Apropos of yesterday's post on computer prices, it seems that back in 1982, James Fallows paid $4,000 for his computer featuring 64k of RAM plus another $800 for a floppy disk drive. According to the handy CPI calculator on the BLS website, $4,800 in 1982 is equivalent to a bit over $10,000 in today's money.
Naturally, I had no choice but to scroll over to the Apple Store and see how much computer I could get for $10,000. Well, I got myself a Mac Pro with two 3.0 GHz quad-core Intel Xeon processors, 8 gigs of RAM, four 750 gig hard drives, two Super Drives capable of reading and writing CDs and DVDs, a 30 inch Apple HD Cinema Display, a wireless keyboard and a wireless mouse. That comes to $9,449. I believe that's a 128,000-fold in RAM. The improvement in storage capacity is, in some ways, even more impressive.
Photo by Flickr user Rudolf Schuba used under a Creative Commons license