Friday, October 18, 2013

Worldwide Processing Power

Here's a fun fact/exercise I show/do in my classes.
  1. Take out your smart phone.
    Yes, I know you have one.  Don't pretend you're an Amish hermit iconoclast.  Take out your phone and look at it.  Now look up the words "Amish," "hermit," and "iconoclast."
  2. Find out how powerful your phone's processor is.
    A Gigahertz is a billion operations per second, not how much power the time machine-DeLorean used in Back to the Future.
  3. Read this article.
    You're probably not going to read it (I know the habits of all both my readers), so here's a quick précis: The combined processing power Microsoft is to deal with the Xbox One is more than there was in the world in 1995.  Here's a chart that corroborates it.
  5. Extrapolate from presented data to a finite date, notably your own natal event.
  6. Figure out how much processing power existed on the planet on the day you were born.
    Or, you know, just pretend and make a guess.

    Here's the big takeaway:
    You are carrying in your hand a more powerful computer than all of the world's computing power combined on the day you were born.

    Imagine the power of what you'll be holding in your hand in a few decades.

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