The easiest way I can think of is to do show you something like this. It’s a micro-sim card, you have some sense of scale by looking at my fingers. It contains 64 gig of memory. That’s 64,000,000,000 bytes.
My first computer had 64K or 64,000 bytes that it accessed via big floppy discs and all the programmes ran on the discs along with the saved files. And it was considered a powerful machine in the 1980;s. A big machine and it ran on large discs. And those suckers filled up fast and died easily. You learned the importance of backing up very often and very, very quickly. No hard drives of course.
So yes, when I picked this up for my video camera the other day (a video camera has this much storage!) 🙂 I felt old. I note I now measure my computer memory in Terrabytes. And just to keep things consistent, 1 Terrabyte is equal to 1e+12 bytes. (don’t bother to do the math – just call it a shitload and be done with it)
So yes, whenever I get to remembering my first computer, I quickly remember how ancient I truly am in this business of using them as writer’s tools and how much that has changed.
And are about to change in even bigger ways. Here’s MIT and the PARC people at it again with chips you’ll be able to spray onto surfaces like paint.