Assignment - Computer Doubling

Math 7, Mr. Martin, December 2004

 

??????????? Introduction: Chapter 4 as a motivator has a discussion about the development of CD-ROMs and the rapid increase in that technology.? Section 4-2 is about powers and exponents.? These two concepts made me think about ?Moore?s Law? which states that the number of transistors per square inch in an integrated circuit doubles every 1? years. http://www.webopedia.com/TERM/M/Moores_Law.html [1]

 

Two important factors in a computer?s functioning are its random access memory (RAM) and secondary storage.? RAM is the place in the computer where the operating system, programs and data currently in use are kept.? If you turn of the computer, the information in RAM is lost. After the computer is turned off information is still held in secondary storage. Secondary storage is the information held in hard drives, floppy disks, and other devices. Information in secondary storage is transferred to RAM when needed.?

 

In this assignment you will explore whether a doubling every 1 ? years applies to RAM and secondary storage in a personal computer of your choice from 1985 or before, and a modern personal computer from 2000 or after. You will also compare the price of the old computer and the new computer.

 

??????????? The Computers: Choose a computer from 1985 or before and a computer from 2000 or later. You may choose computers from http://www.mrmartinweb.com/computer.html or from another reliable Web site or source of information. A good source is http://www.oldcomputers.net/index.html. You must choose computers for which you can find the original price, RAM and secondary storage capacity.

 

??????????? Definitions:

 

Memory

?      Byte ? ?is the unit of computer memory equal to that needed to store a single character.? Microsoft Encarta College Dictionary, page 194 (St. Martin?s Press 2001). RAM and secondary storage is measured in bytes.

?      Kilobyte = 1,000 bytes.

?      Megabyte = 1,000,000 bytes = 1,000 kilobytes.

?      Gigabyte = 1,000,000,000 bytes = 1,000,000 kilobytes =1,000 megabytes .[2]

 

??????????? Assignment:

 

1.      Find the ratio of the RAM in the modern computer compared to the RAM in the old computer. Express the ratio in decimal form. In other words have the denominator equal to one.

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2.      Find the ratio of the secondary storage in the new computer compared to the secondary computer of old computer. Express the ratio in decimal form.

 

3.      Find the ratio of the price of the new computer compared to the price of the old computer.

 

4.      Examine whether RAM doubles approximately every 1 ? years. If it does not, explain how far off it is.? Explain how you achieved your results. Show your work.

 

5.      Examine whether secondary storage doubles approximately every 1 ? years. If it does not, explain how far off it is.? Explain how you achieved your results. Show your work.

 

6.      Assume that the 1 ? year doubling rule applies. What will be the RAM and secondary storage of a typical personal computer 9 years after the modern computer you selected?

 

7.      In a paragraph describe what other innovations or improvements the new computer has compared to the old computer.

 

Extra Credit:

 

1.      Find the ratio of the clock speed in new computer compared to the clock speed in the old computer. Express the ratio in decimal form. In other words have the denominator equal to one. Explain what clock speed is.

 

2.      Provide photographs of the old and new computers.

 

3.      Graphically compare RAM, secondary storage and clock speed in the new and old computers.

 

4.      In addition to #3 in the ?Assignment? section, adjust the price of the old computer by taking into account inflation. You may use the ?Inflation Calculator? at the Web site of the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Consumer Price Indexes, http://stats.bls.gov/cpi/.

 

5.      Present all your findings to the class in a concise, well prepared presentation, which includes visual aids.

 

Optional Partners:

 

??????????? You may, but do not have to, work with a partner of your choice. If you choose to work with a partner the team must do all of the work in the ?Assignment? and ?Extra Credit? sections.

 

??????????? Due: Friday, January 14, 2005



[1] Moore?s original 1965 article can be viewed on the Intel website at ftp://download.intel.com/research/silicon/moorespaper.pdf.? An excellent overview of Moore?s Law, as well as the history of Intel microprocessors, is found on the Intel website at http://www.intel.com/research/silicon/mooreslaw.htm.

 

[2] Technically, 1 kilobyte = 1,024 bytes = 210 bytes.? 1 megabyte = 1,048,576 bytes = 220 bytes.? 1 gigabyte = 1,073,741,824 bytes = 230 bytes. (Definitions from http://www.webopedia.com.) The approximate values used in the text above may be used in your assignment, however, and are frequently used in computer sales.