7 Simple Tasks That Would Have Been Magic Back in the Day
Hey, remember the good old days, when technology's refusal to advance at a rapid enough pace effectively handcuffed all the fun you could have had as a child to a radiator and forced you to play outdoors instead like some kind of freak show? If not, this will help ...
An Entire Duck Hunt Cartridge Could Not Hold Half of One Level of Angry Birds
With a download size of 19.4 MB and 345 levels, a single level of Angry Birds averages out to roughly 440 Kb. There is likely to be some variance, of course. The levels that make you want to hurl your iPhone through a bus window are probably a bit bigger. At any rate, not even half of one those levels could fit on the paltry 192 Kb that held the entirety of the Duck Hunt universe.
You Would Need $12,800,000 and Enough Room for 64 Refrigerator-Sized Hard Drives to Own the Storage Capacity of an iPod Classic in 1980
The IBM 3380, one of the first commercially available hard-drive-based digital storage systems, featured 2.5 GB of storage space, was the size of a refrigerator and would set you back at least $200,000. For that kind of cash, you could buy approximately 300 iPods and have enough loot left over to cover the budget of Nirvana's landmark Nevermind album.
A Motorola DynaTAC "Brick" Phone Would Have to Charge for More Than 17 Days to Achieve the 21-Hour Talk Time of the Droid Razr Maxx Smartphone
If the DynaTAC ran apps, you'd probably have to hook it up to a generator to launch them. With 30 minutes of talk time on a whopping 10-hour charge, it was the kind of phone that you only used to call for help once you'd made absolutely sure you couldn't just fight the bear off yourself.
Related: A Timeline Of The Cellphone
The Flight Control Computer on NASA's Skylab Was 400 Times Less Powerful Than an iPhone 4S
This one takes some math, so stay with us here. According to this article, the processor on the iPhone 4S was clocked at an impressive 800 MHz. Meanwhile, the computer that controlled the flight of a NASA space lab sported five processors cranking at 0.4 MHz each. That means it takes way more power for you to lose at Words With Friends than it took to successfully navigate around space. How does the iPhone not a have a jet pack app yet?
You Would Need 25,000,000 Altair 8800s, the First Widely Used Home Computer, to Store One Copy of the PC Game Skyrim
With 256 bytes of storage, it's a pretty safe bet that there were never enough Altair 8800s in existence to handle the job. At the very least, there isn't nearly enough room in your mom's basement for all those computers.
And It Would Take More Than Five Years for the Game to Download
The first PC modem, the Hayes 80-103A, when hooked up to an Altair (as seen in the picture on the left), could download information at a cold-grease-moving-uphill rate of 300 bits per second. Skyrim's 6 GB of data means that, with that setup, if you started the download right now, you could vote in two presidential elections before it was finished. That said, it's a pretty good game, so it might be worth the wait.