Eight Hundred and Twenty Pounds Sterling to transmit 640 MB

by shiva

I remember vividly having this idea that I could use quaternions for fast 3D maths calculations when working on FOFT back in the 80’s.

Xerographic photocopy process image from Wikipedia

Xerographic photocopy process image from Wikipedia

The only way I could get any information on the subject was to contact the local university and talk to one of the math professors. He didn’t have much, but he sent me 3 pages photocopied from a book and a PHD thesis on the subject. I corrected the errors in the thesis and sent it back.

The whole process took about three weeks.



Now you can just google virtually anything and get thousands of pages of information instantly.

Big difference.

I had written some software for a games machine that emulated a cd player, so you could develop for it without going through the (at the time) incredibly expensive process of having a master disk made. So the file was 32k of operating system, and 640 Meg of data. I had to send this large file to Tiawan, by zmodem, after 9 hours of transmission the file got there. The phone call cost 820. I could have flown there for 650. (The cost of a call from UK to Tiawan was over 1 a minute at the time, and the line dropped out several times making things worse.)

The internet has changed how we all work.

Story by Paul Blythe XNA programmer (Interactive floors), Hythe Software Solutions, Southampton, United Kingdom.

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