Computer Tech Progress and Video On Demand

By Xah Lee. Date:

Amazon now has Video On Demand. You go to the site, find the movie you want, pay something like $4.00, then you can watch it on your computer screen. You need a fast internet connection.

Pretty nice. Tech has advanced.

My first computer that i bought was Macintosh IIsi, in ~1991. The computer costs $2k. It got 1 mega bytes of memory, 40 mega bytes of hard disk. CPU is Motorola 68030 at 20 MHz, with Motorola 68882 FPU. (gosh, i haven't heard of FPU for perhaps 10 years.)

The monitor i bought with it is a high-end model, the AppleColor High-Resolution RGB Monitor. It costs $1k. It has a 13 inch (33 cm) diagonal. The viewable area is about 22 cm in width and height. It can display 640x480 pixels. Weights 22 kg.

Today, your iPod Buy at amazon, which is palm-sized, got 8 giga bytes of data storage capacity, and 960×640 pixels screen dimension. The storage size is 400 times larger, the screen's number of pixels 2 times more. The cost is 7%. Am not sure how much better is the computing power. Perhaps 100 times faster.

The first consumer video tech for computer, is Apple's QuickTime, released in 1991. The videos are about stamp sized, about 200×200 pixels.

This is 640×480 screen size

This is 200×200 video size

Today's video size, the DVD, is 704×480. High-definition video (Blue-ray disk and HDTV) is 1280×720 to 1920×1080.