15 August 2005

Blue clouds in a white sky

Some of the most amazing photo opportunities pop up when you have no camera with you. Driving up to brother-in-law Jamie’s place on Friday afternoon (SIL is still partying on in banana bender territory), the sky was pretty much filled with a big blue pancake of cloud. It felt very “Independence Day”.

Around the rim of the cloud, the sky was filled with a white haze which had been around for several days at the time. In this white haze floated little blue cousins of the motherhsip: blue clouds in a white sky. And no camera.

Earlier that day, sorting through the last dregs of moving, I ran across the memory stick which shipped with my first real camera, a Sony DSC-F505: an MSA-4A totalling a massive 4MB. My current (waaay obsolete) DSC-F707 could — but only if you chose your shots carefully — fit two whole photos on that as JPEGs at full rez.

That brings to mind the full height five megabyte Winchester drives which were an AUD$3000 option for the DEC Rainbow in 1981, or the two megabyte “flying saucer” removable drives which were still being sold for PDP-11s at the time. The Z80-based Osborne 1 luggable PC (with the full 64kB of RAM) was just in the throes of getting double-density 5.25” floppy drives to raise the storage from 92kB a disk to 192kB (IIRC the first cylinder had to stay single density for some reason).

I feel old. Broadcom’s gigabit LAN card drivers are typically bigger than that entire drive. My keyboard probably has more memory. Come to think of it, so does my optical mouse.

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