a request for help
rrobbins at GDB.ORG
Fri Dec 9 09:16:02 EST 1994
I post this query here in the hopes that some reader might be able to
help me find some information.
Thanks in advance for any help that can be offered...
I am trying to locate some historical data regarding comparative prices
over time for a reasonably powerful standard machine configuration, say a
10 MIPS computer with 128mB of memory and 10 gB of disk space. (Of
course, what's "powerful" at one time is a palm top at some later time,
but that's the whole point...)
I would also be interested in data that track the relative cost performance
over time for a particular line of machines (see example at the end of
What I would like to be able to do is fill in the following table with real
data instead of the made-up information it now contains. If you might
point me towards either a source for the data (or the data themselves), I
would much appreciate it.
If data are not available for the configuration that I have specified but
might be available for some other configuration, I'd appreciate knowing
Anecdotal information (e.g., in 1981 we installed a Brand XXX machine with
Y configuration and it cost $####), or data for single points in the table
are more than welcome. Even if I can only get a few factoids and a general
Gestalt feeling, that will be very helpful.
Even suggestions of, "have you thought af asking ______, or have you looked
______?" would also be appreciated.
For the curious, what I am planning to do is compile these statistics
on computer prices, then compile equivalent statistics on lab tech
salaries and grad student and post doc stipends to support the case that:
Computers are transforming biology and the relentless effects of
Moore's Law are transforming the way computers are transforming
with the basic idea being that a certain amount of computing power that
once cost, say, the equivalent of a whole roomful of postdocs, grad
students, and techs will soon cost less than a couple of months of one
This will have a profound effect upon the usage of computing in biology
and will have an equally profound effect upon the generation of computer
readable biological data."
Thanks in advance for any help.
STANDARD CONFIGURATION TABLE
128mB 10 gB
year ------ 10 MIPS computer ------ memory disk TOTAL
model price price price PRICE
==================== ========= ========= ========= ==========
1975 ACME SuperComputer 5,000,000 2,000,000 3,000,000 10,000,000
2000 Dell WonderComp 5,000 standard 2,500 7,500
WITHIN PRODUCT-LINE DATA
model price speed
=================== ======== ==============
1980 8088 PC $6,000 .33 MIPS
1982 80286 PC ?? 1.2 MIPS
1985 80386 PC ?? 5.0 MIPS
1989 80486 PC ?? 20.0 MIPS
1993 Pentium (60) ?? 112.0 MIPS
I would be happy to receive similar product-line data for other vendors...
More information about the Biomatrx