back to article Mooreslaw: Chopping up chips for the future

While computer enthusiasts enjoyed something of a golden age of magazines in the late 1980s, with comic-book inspired titles like Bong! and Fart!, those who were lucky enough to be actually working in the field of business or government computing at the time were served by what could fairly be described as an aluminium foil age …


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  1. Snafu 2

    "[...] challenging times for business IT journalists, precious few of whom had any computing qualifications but all happened to be in their early 20s - with the exception of The Guardian’s legendary Jack Schofield, who has been in his late 50s for the last 30 years."

    Has Guy Kewney been forgotton already?

    RIP Guy

    1. Alistair Dabbs

      Guy Kewney

      Believe me, I have GK anecdotes to share but if you don't mind I'm going to keep them to myself for another year or two.

      1. Snafu 2

        Re: Guy Kewney

        Oh I wasn't bemoaning the lack of ancedotes, simply the lack of a mention alongside JS

    2. itzman

      Has Guy Kewney been forgotton already?


  2. Suricou Raven

    The hardware specs ever increase, and yet the computers seem to take longer and longer to actually get anything done.

    1. John Lodge

      I'm going to install DOS 6.1/WFWG on an i5 - just to see how it copes

  3. Alister

    And most importantly, stick the background recording of analytics up your arse.

    Having worked in a medical environment for many years, and therefore knowing that an Emetic is something which makes you vomit, I always had the feeling that an Analytic should perform a similar function, only at the other end, so to speak.

    Now that I work in IT, and have to deal with various Web Analytics tools, it only reinforces my initial misapprehension.

  4. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Russ Tarbox

      Re: Excellent article addressing I feel strongly about.

      I should add that obviously other CPU intensive rendering tasks would benefit as well ... I was merely trying to suggest that your average man-in-the-street or even a techie like me won't notice that much as a single point of upgrade.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Is Mooreslaw like coleslaw?

    Or did you mean Moores law?

    1. Captain Hogwash

      Re: grammar?

      It was a joke.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: grammar?

      He was making a joke. You were making a fool of yourself, as you meant Moore's law.

      Chin up.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It'sall relative

    Back in 1966 it was considered quite an achievement to have shoehorned a magnetic tape multi-tasking operating system - and a high level language compiler - into the largest new computer the company possessed. That was a whole 131kbytes of ferrite store on an RCA Spectra 70/45.

    It was lightning fast at running the self-booting papertape "perfect numbers" program that had become a staple "impress the visitors" demonstration for the Company's computers. It clattered out the discovered numbers on the console Teletype at a slowly reducing frequency.

    The next year the top of the range prototype English Electric Computers System 4/70 had 1Mbyte of memory. This was massive both in capacity - and the number of six feet high cabinets stretching down the room. It made the previous "perfect numbers" demonstration look quite lethargic.

    Somewhere in my archive should be a January 1970 edition of a free IT magazine with a front cover graphic proclaiming "Year Zero". The previously bumper revenue earning job advertisements were reduced to almost nothing as the 1960s computing boom hit the rocks.

    Another item that has miraculously survived is Issue 1 of an ICL "Network News" dated January 1976.

    A few quotes from the leader article:

    "In the last few years a number of large network systems have been pioneered in the Unite States. These include the scientific ARPA network and the general administrative system Infonet.


    This country is behind in such matters.


    A network, then, should be regarded as a mainframe manufacturer's first answer to distributed computing.


    At present, the Post Office are conducting trials on the Experimental Packet Switching System (EPSS) [...].

    End quotes

    It all seems just like yesterday.

  7. Steve Todd

    Not what Moores Law says

    It's nothing to do with clock speeds, only about the number of transistors that you can get on a given sized piece of silicon. Clock speeds went up in step as a side effect until about the Pentium 4, since then they've mostly levelled out and extra performance has been coming from multiple cores and extra parallelism.

    1. Alistair Dabbs

      Re: Not what Moores Law says

      This is true but how do you feel about Geoff Hurst's second goal?

    2. Naughtyhorse

      Re: Not what Moores Law says

      That's strictly true...

      but over the years there have been numerous re-interpretations of the <ahem> law, that were needed to make the data fit the hypothesis. The very definition of bad science.

      fecking moore's law MY ARSE!

  8. Thecowking

    It's still findable

    Correct publication?

    1. Alistair Dabbs

      Re: It's still findable

      Yes, that is the same PCBW but four years and a redesign after I moved on to the dizzy heights of ICL Today, DEC Today, Lotus magazine, Graduate Computerworld, customer mags for Unisys and HP, and a pre-newsstand Macworld... all produced above an antiques shop in Beckenham. But that's another story.

  9. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    Curent gate widths are still about 140 atoms wide.

    Given that gate dielectric thickness is about 1/10 the gate width that suggests 3-4 more generations at least.

    Of course if you go for the 1 atom wide gate and the 1 atom thick gate dielectric.....

    And at that point it really will be game over for the MOSFET in 2 dimensions.

    But you could stick maybe 30 layers of working transistors in the current wafer thickness.

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