 PM--and so I slept this afternoon, from 2 until 8. Last night I slept for maybe five hours, was awake for a couple, then slept for a couple more hours before I got up and had breakfast.

Lately I've been managing to get about 4-5 hours at a time, which isn't enough for a full day. I got about 8 hours out of last night's sleep, which isn't too bad.

But it makes me feel like a zombie. 5 hours is not enough sleep; and if there is more than about half an hour of wakefulness between chunks of sleep my "sleep clock" resets. For me, sleeping for four hours, being up for one, and sleeping for four more hours only counts as four hours of sleep. This is supremely aggravating.

...and no one cares.

* * *

This guy spent four years and $3,000 building a replica of the Apollo Guidance Computer prototype.

Vintage 1964: count on this thing having about as much computing horsepower as your typical Timex-Sinclar 1000. Probably less. An iPhone has hundreds of times the computing power of large computers from the early 1960s.

I think it's useful, every so often, to consider how quickly computing technology has evolved. We've had electronic digital computer for about sixty years or so, and in that time they've gone from cumbersome beasts that required an engineering degree to operate to desktop appliances which kids use. Name one other technology which has gone from invention to widespread use in such a short time, and I can guarantee that it was one which was developed some time in the past two centuries.

(Examples: steam power. Air travel. The internal combustion engine.)

If you showed me, in 1983--pecking away at my C-64 with the 12" B&W TV for a monitor--the machine I now use, and the software I run on it...well, my 16-year-old self would say, "Yeah, in 2009 that's about what I'd expect." I would have been impressed but not surprised. (I also would have gone back to the C-64 with considerably less enthusiasm for it.)

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