Bill over at PlanetPeschel runs across a 15-year old ad for a PC. Check out these specs:
20-MHz 386 processor
1 MB of RAM
40-meg hard drive
The price: $1688, without a monitor.
Frightening but true: my Dad bought this system, or one very like it, from Tandy around that time. It was a decent machine.
That really brings it home, doesn't it? I spent a similar amount last year and got:
3.4 GHz Pentium IV processor (four generations more advanced, 170 times the clock speed)
2 GB physical RAM (2000 times as much)
80-gig hard drive (2000 times as much)
Calling a generation of CPUs a doubling in raw power, which is roughly fair, and ignoring the fact that $1700 was worth more in 1991 than it is today, we're looking at performance/capacity improvements of 1500-2000 fold.
That Moore guy apparently knew something.