Progress... just how far we have come

throAU

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So... i did some googling on the S2 chip in the series 1 and series 2 watches.

Compared to my first "real computer", an Amiga 500 (which IIRC came out in 1987) the watch has:

2x as many processor cores
100x the processor mhz
1000x the RAM
~4500x the storage capacity (vs. 880k floppy)
wifi, bluetooth, GPS, accelerometer, heart rate sensor, etc.

... and runs in less than 1% of the power consumption.

When you think about that for a second... Wow. Just... wow.


Kinda puts things into perspective somewhat; does that blow anyone else's mind or is it just me?
 

matrix07

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Jun 24, 2010
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Yeah.. it is almost like sci-fi having watch have this power on our wrist. Can't wait to see what it can do in the next few years.
 
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throAU

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Yeah.. it is almost like sci-fi having watch have this power on our wrist. Can't wait to see what it can do in the next few years.
Yeah my thoughts exactly. In a few short years we've gone from the iPhone being WOW to stuff like the watch. Technology development accelerates too, so we're in for a huge amount of cool stuff in coming years, and not just from Apple.
 

keysofanxiety

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Nov 23, 2011
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Heh yeah, it's crazy how hardware has evolved. I remember my old man sitting me down and explaining in a lot of detail why computers won't get any quicker due to limitations of physics (can't go faster than the speed of light and all that jazz). He couldn't have been more wrong of course; silly old soak. :D

Plus there was that Star Trek Voyager 2-part episode which 'explained' the computer boom in the '90s because they were reverse engineering technology from the future. These were the days when your hard-drive ran off ribbon cables and when an extra 10 megahertz made an enormous difference. Seems crazy to think about now; it's almost papercup-and-string in comparison.
 
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throAU

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Yeah, i had a couple of computers before the amiga, but consider the amiga the first "legit" computer that could do most things. Also a decent yardstick as that machine was released in 1987 - 30 years ago almost to the month.

It just blows my mind that we're talking 100s or 1000s of times the capacity and throughput - in so much less power consumption and physical size.

Also. If we look back to when dual cores started becoming a thing in desktops, that was only around 2005-2006.

So it is not unreasonable to assume you'll have something like Macbook Pro or iMac processing capability in something watch sized by 2027. Or faster, given the exponential rate of progress in terms of power/power efficiency and miniaturisation.

Nuts....
 
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keysofanxiety

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Nov 23, 2011
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Cool Info!

I remember being as amazed when visiting the Science Museum in Boston and seeing the inside of the rocket that landed on the moon. The specs on their computer wouldn't even be acceptable on the AW today :)
It's crazy isn't it, the computers they used were essentially just calculators. Had less power than a pocket calculator does these days. I love human ingenuity. It seems unthinkable how they did so much with so little.
 

throAU

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For those who have no idea what an Amiga 500 is... it was a fairly powerful multimedia computer of the day...

Around the time of the original Mac. More powerful than the original mac actually (Better/faster graphics and sound, colour, etc.), as it had custom processors to do stuff in hardware that the mac did in software. both a blessing and a curse - the custom silicon needed hardware updates which didn't happen as time went on. The mac, doing everything in software just got faster with faster CPUs...


 
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Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
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It's crazy isn't it, the computers they used were essentially just calculators. Had less power than a pocket calculator does these days. I love human ingenuity. It seems unthinkable how they did so much with so little.
Good to see you in this part of the forum. This thread puts the Watch in the lime light of how much technology is actually incorporated into a 38/42 MM casing, which all fits into the palm of your hand. Awesome times to be a part of and owning my Apple Watch.
 

Kyle76

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Jan 22, 2017
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When I was in college in the mid-1970s, we were still carrying around stacks of perforated computer cards as our means of data storage. You had to hand them in at the computer lab to do any kind of work. The fun programs were Lunar Landing, where you made adjustments in descent to try and not crash, and Hamurabi, where you tried to keep your village alive and healthy. I still recall the green glow of those old CRTs.
 

throAU

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Oh may as well also mention.

My Amiga was $800 AUD in 1990 (not adjusted for inflation).
My S2 watch was $575 AUD in 2017

in 2014 dollars (only found a calculator to go to 2014 for AUD) the Amiga would have cost $1477 AU in todays money. Almost 3x the price.
 

KarimLeVallois

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Feb 22, 2014
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I was the second person to buy an Amiga 500 on my small little island, the first was my friend lol I became very popular, very quickly!
 

biscuit0819

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Nov 24, 2016
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Well if Moore's law states that computing power will double every two years then it's doubled 15 times since 1987. That hurts my head to even think about.
 
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throAU

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Well if Moore's law states that computing power will double every two years then it's doubled 15 times since 1987. That hurts my head to even think about.
Moores law is actually to do with transistor count (which is kinda, but not directly linked to CPU power), and I think it originally referred to 18 months, but yeah.

Typical desktop processors of the day had tens of thousands of transistors (maybe 100,000 for an early 80s processor - the 68k in the Amiga was introduced in 1979). Modern CPUs have transistor counts in the billions. Given 30 years @ doubling every 18 months (2^20) = roughly 1 million x increase, we're reasonably close.
 

Stefan johansson

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Comparing with the amiga is one thing... try comparing the watch with the 1977 Sinclair ZX-80 kit computer..
One megabit storage,slower than a moving glacier,grayscale fixed graphics (no moving objects on screen,only keyboard letters) and The great possibility of using two different coding languages. It could run both basic and assembler.
 

throAU

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Comparing with the amiga is one thing... try comparing the watch with the 1977 Sinclair ZX-80 kit computer..
One megabit storage,slower than a moving glacier,grayscale fixed graphics (no moving objects on screen,only keyboard letters) and The great possibility of using two different coding languages. It could run both basic and assembler.

Oh definitely. I just figured the Amiga 500 was a good baseline comparison as its almost 30 years to the month since that model was released (April 1987). Its also a machine that was reasonably competent at running software that isn't that far away from the sort of things we do today. It had a full colour Windowing GUI, stereo sound, etc. You could use it for photo editing (well, certainly graphics design, it was limited to 4096 colours), video overlays, word processing, gaming, etc. Unlike the Mac (pre-OS X?) it had full pre-emptive multi-tasking.

The fact that the watch is 100s and 1000s of times more powerful than THAT, and its on my wrist... is just ... wow.

My first actual computer had 16k of RAM, tape drive and ran at 0.895 of a Mhz. :D


As another point of comparison...

It has the same RAM capacity as a typical desktop PC from 2005. the processing capacity is on-par with a desktop PC from 2002 ish. Basically if you're running a PPC mac (certainly a non-PowerMac), there's probably some things that the watch out-specs your PPC based machine at. Which is kinda crazy.
[doublepost=1495124072][/doublepost]
Cool Info!

I remember being as amazed when visiting the Science Museum in Boston and seeing the inside of the rocket that landed on the moon. The specs on their computer wouldn't even be acceptable on the AW today :)
IIRC the computer that landed man on the moon was comparable to the Commodore C64 in terms of processing power.

This is what you can do when you have single-purpose machines running highly optimised assembly/machine code rather than a general purpose OS with some application written in a high level language with a heap of OS provided toolkits.
 
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Stefan johansson

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Good points,i was just doing my own comparison here,and about the computers used in the apollo landing craft used by Armstrong and Aldrin,they hardly had power even close to the C64. The onboard computers used in the early moon landings,where actually electromechanical calculators,not that much different from the one Alan Turing used for the ultra project at Bletchley park. The major development of computers started with the first pc office machines and the home entertainment computers in late 1970s.
 

matrix07

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Jun 24, 2010
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Imagine if we can bring it back to 1950s to show our grandfather. I'd pay to see his reaction.
In the original The Fly movie (one which starred Vincent Price) the protagonist is a scientist working on secret project. When his friend ask what it is, he asked "A flat screen TV?"
Imagine they see a tiny flat screen color TV on a wrist.
 

JNGold

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Aug 25, 2009
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I remember how cool it was to go over to my girlfriend's house in high school and load up a game of pong from the cassette tape on her TRS-80. Those were the days :)

Yep. TRS-80 Model IIIowner here. I learned to program basic on that machine and spent many a weekends trading software with friends.


Then came the original 128k Mac and everything changed.
 
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Stefan johansson

macrumors 65816
Apr 13, 2017
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Imagine if we can bring it back to 1950s to show our grandfather. I'd pay to see his reaction.
In the original The Fly movie (one which starred Vincent Price) the protagonist is a scientist working on secret project. When his friend ask what it is, he asked "A flat screen TV?"
Imagine they see a tiny flat screen color TV on a wrist.
Lol...this remind me of a Swedish movie about the war between Sweden and Denmark in late 1600s,one of the actors had an omega watch,that was displayed a lot in the movie,but in those days,a soldier would if he had a watch at all,carry a pocket watch,withouth possibility to count seconds. However,in the movie,they synchronise wristwatches and says " 30 seconds after first firing,you go east"... funny,huh? But not really historically correct.
 

BeefCake 15

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May 15, 2015
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Imagine if we can bring it back to 1950s to show our grandfather. I'd pay to see his reaction.
In the original The Fly movie (one which starred Vincent Price) the protagonist is a scientist working on secret project. When his friend ask what it is, he asked "A flat screen TV?"
Imagine they see a tiny flat screen color TV on a wrist.
One step at a time my friend, first show them the Quartz watch :)
 
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