An Argument on the Evolution of Computer Hardware
It is not easy to win an argument with my 88-year old grandfather. Despite his age, Grandpa, as we cordially call him, is quite impregnable both intellectually and physically. I really wonder what they ate in the early part of the 20th century because the old man does not suffer from any mental or physical problems. It’s not that I would like him to, however, he is so argumentative and dismissive of everything modern that he can easily get on your nerves.
Anyway, the ‘getting on your nerve’ thing is usually short-lived because he is very interesting and adorable. My grandfather fought in the Vietnam War, which makes him to think of anyone who has never participated in a military event as inferior. This ideological delusion makes him impossible to argue with.
A technological gift
A few years ago, my father bought the old man a smart phone. You should know that my grandfather has insisted on using the old house phones for a long time until my dad intervened. After acquiring the phone, my grandfather developed a rare interest in modern technology. He started devouring any information he could lay his hands on that referred to computers.
A few months ago, I went to visit my grandfather and I was happy to see that he had mustered some of the basic functions of the Smartphone and I commented on the same. However, I quickly regretted it as he quickly dismissed its technological functions and when I started to argue he silenced me with a few facts that I had not thought about in some time.
Computer evolution facts
According to my grandfather, the computer has not changed in any discernible way. He factually claims that the basic components of a personal computer have not changed much since the PC became popular in the late 1980s, which is true.
In fact, according to his mechanical eyes, they are less than what they used to be then (in reference to integration and size reduction). The old man argued that after reading a lot of ‘garbage’ on computers, he concluded that the hardware components still perform the same overall functions as they did almost three decades ago.
The motherboard still serves as the computer’s central hub, with everything connecting to it; the processor still follows instructions; RAM still stores data for quick access, and hard drives still store long-term data. The old man had really done his homework, I must give that. However, I quickly countered that the way those pieces are connected and how quickly they operate has changed tremendously over the years. For example, the magnetic storage of hard drive disks has increased tremendously since the 1980s. We measure drives in terabytes when we used to measure them in megabytes.
New interfaces for transmitting data also make a big difference. The Parallel ATA systems topped out at a speed of 133 MB per second, while Serial ATA, or SATA, currently supports up to 6 gigabits per second (768 megabytes). I pointed out all these facts while referring to the internet on his Smartphone.
After our long discussion, it was really long, the old man said a quick goodnight and left for bed, and I could not tell whether he was confused or convinced by my explanation.